pulp and pith … current affairs blog

The Suffolk Strangler’s old house

Posted on: January 31, 2009

The website of Ipswich’s daily evening paper, the Evening Star, is currently running a poll. It asks:

picture of poll taken from the Evening star website, www.eveningstar24.co.uk

Steve Wright is the ex-forklift truck driver of London Road, Ipswich who in February 2008 was convicted of the murders of five sex workers: Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell, and Annette Nicholls, who worked in the town’s red light district. On February 24, 2009, his leave to appeal application will be heard by High Court judges.

I took this screencap at 6.45pm today. I was surprised by the results of the poll. Surely, I thought, most Star readers are capable of separating the man – who has been found guilty of subjecting five vulnerable women to appalling, unspeakable acts that resulted in their loss of life; and the house – walls, a roof, some furniture, and not much else.

However strongly people feel about Steve Wright, destroying the house he once lived in would not achieve anything. This poll asks a purely hypothetical question, but the fact that the majority have reacted in a visceral, instinctive way to it suggests that people are still coming to terms with what happened.

If it is gut-wrenching for the average Ipswich resident, imagine how those who knew and loved the five young woman whose lives were taken are feeling.

Even the most no-nonsense sort of person would think twice before renting Steve Wright’s old house, but personally I’m glad it will be occupied again. I think that the people of Ipswich, and Suffolk, should bear the place like it bears the memory of Steve Wright’s actions: by trying to make some good come of it, impossible as that may seem.

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