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Old 26th November 2019, 06:11 AM   #41
Rolfe
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In general terms I'm in agreement with the last few posts. For many years I have believed the practice of refusing parole if a prisoner refuses to "address his offending behaviour and show due remorse", which penalised victims of miscarriages of justice, was monstrous. It resulted in Stefan Kiszko remaining in jail for some years after he should have been released on parole, before he was eventually exonerated. Supporters of Luke Mitchell believe he is set to become another victim of the same thing, as he says he'll never admit to a murder he didn't commit.

I had thought that the possibility that a killer might reveal the location of a missing body was perhaps the only good thing that might come out of it. But here we are.

I think what was judged to be an honest attempt to locate a concealed body would probably be sufficient to satisfy a parole board. I remember Ian Brady at one point tried to lead police to the location of Keith Bennett's body, but nothing could be found. A long time had passed and Saddleworth Moor is pretty featureless. If Simms really did lose Helen's body in a river or canal he could at least say so.

I wonder how many of these cases there actually are? When I took part in the Female Peloton ride for murdered women in September I dedicated my own ride specifically to Suzanne Pilley and our Glen Orchy group to women whose bodies had never been discovered. My researches turned up nine in Britain, going back to the 1960s.

VictimDateLocationkiller
Malika Maria de Fernandez1961Cheshire, EnglandEstranged husband
Renee MacRae1976Invernessshire, ScotlandLover (suspect)
Veronica Packman1985Dorset, EnglandEstranged husband
Helen McCourt1988Lancashire, EnglandRejected suitor
Arlene Fraser1998Moray, ScotlandHusband
Danielle Jones2001Essex, EnglandUncle
Linda Razzell2002Wiltshire, EnglandEstranged husband
Jenny Nicholl2005Yorkshire, EnglandLover
Suzanne Pilley2010Edinburgh, ScotlandEx-lover

Coincidentally, Bill MacDowell was actually charged with Renee and Andrew MacRae's murder the day before our ride.

The Peloton was specifically dedicated to women murdered by intimate partners or family members however, so there could be additional cases where the victim was male, or where the murderer didn't fit the category. It's not a huge number of cases over the years, but they do add up.
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Old 26th November 2019, 10:40 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
It seems to me there's a rather more obvious problem for the wrongly convicted; if they were completely uninvolved, they have no way of knowing where the loot is hidden of the body buried. They can admit the crime as much as they want, but how are they supposed to declare where the body was hidden when they don't actually know?

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You could just say you put it in the river. Or buried it in a woods, who can remember exactly where in the woods?
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Old 26th November 2019, 11:25 AM   #43
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I think the point is that the wrongly convicted do not want to admit guilt for something they did not do, and this applies even if there is no missing body. Luke Mitchell for example appears to have declared that there is no way he will ever admit to a murder he did not commit even if it means he spends the rest of his life in prison. And he wouldn't even have to invent a body disposal story because he actually found the body in that murder.
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Old 26th November 2019, 02:49 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think the point is that the wrongly convicted do not want to admit guilt for something they did not do, and this applies even if there is no missing body. Luke Mitchell for example appears to have declared that there is no way he will ever admit to a murder he did not commit even if it means he spends the rest of his life in prison. And he wouldn't even have to invent a body disposal story because he actually found the body in that murder.
I think it's important to recognize that many people behave in a manner that's contrary to their own interest because of a combination of pride and shame surrounding certain crimes.

Someone people will continue to maintain their innocence in the facing a mountain of completely undeniable evidence, because to admit that they committed said crime would be hugely shameful. In legal systems that employ plea-bargaining or where admitting guilt has a potential to significantly affect their sentence, their pride and refusal to admit that they are a "rapist" or "pedophile" or "murderer", means that they are liable to end up being given more serious sentences than if they had cooperated. They might even basically admit the general facts of the circumstances surrounding the specific crime in question but stubbornly refuse to acknowledge any guilt, legal or otherwise. Especially if they have family, relatives and friends that they lied to and whom also refuse to believe the evidence.

A great example is pedophiles who have been caught with child pornography on their computer, for example. Some will act like they hadn't downloaded them at all while others will admit they downloaded said images, but that they were definitively not sexually aroused by them and certainly didn't seek them out for their own sexual gratification.

So it's not necessarily out of malice, but rather often stems from a self-defeating and irrational need to maintain the plausibility of their innocence, driven largely by desire to avoid losing face in front of their family, relatives and friends. Hence why penalizing people for it is extremely problematic and why absolutely denying these people early release, parole or conditional release from prison is even worse.
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Old 26th November 2019, 03:46 PM   #45
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I think that's absolutely true, and I have speculated in the past that this may be true of Simms. He's been in jail for 30 years. It's not at all beyond the bounds of possibility that he has persuaded himself that he's innocent. I believe people in that mental condition can pass lie detector tests, which is another reason for not betting your shirt on lie detector tests.

I have always been very uncomfortable about the whole "stay in there and rot until you admit you did it and say sorry" principle. I had thought that if it had one virtue it might at least persuade someone who was concealing where they had dumped a body to reveal the location. But that's gone, apparently, despite all the congratulatory articles telling the McCourt family that they had won their campaign.

It does at least give some hope to Luke Mitchell, who definitely didn't do it and who has been in prison since he was 16. Although what sort of condition he'll be in by the time he's finally released is anyone's guess.
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