Paul Harrison was raised in London in the 1950’s and had a strange and unfortunate childhood. His parents were loving and kind towards him but his father was particularly cruel to his mother. His father had young Paul on a pedestal, praising him constantly.
Hiss fathers’ paradoxical temperament confused Paul but not once did he fear him. If Paul had so much as a hair out of place before attending school, his father would verbally or physically abuse his mother. If she served a meal for young Paul that his father didn’t deem appropriate he would send the plate flying across the room, again scolding his and forcing her to cook something ‘proper’ for his beloved boy.
Despite Pauls’ lack of fear for his father he despised the way that his mother was treated. At the age of ten he wished that he could stoop him but he was powerless. Powerless. This frustrated Paul and would gradually eat away at him.
Paual was a good student att school and had a penchant for politics.. His father would boast to his friends that maybe one day his son would become a politician. As Paul rose through school he would often give captivating speeches about the rights of the working class in England at the time. Back then, class difference was a big deal. It was this class difference that would prevent him from getting anywhere near the upper class political circles.
A few weeks before finishing school, Pauls’ mother was admitted to hospital. Not only had she been beaten unconscious by his father but she had suffered a major heart attack. His father was charged with causing grievous bodily harm and was to appear in court the following week. Visiting his mother every day, she didn’t appear to be recovering. His father was not permitted to visit.
Two days before his court case, Pauls’ mother suffered another heart attack and passed away. This meant that his father would be charged with murder. His defence claimed that, he did not intend to kill his wife and displaying (false) remorse the charge of murder should be reduced to manslaughter.
Pauals’ father was remanded in custody until the judge deliberated the plea of the defence. The charge was dropped to manslaughter and the case began.
On hearing all of the evidence, Paul was asked to speak. He was not nervous about talking about his fathers’ violent outbursts against his mother as he was telling the truth. Finally Paul had the power….and it felt good. His father was sentenced to five years in prison and Paul was to live with his Auntie Ellen, his late mothers sister.
By now Paul had finished school and was looking for work. His father wrote to him every week but Paul never answered any of these letters. Again, he now had the power.
Paul finally secured a job at a local meat-works. He was a good worker and got along well with the other workers there. With his political knowledge and penchant for public speaking, after two years he was offered the position as the meat-works union representative. He was ecstatic and took on the position with passion, gaining even more respect from his work colleagues. Work conditions improved and he even negotiated a pay rise with management for the workers.
With his job secure, Paul approached the bank for a loan. He wanted to move out from his Auntie Ellen into his own place and also wanted to buy himself a car. He secured the loan with no problem. After scouring the area for suitable accommodation he found what he thought would be perfect for him. It was a one room apartment at the very end of a dead-end street. It had a lovely view, a garage for the car that he was yet to buy, a cellar for storage and it was close to his work. Prior to moving in he purchased a red van. It was ideal for transporting his things from his Auntie Ellens’ house to his new abode.
Paul adjusted well to his new house and had taken to going for walks after work. One such evening he saw a group of children playing in a park. A strange and almost uncontrollable urge came over him. ‘I can control you,’ he thought to himself. Bear in mind that this was a time of innocence where children could play anywhere with relative safety.
Paul bought himself a map of the area and marked out where all of the childrens’ playgrounds were located. He would soon go walking or driving to them and watching the children playing. The dark side of his mind wanted to control these children. His rational thoughts told him that he would be too easily recognised.
Sitting at home one night he came up with what, to his now twisted thinking, was a cunning plan. Instead of focussing his attention on local playgrounds he could drive to different areas, even counties, at weekends and look for playgrounds further afield thus increasing his chance of anonymity. Gathering maps he memorised far-reaching playgrounds and would visit them, always at dusk in the hope of finding a stray child.
After several weeks he was parked by a park around dusk and saw a group of children playing. As the children gradually left to go home he noticed one twelve year old girl casually bouncing a ball with not a care in the world. She was bouncing the ball and slowly spinning. Paul got out of his van with two rags in his pockets. He crept towards the girl and grabbed her violently from behind, covering her mouth with his left hand. The girl squirmed in terror. “It’s okay,” said Paul. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
He dragged her wriggling body back to his van and put her in the back, making sure that she couldn’t see his face. Grabbing one rag from his pocket, he blindfolded her. The other rag was used to tie her hands behind her back.
With his heart racing, Paul drove as calmly as possible back home. By now it was dark. He bundled the petrified girl out of the van and down into the cellar. “Just wait there,” he said with a gentle voice. “I’ll be back soon.” As the young girl sat there trembling, Paul calmly went upstairs and prepared something to eat for. Putting on a ski mask, he took down the meal along with a steel bucket that would be her toilet.
He took off her blindfold and untied her hands. The girl screamed but Paul remained calm. “Nobody can hear you down here. You’ll only get a sore throat.” He offered the girl her meal which she reluctantly began to eat.“What’s your name?” asked Paul. The girl meekly replied that her name was Mary. Paul commented on what a pretty name it was. He told her that his name was John then added, “I’m not going to hurt you Mary but I control you.” Mary looked uncertain as Paul sat and waited for her to finish her meal.
Paul pulled back the blankets on the mattress that was to be where Mary slept. Mary looked scared but Paul reassured her saying, “This is where you’ll be sleeping but just for a little while. He went on to explain that he had to go and that it was time to put the light out.
The next morning, before daylight, Paul donned his ski mask and took Mary down some breakfast. Mary hadn’t slept. Paul took the bucket out and cleaned and disinfected it. On returning he asked Mary if she liked books. Mary said, “Yes.” Paul said that he would get her some. He went on later that day leaving the cellar light on for Mary and bought her some age appropriate books and some pencils and papers to write and draw with.
By now, Marys’ disappearance was all over the newspapers. Paul went to work as usual, safe in the knowledge that the police were searching in the wrong area. He had total control.
With the search for Mary completely off track, Paul came up with another idea. He had now convinced himself that he could control people, it was time to return Mary unharmed. One night he told Mary that he was going to let her go and that she would be okay.
He blindfolded and gagged her securely and took her to a park that was located in the opposite direction of the police search. He took her behind some bushes that surrounded the park and spun her around so often and so quickly that she fell over, unable to stand up. Paul made his escape rather casually. As Mary slowly regained her balance, she made her way to the side of the park about thirty minutes later.
Mistaking her for a drunk woman in the poor light, a man from the local pub asked if she was okay. When he realised that it was Mary, he put his jacket around her and found the nearest phone box to call the police. At the police station, the tired Mary could tell them next too nothing about her captor except that he said his name was John and that he was very kind to her. She said that he kept mentioning something about ‘control.’ Outside of that, the police had nothing to go on.
With his appetite for power and control now satisfied, Paul knew that he could now do it again and that he was not the violent man that his father was.
A few weeks later, Pauls’ need for control and power returned. One Saturday he drove to Yorkshire which was many miles away from his home. He scouted local playgrounds during the day and at dusk, parked by the one that had been the busiest. As had happened in the case of Mary, children started to make their way hoe until there was only one child remaining. It was a boy kicking a football. Paul became angry. He didn’t want a boy. It had to be a girl.
His thirst for control grew and he found himself scouting playgrounds on the outer suburbs of London. He scouted them and waited at dusk for three weeks but he couldn’t get a girl on her own. On the fourth week, he struck it lucky. An eight year old girl separated from her friends in order to take a short-cut through the school grounds on her way home. Paul his behind a large oak tree and captured her as he had done with Mary. The eight year old was too small and frightened to struggle.
On arriving home he blindfolded himself again and went through the same routine as he had done with Mary. He asked her name to which she nervously replied Annabelle. Annabelle was so scared that she was incontinent of urine. Paul was very upset by this and bought her a bowl of hot water and washers to clean herself. “Please don’t be afraid,” he said. He left her for half an hour and then told her that it was time to go to bed.
The next morning, again before daylight, he bought Annabelle some breakfast and some pencils and paper to draw with while he was at work.
After three days at work, Paul decided that it was time to let the still terrified Annabelle go. As badly as he felt for his fear he reassured himself by telling himself that he could gain control aat any time and that he hadn’t hurt anyone. His conscience was strangely clear.
He would have no more urges for another six months but when they surged they raged. He was struck by a sense of urgency. He needed control again. He couldn’t fight it and even more concerning was the fact that he saw no need to fight it. This time he wanted more power but didn’t know how to go about it.
His greed for more power came by pure chance when he travelled to a playground in Sussex. At dusk he saw two ten year old girls playing in a park. ‘I can control both of them,’ Paul thought but he would have to take a different approach.
Paul would take a different approach this time. He would don the ski mask and use the two rags to bind their hands behind their backs. It was risky but Paul was high with the expectation of gaining even more power. He leapt out from behind a bush and wrestled them to the ground. They tried to struggle but Pauls’ drive was too strong for them as he managed to gag them. On the long drive home he felt relaxed. He had accomplished something really big to his way of thinking.
He treated his two captives as well as he had treated the others, feeding them and reassuring them that he would not hurt them. This was his ultimate power trip. Ultimate control. Due to the kick that Paul was getting from his latest, most daring and most empowering endeavour, he kept his two captives for three weeks.
Harrisons’ luck was soon to come to an end in the most unexpected manner. On the When his hunger forr control was finally quelled by his latest two captives he decided to return them to an area unrelated to where they disappeared. On the way there he got a flat tyre. As he calmly set about changing the tyre he was unaware that hiss two captives had managed to untie and un-gag themselves. They sat there quietly not really sure of what was going on. Then they saw car lights approaching out of the back window of the van. The car stopped. They could see the shadow of a man who put on a hat. It was a police hat. It was a policeman!
Paul remained composed, not knowing that the girls had been untied. Everything’s fine now officer,” he said. At that the girls starte yelling for help. Harrison froze. He knew that there was no point in trying to escape. The policeman put the girls in the back of the car and radioed another car to come and pick up Harrison.
Harrison was charged with three counts of kidnapping. He pleaded guilty. Due to the statements of his victims saying that he never hurt them and was in fact very kind, Harrison escaped jail time. On reading statements pertaining to his upbringing it was determined that, although prison wasn’t appropriate in this case, Harrison was not deemed safe to be in the community.
He was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in an asylum where he would spend his time writing childrens stories.