Monday, 3rd September 2001

The Ticking Time Bomb

When I was a practicing villain the police and I were sworn adversaries.

They took liberties with me, and I tried to match them with counter tactic. They were the rules of 'war'.

The fact that I served over 40 years in prison leaves little doubt that while I won some notable battles, I lost the 'war'.

However, the very recent tragedy that took place in Gravesend, Kent when a police officer indulged in the carnage of almost all of his family of wife and four children it is rightful for compassion and reason to be proper. It is not the time for ill-considered abuse.

Any decent person has to be struck with deep sympathy and be appalled at the terrible tragedy of the slaughter by police constable Karl Bluestone of his two young sons and wife, Jill, the serious injuries he inflicted on another son, minor wounds he caused to his six-year-old daughter, and the final act of taking his own life.

It is human tragedy of the worst kind.

This was a family that had every reason to be happy. They had a nice house in the Garden of England, the county of Kent. They owned a Shogun family vehicle, and the parents had secure employment. The wife earned 40,000 a year working for Essex Council as an accountant. The joint family income was over 1,200 per week. Life for them should have been good.

However, It is said that Jill Bluestone wanted to move nearer her work. Husband Karl was born in Gravesend and wanted to stay where his roots lay. This caused friction, and two years ago Karl was alleged to have had several affairs.

A House is Not Always A Home

It was not a happy home but merely a house in which they lived.

Neighbours have said rows between the Bluestone couple were often, and the police admit that officers were called to the house on more than one occasion. Both husband and wife believed that their spouse was involved in an extra-marital affair.

Jealousy is a deadly sin, and Pc Bluestone is said to have bugged their Shogun because he was obsessed with the notion that his wife was an adulterer.

Unfortunately domestic unrest is a situation that is all too common, and is a worsening problem.

These are human frailties that are exacerbated by the demands of the modern lifestyle.

Domestic murder is fairly common, but multiple family murders still make newspaper front-page headlines.

Insanity Running Riot

Two years ago Pc Bluestone held his children as hostages following an altercation with his wife. Police were called and he was handcuffed and arrested, but later released without a charge being made or any other proper action being taken.

He physically abused his wife. On one occasion, according to a neighbour that spoke to the News of the World newspaper, he dragged the unfortunate sobbing woman by the hair into the street when she was naked.

The newspaper also interviewed another local person who said that Pc Bluestone tried to burn down the family house, but only succeeded in destroying the kitchen.

On another occasion when he was arrested for attacking his wife again there was no charge laid.

I did not know Pc Bluestone, and have no idea if he was at one time a decent person or the date when he first became possessed by the devil. That which I do know is that based upon the evidence available he was a ticking time bomb, and had been so for some time.

To desecrate the family home that should be the happy sanctuary and comforting shelter from the virulence lurking in the outside world, and turn it into a chamber of horrors by brutalising the children of the family with a hammer when one, aged 18 months, was lying in his cot, the bludgeoning to death of another son, aged three; so badly injuring a third son of seven years that he is detained in intensive care in hospital, and the beating to death of his wife defies rational explanation.

It is insanity running riot.

The dreadful carnage by Pc Bluestone is magnified, if that is possible, by the fact that for any law enforcement officer to be guilty of such dreadful behaviour seems unreal, and is cause for great concern.

It would be a simple solution to castigate the late Pc Bluestone, and heap expletives and curses on his soul for committing such horrendous crimes, but that would be the deliberation of a shallow mind.

For insanity to run riot there has to be the presence of a depraved and seriously unbalanced mind.

There is no question that Pc Bluestone was in such a state of mind when he behaved like a monster. With this said it surely means that he is not a person to be vilified, but instead has to be treated with consideration.

No one will convince me that he deliberately helped to bring four children into the world for the purpose of cruelly taking them out of this world while their innocence was part of their charm.

The fact that he chose to take his own life by hanging himself in an empty garage, is yet another reason for understanding. No one will know the reason for this final act in his life, but it might not be amiss to give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that despite having a sick mind he was aware that he could not live with the awful burden of his horrendous acts.

The Real Culprits

With his history of serious unacceptable behaviour there is no doubt that there was a grave failure by his senior officers, and colleagues, to recognise that in Pc Bluestone they had in their midst a police officer who was a ticking time bomb that had partly exploded.

By necessity police officers have to be entrusted with powers not allowed to ordinary citizens. They are legally allowed to carry firearms, and disabling weapons that ordinary citizens are forbidden to carry. Any significant misuse of their power often has catastrophic results.

Therefore it is essential that they be of sound mind, that they act with responsibility, and behave with reason and restraint.

If expert medial assistance is not given, and the mental sickness of a person is left to ferment, and finally erupts with disastrous results then those that should have recognised the symptoms are the real culprits, and should be accountable.

The failure by senior officers, and colleagues, to fulfil their responsibilities and recognise that Pc Bluestone was a mentally sick person demands that a thorough and independent investigation is immediately implemented to examine in detail the reason, or reasons, for this very serious abdication of their responsibility.

In my view there is no doubt that those who worked with him, and in particular senior police officers at his station, should have recognised features that threatened grave danger. The fact that clear and substantial evidence was available invalidates any excuse of being unaware that Pc Bluestone had no abnormal behaviour patterns.

In a domestic squabble in which children are held as hostages with police being called, handcuffs used and an arrest made of a fellow police officer, which happened when a Bluestone domestic row boiled over, indicates that there was an acute danger of unlawful violence being inflicted by Pc Bluestone, and that the soundness of his mind was highly questionable.

I am unable to accept that a person with such an unbalanced mental state as repeatedly illustrated by the behaviour of Pc Bluestone is capable of fooling for such a lengthy time span every one of his colleagues or superior officers if they were dutifully cognisant of their duty, particularly the latter who have to know their men reasonably well in order to delegate tasks that are important to the general public.

For an officer to pass examinations does not automatically mean promotion. There are also statistics kept on police officers to enable candidates to be recommended for entry into the higher ranks.

With this collated information did not one colleague or senior officer have their suspicions aroused on the mental stability of Pc Bluestone? If they did not then they bring into question the value of either their competence as law enforcement officers or the benefit of the stored information - or both.

Danger Signs

This advances the crucial question of how many more ticking time bombs in the police, military and other organisations are awaiting detonation? Or are the military and other organisations more competent?

The other extremely worrying situation is that if a police officer is unable to recognise danger signs in the mental behaviour of a colleague with whom they associate in work and socially on a daily basis, then how is it possible to accept that they will recognise a person suffering from psychosis, and to whom they have limited access?

Society has to try to accept that regardless of the extent of a heinous crime committed by a victim of mental disarrangement who is in desperate need of expert medical help it does not necessarily warrant that punishment should be imposed.

While the world's most powerful nation America allows its politicians to sanction the caging of human beings in their prisons as portrayed in the Hannibal Lecter movie to be a reality it degrades that country beyond words. If this punishment were to be inflicted on animals there would be uproar and riots.

For a country to resort to the most serious of unnatural punishment because it is claimed there is no alternative is merely an excuse to exact revenge, and is an unquestionable sign that those responsible are no better, and as sick, as Hannibal Lecter. It is evil incarnate.

For a country to claim to be civilised, and yet is content to practice grossly uncivilised behaviour is a contradiction in terms.

There is no occasion when imprisonment is a suitable remedy for psychotic behaviour.

People in this country have been hanged when their 'crime' was that they were as sick as those suffering from cancer. The difference is a cancer may be physically identified whereas mental disease often shows no visible signs other than behavioural patterns.

Power Comes With Responsibility

Recently there have been a number of fatal shootings by police officers on duty that are either presently under investigation or remain a cause for alarming concern despite the whitewash conclusions of the alleged investigations that have been conducted.

Each one of these shootings is alleged to be an act of unlawful killing. At least two of the victims were, in my view, murdered.

Is it unreasonable to ask that police officers should regularly undergo in-depth psychoanalysis, and those that are part of the armed unit force should be particularly analysed?

The evidence indicates that this is necessary.

I will not send a wreath to the funeral of the Bluestone family, as the grieving families may not welcome it, and this I understand. However I will send a donation to the Police Widows and Orphans Fund in the hope that this charity will generously assist the two surviving Bluestone children.

The sins of the father are no reason to spite the children.