In November 1996, a friend of mine that I used to go out clubbing with, she was murdered in her own home. And we didn’t know who had done that for a long time. There was Crimewatch programme on it. And we all had our DNA taken.
It was shocking.
And then, while we still didn’t, still didn’t know who had done that, seven months later, my ex-boyfriend was also murdered. And he was murdered in the street.
He was stabbed. And I went and identified his body.
That must’ve been terrible. Did he not have any close relatives living nearby?
He, he’s from the north of England and you know living down here and.
I’d read in the paper that day that two people had been stabbed. And I thought that sounds like my ex-boyfriend, I wonder if it is. And I rang the police and they said, “Well it possibly is. Can you come and identify him?” [laughs]. So I did.
I went and identified him and it was him.
Is that first time you’ve seen a dead body?
No. No. But
But to see your boyfriend, it must’ve been awful?
It was, yeah. It was shocking.
Well straight after that there’s a gallery round the corner from the coroner and there were some big paintings that I really liked. And it was early in the morning and I went to the gallery. And I went in and sat in this room by myself, surrounded by these beautiful big paintings, Rothko. Do you know Rothko?
Beautiful big red… I just had a peaceful, quiet moment to myself just reflecting. And then, and the after that my life had just changed beyond description. I used to be really outgoing, happy, capable, confident person. And when my first friend died, it was like the world had changed so. And everybody was normal and going on about their business and I was working and I was just thinking, “How can you all be normal? People don’t… this doesn’t happen in life. I don’t get it.” And then when my ex was murdered, I was just like, I can’t do this anymore, I don’t… I can’t. Life doesn’t make sense. This is not normal. It’s not ok. It’s not reality, as people know it. And that I felt like at that point, part of my soul just left. I just thought, “I’m not staying here, this horrible. I don’t like being here.” And that I wasn’t very well after that.
I was seriously not very well. And for six and half years, I was very ill. I was classed as disabled.
All brought on by these murders?
Hm. I was suicidal. I was cutting, which I’d never considered before.