In the Year of Our Lord 1974
The principle character in 1974 is Eddie Dunford, a rookie reporter for the Yorkshire Post. We are introduced to Dunford at a press conference steered by Detective Superintendent Maurice Jobson. A ten-year-old girl, Clare Kemplay, has disappeared and her parents are making a plea for information or for her safe return.
Dunford is a rather callous young man who has missed his father’s funeral to attend this press conference and get a story written for his paper. When he finally makes it to the wake he learns that over the last few years two other little girls have gone missing, Susan Ridyard and Jeanette Garland.
Dunford, suspecting a connection, visits his editor with an eye to becoming the lead on the story. He is informed that the police suspect that local Gypsies are responsible for the crime, a notion that Dunford doesn’t accept. Seeing as Dunford is persistent the editor organises a meeting with a DCS Bill Molloy. This meeting comes with the caveat that Dunford isn’t to jeapordise the working relationship the Yorkshire Post has with the local constabulary.
Dunford makes his way to a bar, where we learn through two people conversing casually that a swan has been discovered with its wings hacked off. We also meet Barry Gannon, a fellow journalist at the Post, who is particularly paranoid, theorising about death squads in Northern Ireland, Mountbatten and a military junta, etc. Dunford is skeptical of Gannon’s conspiracy theories whilst Gannon is convinced that the disappearances of the three little girls are definitely connected. BJ, a young androgynous homosexual male makes his way into the bar wanting to speak to Gannon. “Business,” Gannon says before leaving with BJ.
The next morning Dunford receives an anonymous telephone call. The voice on the other line asks Dunford if he is interested in the Romany way and mentions a white van off the M1 motorway. There, Dunford finds a Gypsy camp that has been torched.
The next day, Gannon suggests that it was the police who torched the place as it is in their style to do so and adds that the land was earmarked for a John Dawson development. Dunford meets DCS Molloy, as organized by his editor. Dunford mentions the two other missing girls and suggests that the same person committed all three crimes. Molloy dismisses the link and puts forward that the crime is local and isolated. The interview is terminated when Dunford mentions the Gypsies. Jobson enters the office as Dunford leaves, and Molloy is heard to exclaim, “What??”
Dunford, still looking for a connection between the three killings, visits the house of Susan Ridyard’s parents. There a neighbour tells him that the parents have left for a few days, distressed to have learned that Clare Kemplay’s body has been discovered in the Yorkshire village of Fitzwilliam. It was this news, presumably, that Molloy was reacting to in the earlier scene.
Dunford goes to work where he learns from his editor that the story had been given to Jack Whitehead, the local crime correspondent, because Dunford couldn’t be reached. The editor asks a favour of Dunford: he is to go to John Dawson’s place, called Shangri-La, with Gannon, to interview John Dawson’s wife, Marjorie. Marjorie Dawson isn’t well and the editor suggests that to visit her is at best ethically dubious. Dunford is to make sure that Gannon doesn’t go off the “deep-end” during the interview. Dunford is also informed that Whitehead is now on the Kemplay case but that he can still cover the background. He is also told that a local called Leonard had found Clare Kemplay in a building site in Fitzwilliam. He is, however, warned to drop the Kemplay case and to stay away from Fitzwilliam.
Dunford drives to Fitzwilliam. It is a poor, working class town. He goes to see Leonard Cole, the local who discovered the body. At his house is a Catholic priest, Martin Laws who exhorts Dunford to seek out the truth as Leonard was originally incorrectly suspected of having killed Clare Kemplay. Leonard shows Dunford the construction site where the body was found. He tells Dunford that the body had wings on it.
Dunford visits Whitehead, who caught the Clare Kemplay scoop. Whitehead is drunk. He had been present at the post-mortem where he learned that Clare Kemplay had been tortured, raped and strangled. The two have a confrontation as Whitehead refuses to give Dunford access to the post-mortem results.
Later that night Dunford is given an envelope by his mother that someone has just dropped off at the house. It is addressed to Scoop, which is what Whitehead mockingly calling Dunford. Inside Dunford finds the post-mortem results including photos of the little girl with swan wings stitched to her back and the words “4 LUV” carved into her body.
Dunford and Gannon make their way to Shangri-La. However, as opposed to going in with Gannon and keeping an eye on him, Dunford, still looking for a connection in the three disappearances, leaves to see the parents of Jeanette Garland. The meeting with Jeanette’s mother, Paula Garland, doesn’t go well and after a few clumsy attempts by Dunford to get information she kicks him out.
Dunford is seen with Gannon at a pub where he is told that Paula Garland’s husband had committed suicide soon after their child was found. Dunford asks Gannon about how he got on at Shangri-La. At this Gannon becomes agitated and tells Dunford that Marjorie Dawson had warned him that his life was in danger. He also suggests that the Gypsy camp was on Dawson land, a property trust valued at one hundred million pounds. Gannon muses that it would be interesting to know who was on the board of that particular trust.
After Dunford leaves the pub he is assaulted by two cops saying that they “don’t want people like him bothering people they don’t want bothered.” One cop is skinny, the other stocky. He goes to see Paula Garland at a pub, buys her a few drinks, apologises for not knowing that her husband had committed suicide, but expresses his displeasure at having the police turned on him. Paula Garland denies having done so. Dunford follows her home where they spend the night together and a romantic relationship between them develops.
Dunford is woken at home by a telephone call; Gannon has been killed in a freak accident. He meets Sergeant Bob Fraser of the local constabulary who tells him that the inquest is to be held the following day. This surprises Dunford as he believes it to be too early. From the tone of the conversation Dunford realises that Fraser is an honest cop.
Before heading back to work to talk to his editor, Dunford visits the Gypsy camp for a second time. He sees a sign advertising a new John Dawson shopping mall development. At work Dunford ascertains that Marjorie Dawson is recuperating at Attley Nursing Home having been pestered by Gannon during his visit. Dunford steals some flowers from his editor’s secretary and manages to get into Marjorie Dawson’s room by pretending to be her nephew. Dunford confronts Marjorie Dawson with the fact that Gannon was killed a day after she had warned him that his life was in danger. Marjorie Dawson makes various ambiguous statements: “who knows what I’m supposed to know these days”; “he used to be so careful”; and exhorts Dunford to “tell them about the others...” Before Dunford can get more information out of Marjorie Dawson he is dragged out of her room by the same two cops who had assaulted him earlier. This time he is beaten severely and has his hand broken by being slammed in a car door. On waking at home Dunford flees to a motel.
Dunford visits Paula Garland at home to find out to whom she mentioned his initial visit. After some pleading Paula Garland reveals that she had spoken to John Dawson. They have an argument about John Dawson – Paula Garland defends him, but Dunford claims that he is immoral, interested only in money, and reveals that the body of Clare Kemplay had been found on a John Dawson construction site. They spend the night together. That night Dunford dreams of Paula Garland with swan wings stitched to her back. The next morning Dunford comforts Paula Garland after he finds her pretending to play with her lost child. She is still grieving.
Coming out of Gannon’s funeral Dunford spies BJ but before he can talk to him he is interrupted by John Dawson who wants to take Dunford for a ride in his car. During this ride John Dawson asks whether Dunford intends to carry on Gannon’s crusade against local corruption. John Dawson mentions that he and Gannon had enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship, trading information on public figures. John Dawson drives to a club called the Karachi Club. He invites Dunford to lunch on the following day and suggests that he has some information in which Dunford might be interested. Before John Dawson disappears into the club, however, he warns Dunford to stay away from his wife.
Dunford is at his local. His is told by the bartender that “the poof with the orange hair” is waiting to see him. It is BJ. BJ gives Dunford a plastic bag that is filled with Gannon’s “life work,” a file of his investigation into John Dawson. Before leaving, BJ states that though he loved Gannon he is too scared to want to know who had killed him – so scared is BJ, in fact, that he didn’t even go to Gannon’s funeral.
As Dunford processes this new information he receives a telephone call. A Fitzwilliam local, Michael John Myshkin – who works in a photo shop, has a Polish dad and who hardly speaks a word of English – has been taken into custody for suspicion of murdering Clare Kemplay. It is later made clear at the court that Myshkin is mentally disabled. Furthermore, when discussing bail conditions he is seen being given cues from the police. As he is being removed from court Myshkin implores that he is innocent and that the crime was perpetrated by “the wolf,” and mentions, ”under the beautiful carpet.”
Dunford storms into his editor’s office and claims that the story is complete nonsense. He accuses Whitehead, who is in the office, of having sold out to the cops. However, before he leaves he notices a card with a picture of Shangri-La on his editor’s desk.
Dunford and Paula Garland make love once more, and afterwards Dunford follows her without her knowing to Shangri-La. The next day Dunford meets John Dawson at the Karachi Club where he asks about Paula Garland. John Dawson doesn’t deny having met her. John Dawson shows Dunford a model of the shopping mall that is to be built on the newly vacated Gypsy camp. Dunford accuses John Dawson of having used the police to clear the Gypsies off his land. Dawson doesn’t deny this either. John Dawson then offers Dunford some photographs of BJ fellating a prominent member of the Labour party. Dunford refuses the photographs exclaiming that he is, first and foremost, a journalist. When Dunford accuses John Dawson of having Gannon killed Dawson loses his temper and assaults him.
Paula Garland, in light of Dunford’s revelation that he saw her head up to Shangri-La, discusses the nature of her relationship with John Dawson. It is revealed to be exploitative, that John Dawson “fucks who he wants to fuck.” At this point Dunford realises that they are in over their heads and makes plans to flee Yorkshire with Paula Garland. Dunford promises that he will be back in a few hours and proceeds to leave. He goes to see the honest cop, Bob Fraser, where he turns over Gannon’s extensive file on John Dawson.
After taking care of his business with Fraser Dunford goes to pick up Paula Garland. She is missing. Dunford spies the same card with a picture of Shangri-La that he saw on his editor’s desk. It turns out that this is an invitation to a party at John Dawson’s place. Using this invitation, Dunford sneaks into the party. Here he sees his editor and DCS Bill Molloy having a cosy little chat. He makes a scene screaming for Paula Garland, and as he is dragged to the ground by security, Marjorie Dawson, echoing the words of Myshkin, asks him to “tell them about the others, beneath the beautiful new carpets...”
Dunford is kicked out of the party and taken away in a paddy wagon. He is brutally tortured by the same two cops that had beaten him previously. His hands are placed on a table and then smashed with some handcuffs. Whilst this torture is happening Fraser passes over Gannon’s file to Detective Superintendent Maurice Jobson, the cop from the initial press conference. Dunford is shown the corpse of Paula Garland and the two police, now joined by Molloy, attempt to make Dunford confess to her murder. Jobson interrupts at this point and has a word with Molloy. There is now a change in tact by the police, and Molloy intimates to Dunford that John Dawson was in fact responsible for Paula Garland’s death. Dunford is given a gun and pushed out of a speeding van by the two sadistic cops, who claim “this is the North, where we do what we want.”
Jobson, overseen by Molloy, destroys Gannon’s file.
Dunford drives to Shangri-La looking to get revenge on John Dawson. Inside one of the rooms he finds a stuffed swan and Marjorie Dawson, high on booze and drugs. She tells him, “the others, beneath the beautiful carpets”; “he always used to be so careful.” Dunford realises that John Dawson had in fact been killing the children. He drives to the Karachi Club. Inside he pistol-whips the skinny cop and shoots the stocky one. Dunford confronts John Dawson about the children to which he admits to "a private weakness." Dunford shoots and kills John Dawson, and as he leaves we see BJ cowering with the bartender.
Dunford is last seen fleeing the North pursued by the police. He turns his car around suddenly and collides into his pursuers.
In the Year of Our Lord 1980
The context for the second Red Riding movie is the Yorkshire Ripper serial killer whose killing spree lasted from 1975 to 1980 and claimed thirteen lives. There are a series news reports from the time that this context.
The movie starts with a Bill Molloy talking head in which he admits that he can sympathise with the Yorkshire Ripper’s feelings, though he doesn’t approve of his methods. He has clearly become obsessed with the case. The 13th victim, Laura Baines, has just been discovered.
We are introduced to Peter Hunter, assistant chief constable of the greater Manchester area. He is attending a meeting with the bigwigs of the region, including Philip Evans, Regional Inspector of Constabulary for Yorkshire. In this meeting Hunter learns that Molloy is being pushed out: fresh perspective is needed and his previous comments were deemed unfortunate. Hunter is to head up a covert Home Office inquiry into the Ripper investigation. He will be allowed to hand pick his own officers. Furthermore, he is being put on the case because he has previously participated in investigations into the West Yorkshire police force – specifically, he was the lead into the investigation into the 1974 Karachi Club shooting that closed out the previous movie. That investigation was not completed as Hunter abandoned the case for personal reasons. Hunter is seen to be ideal for this new investigation as he was not bothered by the resentment he had generated investigating the police during the Karachi Club investigation. Hunter’s team will be DCS John Nolan and Detective Helen Marshall. He asks for and receives this team from police force bigwig, Clement Smith. When Marshall has a moment alone with Hunter she thanks him for asking for her.
At a press conference headed by Harold Angus we learn that in light of the confirmation that the 13th murder was a Ripper killing Molloy is to be taken off the investigation and sole responsibility will be given to Maurice Jobson. Molloy is furious as he was not warned that this was going to happen. Over dinner with Jobson and Angus, Hunter asks whether they know why the home office brought him in. Angus claims that he does. Hunter says that he will need unlimited access to which Angus replies that he wouldn’t want to limit the scope of the investigation. When Hunter asks for all the information involved in the Ripper case he is warned that it is so vast that he will need a guide. Hunter asks for a liaison. Before Hunter leaves he is handed a memorandum, which prescribes the terms of reference for the investigation. This is provided because Angus doesn’t like “open-ended” investigations despite saying just a little earlier that the scope of the investigation would not be curtailed. Hunter heads to his hotel room and calls his wife.
We see a flashback to the Karachi Club investigation including an appeal for witnesses. We learn that two police officers are in hospital. PC Tommy Douglas, who has been shot in the shoulder, and Sergeant Bob Craven, who has serious head injuries. These two officers are the stocky and skinny cops, respectively, from the previous episode that had tortured Eddie Dunford. Furthermore. Molloy prevents Hunter from interviewing these two officers due to their injuries. However, several details are made clear in the flashback: an anonymous telephone call was received at 1:28 am; the bartender, female, yet to be identified, is missing; five guns were used in the shooting, two shotguns, a Smith and Wesson and two MP5 sub-machineguns – in short, the assault on the Karachi Club involved five guns.
The next day we learn that morale in the police department is low – Molloy’s leaving was, for many, the last straw, and the presence of Hunter’s team isn’t helping any. The liaison is Detective Superintendent Craven and Detective Inspector Dick Alderman. The latter has been on the case since the beginning. Each member of the team is given a year or two of the Ripper investigation with 24hrs to get to grips with the file – the team is to focus on cars sighted, descriptions of all witnesses and suspects. This is to be irrespective of blood types found and, in particular, a ‘Geordie’ accent on a cassette recording. Craven tells Hunter that Molloy was certain that the cassette in question was genuine, but Hunter tells the team that they are starting from scratch. Nolan is given ’74, ’75 and ’76; Marshall is given ’77, the busiest year by far; and Hunter takes ’78, ’79 and the latest, Baines. Nolan offers to take on one of the ’77 murders from Marshall and suggests the Strachan case. Hunter rejects this and the cases stay as they are assigned. We learn that there has been 15 months between Baines and the previous murder. Hunter is convinced that the police have had the Yorkshire Ripper in custody but have inadvertently let him go. Hunter is convinced that the 15 months between murders are a result of domestic obligations and that the Ripper far from being an obvious deviant is a family man, married with no kids. Alderman enters the office at this point to deliver a message from Hunter’s wife. Both he and Craven are obviously scornful.
Hunter and Marshall later survey the scene of the Baines murder. Hunter comments that it “couldn’t get more normal than Laura Baines.” Marshall replies, “He changed all that, didn’t he?” Marshall suggests that people will talk that Hunter “punished” her with the ’77 case, some that Craven noticed. It is also noted that Craven hasn’t been the same since the Karachi Club shooting. Hunter reminisces about the Karachi Club case, saying it was a mess. There is the suggestion that Marshall and Hunter had an affair; Marshall, in particular, finds it difficult pretending that nothing happened between them. Baines was stabbed 57 times. Hunter and Marshall return to the same hotel but go to their respective rooms. Marshall seems a little upset at Hunter’s suggestion that their affair meant nothing.
We see another flashback, another description of the events at the Karachi Club. Shots were fired at the private bar at the Karachi Club; Craven and Douglas respond to the scene; downstairs, eight are found dead; “four blokes in hoods with shotguns”; more shots; Douglas can’t remember much as he was left messed up after the attack; Hunter is surprised that Douglas and Craven went into the club despite knowing that shots were fired and that the SPG were on their way. Molloy is not happy about the questioning, and Hunter again asks for access to surviving cops. Molloy refuses this again, saying “not yet.” At this stage Hunter receives a telephone call. His wife has had a miscarriage.
The task force goes over the cases. Jobson, and in particular, Alderman and Prentice were the one’s mainly running the cases, and Craven became attached to the cases later. Craven is not being helpful during Hunter’s probes. Hunter has a private word with Craven to determine why he is being so obstructive. Craven replies that he refuses to help, as he knows that the police department is really the focus of the investigation. Craven believes that Hunter is there to see how many cops he can take down with the Ripper.
Hunter goes to Marshall’s hotel room, but she refuses to let him in, saying she’s busy with the ’77 case.
Hunter returns from visiting the site of the thirteenth killing where he finds Martin Laws, the priest from the last movie, waiting for him. He has organised a meet with BJ, whom Laws refers to as “unsettled,” to talk about Clare Strachan. BJ has been beaten, what he calls an “occupational hazard,” suggesting he may be working as a prostitute. BJ is terrified, insisting that Hunter lock the doors of the van they are meeting in and also refusing to give his name. When Hunter asks BJ if he is on the run, BJ replies, “always.” BJ notes that Strachan didn’t deserve to die; that he was a friend of Strachan’s; and he, pointedly, suggests that Hunter talk to Gary, Strachan’s pimp. He gives his name at the conclusion of the meeting. Laws mention that he does community work, working with the sick, the lonely and the dispossessed, and he mentions his dislike of the police. When Hunter asks, snidely, just whom Laws would call if people burst into his house, killed the dog and raped his wife, Laws responds that he wouldn’t call the West Yorkshire Police as “they’d already be in there, wouldn’t they?” When Hunter says that he might want to talk to Laws again, Laws tells him that he can be found in Fitzwilliam.
Hunter reads out a letter that was sent to Molloy and the press. In it the Ripper claims responsibility for the murder of a young prostitute in Preston. This is the Strachan murder. The ’77 case throws up a surprise: the Strachan murder was not immediately linked to the Ripper as the types of injuries didn’t correspond. She was taken to a disused garage where she had sex with her killer. The killer proceeded to hit her on the head with a blunt object, kick her, jump up & down on her body, and she only died when a rib punctured a lung. Craven was sent to Preston to investigate the murder but found that there was no evidence to connect the killing to the Ripper. Strachan’s pimp was a cop called Detective Inspector Eric Hall. He was later murdered in an unconnected incident, but before he was murdered he was a suspect in Strachan’s murder. Craven says that Strachan’s killer was the same person who had written the letter Hunter had just read out, and that, furthermore, the blood types were a match. When Hunter challenges Craven, reminding him that he initially believed the Strachan case to not be connected, Craven replies that the letter and the blood sample were convincing enough to include Strachan as a Ripper victim. Marshall is not convinced that the Ripper killed Strachan because the modus operandi doesn’t fit, and believes that the matching blood type is too convenient. She suggests that it might be the work of a copycat killer.
Marshall visits Hunter in his hotel room. She has been contacted on behalf of Libby Hall, Eric Hall’s wife. Libby Hall was beaten by her husband and left for dead. She became religious after the incident. Laws is present at the meeting with Libby Hall by the latter’s invitation. Hunter has a private word with Libby Hall, leaving Marshall with Laws, and asks her whether Eric Hall was a suspect in the Strachan case. Libby Hall agrees that this was true until that letter turned up. However, Libby Hall states that her husband knew that Strachan wasn’t killed by the Ripper, and that, furthermore, he wouldn’t keep his mouth closed about the fact, spreading the word and calling newspapers, etc. She believes her husband was killed as a result. She claims that her husband had kept notes, recordings and other evidence, and that this had been turned over to Jobson three years prior. Nothing had been heard since. Whilst this interview is taking place Hunter sees Laws embrace and comfort Marshall in the other room. Libby Hall gives Hunter a pornographic magazine that contains some pictures of Strachan. The magazine, it seems, was part owned by Eric Hall. She also mentions that her husband was a friend of Douglas and his wife. Douglas was also forced out of the police. Libby Hall says that her husband had done some bad things but that he didn’t deserve what happened to him. Hunter confronts Marshall about her conduct with Laws exclaiming that she was supposed to be on duty. Hunter has a drink with his team at the bar; Marshall doesn’t attend. Hunter, back in his hotel, confirms that a photo spread in the magazine did in fact feature Strachan. In short, one of the Ripper’s supposed murders can be connected to a police officer.
The next day Nolan reveals that Eric Hall had gotten mixed up with a gang that was robbing post offices and that he was killed when it all went wrong. Nolan claims that Eric Hall brought it on himself. Hunter tells Nolan that Libby Hall believes that her husband was killed because he wouldn’t be quiet about Strachan not being a Ripper murder. Hunter shows Nolan the pornographic magazine and surmises that Eric Hall and Douglas were running the magazine. Hunter visits Douglas. He is on three different painkillers, his arm is now useless, and he feels that the police abandoned him after the Karachi Club incident. Hunter tests the waters by mentioning to Douglas that the magazine business he and Eric Hall owned had failed. However, before Douglas can react or betray himself, his wife comes home with their daughter. She, too, is furious with the police for their perceived abandonment. Hunter tries to get information about what took place at the Karachi Club but Douglas claims not to remember anything. As Hunter leaves he hears Douglas and his wife have an argument. Hunter then visits Jobson to ask about Eric Hall and the notes and evidence that were turned in three years prior. Jobson says that the evidence that Eric Hall turned in was just ramblings. Hunter is incredulous as these ramblings include the fact that Eric Hall was pimping Strachan. Jobson is a little taken aback at this and claims that it was never proved. Hunter shows Jobson the pornographic magazine, which Jobson casually dismisses, saying Eric Hall “was up to his fucking head in it.” Hunter becomes exasperated, saying, “that rag features one of the Ripper’s victims.” When Jobson dismisses this as an “occupational hazard,” Hunter demands to know when they started “to be on opposite sides of the fence.” Jobson returns the magazine.
Hunter and Nolan talk to Prentice and Alderman. He wants to know about the different investigative techniques of Molloy and Jobson. They had been involved in the Ripper investigation from the start and Hunter, in particular, wants to know whether Strachan was in or out as being considered as a Ripper victim, and who it was that got to decide. Hunter states that it was lucky that the Ripper had written the letter so as to confirm Strachan as a victim. Despite Prentice telling Alderman to keep his mouth closed, Alderman says that it wasn’t the ripper that killed Strachan, and he suggests that the murderer was Eric Hall. He says that this is something everyone knew, including Nolan. He claims Strachan was pregnant to Eric Hall and that she was killed to cover up this fact. This leaves both detectives in a rather untenable position as they now have a letter supposedly written by the Ripper claiming credit for a murder he did not commit.
At the bar, Nolan apologises for not telling Hunter that there were rumours that Strachan was pregnant with Eric Hall’s child. Nolan claims that Jobson is not going to be happy at the way his detectives have been treated, but Hunter is unconcerned as he is pursuing a Home Office review. Nolan suggests that Hunter is getting in a little to deep, but seeing that Hunter won’t be dissuaded from continuing the investigation, he heads off for an early night. Later that night Hunter receives a telephone call from Douglas. Douglas has serious information, and Hunter is to go his house immediately. After Douglas hangs up the telephone there is what sounds like a second line being hung up. After Hunter leaves his wife just misses him on the telephone – furthermore, Hunter hasn’t been returning her calls. When he arrives he finds that Douglas and his daughter are dead. The daughter has been stabbed, and Douglas has been tortured and has been killed by having a hole drilled into his head with an electric drill. There is a cassette tape in Douglas’ mouth on which is a recording of the torture.
Hunter meets with Smith, where the recording of the murder is played. This is a debriefing, but Hunter cannot tell Smith anything as Douglas had been killed before Hunter arrived. Smith is not happy about how this is going to look. Smith is also not happy at the rough treatment Jobson’s men have received. Finally, Smith gives Hunter the option of pulling out of the investigation, which Hunter refuses. Hunter heads back to his hotel, and, looking out of his window, he spots Marshall and Laws. He chases them outside but only manages to see Law’s white van pulling out, presumably with Marshall inside.
There is a press conference the next day. The press want to know if Hunter is investigating a link between Strachan and Eric Hall, to which he replies, “not at all, no.” He also denies the link between the Ripper and the recent murder of Douglas and his daughter. Marshall is not present at the press conference, and, furthermore, she has not been around recently. Hunter returns to the hotel to find that she isn’t there either, but is given an envelope by the concierge. Inside the envelope are photographs, somewhat compromising, of Hunter and Marshall. Hunter visits Libby Hall to see if Marshall had turned up there again. Libby Hall looks quite nervous. She tells Hunter that Marshall had been there the previous night to see Laws and that she has “become quite a convert.”
Hunter heads to Fitzwilliam, where Laws lives, but is somewhat spooked by some children playing with toy guns. Hunter returns to his hotel and again goes to see if Marshall has returned. He tells Marshall that Libby Hall had mentioned that she had returned wanting to speak to Laws. Hunter then mentions his bad news and shows Marshall the photographs, expressing concern for his future. They both go for Christmas drinks and get quite drunk. They share a kiss before Marshall confesses that she had been pregnant with Hunter’s child and that she had had an abortion. It was for this that she sought support from Laws. Hunter, disconsolate, heads into the bathroom and enters a cubicle. Alderman and Craven enter the bathroom arguing violently. Alderman demands to know what Craven is going to do about “this mess.” Alderman is scared about doing time. Hunter comes out of his cubicle and, assuming they were talking about Douglas, suggests that one of them killed him. Craven is infuriated, saying that Douglas was his “best mate.” Hunter retorts, “a mate with a grudge and a big mouth,” which causes Craven to assault him.
We see home videos of Hunter’s family.
Coming home from the Christmas party Hunter finds that someone has burnt his house down. In a meeting attended by Jobson, Smith and Angus, he is told that he is under investigation for a number of disciplinary offences. Hunter is invited to take extra leave and is told that Nolan will be taking over the Ripper inquiry. Hunter asks if he is being disciplined over his involvement with Marshall, which Angus refuses to acknowledge. Jobson asks Hunter to make his credit card and bank account statements available but, of course, these are now no longer available as they were destroyed in the house fire. Angus suggests, cynically, that this is rather convenient. Finally, Hunter I told to clear out of his office and leave headquarters immediately but to make himself available for interview. After the interview is concluded Hunter demands to know of Jobson just how deep the rot goes. Hunter walks past Marshall on his way out of the building.
Hunter tries to get in contact with Evans, the Regional Inspector of Constabulary for Yorkshire. We then see Hunter at Douglas’ funeral. Alderman, Prentice, etc, ignore him, but Nolan talks to him, telling him to go home. Douglas is cremated. At his hotel he finds a note written on the back of a photograph of Strachan and her two kids that reads: “West Yorkshire police burned Clare too. Call BJ.” BJ tells Hunter to go to Preston – Frenchwood Street, where Strachan’s body was found – later that night.
The Yorkshire Ripper has been captured. Nolan tells Hunter that it’s all over. During an interview with Prentice and Alderman – an interview observed by Craven, Smith, Jobson, Nolan, Hunter and a disturbed, disheveled Molloy – the Ripper muses that he should probably get in contact with his wife. We discover that the Ripper was caught by luck. Jobson interviews the Ripper next and he admits to all of the murders attributed to him – including Baines – except that of Strachan.
We see Hunter on his way to meet BJ. He shows Hunter the garage where Strachan lived. When Hunter asks whether Strachan was murdered because of the pornographic magazine, BJ replies that she was killed because of what she witnessed. Six years ago she and BJ were in the Karachi Club. Also there were what BJ calls “bad men,” John Dawson, Douglas and Craven. BJ and Strachan saw Dunford enter the club, beat Craven, shoot Douglas and kill Dawson and his security. However, both Strachan and BJ saw what came after Dunford left the club. Policemen wearing masks entered the club. These men included Molloy and others, whose voices BJ recognised. However, Angus saw Strachan and BJ flee the club. The police killed Strachan and are now looking for BJ. BJ also reveals that it was Craven that killed Strachan. Hunter tells BJ that he couldn’t conclude the investigation as his wife had had a miscarriage.
Hunter calls Nolan and asks whether he can rely on Nolan’s help. Nolan tells Hunter to come in but to be careful. Hunter tells Nolan that Craven is out of control and must be stopped. Nolan reveals that Craven is in the building and agrees that he is out of control. However, when they get to the interview room, Hunter finds that Craven is already dead; he has been shot in the head. Hunter realises that the five men with the five guns included Nolan, Alderman and Prentice. They arrive at this point; and Nolan shoots Hunter in the chest. The three proceed to make it look like Craven and Hunter killed each other in a confrontation. The movie ends with Laws comforting Hunter’s wife at the cemetery.
In the Year of Our Lord 1983
The movie starts with a voiceover of BJ counting to seven. It’s the first part of a poem. (BJ shows up sporadically throughout the movie. These segments will be reported in italics until he is incorporated into the main story.)
It’s West Yorkshire, 1974. It’s the wedding of Molloy’s daughter. Also present are Maurice Jobson, Jim Prentice, Dick Alderman, Harold Angus, Bob Craven and Tommy Douglas. Craven leans over and passes a message to Jobson. They are to go upstairs for a meeting after the dancing, and Molloy wants them to be discrete. Molly introduces the gathered police to John Nolan, a mate from the Manchester police. Nolan proposed a toast to Molloy’s daughter, but Molloy wants to get down to business. Nolan has been organising a vice racket, magazines (including printing and distribution), girls, etc, for the North of England. This presumably ties in to the magazine and pimping of Strachan. Vice will shut down rival operations, leaving the police as the sole operators to rake in the money. The purpose of the meeting, however, is to take the money they’ve made with their “little ventures” and turn it into something bigger. Molloy introduces the assembled police to John Dawson, the construction magnate. Dawson offers the police a business opportunity. Dawson says he wants to build a leisure and shopping complex, the largest in Europe – a one hundred million pound investment. Ideal land has been selected next to the M1. Molloy says that the police are going to make this investment happen. They toast the North, “where we do what we want.”
1983. We see photographs of the three girls that went missing, Susan Ridyard, Jeanette Garland and Clare Kemplay, and the police recreation of a new disappearance. Hazel Atkins, a ten-year-old girl, was taken from Morley Grange Junior Infants. She was last seen going home. Jobson is again steering the press conference. The girl’s father makes an appeal for her safe return.
After the press conference Jobson talks to Alderman and tells him that the papers have mentioned Clare Kemplay and the similarities between the two crimes, including that she was taken from the same school. Alderman dismisses the reports as the “usual bollocks,” but tells Jobson that Angus wants them to go see a medium, Mandy Wymer – Mystic Mandy. They head back to Morley.
We are introduced to John Piggott. He is returning from his mother’s funeral with her ashes in tow. He gets home, places the urn on a table, and casually starts eavesdropping on his neighbours. Mrs. Myshkin, Michael Myshkin’s mother, interrupts him. Michael had gone to jail for the murder of the three little girls that prompted Dunford’s investigation. Mrs. Myshkin is visiting because she believes that the new murder exonerates Michael, as he could not have committed this new crime as he was in jail at the time. She tells him that it changes everything. Piggott is not convinced. Mrs. Myshkin asks Piggott if he will go see Michael in prison. Piggott is reticent as Michael already has his own representation and, furthermore, he is not convinced that this new disappearance means anything.
Piggott goes to the jail to see Michael. He is allowed a 45-minute visit. The guard describes him as a pervert, but not violent. Piggott sees Michael and tells him that he used to live in Fitzwilliam, that he is a solicitor and that he was sent by his mother to talk about the possibility of an appeal. Piggott admits that an appeal will be a lengthy and costly procedure, and that he is there to ensure that lodging an appeal will be worthwhile. Michael, for his part, doesn’t seem to understand, and offers Piggott some candy. Michael tells Piggott that he is in jail because of Clare Kemplay, that she was murdered and that he was blamed for it. Michael, when asked, denies having killed Clare Kemplay. When Piggott asks Michael why he said he had murdered Clare Kemplay he replies that the police and his solicitor made him say so, but that he doesn’t know why. Furthermore, Michael claims to know who killed Clare Kemplay. He becomes frenzied, saying it was “the wolf.”
We see a flashback of BJ with his mother at a funfair. BJ recites, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 / All good children go to heaven / Penny on the water, tuppence on the sea / threepence on the railway, and out goes she.” BJ is released from prison. He is seen giving oral sex to a man for money, then traveling on a bus.
Alderman, Jobson and a third cop, Kathryn Tyler, meet Wymer. Wymer had contacted the police once before – a long time back, she says – but had never gotten a response. They have a séance. The medium says that this has happened before, three times, and that it is happening again. Apparently in a trance, Wymer says, “Under the grass that grows beneath the stone and cracks. Beneath those beautiful carpets, underground; the rat and the wolf are here, and the pig. There’s a swan, too. The swan is dead.” Wymer, or perhaps Hazel Atkins speaking through Wymer, asks for help and implores that Jobson tell about “the others, beneath those beautiful carpets.” Outside Jobson asks Alderman for the location of the Clare Kemplay files. Upon his insistence they go where the files are stored.
BJ goes to a garage, possibly the one that Strachan lived and was killed in. He retrieves a shotgun from a hidden compartment in the floor. He goes to sleep.
Jobson looks at the Clare Kemplay file. He has a flashback to the moment he was introduced to Dunford at the press conference. Jobson looks at the post-mortem. He recollects driving to the building site where the body of Clare Kemplay was discovered. Alderman is already there and he is holding Leonard Cole who had found the body. Molloy is also already on the scene, says that the body was dumped in a hurry, that perhaps the perpetrator had been surprised.
Piggott visits Mrs. Myshkin. He outlines the difficulties in lodging an appeal, least of which is the fact that there was a guilty plea and a confession. Piggott, in short, refuses to help. Piggott tells Mrs. Myshkin that her son received bad advice from his solicitor, Clive McGuiness, who had told her son to plead guilty. As Piggott leaves, Mrs. Myshkin tells him that she remembers his father used to play football with Piggott’s friends next door to the Laws place. She tells Piggott that it’s started again, and that “it never stops,” adding, “you know that, love, don’t you?” Piggott leaves.
Jobson meets with Angus and tells him that there are similarities between the Clare Kemplay case and the Hazel Atkins one. Angus tells Jobson that it’s just a coincidence and that the perpetrator has been caught. Jobson isn’t so sure that Michael is the killer and asks to be allowed to talk to him. Angus gives him permission musing that he might have had help from a copycat or another pervert. However, Angus warns Jobson to keep it out of the newspapers and to take Alderman along with him.
Alderman and Jobson meet with Michael. He is clearly frightened. When Alderman addresses Michael he reacts by placing his hands on the table and yelling, “Hands flat on the table.” Jobson tells Michael that there’s no need for that and that they are only there for information. Jobson asks about Michael’s father, a minder who died because of “the dust”; he asks whether his mother or his friends have visited, and, if so, which friends, and if they worked with him in the photo shop. Alderman asks if he has heard from Leonard. Michael denies having had contact with Leonard. This makes Jobson look uncomfortable. Alderman leans forward with his cigarette, which makes Michael whimper. It transpires that Leonard and Michael were best friends. Michael is so terrified that he pisses his pants. After they leave the holding cell, Jobson decides that they need to speak to Leonard. As Jobson and Alderman are leaving a guard approaches them; this is the same guard that let Piggott in to speak to Michael earlier. The guard tells Jobson and Alderman that another solicitor was at the prison earlier and that Michael told him that he was pressured to confess by another cop, but that the new solicitor headed Michael off before he could say who it was that pressured him to confess. Jobson vaguely remember Piggott’s name. Alderman confirms, and says that Piggott’s father was “one of us.”
We see Piggott in his house, and BJ in the garage.
The police – Alderman, Jobson and another cop – discuss Leonard. They have had him downstairs for over six hours. Forensics have gone over him, taking dirt from nails, semen samples, etc, but the other cop says that, technically, the interview has yet to start. Alderman laments that the badger, Molloy, couldn’t be there, that it would be like old times. Leonard is handcuffed to a chair, stripped down to his underwear. He doesn’t know what he is supposed to have done. They remove his handcuffs and Alderman tells him to put his hands flat on the table. Leonard’s hands look as if they have been mangled. Jobson asks about finding Clare Kemplay. Alderman punches Leonard’s broken hands, and then makes him put his hands back on the table. It echoes the torture that Dunford and Michael suffered. Leonard wants to know what they want, but the other cop burns his hand with a cigarette. When Leonard refuses to put his hands on the table, the cops, yelling contradictory instructions, bash his head against a wall. Jobson can’t take the torture, so he leaves the interrogation room. Alderman comments that Jobson has gone soft. The sound of Leonard being tortured continues.
Jobson goes to visit the psychic. He enquires about her previous attempts to contact the police. Wymer says that the previous attempts to contact the police were regarding the Clare Kemplay case. Wymer says she remembers Jobson from the Clare Kemplay case; that he had had “that boy put away for it.” Wymer says that Clare Kemplay spoke to her, begged for help and said that they were in hell. Wymer claims that she saw the blood, the wings and the words, “4 LUV.” Wymer kisses Jobson.
Jobson spends the night with Wymer. Jobson has a flashback. Molloy and Jobson talk to a witness who was drunk on the night Clare Kemplay’s body was dumped. He was driving around with his boss’ wife in a red car and they collided with a white van, and, furthermore, he recognised the driver. Molloy and Jobson drive to Fitzwilliam to visit Laws. Molloy remembers that Piggott’s father lived in the area. He also opines that it is just as likely that a priest could have committed the crimes against Clare Kemplay. They are told that Laws can be found on his allotment on the other side of a hill in a shed. His white van is there and there is a dent in the side with red pain in it. This, then, is the van that the drunk and the boss’ wife crashed in to. Laws approaches the police, assuming that they are there to ask about Leonard. However, Jobson says that it is he they want to speak to, back at the police station.
The next morning, Jobson asks Wymer if she thinks Hazel Atkins is still alive. Wymer says that she can’t tell, that Hazel Atkins is on the edge. Jobson becomes exasperated and claims it is all bullshit. Wymer, however, responds by saying that Jobson knows that Michael is innocent of killing Clare Kemplay.
Frantic knocking wakes Piggott up. Laws has driven Mrs. Cole to Piggott’s place, and she’s saying that Leonard is innocent. She wants Piggott to take the case the same way he took Michael’s case. Piggott denies he is representing Michael. Mrs. Cole claims that Leonard’s solicitor is pressuring him to confess. Laws tells Piggott that Leonard’s solicitor is McGuiness. Piggott recognises the name.
The next day Piggott visits Leonard with paperwork releasing him from McGuiness’ charge. However, the paperwork is yet to be signed. Piggott is put in a difficult position as the only people who can have access to Leonard is his solicitor and his family. He is told that if he can come back with Leonard’s mother by six PM, which is when visiting hours stop, he can have access to Leonard. Piggott runs out of the prison, picks up Mrs. Cole and heads back to the prison. They make it there just in time, but before they can go in Alderman steps out to say that Leonard is now dead, that he has hanged himself.
BJ is on the move, walking and traveling on busses.
Piggott attends Leonard’s funeral where we also see Laws. On his way home Piggott meets Tessa, Leonard’s girlfriend. They get stoned together. She explains how Leonard met Michael, and that Michael was principally accepted as he could purchase alcohol and cigarettes. Tessa says that Leonard didn’t kill himself, as he was incapable of such an act. She also claims that he was also not capable of killing a little girl. Piggott does some research and, in a microfiche, finds Dunford’s article about the Clare Kemplay case – the article that Dunford was too busy writing to attend his father’s funeral. Piggott decides to track Dunford down. He goes to the Yorkshire Post. Reception at the Yorkshire Post puts Piggott in contact with someone who used to work with Dunford. Piggott meets a woman in a bar. She says that Dunford covered the Clare Kemplay case; that some information from the case was not released. She mentions that Whitehead covered the Jeanette Garland case, in which there was a mention of a white Ford Transit (a van), gypsies, the usual. She says that the trail went cold. She tells Piggott that Dunford thought that the three cases were connected. She tells Piggott that Dunford is dead, died in a car crash in 1974. She also believes that it is possible that the Hazel Atkins case is also connected.
As Jobson is reviewing the Hazel Atkins case he gets a telephone call from Wymer. She claims that she can see Jeanette Garland. Jobson meets Wymer at the Garland house. Wymer gets a bad feeling – children’s shoes, tears, blood – from the street and frantically starts tearing at the ground near some garbage skips. She’s pulling at a manhole cover.
The next day Piggott meets Jobson on behalf Mrs. Cole’s mother. He is there to collect Leonard’s belongings and personal effects. Jobson agrees to return everything except for his motorcycle, as it is still a part of the investigation. Piggott tells Jobson that he is also now representing Michael and is in the process of preparing a preliminary appeal. Jobson is a little taken aback. When he reminds Piggott that Michael did plead guilty, Piggott says that it was an ill-considered plea, that there was a case for diminished responsibility and that, furthermore, the confession was coerced illegally. This angers Jobson, who calls it a serious allegation. Piggott asks Jobson directly if Michael murdered Clare Kemplay. Jobson says yes. Piggott asks whether the crime was committed alone, but before Jobson has a chance to answer, Alderman walks in and says something incomprehensible. Before Piggott leaves he tells Jobson that he doesn’t believe Michael killed Clare Kemplay, that Leonard didn’t kidnap Hazel Atkins and that neither did he commit suicide. Outside, Piggott goes through Leonard’s belongings whilst Jobson looks on.
Piggott goes back to see Michael in prison. Piggott asks Michael why he signed the confession. Michael says that the police told him that if he didn’t confess he would never see his mother again. Piggott asks whether he told his first solicitor that he was innocent. Michael says that he did but was told that it was too late and that he would only be making matters worse. Piggott asks Michael if he remembers Leonard. Michael replies that Leonard was his best friend. He also denies that Leonard killed Clare Kemplay. When Piggott asks who did kill Clare Kemplay Michael replies that Leonard knows. Piggott tells Michael that Leonard is dead, to which Michael replies that he didn’t do it.
Piggott visits McGuiness the next morning and wakes him up by knocking loudly. Piggott asks McGuiness about Leonard. McGuiness says that Leonard was guilty and that he hanged himself. Piggott forces his way into McGuiness’ house and asks about Michael. McGuiness says that Michael was also guilty and they have a confession. Piggott accuses McGuiness of not defending or protecting Michael. McGuiness says that Michael suffers from hypogonadism, that he couldn’t control himself, and that a week before Clare Kemplay was murdered he was seen masturbating in front of two teenage girls at a graveyard. McGuiness can’t remember the names of the two girls, but he gives a vague description. After a little thought he coughs up the name Tessa – Leonard’s girlfriend. Piggott leaves, infuriated, and, as he leaves, McGuiness makes a snide mention of Piggott’s father, suggesting that Piggott is trying to make up for some sins that his father committed. Piggott, furious, rushes him and tackles him to the ground.
Piggott goes home infuriated and confronts Tessa about how she set Michael up. Tessa says that the police made her do it, and that they can do what they want. Piggott doesn’t believe her. Tessa confesses that Leonard acted rotten towards Michael – he used to tease him and try to make him go with other girls. Tessa says that Leonard was cruel. Tessa mentions that Michael only had eyes for one girl, and that he had a photograph of her that he used to carry around and talk to, and that he was also convinced “that he could save her.” When Piggott asks how Michael expected to save Clare Kemplay, Tessa tells him that she was not talking about her but that she was talking about Jeanette Garland.
Jobson and Alderman meet with Angus at the excavation for the remains of Jeanette Garland. Angus tells Jobson that nothing has been found and that they have been pursuing a false lead. There are, however, some bone fragments. Angus is also incensed that Jobson had been following leads provided by a medium. Jobson reminds Angus that it was he that had sent Jobson to the Medium in the first place. Angus accuses Jobson of being in love with the medium and demands to know whether he believes in her powers. Jobson replies by saying that he believes that the bones were those of Jeanette Garland. Angus, however, demands evidence that will prove that Leonard is guilty. He, moreover, threatens Jobson by saying that it is “very cold out there.”
That night, Jobson reminisces about his earlier interview with the drunk, the drunk’s testimony, and he and Molloy visiting Laws. We see Laws being tortured by the police; his hands smashed by handcuffs, burnt, etc, the same way the others have been tortured. Laws is tougher than the others, though. Molloy kicks him in the genitals, and then calls for Alderman. Alderman enters carrying a rat in a cage that is forced onto Laws’ face. Laws still refuses to speak. When Molloy smashes the rat against the wall, Laws gives up Dawson’s name. Laws says that Dawson “knows what I did, he knows what I know.” Jobson believes that they have Clare Kemplay’s killer. Jobson says, “we know that he did it!” Molloy, however, counters by saying, “no, we don’t Maurice. No, we don’t.” Jobson is taken aback.
Molloy and Jobson visit Dawson who it looks like has been expecting them. Molloy and Jobson meet Dawson, who says that he wasn’t expecting at all to see them. Molloy wants to go somewhere to have a private word. Dawson suggests the house, Shangri-La, which he says he had designed by an architect to look like a swan. Dawson mentions that he actually wanted a word with Molloy, that he has a problem with Gypsies on the building site. Molloy tells Dawson that the Gypsies won’t be a problem. Dawson is glad because he didn’t want them getting in the way of their investment. When they go into the house, they see a stuffed swan, and Dawson expresses his obsession with the animal. Dawson asks what the police want. Jobson tells him that it’s about Clare Kemplay. Molloy adds that they have Laws in custody. Dawson tells the two that Laws was with him the day Clare Kemplay went missing, at a family event. Molloy tells Dawson that he should have told them sooner. Jobson watches Molloy quizzically.
Jobson and Molloy drop Laws off at home. Jobson is not convinced that the story is true, and rejects Molloy’s idea that they’ve got nothing for which to hold Laws, calling it bollocks. Molloy gets angry and he wants Jobson to let it go because they “owe Dawson” and that “John Dawson is king.” At this point Molloy mentions the positive sighting of the white van and adds that a similar vehicle has been seen at the Gypsy camp. Molloy decides that the police will hit the Gypsy camp at midnight and that he will ring around for numbers. Jobson very reluctantly agrees to this course of action.
Later that evening we see Jobson mask his voice and telephone Dunford. It was Jobson who placed that anonymous call to Dunford alerting him to the goings-on at the Gypsy camp.
Jobson is disturbed by what he saw at the Gypsy camp. Jobson is seen in conversation with Molloy, Angus, Alderman, Nolan and Prentice. Molloy is scared that Dunford knows too much and that he can’t be bought off. Jobson asks Molloy whether Dawson is, in fact, the real problem, as he has been putting his private pleasure before business. Alderman says that Dawson has been warned. Angus agrees that both Dawson and Dunford are a problem. Molloy says that he has got Craven and Douglas onto the situation. Angus considers this an acceptable solution to their problem and declares their investment secure.
We see the cops once again toast the North at the wedding.
Jobson meets with Angus. Angus reminisces about the old days, and talks about retiring. Angus tells Jobson that the report from the laboratory came back. The bones were chicken bones; Angus expresses disgust in Jobson and his psychic girlfriend. Jobson, however, wants to see report. Angus tells Jobson that there was a reason he never made rank over Molloy, and asks whether he ever wonders about that. Angus suggests it is the same reason Jobson’s wife left him, taking the kids with her. He accuses Jobson of being a whiner, and that he knows Jobson tipped off Dunford about the Gypsy camp. Angus derides Jobson’s guilty conscience. Jobson asks about Hazel Atkins, to which Angus replies that she’s dead and that Leonard killed her. Angus then tells Jobson to “fuck off and retire quietly.”
Piggott goes to see Michael in prison hospital where he learns that Michael has been refusing food and has been smearing excrement on the walls. He is also told that the staff and his family believe Michael might attempt to take his own life. Piggott sees Michael. Piggott asks about Jeanette Garland. Piggott pleads with Michael, claiming that he still wants to help him. Piggott asks Michael to confirm that he knew Jeanette Garland, that he had her photograph, and that he carried it with him everywhere and spoke to it. Michael says that he used to see Jeanette Garland sometimes and that she was the only person that didn’t laugh at him. Piggott asks Michael when he last saw Jeanette Garland. Michael claims he saw her “that day,” presumably the day she went missing. She was in a van, neither smiling nor waving. When Piggott asks who took her, Michael becomes enraged, yelling, “You know! Everybody knows! Everybody!” Michael says that he saw, that the wolf made him watch. Piggott asks Michael who the wolf is. Michael doesn’t reply, but tells Piggott that his father was there as well, that his father was the wolf’s friend. Piggott has a flashback to the day he came home and found that his dad had been murdered.BJ is seen walking.
Piggott breaks into Laws’ house and searches the premises. From a window he sees the hill over which can be found Laws’ allotment and shed. Piggott makes his way over the hill and to the shed. He enters the shed, which is a giant cage filled with birds and feathers. Piggott sees that there is a trapdoor in the back of the shed, but when he goes over to investigate, someone – doubtless, Laws – beats him on the head with a shovel causing him to fall down the hole.
Jobson visits Michael in the prison hospital. Michael says that there is an image he sees that he can’t get out of his head. He tells Jobson that he told him a long time ago, that he could have saved them. Jobson tells Michael that it’s not Michael’s fault. Michael again says that he told Jobson a long time ago but that Jobson had told him not to talk, and that, if he did, he would never see his mother again and that he would spend the rest of his life in prison. Jobson apologises to Michael for telling him to admit to killing the little girls. Jobson and Michael cry.
BJ is seen walking. He is in Fitzwilliam, carrying a shotgun inside a bag with the anarchist symbol stenciled on it. His voiceover says, “This is for you: for all the things you made me do, for all the things you made me see; for voices in my head, and silence of night; for boy I was, and boys that saw; for every little kid you fucked, and all their dads who like to watch; your tongue in my mouth, and your lies in my ear; loving you loving me. This is where it ends. It ends here.” BJ goes to Laws’ house, and enters with the shotgun in his hand and heads up the stairs. This is interspersed with a flashback of BJ being introduced to a man by Laws; of someone holding a knife and BJ lifting up his shirt; of Laws telling a young BJ that he is going to teach him “how to love me.” BJ, in the present, enters the bedroom where he sees Laws. Laws says hello, and tells him that he is a good boy, that he tried to look after him and protect him. BJ points the shotgun at Laws and pumps the action. Laws tells BJ to put the shotgun down, that it doesn’t suit him, and walks up to BJ. BJ can’t bring himself to shoot. Laws tells BJ once again that he going to teach him how to love him, adding, “do you remember?” Laws lifts BJ’s shirt where we see the scar of what looks like the words “1LUV” that had been cut into his chest. Laws tells BJ that he was the first, and that he was the best. Laws pushes BJ down onto his knees.
Piggott comes to at the bottom of the trapdoor in the shed. He is in a cavern or sorts. He finds what looks like the remains of a bedroom, with some lamps, a bed and a leather chair. We see someone naked on the chair, and we hear Laws say, “Mr. Piggott is king today. You be nice to Mr. Piggott.” There are two or three other men present. There is also a child, who we can presume is either another victim of this paedophile ring or is, in fact, a young Piggott who, too, witnessed some of the same things that Michael was forced to witness.
Back at Laws’ house we see him blessing BJ, holding a drill in his hand. Laws turns on the drill, but before he can kill BJ, Jobson shoots him in the shoulder with the shotgun. Laws taunts Jobson, telling him that he hasn’t got the guts to kill him, but Jobson shoots him two more times, once in the chest and once in the head. Laws is dead. Jobson goes to the shed, breaks in and finds Piggott coming out of the trapdoor. The floor is covered with feathers, and it looks like it is snowing. This, then, is the “beautiful carpet.” Piggott comes out of the trapdoor carrying Hazel Atkins – she is alive. Piggott carries her back over the hill to Fitzwilliam.
We see BJ standing on a beach where he was at the funfair with his mother and hear a last voiceover: “Here is one that got away and lived to tell the tale: from Karachi Social Club and Griffin Hotel; Wakefield nick and St. Mary’s Hostel; motorways and carparks; parks and toilets; idle rich and unemployed; from shit they sell and shit we buy; from kids with no moms, and moms with no kid; from all dead meat, to my dead friends; pubs and clubs; from gutters and stars; local tips and old slag heaps; from badgers and owls, wolves and swans; here is a son of Yorkshire, here is one that got away. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, all good children go to heaven”
Published on Monday, 26 April 2010
I hope that what I have written will be of some assistance.