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The murder trial that broke me Despite 40 years of activism, I am haunted by the Nikki Allan case

Nikki Allan was 7 when she was murdered in 1992. (Sharon Henderson)


July 25, 2023   6 mins

I see the worst of humanity, the very depths of depravity: I am a reporter on male violence against women and girls. There was a time in Sarajevo, not long after the Balkan war, when I witnessed a dozen women being paraded around a market, naked — their teeth being inspected as if they were farm animals — before they were sold to the highest bidder, to be shipped to brothels. I spent time in a refugee camp in the Middle East, where I heard the screams of girls being sexually assaulted by men as they walked to the latrine in the dark. And I have seen the most violent pornography imaginable.

As a reporter, I am supposed to bear witness: to expose the truth relentlessly and seek justice. I thought I could cope with seeing such horrific things; I would reassure friends that I was fine and point out that I was not the victim in these scenarios. Over the years, I have avoided examining how being immersed in a world of rape, child abuse and femicide has affected me. I would always support those feminist activists who threw in the towel to retire to Spain, but I would feel a bit bemused by their actions. Why would you want to take up gardening, instead of being an agent of change?

Then something shifted. Investigating yet another atrocity, over the past few years, I have been overwhelmed by anxiety and depression, unable to sleep. I now understand why some activists retire.

It began with the murder of a seven-year-old girl. Nikki Allan lived with her mum and three sisters in a run-down block of flats in Sunderland. One day, in 1992, a man took her to the wasteland outside a derelict warehouse and sexually assaulted her. When Nikki screamed, he pushed her through a window into the building, chased her into a far corner, and shattered her little skull with a brick. He then stabbed her 37 times, before dragging her into the basement. There he left her, propped up against the wall like a rag doll.

Police focused their investigation on a man named George Heron, seen as the local oddball. They effectively coerced a confession out of him. The following year, he was acquitted of murder at trial, after the judge ruled the confession out, but was forced to go into hiding because people in the local community were convinced of his guilt. Nikki’s mum, Sharon Henderson, believed Heron had got away with her daughter’s murder, because the police repeatedly told her that there were no other suspects. The media reinforced this narrative.

I picked up the story in 2006. Visiting my parents in Darlington, not far from where Nikki was murdered, I saw a photograph in the local paper of a woman standing by the grave of a child. The headline read: “Mum’s bid to dig up daughter”. Sharon was asking police to exhume Nikki’s body, in order to test it for DNA evidence, following a change in the law on double jeopardy, which prevents someone being tried again on charges of which they’ve been previously acquitted. More than a decade after her daughter’s murder, Sharon was still fighting for justice.

“I always said I would never, ever give up campaigning for Nikki until her murderer was locked up,” Sharon told me. “Not until the police answer for that first so-called investigation.”

I first interviewed Sharon shortly after reading that newspaper story. A single mum from a rough part of town, she felt that the police weren’t taking her seriously. Over the years, I’ve kept in contact with Sharon, admiring her tenacity, and her refusal to accept that the police had done right by her daughter.

And then, in May 2022, the unexpected happened. A man named David Boyd was charged, 30 years after Nikki was murdered. A child sex offender, with convictions dating back to 1986, Boyd lived three doors down from where Nikki disappeared, and had moved away from the estate shortly after the murder. When questioned, Boyd had lied, presenting a made-up alibi. So focused were the police on Heron, they didn’t even bother to check it.

By this point, I had started working on a podcast series about Nikki’s murder, originally with the intention of marking the 30th anniversary, and to give Sharon’s campaign a boost. It felt like we were close to getting justice. I attended every day of the trial, renting an apartment close to Newcastle Crown Court. Sharon and her family would come there between sittings, for respite. I saw, as I had over the previous 17 years, how much pain Sharon was enduring. But here she was, struggling on. The evidence at trial was harrowing. Sharon did her best to listen. But most of the time she would leave the public gallery after only a few minutes, sobbing. “Imagine listening to what that bastard did to your bairn,” says Sharon. “The details of how he murdered her will never leave my mind.”

Day in, day out, the particulars of the murder were played out: the forensic pathologist who examined Nikki’s body in situ back in 1992 came to repeat her evidence, 31 years later. A blood splatter expert, she painted a vivid picture of what had happened to Nikki in life and in death. We saw video footage of the crime scene. Nikki’s body was pixelated out, but the brick that had killed was in plain sight.

“Vicarious trauma” is a term used by psychologists to describe the effect of witnessing or hearing horror stories. It is increasingly recognised as a potential consequence of working directly with seriously hurt and injured individuals — an occupational hazard among Accident and Emergency personnel, for instance, or social workers who witness child cruelty. With wider recognition of the condition, it is becoming more commonplace for employers to offer counselling to staff who encounter atrocity in their working lives.

I feel uncomfortable claiming to be experiencing “vicarious trauma”. I’m not the victim here. I have always felt it important to be resilient, when focusing on the women and girls directly affected by a crime. But something snapped in me, with this story.

During the trial, I would find myself crying at home for no apparent reason. I would be too tired to blank out the stories I’d heard, but then have trouble sleeping. I’d stay awake watching Netflix as a way of escaping my intrusive thoughts, my hypersensitivity, and a feeling of deep, deep despair. I suffered extreme neck and shoulder pain, attributed partly to five weeks of scribbling in a notebook every day in court, but also to the tension of hearing the evidence, and trying not to cry on the press bench. I started getting headaches. I would imagine all kinds of horrific things happening to my loved ones, anything from car crashes to brutal murder.

What was it about the Nikki Allan case that kept me awake night after night, driving me into a depression? It was not the first time I had reported on the case of a murdered child, or seen such terrible evidence in court. But in time, I have come to realise that so many aspects of the case resonated with my own childhood experience, and what I escaped. Growing up in the North East, I witnessed how the police dismiss working-class women, in particular single mothers; I saw how child sexual abuse was minimised. Boyd was free for 30 years to abuse girls a short drive from the rough housing estate I grew up on, where men targeted me and my friends.

I was first flashed at when I was nine years old. Aged 12, a man violently grabbed my breast as he walked past me in the middle of the town centre. At 16, I was raped by an older man I considered a friend. My job cleaning in a pub ended abruptly when a campaign of horrific sexual harassment culminated in an attempted rape. By this time, I was 17, and had recently joined the ranks of feminists fighting against sexual and domestic violence.

I was drawn to the cause partly because of my own experiences, but also inspired by the widespread protests about the police investigation into the so-called Yorkshire Ripper. The misogyny and class prejudice that underpinned this investigation — the idea that the victims were “common prostitutes” and were therefore somehow complicit in their fate — felt familiar to me. Many of the women I was raised among would be seen as the kind who would be “asking for it” simply for going to the pub alone, when they should have stayed safely at home.

Returning to the North East, spending time so close to where I was raised, amid Nikki’s grieving, traumatised family, I sometimes caught myself wondering how my life would have turned out had I stayed put in Darlington. Had I never found feminism. Sharon’s life could have been mine.

But anyone doing this work, immersed in the harsh reality of it, is bound to struggle with the toll it takes on our mental health. I see rape and domestic abuse routinely dismissed and minimised. Victims are dismissed, disbelieved, or blamed for their own predicaments. I also see men excused. They are reassured that what they have done is “not so bad”. Meanwhile, women such as Sharon Henderson are fighting against a system that views them as irritants.

And if the crimes themselves aren’t taken seriously enough in the mainstream, why would those of us reporting on them be given any consideration? Instead, we see the trivialisation of both sexual violence and of the hellish side effects of campaigning for change. I will never understand how Sharon must feel, having lost her seven-year-old daughter to murder; I do know what it is like to be silenced and misrepresented when speaking out against atrocities committed by men, and police inaction.

So, I will always be inspired by women like Sharon (in May, Boyd was found guilty of Nikki’s murder and jailed for life, with a minimum term of 29 years). One positive I cling to, in this bleak state of affairs, is the sense of solidarity that often flourishes between women. Sharon may never have considered herself a feminist campaigner until the unimaginable happened. But the rest of us have so much to learn from her tenacity.

Three doors down‘, Julie Bindel’s podcast series on the case of Nikki Allan, is out now


Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, author, and feminist campaigner. Her latest book is Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation. She also writes on Substack.

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Glyn R
Glyn R
11 months ago

Thank you Julie, for your campaigning and for speaking up for those who would not be heard – such as Sharon.
We know how sexual abuse has been trivialised when meted out to those lower down the social pecking order – the conspiracy of silence bordering on complicity that existed for years around the Rotherham abuse scandal spelt that fact out clearly for a great many of us. Put those cases alongside the rather more sensationalised cases and relentless mass media coverage of cases of abuse by famous men such as Harvey Weinstein and and we see the glaring difference,
Recently, we have seen deluded people trying to rebrand pedophiles as Minor Attracted People, there are even those who go so far as to say that children enjoy such attention and advocate for greater understanding of pedophilia. We live in a sick society where many are happy to see things brushed under the carpet rather than confront and speak out.The media reaction, or rather the conspiracy of silence -around the film Sound of Freedom is a good example of that.

Glyn R
Glyn R
11 months ago

Thank you Julie, for your campaigning and for speaking up for those who would not be heard – such as Sharon.
We know how sexual abuse has been trivialised when meted out to those lower down the social pecking order – the conspiracy of silence bordering on complicity that existed for years around the Rotherham abuse scandal spelt that fact out clearly for a great many of us. Put those cases alongside the rather more sensationalised cases and relentless mass media coverage of cases of abuse by famous men such as Harvey Weinstein and and we see the glaring difference,
Recently, we have seen deluded people trying to rebrand pedophiles as Minor Attracted People, there are even those who go so far as to say that children enjoy such attention and advocate for greater understanding of pedophilia. We live in a sick society where many are happy to see things brushed under the carpet rather than confront and speak out.The media reaction, or rather the conspiracy of silence -around the film Sound of Freedom is a good example of that.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
11 months ago

The tragic example of Nikki and Sharon is given as the pretext for some sweeping judgements in the second half of the article about victims dismissed and women disbelieved or blamed.

The exact opposite is true: a lazy, incompetent police force was only to happy to believe the community’s view that the misfit man was the perpetrator.

And then, when the case collapsed, the police force was none too keen on much further investigation because it would reveal the lazy thinking that had mislabelled the misfit man as the accused.

In short, Sharon’s story isn’t about a system that viewed women as irritants. It is the age old story of public institutions slowly turning into bureaucracies, useless and self-serving. It’s the story of everything from the thousands who die of NHS negligence each year to faltering electricity supplies.

Julie applies feminism to every social situation like a Birmingham screwdriver. And creates division that ensures the status quo prevails. Julie seems like the sort of person who would rather sabotage change, than put to oneside her beliefs.

Last edited 11 months ago by Nell Clover
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Spot on
..sadly.

Ok Nayre
Ok Nayre
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Absolutely. What happened to Nikki is nightmare-inducing; what happened to George Heron is inherently more ignorable. And that’s what makes it more disturbing when you think about it carefully; state and police ineptitude ruins the lives of … how many? We’ll never know because it’s ignorable. Boyd’s evil was his own and he’ll face judgment, but the rush to judgment and the police actions are what we did or enabled, as a society or community. Easier to kick that can down the road for our own peace of mind. “I will never murder a child” is easy; “I will never rush to judgment” very difficult, but in aggregate and invisibility causes its own great harm.
And what bugs me personally, is Heron was victimised because he was “odd”. The freedom to be odd is a wonderful thing if you can find a space for it and the tyranny of conformity a terrible crushing oppression.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Ok Nayre

Well articulated.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  Ok Nayre

Consider the case of Jason Lord, falsely branded a ‘nonce’ and beaten to death by self-appointed vigilante Steven Walton. Apparently Lord said “Hello” to a passing girl and that was all the proof needed for thug-justice.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Ok Nayre

Well articulated.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  Ok Nayre

Consider the case of Jason Lord, falsely branded a ‘nonce’ and beaten to death by self-appointed vigilante Steven Walton. Apparently Lord said “Hello” to a passing girl and that was all the proof needed for thug-justice.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Your comment is so much more worthwhile, cogent and valuable than the article. Thank you.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I have supported her over the Trans issue but this article is a bit too much ‘it’s all about me’, and with some really daft bits.
(Neck and shoulder pain, from the physical grind of court reporting..I know plenty of old school reporters who will either be rolling in their graves, or falling off their bar stools with helpless laughter at that one… )
I actually covered this case, and many others, but back then the business was much more about just reporting the news, rather than always turning it upside down into a soapbox for some angle or other.
There were a lot of problems back then that extremely sensitive DNA testing prevents these days.
Another slightly similar case in which a mum who refused to give up, and even after her daughter’s killer was tried and found ‘innocent’ was that of Anne Ming.
We covered that one as well, and did interviews with Dunlop after he was cleared as well. I guess if podcasts had been a ‘thing’ we would have done one of those with him whinging about victimisation, at least before Anne’s campaigning to end the double jeopardy prohibition bore fruit and he eventually was re-tried and this time went down for it.
These rehash ‘cuttings job’ podcasts are very popular , as are the books about these old cases, sort of inspired by all the TV ‘nostalgia’ crime shows I suppose; I’ll have to write one… one day.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Spot on
..sadly.

Ok Nayre
Ok Nayre
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Absolutely. What happened to Nikki is nightmare-inducing; what happened to George Heron is inherently more ignorable. And that’s what makes it more disturbing when you think about it carefully; state and police ineptitude ruins the lives of … how many? We’ll never know because it’s ignorable. Boyd’s evil was his own and he’ll face judgment, but the rush to judgment and the police actions are what we did or enabled, as a society or community. Easier to kick that can down the road for our own peace of mind. “I will never murder a child” is easy; “I will never rush to judgment” very difficult, but in aggregate and invisibility causes its own great harm.
And what bugs me personally, is Heron was victimised because he was “odd”. The freedom to be odd is a wonderful thing if you can find a space for it and the tyranny of conformity a terrible crushing oppression.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Your comment is so much more worthwhile, cogent and valuable than the article. Thank you.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
11 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I have supported her over the Trans issue but this article is a bit too much ‘it’s all about me’, and with some really daft bits.
(Neck and shoulder pain, from the physical grind of court reporting..I know plenty of old school reporters who will either be rolling in their graves, or falling off their bar stools with helpless laughter at that one… )
I actually covered this case, and many others, but back then the business was much more about just reporting the news, rather than always turning it upside down into a soapbox for some angle or other.
There were a lot of problems back then that extremely sensitive DNA testing prevents these days.
Another slightly similar case in which a mum who refused to give up, and even after her daughter’s killer was tried and found ‘innocent’ was that of Anne Ming.
We covered that one as well, and did interviews with Dunlop after he was cleared as well. I guess if podcasts had been a ‘thing’ we would have done one of those with him whinging about victimisation, at least before Anne’s campaigning to end the double jeopardy prohibition bore fruit and he eventually was re-tried and this time went down for it.
These rehash ‘cuttings job’ podcasts are very popular , as are the books about these old cases, sort of inspired by all the TV ‘nostalgia’ crime shows I suppose; I’ll have to write one… one day.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
11 months ago

The tragic example of Nikki and Sharon is given as the pretext for some sweeping judgements in the second half of the article about victims dismissed and women disbelieved or blamed.

The exact opposite is true: a lazy, incompetent police force was only to happy to believe the community’s view that the misfit man was the perpetrator.

And then, when the case collapsed, the police force was none too keen on much further investigation because it would reveal the lazy thinking that had mislabelled the misfit man as the accused.

In short, Sharon’s story isn’t about a system that viewed women as irritants. It is the age old story of public institutions slowly turning into bureaucracies, useless and self-serving. It’s the story of everything from the thousands who die of NHS negligence each year to faltering electricity supplies.

Julie applies feminism to every social situation like a Birmingham screwdriver. And creates division that ensures the status quo prevails. Julie seems like the sort of person who would rather sabotage change, than put to oneside her beliefs.

Last edited 11 months ago by Nell Clover
Graham Ward
Graham Ward
11 months ago

A horrific story, but the thought also crossed my mind reading it – what about George Heron, and what he went through?

Stephen Wright
Stephen Wright
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Ward

we don’t care about him because he’s a man. Remember this is about male violence – not violence or injustice in general.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Ward

He’s a man, so misandrist Julie doesn’t bother about him.

Stephen Wright
Stephen Wright
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Ward

we don’t care about him because he’s a man. Remember this is about male violence – not violence or injustice in general.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago
Reply to  Graham Ward

He’s a man, so misandrist Julie doesn’t bother about him.

Graham Ward
Graham Ward
11 months ago

A horrific story, but the thought also crossed my mind reading it – what about George Heron, and what he went through?

Frank Carney
Frank Carney
11 months ago

As a police officer of 29 years, I can say that if you plunge headlong into this, indeed revel in it in order to satisfy the crusader within, not only will you become a magnet for horror, you will transform your life into a grim distorting mirror which inhibits discernment and sense of proportion.

I have never met a police officer in 29 years who trivializes sexual violence.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank Carney

Alas, this is what we get in most of Julie’s articles.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank Carney

What is your take, Frank Carney, on the recent revelations of sexism in the Metropolitan Police following the exposure of David Carrick as a serial rapist while a serving officer?

Tony Price
Tony Price
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank Carney

I believe that in recent cases there is a mass of evidence of horrible sexist comments in police WhatsApp groups; maybe you don’t use WhatsApp and consider these either fabrications or nothing to do with sexual violence?

mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank Carney

Funny that – i know a few british cops to chat to and most trivialise violence, including low level sexual harrassment. I’d agree very few would trivialise rape, no more than in society at large. I work as a translator for a European force that had a terrible rep right up until the 80s, and thanks to the efforts of management and a healthy communal respect for the bible there’s been a sea-change in how they treat other humans – though they are still up for a bit of graft given the chance so thats maybe a hard limit of human nture

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank Carney

Alas, this is what we get in most of Julie’s articles.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank Carney

What is your take, Frank Carney, on the recent revelations of sexism in the Metropolitan Police following the exposure of David Carrick as a serial rapist while a serving officer?

Tony Price
Tony Price
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank Carney

I believe that in recent cases there is a mass of evidence of horrible sexist comments in police WhatsApp groups; maybe you don’t use WhatsApp and consider these either fabrications or nothing to do with sexual violence?

mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank Carney

Funny that – i know a few british cops to chat to and most trivialise violence, including low level sexual harrassment. I’d agree very few would trivialise rape, no more than in society at large. I work as a translator for a European force that had a terrible rep right up until the 80s, and thanks to the efforts of management and a healthy communal respect for the bible there’s been a sea-change in how they treat other humans – though they are still up for a bit of graft given the chance so thats maybe a hard limit of human nture

Frank Carney
Frank Carney
11 months ago

As a police officer of 29 years, I can say that if you plunge headlong into this, indeed revel in it in order to satisfy the crusader within, not only will you become a magnet for horror, you will transform your life into a grim distorting mirror which inhibits discernment and sense of proportion.

I have never met a police officer in 29 years who trivializes sexual violence.

FacRecte NilTime
FacRecte NilTime
11 months ago

Any society is better for journalists and campaigners like Julie Bindel shining a light and calling out injustice. It’s not necessary to agree with all of her broader views (I don’t) to respect her integrity and courage, and to welcome the impact of her work on improving the response to violence against women and girls (including standing up to many of her political tribe over the trans issue.)

I lived in Yorkshire during the Ripper period, her evocation of police attitudes then is not wrong. As a child a couple of years before that I remember the police turning up to the house of my friend a few doors down, and radioing back that it was ‘just a domestic’ before driving away and leaving her mother to face the consequences alone.

Injustice wreaks havoc on so many lives beyond the immediate victims. Julie Bindel is basically a Good Thing, and I hope Unherd will continue to publish her work.

FacRecte NilTime
FacRecte NilTime
11 months ago

Any society is better for journalists and campaigners like Julie Bindel shining a light and calling out injustice. It’s not necessary to agree with all of her broader views (I don’t) to respect her integrity and courage, and to welcome the impact of her work on improving the response to violence against women and girls (including standing up to many of her political tribe over the trans issue.)

I lived in Yorkshire during the Ripper period, her evocation of police attitudes then is not wrong. As a child a couple of years before that I remember the police turning up to the house of my friend a few doors down, and radioing back that it was ‘just a domestic’ before driving away and leaving her mother to face the consequences alone.

Injustice wreaks havoc on so many lives beyond the immediate victims. Julie Bindel is basically a Good Thing, and I hope Unherd will continue to publish her work.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago

Thank you so much for your mighty fight, so appreciated by so many.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
11 months ago

Thank you so much for your mighty fight, so appreciated by so many.

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
11 months ago

This is a harrowing and tragic story and I applaud you for bringing it to a wider audience. I don’t doubt that it would have had a profound effect on you and it would take a good degree of bravery to stay the course.

Absolutely no doubt either about the appalling way that this has been handled, or about the utter hell that Sharon has been through, but I’m not sure I completely agree that this is a prima facie example of a misogynistic police investigation, or necessarily of a lack of respect for working class women (though I concede there may have been elements of both). There is, without a doubt, a third victim here, Heron, a man falsely accused and very possibly fitted up for a crime he did not commit – maybe because he was different, who knows? This might have been more understandable if leads had dried up, but the actual murderer was 3 doors down the road and already known to the police.

Very little can compare to the horrors that Sharon has gone through, and it’s wonderful that you’ve told her tale, but rather than a tale about misogyny, could this not be more about a lazy and complacent police force who had (have?) more interest in settling old scores with the local weirdo than they did (do?) about bringing about true justice and getting a real killer off the streets? And about an innocent man ruthlessly driven out of mainstream life who’s story nobody appears to have the appetite to tell?

Guy Haynes
Guy Haynes
11 months ago

This is a harrowing and tragic story and I applaud you for bringing it to a wider audience. I don’t doubt that it would have had a profound effect on you and it would take a good degree of bravery to stay the course.

Absolutely no doubt either about the appalling way that this has been handled, or about the utter hell that Sharon has been through, but I’m not sure I completely agree that this is a prima facie example of a misogynistic police investigation, or necessarily of a lack of respect for working class women (though I concede there may have been elements of both). There is, without a doubt, a third victim here, Heron, a man falsely accused and very possibly fitted up for a crime he did not commit – maybe because he was different, who knows? This might have been more understandable if leads had dried up, but the actual murderer was 3 doors down the road and already known to the police.

Very little can compare to the horrors that Sharon has gone through, and it’s wonderful that you’ve told her tale, but rather than a tale about misogyny, could this not be more about a lazy and complacent police force who had (have?) more interest in settling old scores with the local weirdo than they did (do?) about bringing about true justice and getting a real killer off the streets? And about an innocent man ruthlessly driven out of mainstream life who’s story nobody appears to have the appetite to tell?

eleanor nightingale
eleanor nightingale
11 months ago

Thank you Julie for all your campaigning and hard, harrowing work.

Sad to see that even in the context of a tale as horrific as this and the personal toll it has taken on you, the usual suspect commentators still feel the need for some feminist bashing.

eleanor nightingale
eleanor nightingale
11 months ago

Thank you Julie for all your campaigning and hard, harrowing work.

Sad to see that even in the context of a tale as horrific as this and the personal toll it has taken on you, the usual suspect commentators still feel the need for some feminist bashing.

m_dunec
m_dunec
11 months ago

Thank you Julie, wonderful writing as usual – I’m glad justice was finally served on this dirtbag, and I hope Sharon and everyone involved finds peace. Be nice if he gets a bit of street justice in there too!

It’s a sickening tale, that’s sadly not unique, meaning you and your work, are still very much needed, and appreciated.

Last edited 11 months ago by m_dunec
m_dunec
m_dunec
11 months ago

Thank you Julie, wonderful writing as usual – I’m glad justice was finally served on this dirtbag, and I hope Sharon and everyone involved finds peace. Be nice if he gets a bit of street justice in there too!

It’s a sickening tale, that’s sadly not unique, meaning you and your work, are still very much needed, and appreciated.

Last edited 11 months ago by m_dunec
Mike Buchanan
Mike Buchanan
11 months ago

“Investigating yet another atrocity, over the past few years, I have been overwhelmed by anxiety and depression, unable to sleep.”
Julie, I’m not surprised. As a radical feminist you’re only interested in male violence against women and girls. This means you are utterly BLIND to female violence against men, women and children, and your toxic writings inevitably make many women more anxious than they should be about male violence towards women and girls, given how rare it is.Feminists are the only group of people actively seeking to RAISE women’s anxiety, for their own nefarious purposes.
In the real world, it’s long been known that:
(1) Men and boys are far more often the victims of violence than women and girls. (2) Domestic violence isn’t a gendered phenomenon, the most comprehensive literature review ever undertaken being the 2013 Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project (PASK13) https://domesticviolenceresearch.org/. (3) Women are more likely to be abused in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual relationships https://j4mb.org.uk/2022/12/09/are-women-more-likely-to-be-abused-in-lesbian-or-heterosexual-relationships/.
It’s about time Unherd stopped being a propaganda platform for feminists, and published pieces by anti-feminists in the interest of balance.
Mike Buchanan
JUSTICE FOR MEN & BOYS
http://j4mb.org.uk

Last edited 11 months ago by Mike Buchanan
Ian Wray
Ian Wray
11 months ago
Reply to  Mike Buchanan

The article is saddening with regard to various issues. There is the appalling crime it relates, and the author’s own early history. But there are also other issues – such as that of the man falsely accused and the suffering he endured. Then there is the implicit feminist over-generalisation about, and demonisation of, men and the avoidance of the harms men and boys suffer. There is also feminism’s increasing effects upon society and culture and the harms that come from that – such as the undermining of the well-being of men and boys, and of the family, with all the various negative effects that come from those, including harm to women and girls. Another issue is the long-term effects of abuse. These can be various, but one such effect is that some abused people go on to abuse others. (In this regard I do wonder what the murderer experienced as a child.) Associated with this issue is the question of irrational guilt. Children who are abused can feel guilty, blaming themselves for what happened to them, blame which persists into adulthood.. This is psychologically very undermining. Sometimes, to try to avoid feeling this way, it leads to transferring blame to innocent others, and at times harming them, including whole groups of people (such as all men). Sometimes it leads to committing crimes in order to be punished for what the person feels irrationally guilty about. But without appropriate psychological resolution it stays with someone, a source of suffering throughout their life.

Ian Wray
Ian Wray
11 months ago
Reply to  Mike Buchanan

The article is saddening with regard to various issues. There is the appalling crime it relates, and the author’s own early history. But there are also other issues – such as that of the man falsely accused and the suffering he endured. Then there is the implicit feminist over-generalisation about, and demonisation of, men and the avoidance of the harms men and boys suffer. There is also feminism’s increasing effects upon society and culture and the harms that come from that – such as the undermining of the well-being of men and boys, and of the family, with all the various negative effects that come from those, including harm to women and girls. Another issue is the long-term effects of abuse. These can be various, but one such effect is that some abused people go on to abuse others. (In this regard I do wonder what the murderer experienced as a child.) Associated with this issue is the question of irrational guilt. Children who are abused can feel guilty, blaming themselves for what happened to them, blame which persists into adulthood.. This is psychologically very undermining. Sometimes, to try to avoid feeling this way, it leads to transferring blame to innocent others, and at times harming them, including whole groups of people (such as all men). Sometimes it leads to committing crimes in order to be punished for what the person feels irrationally guilty about. But without appropriate psychological resolution it stays with someone, a source of suffering throughout their life.

Mike Buchanan
Mike Buchanan
11 months ago

“Investigating yet another atrocity, over the past few years, I have been overwhelmed by anxiety and depression, unable to sleep.”
Julie, I’m not surprised. As a radical feminist you’re only interested in male violence against women and girls. This means you are utterly BLIND to female violence against men, women and children, and your toxic writings inevitably make many women more anxious than they should be about male violence towards women and girls, given how rare it is.Feminists are the only group of people actively seeking to RAISE women’s anxiety, for their own nefarious purposes.
In the real world, it’s long been known that:
(1) Men and boys are far more often the victims of violence than women and girls. (2) Domestic violence isn’t a gendered phenomenon, the most comprehensive literature review ever undertaken being the 2013 Partner Abuse State of Knowledge Project (PASK13) https://domesticviolenceresearch.org/. (3) Women are more likely to be abused in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual relationships https://j4mb.org.uk/2022/12/09/are-women-more-likely-to-be-abused-in-lesbian-or-heterosexual-relationships/.
It’s about time Unherd stopped being a propaganda platform for feminists, and published pieces by anti-feminists in the interest of balance.
Mike Buchanan
JUSTICE FOR MEN & BOYS
http://j4mb.org.uk

Last edited 11 months ago by Mike Buchanan
N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

Then something shifted. Investigating yet another atrocity, over the past few years, I have been overwhelmed by anxiety and depression, unable to sleep. I now understand why some activists retire.

It seems Ms Bindel’s armour has cracked after years of bearing witness to and campaigning against human (especially male) depravity. Though I have resented her relentless anti-male stance, this piece shows that she clearly deserves sympathy. Perhaps it is good thing that “Investigating yet another atrocity” has not resulted in deadening desensitisation.
That being said, this piece could be usefully juxtaposed with the topic discussed by Matthew Crawford yesterday in The sexual holy war is coming for you.

Last edited 11 months ago by N Satori
N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago

Then something shifted. Investigating yet another atrocity, over the past few years, I have been overwhelmed by anxiety and depression, unable to sleep. I now understand why some activists retire.

It seems Ms Bindel’s armour has cracked after years of bearing witness to and campaigning against human (especially male) depravity. Though I have resented her relentless anti-male stance, this piece shows that she clearly deserves sympathy. Perhaps it is good thing that “Investigating yet another atrocity” has not resulted in deadening desensitisation.
That being said, this piece could be usefully juxtaposed with the topic discussed by Matthew Crawford yesterday in The sexual holy war is coming for you.

Last edited 11 months ago by N Satori
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago

Will the author do a follow-up article on the suffering of falsely accused George Heron?

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
11 months ago

Will the author do a follow-up article on the suffering of falsely accused George Heron?

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
11 months ago

Justice was served?! Public execution may approach justice, perhaps.

Andrew Vavuris
Andrew Vavuris
11 months ago

Justice was served?! Public execution may approach justice, perhaps.

William Jackson
William Jackson
3 months ago

Julie, I am truly sorry for the abuse you have received at the hands of men. I trust you might feel the same for me, a man. Born of a rape, adopted into an abusive family, regular beatings, hours locked in a coal cellar, raped at the age of 11 by a maths teacher and more, I have lived a life damaged beyond repair by those early life experiences. There is no competition in suffering or in pain, yet not all victims of male aggression are female.

mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago

Most trauma victims suffer from others’ volition or accidents, warfare, natural disasters etc. Bindel is a rare case of seeking others trauma for herself, on top of her own trauma, in the noble cause of highlighting violence against women. I disagree with her “genderised” characterisation of violence because most violence is man on man and there is no moral league table of beatings, rapes, murders etc based on who the victim is. That said i hope she gets the necessaryt reatment – see Van Der Kolk, RP Kluft, Van Der Hart, Nijenhuis & Steele amongst others. Its a long hard road and recovering trauma patients learn a lot about themselves along the way. Hopefully Julie will heal and learn more about herself in the process. Perhaps she will also learn that extractive and parasitic States will always turn a blind eye to and/or feed off violence, and they don’t care what age, gender or ethnicity the victims are

Last edited 11 months ago by mike otter
mike otter
mike otter
11 months ago

Most trauma victims suffer from others’ volition or accidents, warfare, natural disasters etc. Bindel is a rare case of seeking others trauma for herself, on top of her own trauma, in the noble cause of highlighting violence against women. I disagree with her “genderised” characterisation of violence because most violence is man on man and there is no moral league table of beatings, rapes, murders etc based on who the victim is. That said i hope she gets the necessaryt reatment – see Van Der Kolk, RP Kluft, Van Der Hart, Nijenhuis & Steele amongst others. Its a long hard road and recovering trauma patients learn a lot about themselves along the way. Hopefully Julie will heal and learn more about herself in the process. Perhaps she will also learn that extractive and parasitic States will always turn a blind eye to and/or feed off violence, and they don’t care what age, gender or ethnicity the victims are

Last edited 11 months ago by mike otter
Sonny Ramadhin
Sonny Ramadhin
11 months ago

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Last edited 11 months ago by Sonny Ramadhin
Sonny Ramadhin
Sonny Ramadhin
11 months ago

/

Last edited 11 months ago by Sonny Ramadhin
Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
11 months ago

One might characterize this as a ‘classic’ man hating feminist whine. Tragic what happened to the little girl of course but you get the feeling that Julie is actually happy that it gives her another chance to insinuate that all men are really the same — all are rapists in waiting if not already rapists. For some feminists what matters is hating men, not actually helping women.

If they did want to help women they would not say things like this:

” … the idea that the victims were “common prostitutes” and were therefore somehow complicit in their fate”
and:

“I see rape and domestic abuse routinely dismissed and minimised. Victims are dismissed, disbelieved, or blamed for their own predicaments.”

That’s because when you trivialize the charge of ‘rape’ and ‘sexual assault’ to include a bad date or a punter taking what he paid for even after the w***e decided she was upping her price, it is unavoidable that the charge of rape becomes diluted to the point of triviality. Yes, what you want is to criminalize more men, but in the end you hurt more women.

If feminists really want to help women they will understand that real men are as opposed to sexual violence as any feminist. They will also teach girls to ‘behave properly’. Yes. Imagine that! Your little black dress might very well get you in trouble notwithstanding that you ‘didn’t say yes’. We patriarchs would say it’s better if the rape doesn’t happen in the first place rather than the feminist notion that whatever bags another man for jail must be good.

Last edited 11 months ago by Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
11 months ago

One might characterize this as a ‘classic’ man hating feminist whine. Tragic what happened to the little girl of course but you get the feeling that Julie is actually happy that it gives her another chance to insinuate that all men are really the same — all are rapists in waiting if not already rapists. For some feminists what matters is hating men, not actually helping women.

If they did want to help women they would not say things like this:

” … the idea that the victims were “common prostitutes” and were therefore somehow complicit in their fate”
and:

“I see rape and domestic abuse routinely dismissed and minimised. Victims are dismissed, disbelieved, or blamed for their own predicaments.”

That’s because when you trivialize the charge of ‘rape’ and ‘sexual assault’ to include a bad date or a punter taking what he paid for even after the w***e decided she was upping her price, it is unavoidable that the charge of rape becomes diluted to the point of triviality. Yes, what you want is to criminalize more men, but in the end you hurt more women.

If feminists really want to help women they will understand that real men are as opposed to sexual violence as any feminist. They will also teach girls to ‘behave properly’. Yes. Imagine that! Your little black dress might very well get you in trouble notwithstanding that you ‘didn’t say yes’. We patriarchs would say it’s better if the rape doesn’t happen in the first place rather than the feminist notion that whatever bags another man for jail must be good.

Last edited 11 months ago by Ray Andrews
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago

I trust Julie Bindel will be donating the proceeds from this article and the podcast to the living person who has suffered the most, the mother. Otherwise it would seem like exploitation. To me it seems highly inappropriate attaching her personal experiences to such a horrendous crime.

Jeff Roberts
Jeff Roberts
11 months ago

You’re kidding, right? Here is a person describing how hellish incidents have caused suffering for her and other people. Why shouldn’t she write this? Isn’t she allowed to feel pain, and to tell others about it?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

You are NOT alone in thinking that.

Jeff Roberts
Jeff Roberts
11 months ago

You’re kidding, right? Here is a person describing how hellish incidents have caused suffering for her and other people. Why shouldn’t she write this? Isn’t she allowed to feel pain, and to tell others about it?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

You are NOT alone in thinking that.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
11 months ago

I trust Julie Bindel will be donating the proceeds from this article and the podcast to the living person who has suffered the most, the mother. Otherwise it would seem like exploitation. To me it seems highly inappropriate attaching her personal experiences to such a horrendous crime.