Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The crime I committed has coloured my life, twisted and reformed my personality, my spirituality and my daily actions. It is a thread that runs through everything.
And I have always felt helpless in the face of it. It is irrevocable. There is nothing that I can ever do to change it. All of my adult life I have kept returning to the question of whether I even deserve to live - and I have no answer. All I know is, dying would seem to be as useless a response as any other, it would alter nothing.
The best I can ever do is to accept, without flinching, the enormous size of what I did. In a world teeming with death, of wars and plagues in far away, we risk becoming shielded from the reality that is human life. It is the most singular, the most precious of things, and because of me then the sum of humanity is lessened.
This isn't to say that there is nothing that I can do, only that there is nothing in my power to lessen the loss and pain to my victim’s family. I can learn from what I did. And I spent countless years and immeasurable effort dissecting myself and repairing the flaws in me that saw me lash out so selfishly.
Emotionally and intellectually, I am wedded to non-violence and it has been the focus of my efforts for change - in myself and in my situation - for many years. Not to cause any more harm seems the very least that I should aspire to.


  1. I hear you brother, now listen to your sisters (it is international working women's day today, 8th March).

    You are showing fantastic remorse brother, and that counts for a great deal, but you are clinging on to a superficial solution i.e non violence.

    Of course I am not advocating violence in the least but you have to contextualize this obsession of yours as a reaction to your crime and not a solution. Clinging on to a idea is in the realms of the head, the intellect and that will not solve your issues.

    As I have said before the solution lies in your heart, clean it of all negativity, face the bad things that have been done to you as well as what you did to others, and forgive those who caused you to feel those emotions that got out of control, the anger, the hatred.

    It might be all rolled into one, and that will make it hard and take time, but have faith, you are a talented and brave man, good luck to you.

    All the best and I hope things will work out.

  2. And I forgot to say that you must forgive yourself too x

  3. And to add to that had you been born a female Ben you would have been released years ago and no doubt the crime would have been someone else’s fault. Horraah for international working women's day.

    Is there day for international working men??

    Just joshing with you folks, I know of course there isn't.

  4. Thats a really helpful comment anonymous.

    There are plenty of working men's clubs around the country.

    Nothing wrong with a day to celebrate the role that women have played in fighting to change the world and for all the hard work they do.

    Especially as its even been a struggle to get international womens day recognised and maintained, it is the centenary this year.

    As for the criminal justice system, well that is mainly a load of pants and a system where there is strict division between men and women.

    If women and men fight and turn on one another then it leaves the CJS free to carry on as it is.

    We do need to be united as women and men, and see the beauty and strength in one another as fellow workers and fellow progressives and fellow human beings.

  5. Well as long as you are happy to promote one gender over another I'm sure we'll do fine.

    You say "There are plenty of working men's clubs around the country" for comparison.

    Is there an International working men's clubs day?

    Be interesting don't you think to acknowledge all the hard work they do?

  6. Of course I do, and your first comment I must say is very snide and totally off topic, I am in no way promoting one gender over another, get over yourself. I said: We do need to be united as women and men, and see the beauty and strength in one another as fellow workers and fellow progressives and fellow human beings.

  7. "I hear you brother, now listen to your sisters (it is international working women's day today, 8th March)."

    I find your vey first comment extremely snide and off topic.

  8. I doubt anything you have said so far adds to the post, in fact it seems to me that yet again you use this guy's blog to further your "feminist" agenda.

  9. You are saying nothing, jack, you are just trying to wind me up thats all.

  10. Have you got anything decent to say?

  11. international working men's day coming soon, sometime whenever, in the next century.

  12. Hopefully someday we will all be free.

  13. Free from stupid twats who think they've been hard done by and consider themselves victims when in reality they look continually for someone else to blame for their own incompetence.

  14. Oh dear, whats the matter with you now?

  15. Nothing, as usual I'm trying to push my ideology onto others and it's failing.

  16. Get off of my profile fraudster.

  17. I fail to see how any of this is even remotely relevant to Ben's post; where is your sensitivity to his subject matter? There must be more appropriate forums for this 'discussion' surely.

  18. Anonymous hacked into my profile. Now that is a clear privacy breach.

  19. Sophie, I don't think Anonymous haked your profile (there's no avatar on his fake post), I think he just posed as you by putting your name in the name field in the comments.

    Anonymous, are you Jimmy Giro?

    Whoever you are, you are are presenting the same old tired cliches we always get from a minority of bigoted people (male and female) on International Women's Day, it's nothing original and debating it is pointless. You are ignorant and dull. Now, can we get back on topic?

    By the way though, International Men's Day is Nov 19th.

  20. I think it is JimmyGiro too, and if you click on the entry with my name without the avatar, it goes to my profile. If he was using my name in the anonymous field, that is one thing, but using my profile is impersonation. It is a breach of blogger rules and an offence. This might be taken further and I would like prisonerben's advice about it.

  21. Soph, I think all he needed to do to achieve that was bung the link to your profile in the URL field. You will see that if you click on my name it takes you to my blog, I'm not signed in, it's just I always type in the URL. This time I put the link to your profile in instead to test out the theory.

    Basically, I don't think he's done anything you can complain to Blogger about, and even if he has and you do, what will you achieve? He's posting an Anonymous, so we can't even pin it on a particular person.

    This is the internet, all's fair in love and flame wars, however obnoxious and irritating we might find the person responsible.

  22. Sorry for interfering, but this is clearly a case of online identity theft and that is illegal and taken seriously, and generally speaking there would be a lot she could do about it.

    It does not matter that the person signed on as anonymous first, as Blogger and google analytics store the IP adress to each comment and with that you can track down the real person behind it.

    I was a victim of a severe form of online identity theft two years ago and I actually took it to court an won.

  23. Sophie J - You are out of order. You constantly peddle your sexist agenda. It's wrong to use Ben's blog for this purpose. I don't know who Anon is but I think he is just one of the many people who get sick to death of you going on. Just start your own blog and write your nonsense there - stop trying to hijack this one. Ben is making very serious comment here - it doesn't need to be trivialised or diverted by your sad agenda.

  24. Lol....Sophie J, you make great contributions on this blog, the anon in question is always on your case, just ignore him friend. People with nothing to contribute should be.

    I have found this series of personal blogs from Ben truly honest,poignant and guilt ridden. Power to him for being so open

  25. Impersonating is wrong and a breach of blogger rules, there are proceedures in place against this.

    What a sore loser this person is, and make your mind up, is it sexist or feminist, either way, I am free to say what I like providing it follows the threads more or less and does not peddle hate.

    You should find out the meaning of 'hijacking' before you accuse people with whose views you disagree and you are unable to argue with of.

    If you think ( which I do and have contributed on a level with him here) that Ben's posts are serious then lets here what you have got to say about it.

    Don't focus on me, because no matter how irritating you might find my contributions you cannot shut anyone up just because you disagree them.

    And by focusing on me like you have, you have undermined Ben and this very serious post.

    Having read blogger rules, there is a breach here and I would like some advice before it goes further.

  26. The same happened to me once and I was trying to help you but my comment here got deleted by the blog owner seconds after it appeared ( I assume that was because I used the word "illegal", but that referred to the identity theft and not to anything else on this blog!), and I can't find any way to contact you on your profil page .....(?)

  27. If you are referring to me here, you can contact me through google friend connect by becoming a follower of the blog, which I am, or you could ask me for an email address for you to contact me on.

  28. Thanks for the message Anonymous @ 10.27am, appreciated.

  29. @Wigarse Glad to here there is actually an international mens day hopefully soon they'll be a race for life for men that fouses on men's issues to the same degree the media does women.

  30. Anonymous @ 10.07,

    Your comment wasn't deleted - there is no moderation whatsoever at Ben's express request - but Blogger's pretty ropey spam filter often catches valid contributions and I need to go in every so often and manually publish them (something I often forget to do). I've done that now, so your comment should appear shortly.


    You're unlikely to get any advice from the Blog Ed that's different to what I've said. If you are determined to make a complaint to Blogger go ahead, but I strongly suspect they'll fob you off with some boiler plate about how they can't do anything. I don't necessarily defend that, but it's life. Ultimately, this wasn't a serious case of identity theft, it was a silly stunt and Blogger will most likely treat it as such.

    Anonymous @ 11.00,

    I tell you what, how about men and women have an amount of press coverage that is proportional to the relative scale of their respective difficulties obtaining equality? I think you might find the amount of coverage devoted to problems facing women the world over would actually go up.


    As for what we debate in the comments, Ben doesn't want them moderated, so if we sometimes go off topic and discuss things slightly tangential to the post at the top, well tough!

    This is a serious and important post of Ben's, but that doesn't mean we can't aslo touch on other serious and important topics down here.

  31. I find most of the comments above amusingly self serving - no idea what on earth gender has to do with it!

    Anyway...I won't patronise you nor offer empty platitudes of congratulatory comments for what you stand by. That's because I have no scope of reference, having never lost anyone as the victims of your crime did, nor lost so much in my life as you did in order to give such comments a worthwhile context.

    Having met you and sat through what was a very honest and emotional talk at the FACT conference, I can say that the sincerity in your resolve is utterly unquestionable. And I won't afford anyone else credit for any "rehabilitation" (if that is the right word) than you. The energy you put into fighting for the rights of victims and of prisoners in equal measure, with intellect, and a grounding humour is what I will commend and applaud, and invite others to share in.

    I don't wish to open into any debate on forgiveness or forgiving oneself, but what we should all reflect on is your courage - a courage to acknowledge what happened, to recognise what you can DO to move forwards in life.

    I think what many people fail to appreciate is that at the core of all of this lies "truth", and your honesty has always been what DOES, howsoever people may dislike like it, afford you the right to be heard with equal voice as anyone else. Even when temptation drove you close to depths of dishonesty (for which you admitted in front of the hardest of all audiences), it was ironically driven by those who are supposed to uphold the laws of the land that so were so wrongly abused to rob you of many years of the freedom with you now have back: overdue, but unquestionably deserved.

    The only "harm" you appear to now inflict is your boldness to question people who are less willing to consider the truth, especially when that truth is harder to take!


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