The cold dead eyes stare back at you from the safety of your newspaper and you can “just tell” he was a killer. The column inches grow throughout the day after the guilty verdict and all the details previously held back accumulate to build up the picture of how he came to commit murder.

That he came from privilege and had a paid-for education and the fact that his mother continued to believe in him despite previous signs such as claims he bullied others at school and had been the defendant in two trials for other crimes are details poured over with our morning cuppa while we console ourselves that he is not like us. He must be an abhorrent, evil soulless brute who behaved without conscience as part of a sick fantasy played out in a TV-show-type cover-up.

We teach our daughters how to be safe, how to keep in touch, how to reassure us. For it is too horrific to imagine that a chance meeting, with a man too unfeeling to treat a woman like a human being, could take it all away in a matter of moments.

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