Up to No Good


Write a creative piece (it could be fiction, non-fiction or poetry) about the material you found in your research during the visit at the Bishopgate Institute. 




24th January 1989. 7 am.

The lights of the prison fade slowly.

Burn, Ted, Burn.

Burn in Hell, Ted Bundy.

I smirk slightly and finish my beer.

They took even you, old boy.

I have to admit that I had almost started to like Ted. Who wouldn’t like him? That was part of the secret of his success. He was handsome and intelligent. He spoke with a light British accent, and everyone knows what a British accent can make to naive, tender American girls.

The old guy next to me shrieks and raises his beer. May he burn in hell, bloody motherfucker!

He’s an old man. His wrinkly face gets redder everytime he cries. He’s drunk, like almost everyone in the room. Except from me. I am the one who observes.

There is a group of well-dressed business men who are discussing about a project. Two girls drinking a glass of wine and showing each other the new clothes they bought at Spitalfields market. But as soon as the BBC news announced Ted Bundy’s death, everyone just stared at the TV.

The pig is dead.

He was the worst serial killer ever.

That was soooo scary.

I smirk again, and look at the old Victorian wall tiles. They have remained untouched for too many years. These people probably don’t even know it. But I, I remember them. The blue and white floral pattern. That old, horrible mural on the Northern wall. I remember them well. You can bet that I do.




They were my pick up line. Have you notice how uglily this pub is decorated, darling?

That was the perfect conversation starter. There was no trick, my dear Ted Bundy. I didn’t need to fool girls. No casted arm. No broken car right behind the corner. I used a better strategy: girls have always loved to express their contempt for, well, almost everything.

They started filling their mouths with stuff about how awful those old painted tiles were. How badly dressed the couple depicted was. How old fashion and stupid that picture seemed now that Spitalfields was poor and there were murderings and stabbings and robbings and police didn’t really care about it.

The conversation would start like that. It would end with a terrible shriek.

Ultimately, with a flow a blood coming up their throats.

The dark, warm spurt was almost invisible on my black cloak.

I carefully listen to people talking about old Teddy. It is so easy to feel like detectives when such a skilled serial killer gets caught. Well, guess what, people, he killed at least thirty women before being caught. One of those women could have been your daughter. He tricked them, seduced them, and eventually murdered them. He did a good job.

He made silly mistakes, like choosing normal people instead of desperate, hungry prostitutes. But he did good. He changed the places were to kill in order not to be hunted by the same police forces.

But that was an old trick, boy. In London, you just had to cross the street. In the East End the police was investigating a terrible murder. In the City, you could go on and kill a lady without anyone noticing that the two cases could be related. You’re not the first to take advantage of two stupid different police forces who don’t communicate to each other.

I have to admit that your playing field was not the same as mine, though. If a girl was murdered, the police wouldn’t just say oh well, that’s another Whitechapel.




And I’m sure none of the cities where you picked up your ladies were called murderland or plague spot. I guess being a serial killer in the East End at the end of XIX century was easier. That’s what I can give you, Teddy.

But that does not change the fact that I won. Again.

I was the unveiled, the never discovered, the never taken.

The Ten Bells changed its name just last year, because some damn activists didn’t think it was nice to entitle a pub with the name of a women-murderer.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that there are so many other things to complain about or to fight for, but you know feminists. They all choose the worst details to fight for their cause.

The Ten Bells is not famous only for its Victorian decoration, the old, blue and white floreal pattern of the worn out tiles. People go there also because of me.

Acting students organize tours of the East End and talk about me to easily excitable tourists. They show pictures of the East End when I lived there They speculate about my identity and watch the places where I could have hidden, those same places were women implored not to be killed right before I would slit their throats.

I know that you have a lot of fans, Teddy. I know people think you’re smart and cunning and actually, I have to admit you are.

But I don’t know if anyone made up any better description of you than they did it for me.

A black cloaked figure, a top hat and a sharp knife.

The never taken serial killer.

A British man walking slowly in an alley, up to no good.




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