Around the turn of the millennium, when the internet was only just starting to catch on in Australia and telephone messages were still being taken down by hand, I arrived at my office one morning to find a note waiting on the desk. It simply read, ‘Albert Murray hanged himself yesterday.’
I recall later pinning that piece of paper up on the wall, like it was some sort of trophy. Though I had never even seen Albert Murray (not his real name) I knew enough about him to be convinced that his fate was a fitting one. What I knew of the deceased I learned through his victim, or at least one of them. Back then my job was to investigate complaints of sexual and physical abuse. And among all the stories of desperation and depravity I heard during that time, the tale of Murray’s transgressions came as close as any to freezing my bones.
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