Clocks Go Back

What you are about to read are partial excerpts from witness statements recorded on 31st October 2004. It was Hallowe’en and the official end of British Summer Time (BST).

TRANSCRIPT 1: Witness 1. Mr James ‘Jim’ Anderson. Age: 72. MR ANDERSON [tape recording]: Of course I’d heard of the BST Killer, or the BSTard Killer as I call him.

Nobody in this city hasn’t. Every year for the last, what, six or seven years, 11 murders on the night the clocks go forward and 13 murders the night the clocks go back. One extra hour for killing in the winter, that’s what they said. During the winter killing, people said he dressed up as a werewolf, a ghoul or whatever. But nobody knew for sure. Never any proper witnesses. He always picked on people who lived alone. Those with nobody to look out for them. And in between? Nothing on the news, nothing in the papers, nothing on the wireless. Nothing from the police. It was as if people wanted to pretend those things didn’t happen. Or just accepted them.

INTERVIEWER: And how did that make you feel?

MR ANDERSON: Vulnerable, I suppose. Uneasy.

TRANSCRIPT 2: Witness 1. Mr James ‘Jim’ Anderson. Age: 72.

MR ANDERSON [tape recording]: When I woke, I didn’t open my eyes at first. I turned in the bed and my radio alarm clock said the time had just gone 1am. I got out of bed, shuffled on my dressing gown and went down the stairs. The second stair from the bottom creaked under my weight, like it always does.

I went into the kitchen, turned on the lights and switched on the kettle. While I was waiting for the kettle to boil I went for a pee in the downstairs toilet. I washed and dried my hands and went back into the kitchen and by that time the kettle was rumbling nicely. As I was making the tea I became aware of a scraping, sliding noise. I turned with the cup in my hand and saw the figure of man, a big man, in a costume with a pumpkin head – a Jack O’Lantern – climbing head first through the open window. I suppose I just froze and stood staring. He said: ‘Happy Hallowe’en old timer.’

He stood up tall, very tall, maybe 6ft 4 and he was wearing what looked like scarecrow’s clothes. I tried to go for the door but I tripped on my granddaughter’s broomstick. Then he was on top of me, just raining down blows and I couldn’t stop him. When I came to, I was tied to a chair in the kitchen. He didn’t say anything. He sat in a chair opposite drinking coffee I think – it smelled like coffee – from a flask. I asked him what he wanted but I knew. And he knew I knew. He got up and walked towards me and took a hammer from his back pocket. He raised it high in the air and just before I closed my eyes and everything went black I looked at the clock and it was 1.59am…

…When I woke, I didn’t open my eyes at first. I turned in the bed and my radio alarm clock said the time had just gone 1am. I got out of bed, shuffled on my dressing gown and went down the stairs. The second stair from the bottom creaked under my weight, like it always does.

I went into the kitchen, turned on the lights and switched on the kettle. Instead of going for a pee I went to the top kitchen drawer and got out the biggest knife I could find and waited. A few minutes later I became aware of a scraping, sliding noise. I turned with the knife held behind my back and saw the figure of man, a big man, in a costume with a pumpkin head – a Jack O’Lantern – climbing head first through the open window. He said: ‘Happy Hallowe’en old timer.’

I can’t remember exactly what I said, it was either ‘Knife to see you, Jack’ or ‘Hello pumpkin! It’s carving time!’ – which…which do you think sounds best?

INTERVIEWER: I like “It’s carving time”.

MR ANDERSON: Let’s go with that then. So then I strode over and buried the blade of that knife in the stupid son of bitch’s face, right up to the handle, before he could get any further.

The end.

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