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DAILY POST COMMENT: Suicide was too easy an escape for Shipman.

IT is very much to be regretted that Harold Shipman has evaded his captors and escaped justice by taking his own abhorrent and contemptible life.

The relatives of his victims did not have much to comfort them barring the thought that,just possibly,he would experience over the years some of the loss and suffering he had inflicted upon them.

Others too might have hoped that he would ultimately bring the truth to bear on the deaths of their own loved ones,and not leave them forever with the agony of uncertainty.

But, true toform, this cowardly and arrogant human aberration took the line of least resistance. Not for him the opportunity to atone, to meditate on the enormity of his crimes or show compassion.

A control freak -and we use that word advisedly -he alone reserved the right to decide his destiny,just as he had coldly steered so many hundreds of others trustingly and unknowingly to their untimely deaths.

The prison service is hardly to be blamed in this case. At some stage a man like Shipman -short of being permanently chained to a wall or strait- jacketed as perhaps he ought to have been -was bound to find a way out.

But then our society is -or at least aspires towards being -humane: the last word that could be used to describe such a monstrously deviant personality.

For,not only did he deprive so many innocent people of their lives,he was an orphan-maker and a widow-maker too. The extent of gratuitous sorrow and pain which he brought to the world has scarcely been equal led in this country outside war.

The fact that he was a doctor not only gave him the means to invert his calling but made his chilling and premeditated abuse of his skills and position all the more horrifying.

Now this man, who was addicted to killing,has killed himself,and, since he is gone,good riddance.

It was a tragedy that he was ever born. We hope never to see his like again.
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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 14, 2004
Words:342
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