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Knowing

Some people like to keep a secret for the sake of it, they like the fact other people don’t know; they like to be exclusive, part of the in-crowd, in on the joke. As the saying goes, ‘better to be in the tent peeing out than outside the tent peeing in’; However some people take this to extremes, deliberately withholding information simply so they can have a sense they know things others don’t, hoarding information like trinkets. Extreme cases might even enjoy the ignorance of others, delighting in the fact they know something they don’t, especially if it’s something others would dearly like to know but don't.


A psychiatrist could inform more on the ‘hide and seek’ mentality, but suffice to say some people greatly enjoy keeping secrets from others and extreme types will seek out people who don’t know something in order to savour the fact they don’t, excited by being ‘in the know’ while unwitting participants in their schemes are none the wiser.


Sometimes it might not matter at all, you simply like sharing a secret with someone; for instance if you develop a relationship with someone but both decide not to tell anyone yet, despite that you were both single and there’s really no reason not to. The excitement that you both have something together that no one else knows about, in a similar vein to school kids with a secret hideout or handshake; benign, commonplace and nothing to worry about.


On January 6 2007 Channon Gail Christian, aged 21, and Hugh Christopher Newsom Jr, aged 23,, both from Knoxville, Tennessee, were kidnapped when Christian’s vehicle was carjacked in Christian’s friend’s apartment complex parking lot. The couple were taken to a rental house where they were both raped, tortured and murdered in a particularly gruesome manner. Newsom was killed within a few hours of the abduction and his body set on fire. Christian is believed to have been held captive in the small house for in East Knoxville for another 24 hours, during which she was repeatedly assaulted before being wrapped in garbage bags and left to slowly suffocate to death. Four males and one female were arrested, charged, and convicted in the case.


A journal was recovered after the arrests of the perpetrators. An entry from January 9 read:


‘Last night was one of a kind. We stayed w/a crackhead that is cool as hell. It snowed a lil bit but it's already melted. Let's talk about adventures! I had one HELL OF AN ADVENTURE since I've been in the big T.N. [I]t's a crazy world these days! But I love the fun adventures [and] lessons that I've learned. It[']s going to be a long interesting year!’


It was confirmed that the handwriting in the entry matched that of a suspect in the case, Vanessa Coleman. At the time of the entry she and her acquaintances had just brutally murdered a couple in a terrible way, a secret that didn’t make it into the journal.


In another case, Darren Vickers, a married man with two children, abducted, sexually assaulted and killed eight-year-old schoolboy Jamie Lavis, from Openshaw, Greater Manchester, who he groomed and then snatched after he boarded the bus he was driving in May 1997. In the days after Jamie disappeared, Vickers wormed his way into his parents’ lives, claiming to be haunted by the knowledge he was potentially the last person to see him alive. Vickers even fronted media appeals for the devastated family, including going on TV to speak about the disappearance. He also took part in searches for the boy and then moved in with Mr and Mrs Lavis, sleeping in their bed, with the couple offering to move onto the settee to accommodate him.


This meant that the man who had tricked Jamie into staying on his bus all day, before sexually assaulting and murdering him, could revel in the secret of his crime for months – while staying updated on the police investigation. Detectives became suspicious of Vickers because his persistent involvement in the family was ‘bordering on the obsessive’, to the point that he lost his job and neglected his own family. Jamie’s remains were found in the woods five months after he went missing. By the time he was arrested for Jamie’s murder in October 1997, Vickers had made repeated appeals for help in tracing the child.

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