That’s the Yahoo news headline, click through and read the full story. I just had to share this with you because in Being Richard this is exactly what the immortal Sunbeerka does at the beginning of the novel; he hunts around a graveyard searching for a suitable new identity. It has to be a dead child so that they would both be the same age now.
“I turned back to my task and spotted Richard Ridley; wondered if he was a good enough contender for my attention. Born in 1979 he’d died three months later, much loved and missed by his devoted parents; who could only afford stone and not tough granite. I crouched to read the inscription. Lichen painted it green and although he was age appropriate I didn’t feel like sharing my life with someone that sad. It felt sad. He felt sad. Not that I was sad, that was an emotion I had long since learnt to set aside. No, the boy had no history, no love, no… I sighed and jotted down his details. He was perfect.”
The article says, “Over three decades generations of officers went through national birth and death records in search of suitable matches, the newspaper said. The creation of aliases resulted in officers being issued with official documents such as driving licences and national insurance numbers.”
This is how Sunbeerka has kept under the official radar for years, decades, centuries; by taking on the identity of someone young who has passed away. In today’s modern society this new identity helps provide Sunbeerka with all of the official documents required to survive unnoticed so that he can continue with his quiet existence.
The article says, “Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, which will hear evidence about undercover policing on Tuesday, said he was shocked at the “gruesome” practice. He told The Guardian: “It will only cause enormous distress to families who will discover what has happened concerning the identities of their dead children.”
This is precisely the scenario that Sunbeerka comes up against when he is forced into taking on the identity of Richard Ridley. Family. A family who have a vested interest in whether Richard Ridley is dead or alive. Family’s have history, and the more Sunbeerka digs, the more tragic Richard Ridley’s short life appears to have been.
Sunbeerka never feels that taking on Richard’s identity is safe, and with this news report today I just wonder how many of those police officers also felt uncomfortable with their new identities.
It appears that in fiction there is an element of truth.
Read the whole news report Police ‘used dead children’s ID’
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