The Strange Ways in Which Myra Hindley Resembled Marilyn Monroe. (Columns)

By Odone, Cristina | New Statesman (1996), November 25, 2002 | Go to article overview

The Strange Ways in Which Myra Hindley Resembled Marilyn Monroe. (Columns)


Odone, Cristina, New Statesman (1996)


Myra Hindley, murderer: born Manchester, 23 July 1942; died Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, 15 November 2002. The obituaries poured forth, trying to convey the significance of the years in between that birth and death. Perhaps the most arresting line emerged from Terence Morris in the Independent: Myra's photograph as a brassy, befringed blonde, staring glassy-eyed into space, was "as instantly recognisable as the shot of Marilyn Monroe over the airduct".

The Marilyn comparison is apt. Both women were part of a mythology that generated not so much reverence and awe as fanatical obsession -- hero-worshipping Marilyn, demonising Myra. It was a fixation shared by the lowest common denominator in society -- a mob curiosity that took up, and then destroyed, both women. Every detail of their lives -- what they wore and read, whom they slept with and whom they talked to -- absorbed their followers: it was as if in these details lay the clues to their extraordinary selves. Clues that were avidly picked over: for both women's lives provided cautionary tales. Heed the warnings, lest you follow in their footsteps and allow a warped dream machine such as Hollywood or a sinister Svengali-like fan Brady to take over your life and corrupt your soul. …

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