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Priest begs mass murderer doctor to confess his crimes

A British parish priest wants to meet mass murderer Dr Harold Shipman in a bid to ease the pain of the town of Hyde.

The 62 year old parish priest, Fr Denis Maher, said last month that the town is "torn apart with grief and uncertainty". A prison meeting with Shipman might "ease the mental suffering of his parishioners", he believes.

Fr Maher said that though Shipman was behind bars for the horrific crimes he had committed, the serial killer still holds the town to ransom "in the grip of his evil hands" because of his continual refusal to speak. But he hopes Shipman will speak with him.

He said he wants Shipman to look him in the eye, "with God as their witness", and reveal to him the full extent of his crimes.

"It will not restore life to those he murdered, but it would help ease the horrific pain people in the town are going through not knowing," he said. "He has absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by revealing all. Surely he's capable of performing one act of decency?"

"His victims are not just those he murdered, but many family members and loved ones who may be mentally scarred for life and may never come to terms with what's happened," he said. "Dr Shipman not only shamelessly killed many of the townsfolk here, he murdered the entire town, even to the extent of squashing its identity."

Fr Maher said a friend was attempting to organise the meeting and he hoped Shipman and the Home Office would agree to it.

"He is the one and only person who can help people now by owning up to what he did and by taking some responsibility for his actions.

"I neither seek to harass the man, cause him suffering, or to judge him; but to ease the mental suffering my parishioners and other people in the town are enduring," he said. "There's already been too much suffering. The people of Hyde don't deserve this horrific psychological torture and emotional pain to which he's subjecting them, added the priest.

A town scarred by Shipman (BBC)
Admit slaughter, says local priest (CNN)
Dr Harold Shipman (Manchester Evening News Murder Trial Website)
Shipman could have been 'addicted to killing' (Yahoo 19/7/02)
Relatives call for Shipman confession (BBC 6/1/01)

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29 Aug 2002