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Thursday, 18 October, 2001, 01:54 GMT 02:54 UK
US publisher defends Brady book
Ian Brady in police car
Ian Brady: writing from personal experience
By the BBC's Peter Gould

Ian Brady's book, "The Gates of Janus", is being published by an American company, Feral House.

Regardless of whether copies eventually go on sale in British stores, the book is already available for purchase on the internet. The company is expecting to sell several thousand copies.

I have already received a lot of hate mail

Adam Parfrey

The subject is serial killing. Although Brady does not talk about his own crimes, the family of one of his victims, John Kilbride, are calling for a boycott of the book.

Here, the US publisher, Adam Parfrey, explains why he decided to publish in the face of such objections. He argues that for him, it was not simply a commercial decision:

Clinical examination

"It was the British tabloid press that got me interested in Ian Brady. I started wondering how this guy provoked forty years of continual, obsessive coverage that uses the kind of language reserved for enemies in holy wars.

Adam Parfrey
Adam Parfrey: "book is quite well written"
"There have been many criminals over the years who have killed children, and nearly all of them are forgotten. But not Ian Brady. Why?

"What is the best way to deal the horror of Ian Brady's crimes? By consuming tabloid exploitation? Or by examining the crimes more clinically and realistically?

"Perhaps this is too Jungian a remark, but one cannot come to grips with human behaviour and reduce its malevolent aspect simply by reacting to it, and acting out with further hate and aggression.


"I understand and appreciate the determination of some victims to prohibit this book from being sold, but I believe that limiting our ability to understand the thoughts and motives of criminals does not help us in any way whatsoever.

The Gates of Janus
Ian Brady's book has provoked anger
"It is Feral House's publishing niche to explore sociological extremes, as with my own book, Apocalypse Culture. And though we publish quite a few books that provoke discomfort, 'The Gates of Janus' qualifies as being one of the most difficult.

"I have already received a lot of hate mail. How could I publish such a book? How could I promote a child murderer?

"People misunderstand that publishing a book that sells a couple of thousand copies seriously analysing the behaviour of criminals is not the same as promoting it. The tabloids themselves that sell hundreds of thousands of copies featuring the most negligible stories of Ian Brady are the ones cynically profiting off his crimes.


"Rarely does a book reflect the essence of its author, but 'The Gates of Janus' does so astonishingly well. You'd have to say that the book was quite well written.

Ian Brady
The young Ian Brady
'The Gates of Janus' provides authorities as well as laymen with excellent criminal profiling in ways unexplored in books by forensic experts from the FBI.

"But I also believe that on some level Ian Brady plays games with the reader.

"But those games do not go unnoticed by me, in the Publisher's Note, by Colin Wilson in his introduction, and by Peter Sotos, in his Afterword.

"So you cannot say that Feral House promotes Brady's comments without question. We are being quite responsible in this regard."

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