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Last Updated: Friday, 26 August 2005, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Shipman's despair revealed in jail diary
Harold Shipman
Shipman was convicted of 15 murders in January 2000
A prison diary kept by serial killer Harold Shipman suggests he had considered suicide for years.

Although Shipman had copyrighted the diary in an attempt to stop its publication, the extracts below were released as part of a report into how he was able to hang himself in January 2004.

13 JANUARY 2001

So depressed. If [illegible] says no then that is it. There is no possible way I can carry on, it would be a kindness to...

14 JANUARY 2001

[My wife] and the kids have to go on without me when it is the right time. Got to keep the fašade intact for the time being.

27 MARCH 2001

...I'm looking at dying, the only question is when and can I hide it from everyone?

13 APRIL 2001

If I was dead they'd stop being in limbo and get on with their life perhaps. I'll think a bit more about it. I'm desperate, no-one to talk about it who I can trust. Everyone will talk to the PO's [prison officers] then I'll be watched 24hrs a day and I don't want that.

26 JUNE 2001

...As near suicide as can be, know how and when just not yet.

14 JANUARY 2002

56 today, cards from everyone - very very sad day, not what life is about at all. Not very good, it must be dreadful for her.

31 JULY 2002

[Wife] - chat, no notes sent in yet. She's getting no money off the DHSS, supported by the kids. What a terrible set up. How is she coping?

17 OCTOBER 2002

No money. [Wife] not able to get DHSS to see the poverty she is in. Only the kids who have been absolutely brilliant - the pension appeal.

07 JANUARY 2003

A new year, a visit from [wife]. Still no money off DHSS ... If this year doesn't get anywhere I know it is not worth the effort. I have to lock down this overwhelming emotion or else I'd be on a suicide watch or drugs.




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