Why Daniel Bartlam did it: explaining matricide with God, the Devil and John Snape
DANIEL Bartlam the Nottingham boy who murdered his mother, Jacqueline Bartlam at 14, is the Daily Mirror’s “DEVIL CHILD”. No. He isn’t. He’s the teenager who lived in a fantasy world and murdered his mother in cold blood while she was sleeping with this then 6-year-old younger brother. Daniel Bartlam did not murder his young brother but took him outside into the street. He then doused his mother in petrol and set the family home on fire. At no point in the court case against him was religion mentioned.
The Mirror said he watched and played:
Violent video games and films, including The Amityville Horror and Final Destination – suitable only for people aged over 18 – were also found [in his room].
Which games are not mentioned. The two films are both certificate 15. In the race to create a video nasty story, the Mirror did no fact checking.
At Nottingham Crown Court Judge Mr Justice Flaux told Daniel Bartlam:
“This was a grotesque and senseless killing, made all the more shocking because at the time you were only just 14. What your motive really was remains unclear.”
The Mirror says he is “evil”. The Mirror says he needs no motive.
“It seems that you wanted to see if you could get away with the perfect murder. You acted out the script you had been writing on your computer in the preceding weeks. The devising of this plan is borne out by internet sites you had been looking at, many of them concerned with murder and people who get away with murder. You viewed Trial and Retribution series X: The Sins of the Fathers and the murder committed with a hammer by John Stape, a character in Coronation Street.”
The Sun sees that summing up and leads with:
“CORRIE COPYCAT, 14, MURDERED MUM WITH HAMMER”
The Telegraph calls him the “soap opera copycat killer”.
The Daily Express goes fruther:
“BOY, 14, OBSESSED WITH CORONATION STREET KILLER, MURDERS HIS MUM IN COPYCAT ATTACK”
So. According to the tabloids, the “evil” DEVIL BOY” did it because of a Coronation Street plot, a plot in which there was no fire and in which the killer, John Snape, first tries to call an ambulance to save his victim, who has been stalking him and tried to hurt him with a hammer. There is then a huge crash – a tram has fallen onto the cobbled streets of a fictional opera opera. Snape puts the phone down and places the cead woman, one Charlotte Hoyle, into the wreckage.
It might be that the killer, Daniel Bartlam, is not the only one who cannot separate fact from fiction.
Jacqueline Bartlam’s former partner Simon Matters tells the Mirror “how Daniel Bartlam’s obsession with violent games and videos may have driven him to murder his mother”.
So. Not Corrie, then. Maybe.
45-year-old Mr Matters said the thug became addicted to disturbing websites with X-rated content.
Thug? From calling him the “DEVIL” Daniel Bartlam has been downgraded to thug. Why can’t the Mirror just tell it like it is: murderer.
Says Mr Matters:
“As soon as I found out Jacqui had been killed I knew instantly Daniel had done it… The warning signs have been there since he was 11…What he watched beggars belief. He viewed pornographic, incest and rape websites. He even looked up a site called ‘how to chloroform my little sister’. He was watching 18-rated DVDs and buying 18-rated videogames from pawn shops. How can a 13-year-old boy be allowed to buy these games? He was viewing this material from the age of 11. I saw stories he wrote at the age of 12 about killing people.
“I told Jacqui what he was doing, I told her what he was accessing, I warned her. But he is not my son so I could not discipline him.
“I don’t believe you’re born evil. He had good parents, good role models…He lived in a fantasy world. When he was arrested he made up another sister to the police.”
Daniel Bartlam is a child who muderered his mother. Calling him the Corrie Killer or Devil Boy gives his crime an explanations. Bug the Judge says the case did not prove why he did it. But the tabloids know. It’s all about God and Coronation Street. Perhaps both should be banned…?