In Their Own Words 1
Welcome once again to In Their Own Words, where those who have been the victims of crime tell us how it felt to be involved in such an extraordinary situation. As always we have four stories for you today, but we start here in this quiet little street on the outskirts of Bristol. In one of these houses lives Angie, a twenty eight year old research worker at Bristol University, who one Saturday morning found herself with an unexpected guest...
I’d been out to buy some food at the local Sainsbury’s, and when I walked into the house everything seemed normal, quiet, exactly as I had left it. I carried the bags into the kitchen, put them on the table and started to unpack the food, putting things in the freezer, the fridge, the cupboards, as I always do.
As I put the last tin away, I heard the front doorbell ring. I honestly believed it was the Jehovah’s Witnesses - I had seen them walking down the street earlier - so I really didn’t want to answer it, but the doorbell kept ringing, so eventually I walked to the door, opened it and said “Yes?”
To my surprise, there was a young man standing there, looking quickly from side to side. Without a word, he pushed me back into the hallway and against the wall, placing his hand over my mouth as he produced a penknife and held the point to my throat.
He kicked the door closed behind himself, and then hissed “Is there anyone else home?” Well, I stared back at him, and just shook my head slightly from side to side. “Good,” he said as he looked back into my eyes, “Now, into the kitchen - move!”
Grabbing my arm, her pushed me back into the kitchen and towards the table, looking at me as he kept the knife in his hand. I have to say, I was scared shitless at what was happening, but I tried to stay calm as I stood there.
“All right,” he finally said, “put the kettle on and make us both a cup of tea. You’ve had a shock, and I’m sorry about that, but I’ll be out of your way very soon. I think we could both use the drink.”
Well, he was right about that, so I slowly walked to the sink and filled the kettle. As I did this, he walked round and watched me, pushing the knife block out of my reach. So much for that idea - and yes, it has occurred to me almost immediately.
“What do you want,” I said quietly as I looked at him. “If it’s money, I can get you some.”
“Nah - I just need to lay low for an hour or so. Just your dumb luck.” He watched as I made a pot of tea, poured milk into two cups and then the hot brown liquid, and carried them both over to the table.
“Sit down,” he said as he pulled one of the wooden chairs out and sat himself down, watching me as I sat on another and picked up a mug of tea. He picked up a second one, drank from it and said “Good brew,” before putting the cup back down again.
I was still wearing my brown leather bomber jacket over a grey vet top, a knee length blue denim skirt and tight knee length black leather boots as I sat there, looking at him as he looked at me. Eventually he said “I’m sorry if I frightened you, but I needed to get off the street for a while.”
“Fair enough,” I said quietly, “but did you fucking well have to threaten me with a knife?”
“It was all I had - and I’m glad I’ve got it,” he said as he stood up. “What’s your name?”
“All right, Angie, I need to make sure you can’t raise the alarm for a while. Do you have any rope in the house?”
“Rope - cord, washing line, anything like that.”
“I may have - why.”
“Get it for me and I’ll show you.”
Well, I had a sinking feeling I knew what was coming, but I stood up and walked over to the sink, taking out two new coils of white cotton line I’d bought to replace my washing lien outside. As I walked back, he pulled out a chair from the table and said “Sit down.”
“Do you mind if I take my jacket off?”
“If you want, but it may protect your wrists more.”
He had a point, but I was hot, so I took my jacket off and laid it on the table. “Sit down,” he said as he turned the chair round, “and put your arms behind the chair back.”
As I sat down, he cut open one of the skeins of rope and pulled a length out, cutting it free with his knife. Kneeling behind me, he crossed my arms behind the chair back and wrapped the rope round my wrists. I could feel it biting into my skin as he pulled it tightly, but I said nothing, biting my lip as he tied them tightly together and then secured the ends round the centre spar of the chair back. I tried pulling them away, but there was very little room to move them.
I watched him as he walked round, cutting another length of rope off, and pushed my legs together. As he pulled the rope around my ankles, I heard a strange squeaking sound, and it took me a few minutes to realise it was the rope rubbing against my leather boots as he tightened the cord around them.
It was a strange sensation, watching him as he wound the rope around and between my legs, the leather squeaking more as my legs were forced tighter together. Eventually he tied the ends off, tucking them into the loops, and cut another length off, this time wrapping it around my legs just below my knees. As I watched the rope sinking into my skin, I tried to see if there was any way I could reach the knot in the rope around my wrists, but he had placed it out of reach of my fingers. Whoever he was, he knew what he was doing.
As he passed the rope between my legs, the coils tightening around my skin, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry. He didn’t stop there however, as he shook the second skein of rope out, doubled it over and passed it around my arms and body, pulling me back into the chair as he tightened it just below my breasts.
As my breasts sagged over the band, I could feel him pulling it tighter behind me, and fixing it to the chair back. To my horror, he then passed it round my chest above my breasts, pulling it down to the first band behind me. “What the hell are you doing,” I said as I tried to pull forward, only for him to tug more tightly and pull me more firmly against the chair back.
I could feel him against my back as he fed the rope through the chair back, up and over my shoulder and back round my neck, then down the other shoulder and back through the chair. By the time he had finished, I was going nowhere, as I stamped my feet on the kitchen floor in frustration.
“Don’t do that,” he said with a smile as he opened a drawer and rummaged through the contents, “I’ve seen too many women fall over and hurt themselves that way.”
That made me stop and look at him. This guy had done this before? He was a thief?
I heard a ripping sound behind me, but before I could turn and see what was going on I saw his hands come over my head, my face been pulled back and something pulling at my skin as it was forced over my mouth. He walked in front of me, and I saw he had found a roll of black electrical tape my boyfriend had left from a job he did last week.
Rip, rip, and rip. Press, press, press, and my mouth was sealed tighter than a parcel. I stared at him as he took my handbag and tipped out the contents, grabbing my cards and money, before he waved at me and left the room.
Well, what did you think I would do? I screamed for all I was worth, and tried banging my feet on the floor again, but I wasn’t able to get any answer. All I know is I must have fallen asleep, for the next thing I knew was someone shaking my shoulder, pain as the tape over my mouth was pulled away, and my boyfriend looking at me, saying “Are you all right” as he stroked my sweat covered face.
Angie’s assailant was never caught.
For our next tale, we head for the city of Glasgow, and a more mature woman who had a shock when she walked into her bedroom one night. Margaret picks up the story.
I’d been on a night out with the girls, and it must have been after eleven when I let myself into my flat. Throwing my keys down on the table by the front door, I shut it behind me and slipped off my overcoat, hanging it up before walking down the dark corridor to the front room. There was a bottle of vodka there that I wanted to open - a late night snifter before bed, if you like.
Anyway, I open the door to the front room and click the light switch down - and nothing happened. I thought the bulb had probably blown again, so I turned and pushed down the switch for the corridor light.
Nothing - no light, just dim darkness.
Cursing slightly, I was going to turn round and head for the fuse box, when I felt a small circle, cold and hard, pressing into my back. At first I didn’t know what it was, but when the voice behind me said, in a deep growl, “Don’t move a muscle,” I realised I was not alone, and it may not be the fuse box that was playing up.
It was late spring, and I was wearing a black light cotton top, with spaghetti straps holding it over my shoulders and a deep v-neck, and charcoal grey baggy trousers with a pair of black patent leather kitten heel shoes. Around my neck was a beautiful silk square that I had bought some months before - it was royal blue with a black border, and a gold filigree pattern printed on top of it. It was tied with the ends hanging over one shoulder, and the peak hanging down my chest.
“Nice scarf,” I heard the voice say again, “take it off and fold it into a band.”
That prompted an increase in the pressure in my back as the voice growled “Just do it, Margaret.”
“How do you know my name?”
The pressure increased still further, so I slowly untied the scarf and shook it into a full square, before folding it into a wide band, the black sticking out of the bottom.
Shaking, I put the band over my eyes and pulled it tightly round, tying the ends together over my red hair. The band went from my hairline down to the tip of my nose, and I genuinely could not see anything after I secured it. As I dropped my hands, I felt whoever was behind me tug it harder, pulling it tightly over my head and re-tying the knot.
My hands were guided behind my back, and I felt something silky been passed round them as they were pulled together. I later found that he had taken a whole stack of scarves from my cupboard, and was using one of them now to bind my wrists together.
I was pushed forward, turned and pushed down, and as I sat I realised I was on my own lounger. I could see a dim light through the silk band around my head, so I knew he had put the power back on, before I felt my ankles been pulled together by another scarf, then my legs above my knees.
As I sat there, I wondered what he wanted, and prayed it was just money. At the time, I did not know he had already emptied my jewellery boxes out, but when he started to grope my breasts I began to try and twist out of the way.
I have a reasonably large chest, and my top was stretched over my tits, but to feel him grab and squeeze them was not what I was expecting. I started to scream “Please, don’t do that, I don’t wwanmmmfmgmdfdfg.” The last part was cut off, as I felt another scarf been pushed into my mouth, and then a band go between my teeth, forcing the cloth back as I closed my lips around it.
He didn’t stop - instead he pushed me over onto the recliner, and as my head hit the cushion in felt him pull the straps don on my shoulders. I had on a flesh covered bra underneath, but as I felt him pull the top down below my breasts a I let out a small gaps through the gag in my mouth - especially when he started to massage my breasts again, kissing my shoulders as he did so.
I squirmed, trying to stop my body responding to him and fearing what he was going to do next. When I felt his hands pulling my bra cups down, however, and his lips on my nipples I screamed out through the gag.
Who knows what may have happened next, had I not heard my neighbour shout “What the bloody hell do you think you are doing,” and a scuffle break out. This seemed to go on forever, until there was the sound of running feet and I felt my top been pulled back up.
“Are you all right,” I heard him say as he pulled off my blindfold, his blue eyes concerned as he looked down on me... I nodded - he had saved me from something far far worse.
Margaret’s Attacker was caught later that evening by officers, and is currently serving a term for assault and aggravated burglary.
For this week’s Past Times moment, we have been granted access to an account by a lady called Josie, used here by kind permission of her family. The tale dates back to the 1950’s....
It was terrifying - of course it was. I had spent the night at the local hop, wearing a brand new white Angora cardigan that fastened up the front, the wool soft on my skin, a green skirt that came to just above my knees, and flat white shoes with a pair of pale white stockings on my legs. I also had a green chiffon scarf tied round my neck, the short ends tickling me as we drove home.
Jack was a real sweetheart, and offered to walk me to the door as he pulled up outside the white picket fence around our yard. I still wonder if he had walked me to the door would things have turned out differently?
As it was, he jumped out and opened the door for me, and then the gate in the fence, watching as I walked up to the front door and let myself in. As the door closed, he must have got back into the car and drove off - at least, that’s what I supposed from the sounds I heard as I stood against the wall by the door, the gloved hand over my mouth preventing me from screaming at the man holding me there.
I had a band holding my brown hair back, but as my eyes darted from side to side I could feel him running his hand through my hair, and I was so afraid he was going to touch me or something. Instead he spun me around and forced my hands behind my back, holding them together as I felt something pulling at them over the sleeves of my jumper.
I could not move, and was paralysed with fear as I felt my arms been bound together with some sort of cord. The angora protected me from the worst of the rubbing, but I could feel the pressure as the coils tightened still further, until there was nothing I could do with my hands except make my fists into balls and release them again.
I could hear raised voices on the upper floor, and recognised one of them as my father arguing with someone. That meant whoever was doing this to me was not alone, and given discretion is the better part of valour, and fear the better part of discretion, I valiantly resolved to go with whatever was happening.
“What’s going on,” I remember saying in a timid voice as I saw something go over my head, and then felt my arms been pulled into my sides, forcing me to breath out sharply as what I now realised was thin white rope was passed round and pulled tightly again, only for the same thing to happen above my breasts.
I felt my chest been forced out as my assailant tightened the bands by drawing them together under my arms with the length of rope, the same on both sides, before it was finally tied off behind my back. I was roughly turned round, and as by now my eye shad adjusted to the gloom I got my first good look at my attacker,
He was a good foot taller than me, six plus, dressed in a well tailored suit, expensive shirt and tie, and well polished shoes. A fedora was on his head, set at a jaunty angle, but what set him apart were his piercing blue eyes. They seemed even more effective with the black eye mask that surrounded them, a loose scarf tied over his lower face.
“Is this a robbery?” I asked as I listened to the sounds form upstairs, and he simply nodded, saying nothing. Instead he reached up to my neck and untied my scarf with his gloved fingers, removing and shaking it out before compressing it into a small ball and holding it in the palm of his hand, looking at me at the same time.
His intent was clear, and I didn’t like the idea one little bit. I tried twisting my head out of the way, but he grabbed it with ease and pinched my nose, forcing me to open my mouth as he pushed the scarf in. I almost choked on the taste of chiffon and perfume, but managed to maintain some sort of control as he pulled out a large white handkerchief, rolled it into a band and pulled it into my mouth, taking the band round my cheeks and tying the ends together rat the base of my neck as my ruby red lips closed over it.
By now a thought had occurred to me - where was mum? I couldn’t hear her anyway, and as I called out “MMMMM!” I heard only a muffled reply. Where was she?
I soon found out as my captor took me by the arm and dragged me into the front room, where a single standard lamp was switched on, and the heavy velvet curtains drawn across the windows. Mum was sitting in an old chair, looking at me as he forced me to sit on the floor against the wall and look at her.
She was still dressed in the short sleeved pale blue blouse, floral print tiered skirt and white apron she had been wearing when I had left for the hop, but her mascara was running down her cheeks, and the scarf between her lips had a dark stain right in the middle of the band. Her arm shad also been tied behind her back, and held to her side with bands of rope, while her ankles were crossed and tied together as she sat, lady like to the end, with her bound legs to one side. Although I could not see it, from the way she was sat I suspected her legs were also tied together under her skirt.
It was later that I found out what had happened. Mum and Dad had been sitting quietly, watching the television, when two men had walked in and told them to put their hands in the air. One of them forced dad to watch as the second one tied mum up, stuffed a pair of socks in her mouth and gagged her, then he had been forced upstairs while the other man watched mum. I had walked right into it with no warning at all.
He forced me to sit down against the wall and tied my ankles tightly together, side by side, and then my legs above my knees, with what I now realised was parachute cord. Were these guys marines or something?
I was wearing a set of pearls I had been given as an eighteenth birthday present, but right now I was more worried about mum and me than any jewellery. That was probably just as well, as the noise from upstairs stopped and I saw the second man come in. He looked at me, reached down and pulled the string off my neck, putting it in a canvas bag as he nodded to his “friend.”
We both watched them leave the room, and as the back door slammed shut my mum started crying - great huge wails as the tears ran down her cheeks. I tried to talk to her, calm her down, but it was useless as I also started to cry, and wondered where dad was...
The intruders had left Josie’s father upstairs, sprawled out unconscious on the bed with the use of a heavy cosh. When he eventually came round, he freed his family and called the police, but by then the burglars had disappeared into the night...
For our final tale this week, we go to fashionable Belgravia, to hear how a night at the opera ended for two unfortunate women called Elaine and Carol...
It had been a magnificent show - Pavarotti had been magnificent - and as we stepped out of the taxi I asked Carol if she wanted a drink before she headed home. Carol was wearing a floor length red satin dress, the shoulder straps held at the front with gold clasps and a long slit up the side, and red opera gloves, while I was wearing a black velvet long sleeved dress that came to just above my knees, dark stockings and high heeled shoes.
I let myself in, allowed Carol to pass, and we walked into the living room - and there he was. I swear, it was like something out of a fifties movie as he stood there, staring back at both of us. At least I presumed he was looking at us - the dark glasses over his eyes made it very difficult to tell. He was dressed in a dark jacket and trousers, with a black shirt underneath, leather shoes, leather gloves on his hands, and a smile as he pointed a pistol at both of us.
“Good evening ladies,” he said quietly. “Please, both of you, raise your hands and say nothing. I want to look at you the way that you are.”
I looked at Carol, Carol looked at me, and we both raised our arms in the air. “Thank you,” he said, “I must apologise for this, but I have been taking your jewellery, and now I must ensure that I can get away.”
“Oh,” Carol said quietly, “and how do you intend to do that?”
“Well, first of all I must ask you two lovely ladies to remove your gowns. You may also take off your gloves,” he said as he looked at Carol, “and then you will please stand perfectly still, with your hands on your head.”
He had a gun - what were we supposed to do? Reaching behind me, I pulled down the zip on my dress and let it fall to the floor, before putting my hands on my head, standing there in a black lace bra and knickers, sheer stockings held up by a matching garter belt, and shoes.
Carol swallowed hard and then slipped the shoulder straps of her dress down, pulling it down her slim body and stepping out before pulling the gloves off her arms and letting them fall as well. She stood there, in a dark red bra and panties and her heels, before putting her own hands on her head.
“Now, ladies,” the man said as he picked up a leather doctor’s bag and put it on the coffee table, “We’re going to have a little fun. What’s your name - you with the black hair?”
“Elaine,” I said quietly, as I looked at Carol. She was shaking, her blonde hair falling around her shoulders. We’re both fairly mature women, but something about this man’s way so talking made us feel like school kids again.
“Take this rope,” he said as he handed me a length of cord, “and tie your friends wrists together behind her back. Nice and tightly now - I’ll be watching.”
“I’m so sorry, Carol,” I said as I put her hands together behind her back and started to wrap the rope round them in a figure of eight, drawing them together. I tried not to hurt her, but I had the feeling this man would be much harder id he did it - and I already knew he was going to do it to me.
As I tied the rope off, he walked behind us and tugged on Elaine’s arms, making her yelp. “Very good,” he said eventually, and handed me a second length of rope. “Use this to tie her arms to her side - just around her tummy will do nicely.”
I did as he asked, Carol too scared to move as I pulled her arms into her side and then knotted it behind her. “Leave a length,” the man said, “and then tie that around her wrist a swell.” By the time I had finished, Carol could not move her hands or arms - even if she had the will to want to.
“Turn round, darling,” the man said as he waved his pistol, and Carol slowly turned to look at me.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Kiss your friend on the lips.”
I looked at him, at the gun, then at Caro, before kissing her gently on her lips.
“Not like that - properly.”
Taking her head in my hands, I bent my one head and kissed her fully on the lips - and to my surprise, Carol returned the kiss. I looked at her, she looked at me, and we both realised something, as we kissed more.
Letting her go, I saw that our intruder had taken from the bag a roll of white tape. “Tear a strip off,” he said as he looked at me, “and put it over her mouth.”
“It’s all right,” Carol said with a smile as she closed her lips and I smoothed the wide tape over them. Looking into her eyes, I barely noticed as my own arms were pulled behind my back and cord was wrapped around and between them, forcing them together.
With tem minutes my arms were also secured to my sides, and a strip of tape had been smoothed over my own mouth. Carol was made to sit on a chair while I was forced to lie face down on the floor, next to the curtains drawn over the window, and I felt my ankles been tied tightly together, then my legs, and then my thighs.
Rolling onto my side, I watched as he made Carol lie next to me, face down, and started to bind her ankles in the same way he had bound mine.
“Crrl,rullrt,” I mumbled through the tape. She turned her head and looked at me, before saying “Mmmhm - u?”
“Lllcp - btbtrler?”
“Tslrrtln - tsnwfrmt.”
She grunted as he tightened the ropes around her knees, and moved up to her legs.
“Hewlnghvilvdwmn - yrs. U?”
I smiled under the tape, and I saw the light in Carol’s eyes as he tied the last rope over her legs. He rolled her over with her back to me and stood up, walking over and retrieving his valise as we both turned our heads and looked at him.
“I must be going ladies,” he said with a smile, “Enjoy your evening.” He walked out, closing the door behind himself as Carol rolled herself over to look at me.
I watched as she shuffled her body over so that our heads were almost touching, and then they were, our gagged mouths kissing each other as we lay there. As Carol moved her head back, she shuffled even closer so that our breasts were touching, and as he wriggled I returned the motion, realising what was happening to me as we did this, and moving again to kiss her gagged lips with mine....
Elaine and Carol were joined in a civil ceremony a year later. The intruder was never caught.
That’s all we have time for this week - join us next week when we have the story of a Disco Diva in distress, a Past Times from the 70’s, and what happened to one mother and daughter when they came home from a college trip.
That’s more tales In Their Own Words - join us then.