Mother and Daughter Moments 6









Now, please do not think for a moment I spend all my time in the city.  Nothing could be further from the truth – I love spending time in the country as well, both for my work, for my side activities – and often just for fun as well.  A year or so back, I was walking in the New Forest, just admiring the scenery, and was on my way from my car when I saw this Land Rover pull into a clearing, with a caravan behind it.


When the car stopped, a man got out, wearing a blue gillet over a grey hooded top, jeans and hiking boots.  I watched from the woods, as he said “Give me a hand Kevin.”  The rear of the car opened, and a lad of about fourteen got out, obviously his son as they detached the caravan and made sure it was secured.


As I watched, an older woman and two girls got out.  The woman was in her late thirties, with long brown hair, and had on a green hooded top with faded jeans and green wellies.  Getting out with her was a nine year old girl, with short brown hair, who was obviously her daughter.


She had on a white Fair Isle sweater, jeans and pink wellingtons with a yellow and white pattern on them.  From the other side of the car came an eleven year old girl, with long hair like her mother that was platted into two pigtails.  She was laughing, as she pulled down her grey and white horizontal striped top, the bottom over her own jeans as her pink wellies splashed in a puddle.


“Pauline, Hannah,” their mother called out, “don’t go running off too far.  We need to go and find the stuff for your homework.”


“All right, Mum,” they called back as the man and boy walked back to the car.


“We’ll be back by sundown, Kate – and we’ll bring tea with us,” the man said as he got behind the driver’s seat.  “Kevin, let’s get to the lake.”


I watched, fascinated as the car drove off, and the mum took the two girls by the hand.  “Come on,” she said as they ran into the woods, “Let’s go and see what we can find.”


Once they were out of sight, I walked into the clearing and had a look round.  They seemed a nice, normal family out for a weekend in the woods, but as I passed the window I caught a gleam on something, and looked in the window.


There was a large jewellery box sitting on a side table, as well as a small safe.  Well, my interest was piqued, so I decided to see if I could get in and find some things to take.


Walking quickly back to my car, I got my kit bag and went back, slipping my gloves on my hands and picking the lock on the caravan door with ease.  Once I was inside, I had a little look round, but the main thing of interest was the box and the safe.


I was considering how to open it when I heard the younger of the kids saying “Race you to the caravan,” and running feet.  I crouched down, grabbed the stocking from my bag, pulled it over my head and waited.


“We really are in the middle of nowhere here, aren’t we,” I heard the older girl say to her mother.


“That’s right, Hannah,” I heard the mother say, “but there’s a farm shop a mile down the road.  Why don’t we go and see if they have any milk?”


“Can I stay here Mum – Pauline can go with you.”


“All right – we won’t be long,” I heard the mum say, and then I heard two sets of footsteps walking away.  I knew the older girl was coming in, so I decided it was game time.  I stood up, and watched as the caravan door opened, and the older girl came in.  She had her back to me, as she kicked off her boots, and went to the toilet.  It was only when she came out that she saw me standing there.


“Hello Hannah,” I said, “Please, don’t scream or run off.  I’m going to play a game with you, Pauline and your mummy – all right?”


“But you’ve got a mask on – are you a robber?”


“I’m pretending to be,” I said with a smile.  “Don’t worry – all I’m going to do is make sure you all have to stay where you are and cannot call for help, and then you can try to escape, all right?”


“Did Mummy set this up?”


“Yes she did – so, do you want to play?”


“All right,” Hannah said, “What do you want me to do?”


“Well, let’s start by making sure you cannot move,” I said as I opened my bag and took out some rope.  “Why don’t you turn round and cross your wrists behind your back...”




I heard young Pauline saying “Race you, mummy,” and put my hand on Hannah’s shoulder as the footsteps got closer.  “Let me open the door first,” I heard Kate say, and then the door opened, her mum saying “Hannah, are you...”


She stared at Hannah, who was sitting on a wall seat, bound with ropes, and then at me in my stocking mask as Pauline came on.  “Oh,” she said as she saw us, “What are you doing, mister?”


“Your mum wanted to surprise you with a game – a reward for finishing your homework,” I said with a smile, the gun in my other hand, “Isn’t that right, Kate?”


She looked at me, at her older daughter, and then said “Yes, that’s right – he’s going to pretend to rob us, and then we can try to escape.  It’s like a play, so we do as he says, isn’t that right?”


She looked at me as I said “That’s right – it’s like a play.  Now, Pauline, you come and stand in front of me while Mummy sits by the table, and puts her hands on her head, because I need to make sure none of you can stop me from stealing your things.”


“All right,” Pauline said, and as Kate sat down she stood in front of me.  Given they were in the middle of a forest, I had decided not to cover their hands, but I still crossed and tied her wrists tightly together, before wrapping some rope around her waist to hold them in place.  I then tied her arms to her stomach, but unlike Hannah I did not tie any rope around her shoulders.  I felt that would be enough for her.


“All right, Pauline – sit next to your sister and I’ll tie your legs together.”


“This is exciting,” she said as she sat down, watching as I removed her boots and then tied her ankles together, as well as her legs below her knees.  I then tied the ankles of both of them together, just as an extra precaution, before saying “Now, will you be quiet while I talk to Mummy, or do I have to silence and blindfold you now.”


“We’ll shout for help,” Pauline called out with a big smile on her face.


“Well then, I need to keep you quiet,” I said as I took two large handkerchiefs from my bag, and pushed one into each of their mouths.  “Keep those in there while I make sure Mummy can’t move,” I said, watching them nod as I walked behind Kate, and said “Hands behind your back please.”


“Just don’t hurt them,” she whispered as I tied her wrists together, and to her waist, then wrapped rope around her body, above and below her chest, before tightening it by passing it under her arms and around the back of her neck.


“We’re playing a game, Kate – of course I’m not going to hurt them,” I said with a smile, as I knelt down and tied her ankles together, having first removed the rubber footwear, as well as her legs below her knees.  “Now, I need to finish silencing the girls, and blindfold them, before I have a word with you.”


Walking back over, I took a roll of white tape out of my bag, and wrapped it around their heads, saying “Now, I need to make sure you cannot see what I am doing.”


“Lllrrrtt,” Hannah said as I took two woollen scarves that were hanging from a hook, and tied them over their eyes.  Walking back to Kate, I said “Now, what is the combination to the safe?”


“This isn’t a game,” she whispered to me as she looked at the girls, who were twisting their bodies round.


I shook my head as she said “The code is 5914.”


“Good – and the keys to the jewellery box?”


“In my bag in the bedroom.”


“Good,” I said as I took a scarf from my bag, rolled it into a band and tied a knot in the middle.  “Now let me make sure you cannot call for help.”  Kate nodded and opened her mouth, closing her teeth over the silk knot before I wrapped the white tape around her head as well.  A third scarf went over her eyes, before I went to the rear of the caravan and found the keys.


It only took me a few minutes to open the box and select several items of worth, and then to open the safe and remove the cash that was inside.  Once I was satisfied, I closed the box and safe, returned the keys to the bag, and then removed their blindfolds.


“Hfurdbbdssthn,” Pauline said as she looked at me.


“I have,” I said as I opened the windows to the caravan, “but now I need to get away.  Count to one hundred, and then you can start to try to escape, all right?”


They all nodded as I opened the caravan door, making sure it was locked after I closed it, and then headed back to my own car.  It had been a profitable morning, and a nice game – but I really wanted to have that walk.


Just not in that part of the forest.




The University of Life, my father used to call it, when we learn new things and teach each other how to do a better job.  Here’s a case in point.


I’d been looking into this particular family for some time.  They hailed from Singapore, and their father worked as a legal advisor to a large law firm.  They lived in a large detached house in Brentford – him, his wife and their two daughters, aged eleven and ten.


His wife looked like a typical woman from the area – small, I’d say about five foot four, with straight black hair and a pleasant smile when I had seen it.  As for their daughters, they took after their mother, although their hair was slightly longer.


On the Saturday in question, I watched him drive out of the walled entrance, and then managed to sneak in with my bag before the gate closed shut.  I made my way carefully up to the house, and let myself into the front door.  There were people home, but I could not see any of them as I looked around the downstairs rooms.


Heading up the staircase, I heard singing coming from a bedroom, and as I looked in I saw the mother folding and putting away clothes.  She was wearing a pale blue short sleeved top and pants with a white fern motif printed on it, and a pair of black slipper, her legs bare for about three inches above her ankles.


She gasped as I grabbed her and placed my gloved hand over her mouth, as so many others have.  “Just stay calm,” I whispered as I held her, “I’m not going to hurt you or your daughters, but I am going to rob you.  So stay calm, and nod if you agree not to scream or shout out.”


I waited until she nodded and I took my hand away.  “Good – put your hands behind your back please.”  As she did so, I used a zip tie to secure her wrists together, and then sat her on the bed.  She took a look at me, in my stocking mask, and said “What are you going to do?”


“Well, I am going to rob you,” I said, “but I don’t want to upset your daughters, so I’m going to ask you to pretend that we are going to play a tie=up game, and I’m pretending to be a robber.  That way they will think this is just playing, and stay calm.  Will you do that for me, Minh?”


“How do you know my name?”


“I know,” is all I said, “so will you play along with me?”


“All right,” Minh said quietly, then she called out “Biyu, Hua – will you come into Mummy and Daddy’s room please?”


We both listened, but there was no reply, so she called out again.  When there was still no reply, I said quietly “where are they?”


“They must be in the attic – if you will let me...”


“No,” I said as I knelt down and used a second zip tie on her ankles, “I will look for them and tell them you want to play a game with them.  I need you to stay here.”  I made Minh lie on her side, and secured her wrists to her ankles with a bathrobe belt, before smoothing a piece of tape over her mouth.


“Don’t move and I’ll be back in a minute,” I said as I made my way up to the attic.  Opening the door, I heard laughing and walked quietly in, to see the two girls there.


“You’re my prisoner now, Hua,” the older girl said as she stood over her sister.    Biyu was wearing a dusty pink long sleeved top over a white one, blue jeans and black felt boots with mock studs.  A pink ribbon was tied in her hair.


Lying on a mattress was her sister Hua, in a blue buttoned sleeveless dress over a cream coloured top with grey horizontal stripes, striped tights and sneakers.  She had a purple bow in her hair, but she was also tied with rope at the wrists and ankles, as well as a scarf tied loosely over her mouth.


“Now,” Biyu said, “I’m going to – eep.”  She saw me standing there, and said “Who are you?”


“Me?  I’m a bad robber who has come to steal your mother’s jewellery.”


“Really,” Hua said as she looked at me, while Biyu hurriedly started to untie her sister.


“Not really- your mum hired me to come and play a tie-up game with you.   She needs you to come to her room so she can explain what’s happening.”


“You mean Mummy said to come?  But she doesn’t know we...”


“She doesn’t know what?”


Biyu swallowed, and said “We play these games all the time, taking turns to be captor and tied up, but we dare not tell Mummy or Daddy, so we sneak up here and...”


“Please don’t tell her you found us like this,” Hua said as the scarf aliped from her mouth, “She’ll get upset with us and...”


“I don’t think she will – maybe she knows already, and this is a surprise.  Anyway, give me a minute and then come in – I’ll tell her you are on your way.”


I left them to sort themselves out, and went back to the bedroom, chuckling to myself as I did so.


“Whrrtheee,” Minh said as I released her and removed the tape.


“Sorry we didn’t hear you Mum,” Hua said as she and Biyu walked in, “What did you want?”


Minh looked at me, then said “I know you like to watch those films and programs where a girl is held hostage or robbed.  Well, this man is going to pretend to be a robber, and make sure we cannot stop him from taking my valuables.  I want you to do what he tells you, all right?”


They could hardly contain their excitement as they ran up and hugged their mother.  “Thanks mum, we always wanted to play that game,” Biyu said, “but can I tie up Hua?”


“Well, I can’t tie you both up and keep an eye on your mother,” I said as I opened my bag, and took out a length of rope, “so go on – you tie up your sister while I start to take care of your mother.”


I watched carefully as I gave Minh a couple of sponges to hold, and started to tape her fists into silver balls, but I could see that Biyu had seen far too many bad films.  She wrapped the rope around Hua’s wrists, and pulled it a little, but it was very loose, especially when she took it down and tied her sister’s ankles together.  I went to the drawer set on the other side of the room, and found a pair of socks, pulling them over Minh's hands as Biyu took one of her mother’s scarves and tied it over her sister’s mouth.


“Finished,” she said as I taped the tops of the socks to her mother’s arms.  “Hua,” I said as I looked at her, “stand up and wriggle your arms for me.”


Hua did just that, the ropes falling off as Biyu’s face fell, and her mother laughed.  “Look,” I said with a smile, “let me show you how to really tie someone up.  Have a look at your mother’s arms.”


“Wow,” they both said as they looked at their mother, “Why did you do that?”


“To make it more difficult to escape – Biyu, go and get two pairs of sports socks for me.  Hua, hold these sponge balls in a fist for me.”


When Biyu came back, she saw I had made silver balls of her sister’s fists.  I then took a pair of socks, pulled them over her hands and taped them to the sleeves of her top.


“Now, if your mother and sister stand in front of us and cross their wrists behind their back,” I said as I took two lengths of rope from the bag, “I’ll show you how you tie someone up so they cannot move.”


“Goodie!” Biyu said as she wrapped the rope around Hua’s crossed wrist and tied them together, copying what I did to Minh, so that they were firmly secured together, showing her to tighten it by passing the ends between her arms.  I then showed her how to use some rope around the waist to fix them against her back.


“I really can’t move them now,” Hua said as she looked over her shoulder.  “How are your arms, Mummy?”


“Fixed tightly, dear,” Minh said, before she mouthed “thank you” to me as I handed Biyu more rope.  “Now, copy me again,” I said as I tied Minh’s lower arms to her sides, the rope going around her stomach. 

I then showed her how to tie her sister’s upper arms to her body, and to tighten that band around her body with small lengths under the arm.  “Now, because Mummy’s older, she needs to be held more securely,” I said, “so she gets one more length of rope.  In the meantime, help Hua to sit on the bed.”


As Biyu did that, I tied Minh’s arms below her chest, making sure that was tightened as well.  “now sit next to your little girl,” I said quietly, “and tell Biyu how it feels.”


“I cannot move my arms,” Minh said as she tried twisting round, “he really has me well secured.  What about you, Hua?”


“I’m going nowhere,” she said with a great big grin, “so what about our legs?”


“Good point – we need to make sure you cannot get off the bed and hop away,” I said, so I showed Biyu how to cross and bind their ankles as she did their wrists, and then tie their legs together below their knees.  Finally, I showed her how to tie another length of rope between their ankles, and fix that to the foot of the bed.


“You’ll be on the other side of your mummy shortly,” I said to Biyu, “but first you need to help me keep your sister and mummy nice and quiet.  Go and find two of your father’s handkerchiefs.”


As Biyu went to the drawer, I folded the scarf she had used to cover Hua’s mouth and folded it.


“Now, Biyu, in order to keep someone really quiet you need to put something in their mouth, and then make sure it cannot get out.  So you put the hankie into Hua’s mouth, and I will put this into your mother’s mouth, and then we will use one of your father’s ties to keep it in at first.   All right?”


She nodded as we both put the cloths into their mouths, and then used the ties as cleave gags.  “Now,” I said as I took a roll of white tape from my bag, “watch.”  I then wrapped the tape around Minh’s head, muffling her even more, before I handed the roll to Biyu and said “Now you do the same for Hua.”


As she did so, I went to the wardrobe and took out two scarves – one light blue, one dark- and folded them into bands.  I then tied the light blue one over Minh’s mouth, as Biyu did the same with the dark blur one to Hua.


“How does that feel,” I said as I looked at Minh.  She nodded and twisted before saying “Mggngngnwhr.”


“mnfr,” Hua said as she looked at me, and I could see the smile in her eyes.


“Wow – that really does work – thanks mister,” Biyu said as she looked at me.  “Now what?”


“Your turn,” I said as I handed her a pair of sponge balls...



Twenty minutes later, she was lying next to her mother, looking over at Hua as I tied her ankles to the foot of the bed.  They all now had their heads resting on pillows, and were trying to talk to each other as I left them, and began to search the house upstairs.


I found enough without having to resort to searching the room they were in – turned out Minh kept her jewels in another room.  I popped back in, checked their ropes and gags, wished them a fun time, and then left them with a promise to come and release them in a while.


Well, a half promise – someone did come later, after I called the police...




The next time I was out in the country, however, I found myself in a position once again where I really had to think fast.  I had been planning to visit the home of a family where the father was the general manager of a bonded warehouse, out in the Cotswolds, but traffic problems on the M40 meant I was two hours later than I hoped to be.


That meant his wife was alone with their ten year old twin daughters, so I decided to go ahead, and make it more of a bedtime tie-up game.  I was going to abandon the visit when I saw him driving away from the house.  It was mid-summer and still light at nine, so I clearly saw him and his son heading off, with what looked like fishing gear in the back.


Smiling, I pulled into their driveway, got out and saw lights on in the upstairs bedroom.  The door was easy to open, as I pulled the stocking down and made my way towards the kitchen.  Mummy was standing with her back to me, wearing a green blouse, blue jeans and heels.  She was concentrating on pouring some drinks, so I waited for her to put the jug down beforehand gagging her and holding her in my arm.


That was when I saw the other woman in the room.  She looked like a younger version of the mother, with long dark hair as opposed to Mummy’s light brown hair, and was wearing a white vest, jeans and white jewelled heels.


This was awkward – I was only expecting the mother, but I came prepared.  “Don’t scream,” I said as I looked at the other woman, “or your sister gets hurt.”


“All right,” she said quietly, “Please, don’t hurt her.”


“Sit down, hands on your head,” I said as I looked at her, watching as she sat down before I made Mummy sit opposite her.  “Now, just stay calm and everyone gets to…”


That was when I saw the bowls of crisps, popcorn and sweets, and the tray with six glasses on it, as well as the smell of sausage rolls and other food. 


“Where are your daughters,” I said as I looked at Mummy.


“They’re upstairs…  Oh god, please, leave them alone.  If you’re going to rob us, I have money and jewels down here, but leave them alone, please.”


“I’m sorry, but I can’t,” I said as I looked at them, “but I will make it a game for them.  Now, stand up.”


As they both stood up, I secured their hands behind their backs with cords, and then said “Take me to them,” picking up the tray and carrying it after them as they walked up the stairs.  At a bedroom door, Mummy knocked on the door and said “Eve, open the door will you.”


“Sure mum,” she said as she opened the door, and we walked in, Mummy and her sister standing by the wall as I set the tray of drinks down and looked at the party in the room.


“Aw MUM,” the girl who had opened the door said, “You promised no boys tonight!”


The girl had long dark hair, pulled back in a ponytail, and was wearing a grey short sleeved top and red knee length pants.  She had bright blue eye shadow around her eyes, and pink lipstick almost over her lips.  I could see, sitting beside her, her twin sister, who was wearing a pink short sleeved nightdress and had black lipstick on her face, and black nail polish on.


Sitting on the bed were two girls, one of whom was obviously their cousin, so much did she resemble Mummy’s sister.  She had on a pair of turquoise pyjamas, and matching nail polish.


“So you’re Eve,” I said to the first girl, “and this is your sister Gail I take it?”


“That’s right, and this is our cousin Jo, and our friends Amy, Coco and Sian.”


The other three girls were sitting in a corner, and had been talking when we came in.  One was blonde haired, with a white nightdress, another had a pair of black cotton pyjamas on and the third red haired girl was wearing an orange nightdress with short sleeves and a star on the front.


“I’m sorry, girls, but…”


“It’s all right,” I said quietly, “I came because Eve and Gail’s dad wanted you to have an exciting surprise tonight, but I think we can let you have a bit more of your party first, and I won’t disturb you until it is time for the exciting surprise.  Mummy will bring you up your food and some more drinks, and then at some point I’m going to come in and pretend to be a robber who has to keep all the little snoops quiet and out of the way.  Until then, you are on your own, all right?”


The girls looked at each other and talked quietly for a few minutes, before Eve said “All right – and it will be a surprise?”


“It will,” I said as I motioned to the two older women.  We left, closing the door before I said “All right – what’s your name Mummy?”




“And your sister?”


“I’m Leah.”


“All right, Rebecca – let’s get Leah nice and comfortable, then you can bring the food up – but remember, I have your sister, so no funny tricks.”


She nodded as I led them to the master bedroom…



“There you go girls,” Rebecca said as she laid the bowl of popcorn down on the floor, “now you behave yourselves in here, and I will see you later – and remember, watch out for strange men.”


“Yes, Mum,” I heard Eve and Gail say in chorus, as Mum smiled and closed the door.  “Very good, Rebecca,” I said as I held up a roll of silver duct tape, “now turn round and fold your arms behind your back.”


She did so, staring ahead as I arranged her arms so that her elbows rested in the palms of her hands, and then taped them together from wrist to wrist, before winding the tape around her upper arms and body, above and below her chest.


“You promise you will not hurt them,” she said as I walked her back to the master bedroom.


“I promise,” I said as we went in, Leah looking up and saying “Rtthlrrt” through the silver tape that covered her mouth.

“They’re fine,” Rebecca said as she sat on the edge of the bed, watching as I taped her ankles tightly together, then her legs above and below her knees, and her thighs.  I went to a wardrobe, took out a pale blue scarf and folded it, before pushing into her own mouth and pressing several pieces of silver tape over her lips.


I allowed her toile down and moved her so she was facing her identically bound sister, and then started to search the room for valuables.

“Ntthdrwr,” Rebecca said as I looked where she indicated, and found her jewellery in several boxes.  “Now, stay put,” I said as I went and searched the rest of the rooms, then retrieved a number of rolls of white tape from my bag, and took a deep breath.


“Surprise girls,” I said as I walked in the room.


“OH no,” Eve said as she raised her hands, “it’s a mean robber.”


“That’s right,” I said as I showed them my gun,” and I need to keep you six snoops out of the way.  I want you all to lean in a line, single file.”


“You’re not going to hurt us, are you,” Coco said as she wrapped her black covered arms around herself, but smiled as well.  They all thought it was a game.


“Not if you do as you’re told,” I said as they lined up in front of each other, Eve at the back and Gail at the front.  I handed the five girls behind Gail a roll of white tape each, and said “Right, tape the wrists of the girls in front of you together behind your back.”


I watched as they all played along, and then I got them to tape the ankles of the girl in front of them together.


“Right,” I said as I knelt behind Eve and taped her wrists and ankles, “Pair off and sit back to back to each other.  Gail sit with Amy, Jo with Coco, and Sian with Eve.”


As they sat back to back, I used the silver tape to secure their upper bodies together, around their tummies, and then the white tape to secure their legs together below their knees.  Finally, I used six pillow cases as cleave gags, tying them into their mouths, and then using the white tape over their lips.


“Now, first one to get free and find Mummy and Aunt Leah wins,” I said as I watched them start to try and free themselves, eventually slipping out and leaving them to their game…




I don’t get lucky all the time, however – I usually manage to find at least something valuable when I visit somewhere, even on impulse, but a couple of weeks ago I guess my luck finally ran out.


No I wasn’t caught, but I was caught out through no fault of my own.  I was walking down the street to an Underground station, having visited a friend, when I saw this woman and her daughter walking from the shop to a large house.  She was in her early forties, dark skinned, with a black leather jacket over a black and white striped dress that barely came down to her knees.  Her long black hair was cut to frame her face, and she had a funky pair of black leather boots on – the sort with a flat sole and built up inside like high heels, very dark brown leather that came half way up her calves, and buttons up the outside.


Her daughter was about eleven, and was wearing a sleeveless white padded jacket over a pink long sleeved top, denim jeans and knee length brown leather boots with cuffs at the top.  She had a black band in her hair, and was looking excitedly round.


Well, I was intrigued, so I followed them into their house, neither of them noticing me as I came in after they entered.  The girl walked into a front room, while the mum went through to the kitchen, so I followed her, watching from the door as she put some milk and coffee on the table, and then went to fill a kettle.

She had taken her jacket off, and I saw now her dress had elbow length sleeves, with light brown stripes as well as the black and white.  I managed to take her completely by surprise as I grabbed her, and said “Not a word, lady – just keep calm.  I’m going to play a game with you and your daughter.”


I had my rucksack on, but I had to pull my scarf up around my neck to hide my face.  “What do you want,” she whispered as I removed my hand.


“We’re going to play robbers – let’s join your daughter and I’ll explain how.  But first, put your hands behind your back.”


As she did so, I took some rope from my pocket and tied her wrists tightly together, before wrapping some rope around her waist to fix her wrists to her back.  I then walked her into the front room, where the girl was looking out of the window.  There were a couple of folding chairs in the room, and not a lot else, but I just figured they were clearing this room out for something.


“Mum?”  She said as she looked at us.


“It’s all right,” I said quietly, “your dad asked me to come and play a game of robbers with you and mummy.”


“You’ve seen Daddy?  Is he coming soon?”


“I’m sure he is, but right now we’re going to play a game.  I’m going to make sure you and your mum can’t leave this room, and then I’m going to pretend to rob you.  It will help you pass the time until your daddy comes home, all right?”


She looked at her mother, who nodded and said “It’s all right, dear – let’s play this game while we wait.”


As the girl nodded, I helped her mother to sit in one of the chairs, and then sat her down in the other.  The chair had a low back, and was not that great for tying someone to, so I settled for tying her wrist together in front of her, then securing her ankles and her legs below the knees, before tying her wrist down to her knees.  A length of rope then went around her waist and the clear spars of the chair back, securing her as best I could.


I then tied mummy’s arms to her upper body, wrapping rope above and below her chest, before binding her ankles together as well as he legs below her knees.  I then pulled her legs under the seat of her chair, and tied a length of rope from her ankles to her chest ropes.


“Now,” I said as I looked in her handbag, and took out two scarves, “I need to keep you quiet while I have a look around.”  I rolled the scarves into two bands, and used the smaller red one on the girl, and the bigger black one on her mother.  They sat there, trying to talk to each other, their boots squeaking as the rope rubbed on them as well as against each other, and started to look round.


As I did so, however, I realised something was very wrong here.  The house had hardly anything in it – there were a few bags with knick knacks, and in the kitchen there was only one box with some plates, mugs and cutlery in it.


I thought the bare wooden floors were a fashion statement, but there really was nothing.  Most of the rooms were unfurnished, and when I went upstairs I found that the rooms did not even have beds in them, never mind any other furniture.


Going back down the stairs, I went into the kitchen and found her purse.  It had a few pounds in it, but not much.  Either they were squatting, or...


I went back into the room where they were and removed the gag from the mother.  “Where are they?” I said as she looked at me, her daughter giggling as she watched.


“Where is what?”


“Your jewellery and valuables – where are they?”


“Somewhere on the M4,” she said as she looked at me, “I want to know the answer to that question as well.”


I looked at her as she started laughing.  “I’ve heard of you, seen the stories in the paper,” she said quietly, “but this time you struck out.  We’re moving in today, but the van has been held up.  My husband and son have gone to see if they can find them- I went to buy some coffee and a drink for my daughter, and then you came in...”


I shook my head, and said “Well, we played a good game.  I’m going to keep you both nice and quiet, and let you both try to escape now.”  I replaced her cleave gag, and looking round found a roll of masking tape.  It makes a lousy gag, but wrapped over their heads and the cleave gags it at least secured them a bit more.


They said “Gbee” to me as I walked out, reminding myself again – check first before visiting...




Sometimes I plan, sometimes I act on impulse, sometimes I improvise – but only once have I ever taken a trip to the cinema and turned it into a successful visit.


This was at the Westfield centre at Shepherd’s Bush, and I had gone to see a film at the Vue cinema, which involved the two daughters of an FBI agent being held hostage to make her do something for an enemy.   It was a decent enough film, but nothing special.  What really got my attention as I walked out was a conversation between two girls – one was eighteen, the other about eleven judging by her relative height.


The older girl had long reddish brown hair, and was wearing a black leather jacket over a silver coloured sweater top, blue jeans and brown suede short boots.  The younger of the two girls was very smartly dressed, in a very light turquoise smock top with gold collar and a gathered waist and cuffs.  The top also had a pattern of black and brown belts in geometric shapes, with gold buckles added.  The smock covered the top of a pair of black pants, and a pair of very shiny brown leather wedge heel boots covered her lower legs.



The conversation went something like this.


“That was a great film, Helen – thanks for taking me!”


“That’s all right Poppy – but it was an exciting film.  I don’t know what we would do if we ended up in that situation.”


“Yeah, well we never will, will we?  So what are we going to do now?”


“Let’s head home – mum and dad left money for pizza, and they won’t be back until later anyway.  We can have a girl’s night in.”


“All right – come on then.”


Oh come on – it was an invitation if ever I heard one, so I followed them out of the shopping centre and onto a bus, as they went into Kensington and entered one of the white terraced houses on a road off the High Street.  I made my way back to the Westfield, got my car and parked nearby, before I went to work.


Looking up and down the street, I went up to the front door and pushed the bell button.   I could hear the footsteps coming up to the door, and heard the older girl saying “So you did forget the salad,” as the door opened.


“Sorry,” I said as I pushed my way in and hand gagged her, closing the door behind me, “I’m not the pizza guy.  Now, keep calm, and do as I say – you and your sister are going to blame a game with me.”




“Not that important – we’re going to go and tell Poppy that you are going to play at being the two daughters, while I’ve come to find their mother’s secrets, all right?”


Helen looked at me, the stocking covering my face, and then nodded slowly.  “Good girl,” I said as I took a roll of brown sticking plaster from my pocket, tore a piece off and smoothed it over her lips, and then taped her wrists together behind her back.  “Let’s go and start playing with Poppy.”


I walked her back into the front room, where Poppy was sitting reading a book.  She looked at me and Helen as I said “Hello Poppy – Helen wanted to play a game of hostages with you, and asked me to come and help you to do so.  She knows you really enjoyed the film, and planned this in the last half hour.  Isn’t that right Helen?”


Helen nodded and said “Ltssplwfhm” as I sat her down on a leather couch.  “Now Poppy,” I said as I took my rucksack off, “I need to keep you two secure and quiet while I find your mother’s secrets.  Helen is going to watch while I tie you up really tightly, so that you cannot move.”


“Sounds fun,” she said as she looked at me, “What do you want me to do?”


I looked at her, and then pulled a length of rope out of my bag.  “Stand still,” I said as I put the rope around her arms, on her tummy, and then tied them in place first, the rope going between her arms and tummy to hold them in place just above her elbows.  I then folded her arms behind her back and tied her wrists tightly together, then sat her down in a chair.


“What are you going to do to me, your wicked man,” she said in a sing song tone as I wound some rope around her ankles and pulled them tightly together, the rope squealing on the leather as I passed the ends between her legs.  I then tied them together below her knees, again taking the rope between her legs, before saying “Now sit quietly while I take care of Helen.”


“I’ll scream,” she said as she smiled at me, so I took the roll of plaster, tore off a strip and pressed it over her mouth, before walking over to Helen.


I took a length of rope and started to tie her arms to her side, taking the rope above and below her chest, and tightening it by passing it under one arm, up and around the back of her neck, and under the other arm.  Only then did I cut the plaster away from her wrists and secure them properly with rope.


“Ruffllfngllrrtppe,” Helen mumbled as she looked over at her sister.  She nodded, watching as I tied her sister’s ankles together, and then her legs below her knees.


“Now then,” I said as I took a plastic box with a cook’s timer on the top, and set the timer for thirty minutes.  “Don’t move.  If you move before it goes off, the bomb explodes.  If I hear the police, the bomb explodes.  So my advice?  Stay very very still.”


They both looked at me and nodded as I left them, and started to search the house.  Their parent’s room was particularly fruitful – she had some very nice taste in gold and pearls.  I also picked out a couple of large scarves, in order to give the two girls a more comfortable gag.


I then went to the kitchen, picked up a couple of cartons of juice, and then went back into the front room.  Peeling the plaster away from Helen’s mouth, I put a straw in one carton and held it to her lips, allowing her to drink – right after I stopped the timer on the box with one minute to go.


“Thank you,” she said when she had finished, “but what are you going to do with us?”


“Well,” I said as I pulled the plaster away from Poppy’s mouth and gave her a drink, “I need to make sure you two are really kept out of the way, so I’m going to take you upstairs and make sure you stay in one room.  You’ll be safe in there – I don’t want anyone else to try and surprise you the way I did.”


“Sounds fun,” Poppy said as she looked at Helen, “but can we be together?”


“Of course,” I said as I picked her up in my arms, “I’ll take you up first, then come down and help your sister up”


I carried Poppy up to her parent’s room, letting her sit on the bed.  “Mum and Dad never let me do this,” she said as I left her alone – I had already disconnected the phone – and then helped Helen to hop out of the downstairs room, up the stairs and into the bedroom.


“Now then,” I said as I helped Helen to sit next to her sister, “Slide down and make your selves comfortable, but first put these in your mouths.”


I took two large handkerchiefs out, folded them and then pushed them into their open mouths, before they shuffled down the bed and lay on their sides, facing each other.  I then rolled the scarves into bands, and pulled them between their lips, tying the ends tightly together at the base of their necks.


“Whtrrugngtd,” Poppy said as I pulled her ankles back, and tied them to the rope around her tummy.  I did the same for Helen – only pulling her ankles back further, and tying them to her chest ropes.


“Now, you just lie still – I need to make my getaway,” I said as I heard Poppy’s boots squeaking again, as she tried to wriggle round while I left them to it.


I just hope their parents were not too late...




Now, whenever I play the games with the people I visit, I usually try to make them as comfortable as possible – in a chair, on a settee, on a bed, or even on a carpet with pillows.  There have been a small number of occasions, however, when the place I have left them has been a kitchen floor.  Two in particular come to mind.


The first was very early in my career, when I was still learning what to do the hard way.  I was walking in a park when I saw this brown haired woman walking with her daughter.  In itself that was nothing unusual, but the Cartier watch she was wearing and the string of pearls around her neck told a different story.  She was about thirty, with brown hair cut in a bob, and was wearing a cream coloured bomber jacket with a white fur collar and trim over a dusky pink roll necked sweater, a knee length brown tweed skirt and long light brown leather boots with a two inch heel.


Her daughter was about nine or ten, and wore a red anorak over a white blouse, the lace collar just visible, a red pleated skirt with a matching Alice band in her hair, white socks and black shoes.  Well, I followed them out of the park, and to a detached house with a reasonably large garden, watching as they went in.


I was a bit more reckless then, and the lack of a car in the driveway for a woman wearing that watch told me the father was not home, so I pulled the scarf I had on my neck up around my face, walked up to the house and let myself in.  I could hear them in the kitchen, so I took the fake pistol I carried at that time out, walked in and said “Hello – it’s time to play a game of robbers!”


Well, the mum just looked at me, and must have panicked, because she said immediately “It’s all right, Sue – we’re going to play the game as he suggests, all right?” 


“All right, Mum,” she said, “but what can we use if he means to keep us secured?”


Good question – I had nothing to use, so I said “Do you have any rope or tape?”


“There’s tape in the drawer,” her mother said as she looked to a unit, “but don’t use that on Sue.”  Instead, she stood up, took a freshly laundered pillow case from a laundry basket, and used a pair of scissors to cut in into two wide and four thin strips.


“We’ll be kept in here, like a real robber would,” Mum said as Sue took her shoes off, so I agreed – using two of the thin strips to tie Sue’s wrists together behind her back, and secure her sock covered ankles together, as well as her wrists behind her back – her anorak was on the back of a chair.  She was sitting in front of the sink, as I rolled a third strip up, put it in her mouth and then tied one of the wider strips tightly over her mouth.


As for Mum, I taped her ankles tightly together over her boots, her wrist behind her back, then stuffed the second wide strip into her mouth and taped her mouth from cheek to cheek, before robbing them as quickly as I could.


Why?  Because leaving them like that in the kitchen meant they could find something to get them free fairly easily – a lesson I remembered for the more recent occasion, when I was better prepared.


This was in the last year, when I was on business in Edinburgh, and walking down Princes Street my eye was drawn to a particular woman.  She was wearing a light brown jacket over a camisole top, and a brown leather skirt that came halfway down her calves.  A pair of very expensive black leather boots covered the remainder of her legs.


With her was a twelve year old girl, dressed in a rather unusual school uniform outside Japan, so unusual I wondered at first if it was a costume of some type.  She had on a beige sailor style jacket over some sort of t-shirt, with a pink bow tied under the collar and in front, a knee length pleated grey skirt, black socks and brown shoes.  Her light brown hair was bunched into two pigtails with pink ribbons, while her mum’s dark hair fell down her neck.


The girl was carrying a brown briefcase, while her mother had a cream coloured handbag and a shopping bag.  Well, I was sufficiently interested that I was glad I had my rucksack with me, as I followed them out towards the Haymarket, and then to a row of houses on a Georgian terrace, noting which one they went into.


I managed to get access, and a look at the post-boxes in the lobby told me which flat they were in.  So I went up, knocked on the door, and waited.  “I’ll get it,” I heard a young voice close, and the door was opened by the young girl.


“Yesssmmm,” she said as I put my hand over her mouth, and closed the door behind me.  “Where’s your mother,” I whispered, and she nodded to the kitchen door, so I walked her into the kitchen, her mother turning and saying “What...” as I walked her in.


“Hello,” I said quietly, “I’m here to play a game of robbers with you and your daughter, as booked by you last week.  Surely you remember?”


I glanced at a letter addressed to Ellen Corrigan, and wondered which she was – my question answered as the mum said “Jess, this man is going to play a game with us, all right?”


“Lllrrtmm,” she mumbled as I removed my hand.  “Sorry,” I said as she looked at me, “but I always start the game without warning.  Now, I need to make sure you two stay put, in here, while I pretend to steal Mummy’s jewellery, all right?”


“Like in that cop show?”


“Exactly,” I said with a smile as I looked at Jess, “Now, why don’t you both turn round and put your hands behind your back for me?”


“Do me first,” Ellen said as she turned and put her hands behind her back, “then Jess will know there is nothing to fear.”


I nodded and took some rope out, moving her arms so that her forearms were parallel to each other and then tying her wrists tightly together.  I then took more rope and tied her arms to her side, going above and below her chest, before using one more length to bring the two bands together behind her back and lifting her arms further up her back.  I’d seen it in a cartoon, and wanted to see how effective it was.


Ellen gasped as I tied the ropes off, and then said “All right Jess – your turn.  It doesn’t hurt, so don’t be afraid.”


I soon had the young girl’s wrists and arms tightly secured, her chest ropes sitting under the bow at the front, before I helped them both to sit back to back, their bags in the floor.  Taking more rope, I bound Jess’ ankles tightly together side by side as she watched, and then bound the ankles of Ellen tightly together, the rope squeaking on the leather.


“That sounds like a mouse,” Jess said as I bent her mother’s legs, and tied her legs together below her knees, gathering the leather skirt around her legs as I did so.


“It does, doesn’t it,” I said as I balled up two lengths of cloth.  “Now, I need you to be as quiet as that mouse.  Open your mouth as wide as you can.”


I pushed the first wad into Jess’ mouth, and then tied a white scarf tightly over her mouth, taking it around her head and then securing the ends together at the base of her neck.  I gagged Ellen in the same way, her lips visible under the scarf as I tied it over her hair, and then said “Don’t move” as I went to steal her valuables.


When I looked in on them before I left, they were sitting, their eyes closed and their heads bowed, as if they were praying.  “Try to escape now,” I said as I left them, hoping the floor was not going to get too cold...




There was another country walk that somehow managed to bring some very, very pleasant memories to mind, and also some regrets, as you shall see.


I was holidaying in the Yorkshire Dales, when I saw this woman walking with a nine year old girl, and something about her caught my eye.  The girl had long blonde hair, with a light purple band holding it back, and was wearing a white top with a black jumper over it, a large purple wool scarf wrapped around her neck, blue jeans and black Ugg boots.


It was the older woman who took my eye.  She was in her late twenties, with long brown hair, and wore a grey scarf over a black round necked top, faded blue jeans and short black leather boots.  A pair of turquoise earrings hung from her lobes, as she saw me looking at her.


“Excuse me,” she said as she walked over to me with a camera, “Can I get you to take a picture of us?”


Well, I could not refuse, so they posed leaning on the side of the bridge and smiled as I took their picture.  Handing the camera back, I watched them as they walked off, and then followed them to a holiday cottage in the woods.


Well, I knew I was going to visit them, but I had to change first, from the shirt and jeans I was wearing into a black jumper and trousers, and then picked up my rucksack.  I then walked back to the house, looked round and looked in.


There was something about the older woman, something familiar as I looked at her sitting in the front room, playing with the young girl.  It took me a minute to place her, and then with an internal shock I realised who she was.


Samantha Dillon – a girl I knew at primary school, but had not seen for nearly twenty years.  For a moment, I was ten years old again, watching her with her hair in pigtails as she ran across the...


“Who’s there?”


I realised I had been heard, so I stepped in and said “Hello – your mummy has booked me to come and play a game with you.”


Neither of them recognised me, especially with the stocking over my head, but the little girl said “This isn’t my mummy – this is my Auntie Sam.”  Samantha was looking at me, eyes wide before she said “Who are you?”


“Like I said,” I repeated as I stepped in, “your mummy has booked me to come and play a game with you, but she obviously is not here.  What’s your name, little girl?”


“I’m Abigail Alanis Arden,” the blonde haired girl said.


“And you,” I said as I looked at Samantha.


“I...  I’m Sam Arden, and I’m her aunt,” she said eventually. 


“So you are married to her father’s brother?”


She nodded and said “That’s right – my maiden name was Dillon.  Abi, darling, will you stay here for a minute while I talk with this man?”  She stood up and walked over to me, motioning to the door.


“Who are you and what are you doing in...”  she started to say, before she saw me pull the handle of a gun from my pocket.


“I’m going to rob you,” I said quietly, “and to do so, I need to secure you and your niece to keep you out of the way.  We’re going to pretend this is a pre-arranged game, so that she doesn’t get too upset.  Understand?”


“secure?  You mean?”  I nodded as she looked at me, and then said “All right – but let me explain what’s going to happen to us, please?”


I looked into her eyes, remembering a childhood date, and then nodded.  WE walked back in as she said “Abi, I’ve talked to the man, and we’re going to play a game of robbers with him.  He’s going to use some things to stop us from moving or talking, and then pretend to steal things from us, before he leaves us to try and get free.  Is that all right with you?”


“That sounds really exciting,” Abi said as she looked at us.  “So what are you going to do?”


“Well, I think we need to start with making sure neither of you can run away,” I said with a smile as I took my rucksack off.  “Why don’t you both sit on the couch, put your hands on your head, and rest your feet on the coffee table?”


Abi jumped onto the couch, putting her hands on her head as Sam followed her.  Taking some rope, I then tied Abi’s ankles together side by side, pulling the material foe hr boots against her legs and passing the rope between her ankles, and then tied her legs together below her knees.  I then went over to Sam and crossed her ankles before tying them together, the rope squeaking over the leather, before I then tied her legs together.


“Not too bad, is it,” I said with a smile as they tried to move their legs.  “Well, we’re not going anywhere,” Sam eventually said.  “The man probably has to tie our wrist together now, right?”


“That’s right,” I said as I took more rope.  “Would you please turn and put your hands behind your back?”


“I think he means business, Abi,” Sam said as she smiled at her niece, while I crossed her wrists and tied them tightly together with more rope, before binding her arms to her side above and below her chest.


“Are you going to do that to me,” Abi said as she watched me tie the ropes off.


“No,” I said quietly, “but I will tie your wrist together.  Can you put them together in prayer for me?”


Sam and I watched as Abi did so, and I tied them tightly together, taking the rope around and between her arms as I did so, and then laid them on her lap while I ted them to the rope around her legs.  I then took some more rope and tied her upper arms to her body, tightening it with two short lengths under her arms.


“Not too uncomfortable,” I said as I stood up.  “It feels funny,” Abi said with a smile, “but it’s not too bad.  Now what happens?”


“Well, can I trust you both to keep quiet while I have  a look round?”


Sam nodded, and said “I know what’s coming, but we will keep quiet as part of the game.”  I nodded and then  left them as I started to search the cottage.


When I entered the main bedroom, I found a set of diaries in the bookcase.  I was going to look for jewels, but my curiosity got the better of me, and I had a look.  She had moved here when she was ten, and grown up, made friends, got married.  But looking at the early pages, I saw my name.


She had liked me a lot as well, and thought I was good looking and cute.  There were even some stories of me coming to her rescue to free her from bad men, or taking her to parties.


I had to swallow a little as I read that, and then put the diary back.  I did find the jewellery box, but as I looked through the pieces I recognised some from when she had worn them as a young girl, or on her mother when we met.  I could not take these – any of them, but I did find some money which I pocketed, as well as some gold coins.


Eventually, I returned to the front room, as Sam said “So have you found what you were looking for?”


“I have,” I said with a smile, “but now I have to stop you from raising the alarm.”  I took one of the scarves I had found in Sam’s room, rolled it into a band and tied a knot in it, and said “open wide.”  She allowed me to pull the knot into her mouth, and tie the ends around her head, before I did the same with a smaller scarf to Abigail.


“Right,” I said as I looked at them, “ready to try and escape?”


They both nodded at me and smiled over their cleave gags as I left them, a mixture of regret and pride in my heart as I walked out.  To have someone feel like that about you...




A few months ago, I had to spend a couple of weeks on business in New York, and as is my custom now, I bought a few cheap supplies at a hardware store and kept them in my hotel room.  I was staying near Central Park, so on the Sunday I dressed casually, slipped my rucksack on my back and went for a walk in that urban paradise.


While I was purchasing a hot dog, I saw a mum and daughter walk past.  The mum had long, slightly curled brown hair, and was wearing a black jacket over a grey top, faded blue denim jeans and black combat boots.  She was looking in her brown handbag for something while her daughter was looking at the lake.


She looked as if she was about twelve, wearing a grey lumberjack patterned top with the sleeves rolled up, and beige chinos with a pair of dark brown combat boots.  Her hair was pulled back and secured in a small pigtail at the back of her head.


In themselves, they did not look that special – but the solid silver Cartier watch and bangles the mum was wearing, and the contents I glimpsed of her handbag, told a different story, so I started to follow them from a distance, riding the subway with them to the Bronx and watching as they entered a brownstone.


A glance at the intercom buttons revealed their possible names – Sonia and Jodie Kazinsky.  By good fortune, someone else was coming out of the building, so I pretended to talk to them as the door opened, slipped in and reached into my jacket pocket for the stockings I had also bought.


I soon found their apartment door, and tried the handle – finding to my relief that for some reason they had left it unlocked.  As I slipped in I heard the mum say “Jodie, can you come in here for a minute please?”


I stood still and watched as the little girl ran from her room to another one, without seeing me – so I slipped the stocking over my head, the gloves over my hands, and stepped in.


“What the....” Sonia said as she saw me standing there, a small gun in my hand as I looked at both of them.  “Hello there,” I said with a smile, “Your mum, Jodie, wants you to know what to do if a bad man comes to rob you, so she asked me to come and play a game of robbers with you.  Isn’t that right, Sonia?”


Her mum looked at me, and slowly nodded her head as she said “That’s right, Jodie, so don’t be afraid.  This is just a game – this man here is someone from my office.”


“All right, Mum,” Jodie said as she looked at Sonia, “I guess I do need to know.  So what are you going to do?”


“Well,” I said as I took my rucksack off, and left my gun where Sonia could see it, “I need to make sure you and your Mum can’t stop me taking her things, so I need to make sure you both stay in here.  It’ll be fun, I promise.  I need you to do something first, Jodie – can you go and get two pairs of your gym socks for me please?”


The apartment was not that big, so I had decided already they had to be tied together, but I did not want to make it easy for them to escape.   When Jodie came back, I told her to give a pair to her mother, and then for both of them put them on their hands before they sat back to back.


“Oh, it’s going to be like in the movies, held back to back,” Jodie said as I knelt beside them.


“In a way, but this will be different,” I said as I tied Jodie’s left wrist to her mother’s right one, cinching the band between their arms, and then tied their arms together just under Jodie’s elbow.  I then walked over to the over side and secured their free arms to each other in the same way.  They both had taken their boots off, so I crossed Sonia’s ankles and tied them together, as well as her legs below her knees, before doing the same to her daughter.


“Don’t move,” I said as I looked in their kitchen, and found a hank of washing line, which I used to bind their upper bodies together at their waists and below Sonia’s chest, holding Jodie to her at her upper chest, and then making sure it was tightened properly.


“Now then,” I said to Jodie as I knelt beside her and looked into her eyes, “I’m afraid I need to...”


“Hey Jodie, what are you doing?”


I jumped to my feet as I saw we had visitors – a young Asian woman, in her late twenties, dressed in a black sweatshirt over a blue and white polka dot blouse, torn jeans and black strappy sandals.  More worrying to me was the six year old girl she had her hand on the shoulder of, wearing a bright blue sweatshirt, leopard print leggings and black fur lined boots with big buttons on the side.  Both of their sweatshirts had “HEART AND SOUL” printed on the front, the one difference being the young girl had a little heart instead of the O in SOUL.


“Hey Anna,” Jodie said to the black haired young girl, “We’re playing a game of robbers.  Do you and your mum want to play too?”


I walked to the table and put my hand on the gun as Sonia sighed and said “I think you and Anna should play along, Kim.  It’s just a game after all.”


Kim looked at me, and then nodded as she said “So long as it is just a game.  “What do you want us to do?”


“Why don’t you sit on the couch,” I said as I looked at Kim,” and put your hands on your head for the moment, while I start the game with your delightful daughter.  Anna, do me a favour and put your hands together in front of you.”


“It’s fun, Anna,” Jodie said as I used some cord to bind the little girl’s wrists together.


“Will we have to stay really quiet,” she said as she smiled at me.  I nodded and said “Yes, but I’ll help you.  Now, can you stay standing there for a minute?  I want to make sure you mum cannot move off the couch before she gives you a big hug.”


I then knelt in front of Anna, and tightly tied her ankles together side by side, as well her legs below her knees, before I said to Kim “Right then – sit on your mum’s lap for me please, and then I’ll make sure your legs are just like your mum’s.”


“Sure,” Kim said as she jumped on her mum’s lap, leaning against her as Anna put her arms round her, and I tied her legs together above her boots.  I then crossed Anna’s wrists in front of Kim’s tummy, tied them tightly together, and then tied their wrists to each other with a short length of cord.


“One more thing,” I said as I used what was left of the washing line to tie them together around their tummies, before I said “Now, before you came in I was saying to Jodie that I need to make sure you cannot raise the alarm.”  Looking at Kim, I said “that means I need to put some tape over your mouth, but just stay calm and snuggle in with your mum, and you’ll be just fine, all right?”


“All right,” Kim said as I tore a strip of medical tape from the roll in my bag, and smoothed it down over her mouth.  She nodded as I walked over to Jodie, wadding up a hankie in my pocket as I did so.


“I need to do a little more for you, but don’t let Kim see, or she will want it to,” I said as I looked at her.  She nodded and opened her mouth, allowing me to push the clean hankie in before I covered her lips in tape.


“Now, mummies make more noise, so I need to do a bit more for them,” I said as I took two cheap bandanas from my bag, rolled them up and tied knots in them, before using them to cleave gag both Anna and Sonia, and then wrapped the medical tape around their mouths.


“There,” I said as I stood up, “now just sit quietly while I pretend to rob you – then you can try to start to escape after I have gone.”


I didn’t take long to find the valuables, returning to see Anna rubbing her taped cheek on her daughter’s head while Sonia and Jodie tried to move their arms.  I had already secreted Anna’s keys from her back, as well as noting her apartment number, so I said “I’m going now – try and get free before someone comes to rescue you.”


There then followed the quickest search I have ever done, and the quickest exit...




When I was first starting out on this life, two occasions happened which taught me a lot about being prepared and how to keep the younger ones calm.  The first of those happened when I was on a day trip to the seaside, and was walking past some chalets when I saw a young family walking down to the beach from one of the holiday homes.   The man was wearing a black polo shirt and knee length denim shorts, with a pair of flip flops on his feet, and he was holding the hand of an eight year old girl.  She had long brown hair, and was wearing a light green t-shirt with a red necklace around her neck, with a peach and green tiered gypsy skirt and green sandals.


Her mother followed behind, carrying a picnic basket with her.  She had on a pink top held up by thin straps, and a long white linen skirt that came half way down her lower legs.  She had a red bead necklace around her neck.


I watched from my bench as she took out a blue scarf and laid it on the pebble beach, while they sat and ate their lunch, before Dad took the little girl down to the water’s edge to look at the tide.  I watched them, thinking they made a lovely group, before they gathered their things together and went back to the chalet.


As they passed me, I heard Dad say “I need to go and pick some things up in town – I should be back in a couple of hours.”  As he went one way, and the mum and daughter went back to the chalet, I decided to make my move.


I was wearing a blue hooded top and had a woollen scarf round my neck, so I moved the scarf up to cover my mouth and nose, and pulled my head up, before I let myself into the chalet.   I had a small penknife in my pocket, and nothing else – this was in the very early days, when I let the adrenaline do the talking rather than the brain.


So, of course, at the moment I closed the door the mother came out.  She took one look at me, and was going to scream, so I had to push her against the wall, my wool gloved hand over her mouth as she saw my penknife from the corner of her eye.


“Shhh,” I said quietly, “Not a word.  You don’t want to scare your little girl, do you?”


I was shaking inside, but I hid it as much as I could, as she looked at me and then slowly nodded her head.


“What’s your name,” I said as I took my hand away.


“Becky – oh God, please don’t hurt us...”


“I won’t hurt you – let’s make it a game for both of you, all right?  Do you have any rope or tape?”


She shook her head, before saying “I have some wool I’m using to knit a shawl.”


Any port in a storm, as they say, so I replied “Good – where is it?”


“In the front room with Zara.”


“Let’s go – and remember, this is a game,” I said as we walked in.  Zara looked at me and said “Who is this, Mummy?”


“He wants to play a game with us,” she said as she looked at her daughter.  “We need to let him keep us really still and quiet, and then see how long we can stay like this, all right?”


“Will you play as well Mummy?”


“Oh yes, darling, I’ll be right with you,” she said as she picked up a ball of blue wool and a pair of scissors, and handed them both to me.  “Right then,” I said, “Why don’t you both sit on the floor, with your backs to the seat, and I’ll use this wool to stop you both from moving.  I’ll take care of your mum first, Zara, so that you can see she is all right.”


As Zara nodded, I said to Becky “Hands together in front of you, palm to palm please.”  Once she had done this, I used the wool to tie her wrists together, winding it round them in a figure of eight before I wound it round her legs below her knees, and then her ankles, cut it loose and tying it tightly between her legs.


“Does it hurt,” I said, and as she shook her head I did the same thing to Zara, so that they were sat bound side by side with their legs bent.


There were two napkins on the ground, so I rolled them up and pushed them into their mouths as a simple gag.  “Now, keep that in as long as possible before you call for help,” I said as I took Becky’s purse and emptied it of cash, and then left them to enjoy the rest of the fame.


What did I learn?  Improvisation can work – as I found out the very next week...




The second time I was walking past a jewellers when I saw an eighteen year old walk out, with her sister holding her hand.  The older girl was wearing a red leather jacket over a sports vest, denim jeans and a pair of short brown leather boots, while the little girl had on an anorak over a white top with a daisy pattern on the front, slightly more faded jeans and a pair of black Ugg boots.


What really caught my attention was the amount of money in the older girl’s wallet.  They really did look like sisters as well, the younger girl’s hair maybe slightly lighter than the older ones.  Anyway, I heard her saying they needed to get home and hide their mother’s present before she got home that night – and I saw an opportunity to pick up some more cash.


They walked back to a modest little terraced house, with a modest little deadbolt lock that they did not use – so I was able to sneak in, with my scarf pulled back up over my nose, and watch them as they kicked off their boots and settled down to watch some television.


Eventually, the little girl stood up and walked out of the room – which was my cue to grab her, lift her off the ground and carry her back in, to a scream of “HEATHER!!” from the older girl.


“All right,” I said as the little one squirmed in my arm, “just sit down and stay calm – there’s no need for anyone to scream or get hurt, so long as you do what I tell you, understand?”


The older girl nodded as I said “Good – now, what’s your name?”




“All right, Holly, you and your sister Heather are going to play a game of robbers with me.  Have you got any rope in the house?”


She nodded so I said “Good – why don’t you go and get it while I keep hold of Heather here?  And no tricks.  I don’t want to hurt her, but if you try to call for help...”


That kept her suitably intimidated, as she said “Just stay calm, sis,” and left the room, coming back with a roll of brown rope.  She laid it on the chair and then sat on a couch, little Heather running into her arms as I let her go.


“What are you going to do to us,” Holly said as she held her sister, watching me take a knife out and cut the rope into several lengths.


“Don’t worry, I just want to play a game of robbers with you,” I said quietly.  “You’re going to tie little Heather’s wrists and ankles, and then I’ll tie you up before I have a look round.  After that, I’ll keep you quiet, and then leave you to try and get free.”


“You’re a bad man,” Heather said as she looked at me, “I don’t like you.”


“Well, I’m sorry to hear that,” I said as I looked at her, “but you are going to be tied up – would you rather it was your sister or me?”


Heather looked as if she was thinking that one over, before she said “My sister – I know she won’t hurt me.”


“All right,” Holly eventually said, “What do you want me to do?”  I handed her the length of rope, and told her to tie her sister’s wrists together behind her back, so she said to Heather “Do me a favour, sweetheart – turn your back to me, and fold your arms like this.”  She showed Heather how to put her arms, waited for her to do so, and then tied her wrists tightly together so that one arm was on top of the other.  I instructed her to cinch the binding between her arms, and then tie the ends off before tucking them into the ropes.


“Now, Heather,” I said quietly, “Sit down on the floor with your back against the couch, and Holly will tie your ankles together side by side with this rope.”  The little girl watched as her sister tied her ankles together, keeping the rope tight around her bare legs, and then passed it between them before tying it off.


“Now it’s your sister’s turn,” I said as I looked at Holly.  “Lie face down on the floor and cross your arms behind your back.”


“Why does she have to lie down,” Heather said as I started to bind her sister’s arms together behind her back.


“Well, she’s older than you, strong than you, and more likely to cause trouble than you, so I need to make sure she is even more secure,” I said as I pulled the rope tighter, and then started to bind her ankles together, then pull her feet back and secure them to her wrist with a longer length of rope.


“Now, stay there and keep quiet,” I said as I left the room and had a search of the rest of the house, collecting some money and jewellery as I did so.  When I went back, however, I found Heather trying to untie the rope around her sister’s wrists with her fingers.


“Naughty naughty,” I said as I moved her back, and tightened the ropes on Holly, “I guess I really do have to keep you quiet now.  Open wide.”


I had picked up a pair of ankles socks from her sister’s chest of drawers, as well as a red and blue bandana, so I pushed one of the socks into the little girl’s mouth before folding the red bandana into a band and tying it tightly over her mouth.  “Now, let me test that is going to work,” I said as I started to tickle the soles of Heather’s feet, making her wriggle and squirm but only hearing muffled laughs.


“Your turn now,” I said to Holly, holding the sock in front of her mouth.  She glared at me, but allowed me to stuff the cotton wad in, and then tie the folded blue bandana over her mouth, before I tickled her feet as well.


They both looked at me, panting through their gags, as I turned and said “Have fun getting free,” and left them there.  I had realised that day that I can make even the trickiest situation fun, and that stood me in good stead through the years.


Especially when I ended up robbing my own girlfriend...







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