The Cat’s Review
Oh – hello there. I was just looking through some old photos, and they had brought back some memories of my younger days, when I was just starting out in this line of work, and realising just how far I have come over the years. Would you like to hear some of them while we have some tea?
Anyway – this signed photo of Petula Clark, from when she was a mature theatre star. It reminds me of one of the first women I ever had the privilege of visiting on a professional basis…
This would have been in the mid to late seventies, when I was sixteen, and had little or no training at all. I made my way into the garden of this terraced house in Camden, and managed to force the back door open before making my way into the kitchen.
The main room was all lava lamps and uncomfortably fashionable seats, but my interest was in the main bedroom, and the jewellery boxes there. I managed to find them, but was so busy emptying them into my pockets I did not hear the door to the house open and close, or the footsteps in the stairs – until I heard a woman say “what the…”
She had long white-blonde hair, just like Petula Clarke at the time, and was wearing a long sleeved white blouse – and I mean long, the sleeves billowing like tents from her elbows – a tight purple mini-skirt, and white go-go boots that came up to her knees.
Anyway, I knew I was caught, so I looked at her and told the truth – I said I was robbing her, and now that she had found me, I needed to make sure she could not raise the alarm for a while as I made my escape. Well, she was taken a little aback, but then she said something about it would be like being in the Protectors, and lay on the bed, telling me to do my worst.
There was a ball of wool in a basket by the bed, so I took a white ball out and told her to sit up, with her hands together. As she did this, I made a loop, and passed it over her head, pulling it tight to take her arms into her sides and winding it round several times, before she lay back down again. I then tied her wrists together, and took the wool down to secure her legs together below her knees, and then her ankles.
She wriggled round as I tied the wool off and cut it – then moved the scissors well out of her reach – and watched as I finished my search of the jewellery boxes. We talked as well – about a few things relevant at the time – before I took one of her handkerchiefs, folded it and pushed it into her mouth, the edges sticking out between her rouged lips before I made my exit.
A couple of years later, I was visiting the Midlands – specifically, a lovely little town called Ashby de la Zouche. It has a few narrow streets, both business and residential, and it was the residential I was interested in.
I managed to get in using my lock picks to this particular house, and walked slowly into the hallway, listening to see if anyone was at home. By this time, I was experienced and more trained, so I had a small bag with supplies in case they were needed – and as I walked up the stairs, the voice of Tony Blackburn told me that someone was indeed at home.
And that someone, as I looked into a bedroom, was an older teenager with long light brown hair, sitting at a desk and writing. She was wearing a peasant style top, with a brown fabric sporting a floral pattern, brown hot pants made from denim, and knee length brown suede boots.
The door squeaked as I opened it, and she looked round – and yes, she would have screamed for help if I had not quickly walked in and covered her mouth with my gloved hand, talking calmly all the time and asking her not to struggle or scream, or she might only hurt herself. I persisted, and eventually she stopped struggling and looked up at me.
I asked if she would scream if I took my hand away, and as she shook her head I did so, telling her she had nothing to fear from me, although I would have to make sure she could not raise the alarm for a while. She asked what I meant by that – so I opened the bag, took out a pre-cut length of thin cord, and invited her to lie face down on her bed, and put her hands in front of her.
She had a single bed with a metal headboard, which was perfect for my purposes. I crossed her wrists and tied them together, then took them above her head and tied them to the headboard, before I took another length of cord out and lashed her ankles together, having crossed them first. She struggled a little, but soon calmed down again, especially as I tied her legs together below her knees, and asked her where her valuables were.
She was most obliging, and told me where her mother kept her jewels as well – figuring, correctly in fact, that fi she told me there would be little mess, and she could say I made her tell me. Of course, I would not force her, but it still helped. When I came back, I also had a strip of sticking plaster, which I pressed firmly over her mouth before I left her to enjoy the music on the radio…
Ah now look – a picture of majorettes on the march. They have somewhat died out as organizations now, but when I was a young man every town seemed to have at least one troupe, and often more than one. It reminds me of a visit to Lancaster in ’78, and the two sisters I met when they returned home unexpectedly.
It was a winter’s evening, and I had managed to get into the semi-detached house through the kitchen door. I had spent about an hour carefully searching through the rooms, and had selected a good number of items for me to take, but I was in the main room downstairs when I heard the front door open and close.
I stood behind the main door as it opened up, and a woman in her early twenties came in, carrying a silver top hat and a stick. She was wearing a white mini-dress with silver dots, a red sash under the epaulette on her right shoulder and hanging diagonally across her, and silver grey knee length boots.
She squealed as I came behind her and hand gagged her, before the light came on and a slightly younger woman came in. she was also wearing a mini-dress, hers blue and styled like a military jacket with a white inset at the skirt, and white lace up ankle boots, and carried a bearskin hat and a stick as well. It took me a minute or two to realise they were majorettes – but that was all I needed for the other girl to raise her hands, and plead with me not to hurt them.
I assured them I had no intention of hurting them, but they had to do as Is ay and not resist. As she nodded, her friend nodded a swell, so I told the second girl to bring two chairs over from the dining table I could see in the next room, and put them in the centre of the floor.
When she did this, I told her to sit in one of the chairs, and put her hands on her head, then told the girl I was holding to do the same in the other chair. When they had done so, I told them not to move, as I took from the bag I had their valuables in several lengths of rope. Walking behind the chairs, I told them to remain calm, as one by one I took their arms down and around the chair back, tied their wrists together, and then secured them to the central spar of the back.
Walking round in front of the chairs, I knelt down and crossed the silver booted ankles of the first young woman, tying them tightly together and then taking them to the side as I secured them to the front leg of the chair.
She asked me if I was a burglar, and of course I said I was – manners and all that. She smiled and said at least I was honest and polite, as I secured the rope around the white leather of the boots her friend was wearing, making sure she could not separate her ankles before I tied them to the leg of her chair as well.
I told them to sit still, or they may fall over and hurt themselves, before I went back into the dining room and came back with two napkins – which served as perfectly good cleave gags for both women before I picked my bag up and made my exit from their home, as they struggled and tried to call out…
So, what do we have next in the box? Ah – I had forgotten this gold watch was in here. I think I can safely tell you where I obtained this now – it has been forty years nearly, after all…
This was in Glasgow, and the home in question was a flat in a three-storey old house. Getting into the building was simple in those days – you opened the door and walked in, and then the thin plastic card would usually be enough to get access.
Of course, what you do not expect to find as you walk in is the lady of the house about to go out. She was in her mid-thirties, with ash blonde hair held back by an Alice band, and wearing a tightly belted black coat with white polka dots over a red jersey. She was also wearing a pair of knee length white leather boots, with a square heel, and opaque white tights – and a startled expression as she came out of her front room, and saw me come in.
She eventually asked who I was, and I said I was there to steal her valuables – but if she cooperated, it would not be a frightening experience. She asked me what I meant, and I said I would have to make sure she could not raise the alarm. It took her a moment to realise what I was saying – enough time for me to pull the telephone wire from the wall, and ask her if she was going to cooperate.
I also asked her name – it was Mindy, and she was a school teacher on her way to meet her colleagues for a drink. Well, she was not going to make it, as I asked her to walk into the front room.
There was a long grey suede settee in the room, and I asked her to lie face down, and put her wrists behind her back. She did this, as I took some cord from my jacket pocket, crossed her wrists, and tied them firmly together. She wriggled her fingers, and said she was in trouble now, as I crossed her ankles and tied them tightly together as well. I also secured her legs together below her knees, taking the cords between her legs as I had her ankles and her wrists, so that she was well secured, before she rolled over and looked at me.
I asked her where her valuables were, and she was more than willing to tell me and save clearing up. I left her on the couch as I raided her flat – returning to find she had been struggling, her coat opening up to reveal her black miniskirt as well.
I had also brought in a black headscarf, which I rolled into a band and used as a cleave gag, her red lips closing over it as I tied the band round her head, and then put a cushion under her head before I turned the television on, and made m escape. I did hear a colleague came an hour later to see where she was, and freed her.
A colleague she married a year later…
This picture of a family tells a story as well – and one I should end up with, as it has rather an unusual ending.
This would have been in the early eighties, in Oxford – if I remember correctly, a nice little thatched cottage wherein lived a jewellery designer called Mabel Nimrod. A very successful one – so I planned accordingly, and it was early evening when I forced the latch on a window at the back of the house, and let myself in.
The room was a bedroom, and tastefully furnished, as I started to search through the drawers. I was wearing the classic look – black sweater and pants, leather shoes and gloves, and I was finding quite a few nice items as well.
Which should have told me things were about to take a different turn, as the room door opened and a young woman came in. She had long dark hair, pulled back in a ponytail with a small brown scarf tied around it, and was wearing a sleeveless powder blue linen dress with a waistcoat like top and along skirt down over her knees. Under the skirt she had on a long sleeved pale blue blouse with a round collar, and long brown leather boots were on her legs.
And she didn’t even realise I was in the room, until she heard me close the door, and turned to see me put my gloved finger to my lips and shake my head. I could see she was upset about something – but somehow, I did not think it was me that was causing her to be upset. Her eyes were red, and she had obviously been crying before.
I asked what was the problem, and she just stared at me, as if I was speaking in Chinese. So I walked over, told her to remain calm, and then walked behind her, guiding her wrists behind her back and taking a length of cord from the bag I had before I started to tie her wrists together.
“This just tops it,” she sobbed as I pulled the rope between her arms, “my boyfriend dumps me, my mother thinks I’m a failure, and now we’re been robbed!”
“I am sorry about your boyfriend,” I said quietly, “and yes I am robbing you – but your mother?”
As I started to tie some rope around her upper body, she said her mother felt the break-up of the relationship was her fault, and was on her way over to, as she put it, “tear a fresh strip off me.” She barely noticed as I tied the ropes off, and then suggested she may have misunderstood her mother -that she would understand, particularly when she discovered her daughter tied up and gagged.
She asked if I thought that would be the case. Well, it had happened before, and the chances were good I would not be finished before her mother arrived – but I didn’t mention that at the time, instead telling her to sit on the edge of her bed, while I sat down and started to bind her ankles tightly together.
I then tied some rope around her legs above her knees, trapping her skirt underneath as she twisted round, before I suggested if she told me where her jewellery was, it would be much neater. She directed me to a chest of drawers, and as I worked my way through she kept talking.
Until we both heard the front door open and close, and a female voice call out. I stood by the door, and told her to call her mother into the room. She nodded and told her to come into the bedroom – and as the door opened, an older woman came in, with greying red hair, wearing a brown floral print coat dress and baggy brown felt boots.
“Darling, I had to come and hmmguddwhtshpppdntuuu?” The last bit was courtesy of my gloved hand, which covered the older woman’s mouth as I held her, and her daughter told her to calm down and do whatever I said.
Eventually, she relented, and I took my hand away before guiding her wrists behind her back. As I bound them together, her daughter explained I had already bound her, and I was going to rob her – but it had taken her mind off the events of that day, so she was strangely grateful to me.
Her mother made some comment about it being strange therapy, as I tied her arms to her sides, and then had her sit next to her daughter as I secured her ankles, and her legs above her knees, before helping them both to lie on the bed. I used some sticking plaster as gags, then helped them to lie on their sides facing each other before hogtying them, and leaving them to try and talk as I made my getaway.
I know they resolved things, because I saw her wedding a few months later to another man…
Anyway – enough talk, customers are waiting. Until next time?