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Insights from a person of questionable sanity

A Tragic Climax: the horrifc murder of the popular fiction writer Arnold Baffin

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A tragic climax: the horrifc murder of the popular fiction writer Arnold Baffin

by optimisticnad

The murder of the prolific popular writer, Arnold Baffin, has shocked the nation. ‘Who?’ you may ask but those who knew him and liked his work are intense in their devotion. Among his titles are: The precious Labyrint, Tobias and the Fallen Angel, A Skull on Fire and my personal favourite – Mysticism and Literature.

What made this murder of the ‘wonderful’ writer all the more chilling was that it was committed by an intimate friend. Bradley Pearson, a 58 year old retired tax inspector and a failed writer with a fixation with Hamlet, has been arrested for the murder of his friend, his literary rival and protégé. The police found Arnold Baffin dead in his home, his skull slightly indented by a large fire poker. They found Arnold’s blood and hair on the poker, and Mr Baffin’s blood on Bradley Pearson’s shoes which places him at the seen of the crime.

Rachel Baffin, the unhappy and unfulfilled wife of Arnold, in an interview revealed how Bradley Pearson was a rather dull and rude person, envious of Arnold’s success as writer and constantly critiqued Arnold’s work. This short paragraph from a recent review of Mr Baffin’s work, by his friend and murderer (what an oxymoron!) reveals their different attitude to art:

"Arnold Baffin is a fluent writer. He is a prolific writer. It may well be this facility which is his own worst enemy. It is a quality which can be mistaken for imagination. And if the artist himself so mistakes it he is doomed. The writer who is facile needs, to become a writer of any merit, quality about all; and that is courage: the courage to destroy, the courage to wait."

From the outset the police could not understand why anyone would want to hurt Arnold Baffin, a man who was as ‘harmless as a fly’. Mr Baffin’s wife, Rachel Baffin, provided the police with two motives. She claims that though Mr Pearson was a cold and distant man, he was never violent and that he must have been driven to this horrendous act out of not only envy, but vengeance.

Vengeance for what you may ask.

Bradley Pearson, 58, had a love-affair with Julian Baffin, 20, daughter of the victim. It was Mr Baffin who tore the lovers apart, revealing Mr Pearson’s true age; Mr Pearson had told Julian he was ten years younger.

However, it was not the revelation of his true age which killed their relationship but rather the revelation that Mr Pearson had sex with Julian Baffin – who at the time was dressed as Hamlet, for the first time immediately after he heard about the suicide of his mentally distressed sister, Priscilla Saxe; a death for which Mr Pearson is partly responsible because of neglect. What a piece of work is a man! Naturally the naïve and foolish Julian Baffin fled the very next morning after having refused to leave Bradley Pearson the night before when her father had revealed some home truths. To flaming youth let virtue be a wax.

Did Bradley Pearson truly love Julian? His diaries and his letters – which we were granted an exclusive look at, revealed an intense love for Julian, but how much of this was just simply lust misunderstood? After all, his diary revealed that on their first ‘proper’ date at the restaurant in the Post Office Tower that a sort of giddiness filled him, locating itself primarily in the genitals.

Far more important is the question did Bradley Pearson really the commit murder? A deep throat source has suggested that actually Bradley Pearson had undergone a transformation because of his love for Julian; that is he became a better, a more generous man than he was. This deep throat source has also revealed that Mr Pearson has been framed for the murder and is only keeping silent to protect someone he loves. A final shocking revelation from this deep throat is that our beloved Arnold Baffin was not as ‘harmless as a fly’ but rather a violent man, as his wife’s often bruised face and eyes testified.

Could this be true? Could Bradley Pearson actually be innocent? The mind boggles. Is this a grave miscarriage of justice?

To find out, please read ‘The Black Prince’ by Iris Murdoch.

Fooled you.

For never was a story of more woe than this of – sorry, wrong play.


  1. andave_ya's Avatar
    I began reading, duly horrified, then as I got further into it I started thinking..."wait a minute...That is positively TOO storybook!"
  2. optimisticnad's Avatar
    So I fooled only half-way? Still something. Thank you for taking the time to read!
  3. mtpspur's Avatar
    I was at work and almost asked the ladies if they had ever read Baffin but it was busy thank goodness. Then I went to yahoo and found out the truth. If only this had been posted April 1st.
  4. kiz_paws's Avatar
    OMG, Opti! You certainly had me going there!
  5. Niamh's Avatar
    pure genius!
  6. Virgil's Avatar
    Oh what a let down. You had me going Opti. I was about to ask all sorts of questions. I was also going to conclude with the moral of the story being to never trust a tax collector. Well, that's still the moral.