Friday 23 March 2018

A bow-tied killer and his bittersweet glimpse of freedom...

Gemma O'Doherty on the unanswered questions in the Malcolm MacArthur case

Malcolm MacArthur leaves the High Court in July 1983
Malcolm MacArthur leaves the High Court in July 1983

An angry shopper confronted the country's most notorious murderer outside a Wicklow supermarket on Monday evening as he waited for his lift back to prison after weekend release.

"Life is supposed to mean life, Malcolm," she growled, and for a moment, there was something in Malcolm MacArthur's expression that said he wished it did. For a man who has spent almost half of his existence behind bars, he is learning that freedom often comes with a bittersweet taste.

In a genteel and unthreatening fashion, the 66-year-old pleaded with waiting pressmen to leave him alone, uttering his first words in public for almost 30 years. He had hoped to be anonymous when he was released, he told them, because he wanted to go back to his old haunts and be left in peace.

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