The Victoria Pub Interview
Friday, 12th September 2003, 10:40pm
Note: Although the subject of this interview gave no name,
Vic: Wait up mate, will you...
[I have stopped, but don't immediately respond. He approaches]
I heard you talking...
Vic: Come round here, will you.
[He motions for me to walk around the railings at the top of the slope]
I heard you talking. In the subway.
Vic: The PM man? Peter Marlin? Is that what you said?
Me: Yeah... er, yeah, do you know something..?
[He looks around briefly]
Vic: Look, can we go somewhere else?
Me: Er, right. Sure. Let me buy you a drink.
[I motion towards the pub. He considers the proposition for a moment]
Vic: Ok. Come on.
[He moves off quickly. We enter the Victoria pub and I buy drinks for us both. There are no tables free, but we locate a secluded corner on the far side of the bar, close to the rear fire door, and, amidst the hustle of a Friday night, the location affords us a certain privacy. The conversation continues]
Me: Right. Let me introduce myself. I'm [I state my name]. Can I ask your name?
Vic: No. No names. Look, I really shouldn't be here at all, it's just... oh, they're all fuckin' idiots.
Me: Idiots? The guys in the subway?
Vic: Yeah. Well, not idiots, but you know. They're fucking scared, that's what they are.
Me: Scared? Of what?
Vic: Look, who are you anyway? Fuckin' hell. I don't even know why I'm talking to you. You know what a risk I'm taking here? Fuck me. I'm the fuckin' idiot, you know?
Me: Ok... so... what? You know Peter Marlin? The PM man? Is that what you're saying?
Vic: I don't know no Marlin, no. But the PM man, yeah. Well I don't know him, but I've heard of him, yeah, course. We all have. So who are you?
Me: I'm a journalist at [I state my organisation]. We've heard one or two rumours about a man named Peter Marlin. We just want to find out a bit more, that's all.
Vic: Fuck me. I don't want to be in the papers, you ain't putting me in the papers mate.
Me: No, no, you can say what you like, this can be off the record, it's no problem. I don't even know your name, do I.
Vic: Yeah, well, you can't mention me or nothing.
Me: I won't.
Vic: So what do you know about the bastard?
Me: Well, nothing really. That's why I'm here.
Vic: You know his fucking name though. Peter fucking Marlin.
Me: Well yeah, that's what he calls himself.
Vic: You've talked to him? Fuck me. Look, I really shouldn't be here, mate.
[He shapes to leave]
Me: No, I've never met the man, I don't know him. But he's sent letters and stuff, that's all.
Vic: Saying what?
Me: Well... claiming he's committed certain crimes.
Me: And has he?
Vic: You're asking me?
Me: You obviously know more than I do.
Vic: Yeah... well.
[He takes out a cigarette and lights it]
I'd say he has.
Me: And how do you know?
Vic: How do I know? Because everyone's fucking shit-scared of him out there, that's how.
Me: But how... I mean why haven't we heard of him? The press I mean, the police?
Vic: Why would you? He don't touch your sort, does he. You want to kill a few fucking people, you kill the bastards no one'll notice. People like us.
Me: You mean the homeless?
Vic: Yeah, homeless, piss-heads, druggies, whatever. No one gives a shit, do they.
Me: But if you know what's happening, why don't you report it?
Vic: You're taking the piss mate. A few junkies dead on the streets? Yeah. They'd be giving him a fucking medal, not locking him up. And besides, you've seen what they're like out there. They're scared shitless. No one knows who the fuck this guy is. It could be you for all I know. And anyone says anything, they don't tend to be around much longer, do they.
Me: What, people go missing?
Vic: Yeah, missing, dead, who knows. They reckon he's killed twelve people.
Vic: So they say. Wouldn't surprise me. It's been going for as long as I've been out there. It all dies down, you hear nothing for a while, then bang - it's all back again. No one knows what the fuck's going on.
Me: So what have you heard about this guy?
Vic: I told you, we know fuck all. Peter Marlin? That's fucking news to me. PM man, that's what everyone calls him. On account of that's how he signs himself. I ain't seen him, and I don't know nobody who has. He's like a fucking ghost.
Me: The tree in Christchurch Park...
Vic: You've seen that? Yeah... just one of many.
Me: So... what? He kills people and then signs his name at the scene?
Vic: I s'pose. Fuck knows why. I seen a couple of others, one down Foundation Street, the multi-storey. Don't know about the rest. Don't want to know either.
Me: But if all there is is a few signatures on trees or whatever, how do we know any of this is even happening?
Vic: You see? You ask why no one reports nothing, and there you go. You don't even believe it yourself. You try living on the fucking streets, man. You try listening to the fucking rumours, and then see your mates disappearing like that. People don't shit themselves for nothing. Just 'cause I ain't seen it with my own eyes, don't mean it's not goin' on.
Me: Ok. And you don't know anything else? Why he's doing it, where he comes from...
Vic: Fuck knows. Just a sick bastard I reckon.
Me: Does anyone know anything?
Vic: Doubt it. And if they do, they won't talk. You've seen 'em.
Me: So what's different about you?
Vic: I've had enough, ain't I. They all just stand around, fuckin' idiots. Fat lot of good that's done. Nothing changes. We wanna stop this bastard, we gotta tell people, that's what I reckon. It's gone on way too fuckin' long.
[He finishes his cigarette]
You got any fags?
[I hand him my packet]
Keep the packet.
[He lights up]
Me: So how long have you been on the streets?
[We are interrupted by the barman calling for last orders]
Vic: Fuck knows...
Me: Look, if you don't mind, I'd really like to talk some more. They'll be chucking us out in a sec, but my car's only just round the corner. We could talk there for a bit?
Vic: S'pose. For a bit.
[He finishes his drink]
I need to take a piss. Give me a minute and I'll meet you outside.
[He heads off to the toilets. I finish my drink and make my way outside]
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