7 September 1971

Dear Mum

I can't tell you where I am. I can't even phone you to tell you that I'm all right. If I do, they'll trace the call and then we'll both be in big trouble. So I'm writing you this letter, trying to say all my feelings in a few words when a thousand pages would never be enough.

I've been sick for a long time - months, perhaps even a year. It started with the thing that I saw at the power complex. I still don't know if I really believe what I saw, but the electric shock I got left me a bit unbalanced. I stayed on with UNIT but I guess my problems just kept getting worse, not better.

A few months later we were involved with a terrorist incident at a small village. I thought I saw the Devil and that he was going to punish me for all the wrong things I had done, like killing that man when we had to stop the riot. I can't remember much for months after that - I guess my mind finally gave way.

I know I spent a lot of time in hospitals: being asked questions and doctors telling me that I had imagined seeing the Devil and that thing at the power station. But did I also imagine going to Billy's funeral? Did I also imagine killing that rioter?

For a long time the doctors kept telling me what I should be believing and thinking and feeling, and I just felt nothing. Then they sent me to the Glasshouse. That's not its real name, of course - Glasshouse is slang for military prison. But this was a mental hospital, not a prison, dealing with special cases like me. Some of the other patients there were UNIT soldiers like me who had suffered breakdowns.

The director was an amazing man. In just a few weeks of sessions with him I began to see things far more clearly. I know now where my problems have been. The director said I needed to open my mind to all sorts of possibilities and new ideas.

He has given me a mission, a task I must carry out to prove my belief in him. If I succeed, the world in which we live will be a different place - hopefully a better place. I am going to kill a man, but by killing that man I will save so many others.

I know that murder is wrong, but I have killed before and now I must kill again. I hope you can forgive me for what it is I've got to do. I pray to God that he will forgive me also, because this is the right thing to do. I know God will understand when I face Him on the final day.

I may well die on my mission; there are no guarantees of success, but I believe in what I am doing. I believe it is worth dying for. I can only hope history proves me right.

I am sorry, Mum, that I may never see you again. This is not the way I wanted to say goodbye, but it is the only way available to me now. Try and explain to the rest of the family what has happened to me. Give the little ones a hug each from their older brother Francis. Most of all, please pray for me. I know that with God's help I will succeed.

Your loving son, now and forever


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