The campaign to get my mother a pardon rumbles on and I hope to report progress soon. Again I would like to thank everyone for their continued support.
I found an old notebook of mine from sometime in the mid 1990’s. I had decided that I was going to help Chris write her book. Chris had been working on the story again as she wasn't happy with the previous versions.
There was the 1983 Nothing But... that she had worked on with respected journalist Sandy Fawkes. Now I only vaguely remember Sandy, but when I was ten she became the most interesting person I had ever met. It was one of those nights when the adults were all talking and I would sit and just listen.
When Sandy was travelling around America, she had met a good looking guy in a bar, "a cross between Robert Redford and Ryan O'Neal." They had had sex and then traveled together for the next few nights. Days after they parted company she saw the same man on the news and watched in horror as the story of serial killer Paul John Knowles (The Casanova Killer) unfolded. After his arrest he confessed to 35 murders, 20 of which were eventually linked to him. Sandy went on to write about her experience in Killing Time and again in Natural Born Killer.
At ten I just thought it was so cool. “What was it like?”
“The sex?” she said
And everyone laughed, because I was ten.
I have Chris’s copy of Nothing But... and she has scribbled, underlined and made notes all the way through. She wasn’t happy with it, but she didn't have a lot of choices back then, she was broke.
Then there was Scandal! the book that came out at the same time as the movie in 1989. I don't know if it was rushed, but it flies through the story, ends abruptly and Christine still wasn't happy. It wasn't right, bits were missing, people were missing, it just wasn't right. It didn't matter as the publishers went into receivership soon after its release and the book vanished.
Sometimes it’s hard telling a story that nobody wanted to be connected with - you would always be afraid you would be sued, and indeed the publishers were sued or court cases threatened for mentioning names.
In 2001 she went to print again with The Truth at Last, this time writing with Douglas Thompson, and she was much happier. Older, wiser, less easy to railroad. I remember we waited up all night for the papers to come out the next day so we could read the reviews.
In 2012, after John Profumo died, they updated it and called it Secrets and Lies. The definitive and final version came out at the end of 2019. with more on Lucky Gordon's criminal record and a foreword from me.
It has been said that Christine wrote four or five versions of the story, but that’s not true. It was always the same story, different only in small details.
I have missed out the best one, the version that Christine and I worked in the mid 1990’s. I was going to write her story but I was clear with Chris, “This book shouldn’t focus on the past because, that’s all boring.”
So I started taking notes:
“Seems, [she used to call me Seems] I wake up 8am, working on film and on the book,” she said. I don't know what film this was.
“I pop out to buy papers, have a coffee, read and bathe, and then I feed the birds. I like to pop out and do a bit of shopping, do a crossword in the evening and watch a true life film. I used to be a night owl, but in older age I’m buggered by 11pm”
“Chris, you hate going to bed early!” I said.
That’s as far as we got, I think we both gave up.