by Girl Behind the Lens – Daiyu Tang
Interviews conducted: January 2023
Photo Credits: Observer Freelancer John ((Dark Stalker Darkfire)) and Amelia Razor (for providing camera and video footage of what happened to her)
It’s been a little while since I’ve managed to get you a story. This isn’t through lack of trying and to be honest, I’ve got a backlog to get through a mile long which Stanley knows about but just laughs. Anyway, the presses are broken again, our office was burnt out AND I was injured. Hathian right?
So, ‘excuses’ aside, this article focuses on news that happened in January when it was brought to my attention that a woman had been seen walking through Hathian, naked, while carrying a severed head. Now, ignoring what you will subsequently read where I think I present enough information to change that ‘shock headline’ to a more reasoned and actually quite tragic story, it is important context to see the picture and appreciate why the matter was of interest to me. Here, you can See for yourself ((Picture would be blurred for the purposes of Observer, i.e. the photo in the banner above)). Now, perhaps, you can see why, shocked, I decided to investigate.
I’ve found that sometimes posting a controversial image on Twitter gets me some links or details that I didn’t know. So besides from the usual suspects criticising me for posting (and boy, let’s not go into what some of them have been proven to have done) I was quickly brought into contact with the lady in question, Amelia who had recently been released from HPD after accounting for this incident with them. With some negotiation it was arranged that I would meet her at the Observer and get her side of the photo I’d been given, in other words… What had caused her to be in this position; naked, bloody and carrying a head – unusual even for Hathian?
Amelia is tall, I estimate (really) over 7 foot and distinctive. I mean this not in a bad way, but so you understand her presence. Once I’d met her, I was able to recall her easily as I wrote this article, which is unlike some of the faces that blur into one in Hathian. Regal, with a patrician’s jawline, she quietly dominated the space while we discussed the issues and I confess that prior to reviewing all the evidence she provided me with, I was somewhat nervous. Afterall, there was no denying she had carried that head through town and could easily have overpowered me.
So, below is the story that Amelia gave me, which I have taken editorial liberty to mix together various sources. Video footage, her recollection, photos and HPD records and other evidence, these have been brought together into a cohesive narrative.
I should like to make you aware that the video footage and other evidence came via a memory card she provided which had both sound and images. This is Hathian, but even Stanley wouldn’t stoop to posting the full footage and I concur. It isn’t something I feel I can share with you due to the graphic nature. A few limited audio clips are an exception and these are shown below, but rest assured, evidence (that has also been provided to HPD) exists of this awful chain of events.
Amelia “I found myself struggling to wake and I didn’t initially know where I was. I was fighting to get to the surface of a deep slumber which, later I believe to have been drug induced. As I fought to get awake there were loud noises and screams blaring through a speaker into what I later realised was a cell, a cell that I was trapped in. As I woke I became aware of having my wrists bound. This glass cell contained instruments of torture, not all of which I recognised what their purpose would be. There was for example a cattle prod, knives and medical equipment such as syringes”
I had reviewed the video footage and it was a miserable place, one of those basements that Hathian has where light is far away. The man, initially wasn’t that visible, but he was there in those first images. Pacing. Pacing… then approaching Amelia, held secure in the glass cell.
Amelia: “I was being held, forced to listen to repeating sounds, repeating sounds of the death of someone close to me; Libby… my lover. As I awoke I struggled, shouted, cursed. I mean, it was terrifying. A nightmare in my sleep, now a lucid nightmare as I was awake. The sounds repeating over and over.”
In the video Amelia was struggling, dangling just off the floor… She was helpless. The man paced around her cage, appearing to taunt her, I could just make out his facial expressions. He was enjoying this, like a circus tamer parading around a cage, cracking the whip…
Amelia: “He was taunting me, telling me about how he had killed… taken away my Fiancé. She was called Libby, she was my everything. I knew him, I knew him at that point. He’s been the horror in my past, the one who took everything from me. I swore, raved, told him I would kill him and that he was a Monster.”
The images showed the man take some vial from the side and draw the contents into a syringe, some kind of drug for Amelia. He monologued to her in the video and then entered the cage and appeared to inject her with it while creepily standing behind her. Amelia struggled, trying to kick at the man backwards, but having limited impact.
Amelia: “The drug he injected me with was doing something to me, I was feeling light-headed, more open. My rage, I had so much rage, it was still there, but it slowly turned to maybe shame, maybe just a sense of resignation. I felt sure he was going to kill me… But not before he tortured me.”
And I saw torture readers… Perhaps in response to her kicks, or something else she said, he took what appeared to be the cattle prod and gave her a shock. She convulsed heavily but then he discarded the tool and took out something more insidious, some kind of device strapped to her so that if she let her head sag a sharp spike would puncture into her mouth or perhaps her chest. It looked like a fork, but one designed for pain with prongs on both ends, one end under her jaw, pressing up under her tongue, and the other end pressed against her sternum. It was was buckled into place and I could see from the CCTV that she had to keep her head up, if she let her head dip, the fork would puncture through the bottom of her tongue or through her sternum.
Amelia: “I didn’t know how he was going to hurt me next. Truthfully the drug was also impacting me, I knew I was… in a bad place with little hope, yet I was far more relaxed than I should have been. Never-the-less, I didn’t want him to win… so I told him that my new girlfriend was also… well had a dick. This was.. this was the thing, he thought of them as monsters. I… he was a bigot, so full of hate…”
On the CCTV the man talked to her and then proceeded to get needles and put them into the soles of Amelia’s feet, but with plenty left outside the flesh. It looked that if she was to put any weight on them as she hung there, then they would be pressed further in. She had to keep her strength in order not to be hurt… Reader, I kind of felt this was like a SAW movie and felt awful for her, especially after our later interview (see below). The man appeared to adjust the sound system in the video.
Amelia: “He changed what I heard, now it was just a quick loop of a gunshot and the scream… her death, over and over, and over again… I was hurting physically, but this torture of what he had done to mine, to my family… that was far worse. Yet I was impotent to respond. For now. I couldn’t focus on everything, all the ways he was trying to get me hurt and by mistake I remember kicking the floor, sending those pins into my foot… he was a bastard…
Now, with pins in her legs and the device strapped to her chest and head she was at risk of pain from so many ways, but the man in the CCTV wasn’t done with her. He approached her with a gas mask that had a tube attached to it. I could see he put it on her head and then using his hand to constrict the tube stopped the flow of air to her while still talking, or more likely ranting. Further, something about her tattoos upset him and the cattle prod came out again and I counted at least five seconds of voltage applied to the tattoo on Amelia’s hip. I tell you that I was (and still) feel sick about this whole ordeal. I’ve reported on Grig and other sick things, but this was right up there, perhaps even the worst considering the premeditated nature of it, the tools positioned for it and obviously the hate, the awful bigoted hate behind it.
Amelia: “He was hurting me, digging my wounds open… mentally, physically. I was just… the drug it was impacting me, but I was also angry, there was adrenalin. I just wanted to do so much worse to him than where I was now. I guess that gave me a spark, enough of a spark of resistance. He had taken her and now he came back for me, but I didn’t want to let him… I remember saying, ‘SHE’S NOT A THING’ and I knew… even as I was, that he wasn’t going to like that”
On the video, the man said:
“Why don’t you get it! I freed you! Do you not see, that thing was poison! You have been carrying around that poison around with you for -thirty- years! It’s why you can’t find love with a real man, you’re so soaked with the poison, that those beasts are -drawn- to you!” – The attacker in the video
I reproduced his words here so you can see exactly the bigotry and hate that fuelled his actions. When I first saw Amelia in town, covered in blood, it was easy to imagine that she was the monster, yet (and I don’t want to put many of his words into print; giving hate airtime must only be done for exceptional reasons) but you can clearly see from just these words, he was the monster. The monster who had killed Amelia’s lover and was not taking flesh and blood from Amelia herself.
Now he was taking a knife and approaching her. Watching this was… awful.
Amelia: “Now I knew I had to lie, I had to do anything I could to escape. You can hear from the video that I tried to turn his twisted words against him…” ‘Help me!’ I cried; ‘Help me get better then, because I can’t understand! WHY does it hurt, why does my heart hurt, why! This can’t be the way to fix me! I.. appreciate what you’ve done but… I don’t think it’s going to work.’ I was lying through my teeth now, I had a plan… I had a plan if only he would take the bait.”
And reader… it worked, or at least it worked after more pleading and some ‘gentle’ kissing of Amelia’s skin by the knife. This man, this bigot was open for her flattery, her pleas and her false promise that she understood that she was wrong and needed to be made ‘right’.
He lowered her to the ground promising to ‘take her away’ from here and continue with her ‘re-education’. Amelia lay on the ground sobbing:
“C-Can you hold me? I’m cold…confused, and I…I just…I don’t know what’s wrong with me….please, I’ll go with you I’ll do anything you like I just…I just need to be held, please!” – Amelia from the video
Amelia: “I felt I had made a step forward, that I had a chance, a chance to… escape, maybe more. I don’t really know when I’d decided I would, if I could, kill him, but I think it could have been from the moment I woke to that soundtrack. The repeating sound of love being snuffed out by hate.”
It looked from the video like the man took it, at least partially. He started to unstrap her and Amelia clung to him, her face buried into his shoulder and neck as she sobbed, telling him she knew that he wouldn’t kill her, that she knew he couldn’t.
Amelia: “That was when I acted. I bit him… No, I tore at him, I poured all my hate into it and with everything I had tore at his neck with my teeth. I didn’t know anything other than I wasn’t safe; no matter what he said, that I was at his mercy… that he had just tortured me and had taken everything from me. So I reacted. Instinctively.”
I watched the video. She severed his artery and though he tried to say something, tried to grab a knife, tried to hurt her more, but it was all over. He just didn’t know it yet.
“I told you…I was going to fucking kill you…I would make you beg…I would make you plea, but in truth, I just want you dead more…you didn’t just kill Libby that night, you killed parts of me…” – Amelia on the video
After this… Well, I won’t describe to you how she took his head, never-the-less, she did and although I can imagine some of what was going through her mind, I can’t reconcile everything; make it all stack up. This image was taken from the memory stick after Amelia had escaped… with her prize; the man’s head.
Amelia: “I told him he had lost… but more important I told him what I felt, what I needed to say, what I needed Libby… the woman he had killed to hear so that she could be at peace. He didn’t apologise even in his dying breath and well, as I told HPD I drifted into a state where I didn’t know anything that was happening. I was just walking, some of the CCTV shows me walking, walking with his head around Hathian… I’m not ashamed of that. I didn’t die, he did. The bigot, the murderer, the torturer died and I made good to Libby after so many years.”
The above, was my review of the footage, combined with discussing it with Amelia, but I also asked her some further questions. These lent themselves to my conclusion to your readers is that Amelia was a woman wronged. She was dragged from her home to be tortured by the man who had killed her lover and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment by a bigoted man filled with hate. While I, as you know, do not condone violence and believe people should have a right not to live in fear, some of these rights are given up if a person so acts in the way this man did. Was Amelia guilty of murder? Yes, probably. Was this mitigated by the facts of the case; I would say yes. In order to escape she needed a pretext and convincing him that she was broken did just that. With her feet injured and other injuries she took the only course of action that would allow her to escape and it was not her immediate intent that that bite would be fatal. When it was, I think all of us can allow her the momentary satisfaction of how luck was on her side and evil was vanquished.
I asked Amelia what she felt, how… it had felt. I didn’t expect her to answer about the gore, in my honest view she was likely not quite there when she did that, but I did want to know if afterwards, after some time had passed and maybe a fraction of healing had occurred if it had been worth it…
Amelia: “I am delighted he can’t come back… the things he did, not just to me, but the things he did in the past, the things he took from me, the person, he took from me…. getting him back like that, was the greatest feeling in the world, but once it’s said and done, when I had a moment to realize the things it didn’t change, the things it didn’t give back… remembering that everything he destroyed, the happiness he stole from me, the joy he stole from me, they were all still gone, I think in the end I hurt myself far more than he ever could, and perhaps that was what he wanted all along. My fiancé is still dead, and she’s not coming back, and thirty years didn’t cover up any of that pain and another thirty will likely make no difference even if he is just another statistic now. He’s fucking dead…and so is Libby, and neither of them are coming back, even if I stacked a dozen bodies in her name, nothing will ever change.”
This… this was really powerful. I think it’s something that a lot of us can learn from. Bodies… bodies don’t bring people back. Taking revenge doesn’t mean you will feel better and sometimes, as Amelia suggests, you might feel worse. I heard this from her and felt, well, I felt cold inside. How many times have we been hurt, wronged or wanted revenge? Perhaps Amelia’s thoughts here, might just give us a little momentary pause. Sometimes the past is dead and nothing that you can do will make it right again. Some might disagree, Tori.. others like her, ‘Be a predator’ they will say and yet, perhaps they are poorer for it.
Onto HPD… HPD has looked into this and have taken a view which I understand involved releasing Amelia. We all have a right to self-defence and in my view, her actions after killing her attacker, while in some ways grotesque (corpse mutilation) were mitigated by her state of mind and trauma she had been under. None of us would argue that if she had had a gun and shot him as he tried to kill her that she was wrong? So why should we say that when she used another weapon, herself?
Readers, I hope this puts to bed any negative rumours around Amelia. She has been through so much and has been so brave to spend time talking to me about it.