The Murder of Childhood by Ray Wyre and Tim Tate

Murder of Childhood by Ray Wyre and Tim Tate 1995 Penguin [1] 

This is the first book I have come across that tries to understand the mind of a paedophile. Why is this important? If we retrain a paedophile we help reduce the damage they may do to children.

The rate of reoffending is very high 99% for a convicted fixated paedophile. Nearly every paedophile is released, without supervision, so it makes sense to attempt to modify their thinking to address their aberrant sexual behaviour rather than letting them out of prison untreated, with their anger and abilities enhanced and with a greater network of paedophile friends than previously.

For those paedophiles offending but not yet caught, and those paedophiles not offending, it helps if we understand what the different types of paedophile are, how they think and offend, so we can prevent them offending.

murder of childhood

The authors have 4 categories of paedophiles

1. Fixated paedophiles who have a steady level of illegal fantasising;

2. Binge offenders who binge fantasise and include many rapists and those driven by anger;

3. Sadistic offenders – whose sexual element was less important than the violence;

4. Those who insist they have no fantasies but in reality most were denying their fantasies for a reduction of punishment.

Many people would say what is the point just lock them away or kill them. Do not spend any money on them, spend it on the victims. However the point is that to understand them is to have the ability to work out their method of operation.

The book is about Robert Black, and a series of interviews the authors have with one of the worst serial killers who sexually assaulted his victims. It also exposes the failures of the police in not catching him far earlier, partly due to lack of computers, lack of joined up thinking, lack of understanding how paedophiles work, lack of manpower and will to deal with child abusers.

robert black

Robert Black

If we do not try to understand paedophiles the book uses the analogy that we are all supposed to be very busy jumping in a river to rescue drowning children, yet no one is to do anything about the man just upstream who was pushing them in.

This book may make many people revisit their thinking on what we should do with paedophiles.

In that regard it is similar to The Paedophile Next Door shown on 26 Nov 2014 on Channel 4 and available to watch for 30 days [2]. As Ian McFadyen, a survivor of abuse states – the present system is not working, so it is time for a change. In the programme he meets a non offending paedophile, one who is attracted to children but sees it is wrong and wants a support network, not for a cure but for help to ensure he does not offend.

Both the book [1]  and the programme [2]  are well worth a look, as is the following video [3] on Robert Black

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.  National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups. Other useful sites are One in Four [C] and Havoca [D]. Useful post on triggers [E] from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog.

Related Links

[1] Murder of Childhood by Ray Wyre and Tim Tate 1995 Penguin ISBN: 978 0140247152

[2] Channel 4 The Paedophile next door -Only available until approx 24 Dec 2014

[3] STV The Documentary Robert Black Serial Killer

[4] STV The Documentary Robert Black Serial Killer

[5] Dispatches Channel 4 Robert Black ? If anyone knows where a copy of this is to be found please tell me

[6] ITV News Interview released

[7] 2013 Jan 16 BBC

[8] 2013 Jun 27 Belfast Telegraph

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused


[C] One in Four

[D] Havoca

[E] SurvivorsJustice Triggers post

[F] SurvivorsJustice Blog

This is all written in good faith but if there is anything that needs to be corrected please email

cathyfox the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free

About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
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3 Responses to The Murder of Childhood by Ray Wyre and Tim Tate

  1. artmanjosephgrech says:

    Yes important as long as it is understood that those with a genetic predisposition people to paedophila cause only a percentage of the sex and other crime of violence against children and young women

    The best example is that the majority of the military from UK and USA for example who use teenagers in brothels should not be classified as paedophiles

    Looking wider afield including back in history the Russians who raped every woman and child as they went into Germany were not paedophiles

    or the ten of thousands of men in India and elsewhere who purchase as brides girls classified as under age in the UK

    Similarly the majority of people who have looked at indecent/pornographic images and films where the age of the subject is questionable should not be classified as paedophiles

    The majority of young people aged under sixteen who have sex with other young people younger than hem should not be classified as paedophiles.

    In saying this I am not saying this excuses the actions but we cannot prevent or treat a problem until we first understand it and its scale.

    It is no different from saying that everyone who has knowingly tried any illegal substance is a druggy /addict

    You have to understand the nature and extent of a problem before prevention/ then treatment and then rehabilitation but rehabilitation has to be specific

    Remember the Freudians and Behaviourists both did nor regard homosexuality and lesbian as genetic and chemical castration was regarded as effective treatment until comparatively recently.

    We should not concentrate on paedophilia but on crimes of violence including sex against children and vulnerable adults the use of sex as power rather than procreation. significant this is what the police are now doing concentrating on prevention, protection and support for victims and potential victims and find they are catch more perpetrators of crimes this way. The understandable and justified preoccupation with VIPs Politicians and the cover up must not become an obstacle to understanding and dealing with the big picture.

  2. kim breheney says:

    i don’t know about this, to a degree it is “drumming” up sympathy for Paedophiles. I do not think people really want to understand or, get into their minds at all, too filthy, disgusting & perverted. It will b coming out about the many mp’s past/present who have abused/tortured/murdered Children & hopefully this will reveal just how high up that goes, the Establishment is INFESTED. They r Freemasons & Satanists who sacrifice kids. I want Hanging brought back for Paedophiles who torture & murdered kids. Society does NOT want them in their midst at all & when it’s all done & dusted the people who suffered abuse as Children need help as long as they r genuine but still, not allowed 2 walk the streets. Children look to Adults to protect them & that is what we MUST do!

  3. cathyfox says:

    Kim, I do not think it is drumming up sympathy for paedophiles whatsoever. I agree people do not want to understand paedophiles, however if they are interested in preventing further child abuse, it is a no brainer. Whilst society does not want them in their midst, they are. I would not even consider the state being able to kill a human being. You say correctly that the state is infiltrated with paedophiles – do you trust them to make correct decisions based on morals about killing people? – I do not. If we want to protect children, we must understand who, what, why, when and how they need to be protected, ie we must understand paedophiles.

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