The Crimes of John Massey Read all relevant facts here!

John Massey, a name synonymous with notoriety in the annals of British crime history, etched his mark as the United Kingdom’s longest-serving prisoner. Spanning over four decades behind bars, Massey’s story is an intricate tapestry of regret, resilience, and redemption. This account delves into Massey’s past, his infamous crimes, daring escapes, and his eventual release in 2018.

A Fateful Night in 1975: The Crime and Conviction

The narrative of Massey’s life pivoted dramatically following a heated pub brawl in Clapton, East London, in 1975. Witnessing his friend brutally stabbed in the eye with a broken bottle, Massey retaliated. He came back to the pub later that night and shot the doorman, Charlie Higgins, with a sawn-off shotgun. This vengeful act sentenced him to 20 years in prison, a term that would later be extended due to his repeated escape attempts.

Massey, the Houdini of the Prison System

Massey’s tenure behind bars is marked by three daring escapes. His first escape, in 1994, occurred during a supervised visit with his parents at a pub. He escaped through a window and remained at large for three years in Spain before being extradited back to the UK. In 2007 and again in 2012, Massey violated his parole to be with his ailing father and mother. His escapes resulted in a sentence extension of 23 years. Nevertheless, Massey expressed no remorse for his actions.

Massey’s Prison Life: Discovering Hidden Talents and Advocacy

Prison life led Massey to uncover and refine a variety of skills. He became a proficient artist and writer, authoring ‘Redemption Song: My Journey from Murderer to Free Man.’ As an outspoken advocate for prisoners’ rights, Massey used his platform to shed light on life inside prison, engaging frequently with journalists. Despite being deemed a high-risk prisoner and being subjected to numerous transfers, he displayed remarkable resilience and determination.

Life Beyond the Bars: Massey’s Post-Prison Existence

After 43 years of incarceration, John Massey was released in 2018. His liberation was met with varied responses, but for Massey, it offered a chance to relish the mundane. Simple activities such as going to the local gym or taking peaceful walks in his community became precious markers of freedom.

Massey’s Life Under Scrutiny: The Channel 4 Documentary

In November 2019, Massey’s life was thrust into the limelight once more, this time as the focus of a Channel 4 documentary called “What Makes a Murderer.” The documentary included interviews with Massey and delved into psychological and physical assessments to determine if pre-existing factors influenced his violent actions. The study disclosed two specific brain abnormalities in Massey and probed into how his childhood experiences, especially the trauma of abandonment, may have shaped his criminal behavior.

The Path Ahead: Massey’s Ongoing Redemption Journey

The story of John Massey stands as a stark testament to the profound implications of crime, punishment, and the potential for personal transformation. It serves as a reminder of the intricate dimensions of human character and the quest for redemption, even amid dire circumstances. As he embarks on his newfound freedom, Massey carries with him the wisdom drawn from his past, carving out a future built on regret, resilience, and atonement.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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