Murder #25, Victor Parsons, Alexandra Palace

MurderProject_025Murder #25, Victor Parsons, Alexandra Palace

Victor Parsons, 67, was found unconscious by a member of the public near the gates of Alexandra Park, Alexandra Palace Way. Parsons was one of 7 men who had been attacked in the area over a 4 week period by the same individual. Mr Parsons had suffered head injuries and remained in a critical condition in hospital until his death on February 25. Ali Koc, 30, went on trial at Woolwich Crown Court on March 19, 2012, accused by the prosecution that he attacked all seven victims at random within 2.5 miles of his home, punching, headbutting and hitting them with a tree branch. He was jailed for life two days later and was told he would spend at least 35 years behind bars before parole.

It was several months after Victor Parsons died that I finally photographed the spot where he was attacked by Ali Koc. It was not until the late summer that I realised that Ali Koc was being charged with murder and murder sites that were off my radar suddenly needed to be photographed by me. Alexandra Park, like Queen’s Wood was very familiar to me. Next to the gates there is a weekend market that I have frequented many times. I used to live only a couple of blocks away up the hill. I was a bit confused as I tried to make photographs of a murder site  from a place that for the most part was filled with good memories. Nothing at the gates of the park told that something horrible had happened. The usual relics of a police investigation had long disappeared.  I photographed for a couple of hours as the sun went down. A lot of people asked me what I was doing and I told them. All of them had been unaware of the murder. I don’t live too far away and I knew nothing about it until recently and I had my ear to the ground about such things. It reinforced the idea I had that such horrific personal violence remained mostly hidden from us. The violence that befell Parsons was random, the kind we all fear in our nightmares.  As Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Chief Inspector Tim Duffield, said: “Koc has never shown any remorse for this wanton spate of attacks committed throughout January last year. There was no motive. This was simply violence for violence sake, randomly-inflicted upon law abiding people who happened to be walking or jogging through their local parks. Tragically, two of society’s most vulnerable members, Victor Parsons and Keith Needell, would pay with their lives for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

An Interactive Map of the Murder Sites I have written about

The Landscape of Murder Photos

The Guardian Weekend Magazine piece on my project and the Guardian Website Gallery

The Caption information comes from the MurderMap Website and the MPS Press Bureau

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