Are those who commit atrocities inhuman? It’s reassuring to put distance between ourselves and these ‘monsters’, but no such comfort in Nicholas Wright’s riveting, must-see A Human Being Died That Night at the Hampstead. Evil has a name, and a face, and maybe even a soul worth saving.
In 1997, South Africa’s infamous Eugene de Kock, serving a 212-year prison sentence for unthinkable crimes, was visited by psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela. This representative of Mandela’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission came not to blame, but to understand, even forgive – while remaining emotionally detached.