THE TWISTING LANE BY TONY PARKER
Tony Parker (1923-96) was a British oral historian who specialised in giving voice to marginalised people through lengthy interviews from the transcripts of which he removed his own questions so that those interviewed were left telling their own stories. His “triumphs were the result of his gentleness and modesty, which led the most taciturn or suspicious of people to open up with confidences they would not dream of revealing to more self-assertive questioners.”
His seventh book, The Twisting Lane: Some Sex Offenders, published by Hutchinson, London in 1969, consists mostly of eight interview of British sex offenders, one of whom, Graham Davis, had been to prison for Greek love ("buggery with adolescent boys"). His story, “A Boy Scout Whistles And Smiles” is presented separately.
Another of the stories, “A Malady Come Upon You” by Wilfred Johnson, was the sad story of a man who had spent most of the last twenty-eight years in prison as a result of being unable to resist the temptation to fondle overtly willing little boys ("indecent assaults on little boys"). However, though actually a more moving story by a more engaging man than Davis, the combination of the ages of the boys (all eight to eleven, except for one of twelve) with the character of his contact with them, especially the purely childish sex play, leaves no doubt it was pedophilic and so beyond the remit of this website.
Some very brief interviews were also given in an appendix. One of these, likewise involving Greek love, is presented here after the author’s Introductory note, whilst another, the exact other side of Johnson’s coin (a ten-year-old’s account of being fondled by a middle-aged man) is not relevant here.
The material in this book consists of edited transcriptions of tape-recordings made over a period of eighteen months with eight people, each of whom has been convicted for sexual offences of a different kind. Real names and place names and a few minor details have been altered to protect anonymity.
None of them is representative of a type, only of himself. These are personal statements made at unknown cost and with inestimable bravery and to try adequately to thank those who made them by allowing themselves to be subjected to persistent questioning is beyond my power; I can only state my respect and admiration for their courage and dignity. There are no insights or interpretations offered other than theirs. I am not competent to make any of my own.
I have omitted most of my questions and allowed what they said to stand in the way that they said it, hoping it will convey at least something of who and what and how they are.
An Appendix: Some Brief Remarks
 None of the people who made these statements knows, or has ever known or had any connection whatsoever with, the persons in the main body of the book. Like them they represent no types and speak only for themselves. [p. 233]
4 S. J. P., age 51, male, single
Far from perverting me, the experience of what one might call being ‘had’ at the age of thirteen by an older boy I knew seemed to me the natural culmination of the way my own emotional life had been developing ever since I was conscious as a child of sex at all. I had no fear and no distaste and not for one moment could I have said then, or could say now, anything other than that I enjoyed it. It was bound to have happened to me sooner or later and the only surprise is that it didn’t happen sooner. Of course I imagined myself wildly in love with the boy concerned, you always did at that age: one naturally tended to dramatise oneself and the whole ambience. Nowadays I think there should be a good deal less fuss than there is about the subject of physical relationships between boys because I don’t think it’s terribly important at all. Some of them change to heterosexuality when they grow up, they marry and raise families in the ordinary way, as indeed did that particular boy I was involved with myself. I on the other hand have remained homosexual; but it wasn't through that, I was homosexual already. I can't help wondering if there weren’t boys like me what exactly the older ones would have done at that time when they were very virile indeed: they would have been having girls I suppose, and it could be argued that that would have been much more harmful: the consequences might have been a good deal more serious. [pp. 235-6]
 Obituary by Colin Ward in the Independent, 11 October 1996.
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