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Liz Jones Article

And for those too lazy to click the link

Is lovely Jo becoming just another thumbnail on the police website?

By Liz Jones

Last updated at 1:31 AM on 16th January 2011

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Joanna Yeates: Hoped for a lovely life

Joanna Yeates: Hoped for a lovely life

It's Friday night and I’m in the Ram bar on Park Street in Bristol.

This is where Joanna Yeates spent her last evening before she set off up the hill, past all the twinkly shops and bars (a Habitat, a Space NK beauty emporium; Bristol is nothing if not upwardly mobile) towards her death.

The bar is OK but ordinary. The wine list, chalked on a board, says ‘Lauren Perrier’.

I wish she had spent what were probably her last hours on earth somewhere lovelier. The food is awful (I ask for a veggie burger and it comes without the burger – and without the bun!) but the young women behind the bar are sweet with huge, wary eyes.

Alex is working her way through uni, where she is studying English. She comes from London and her parents are now terrified something is going to happen to her.

She was working in the bar on the night of December 17, when Joanna was having a drink before heading home. ‘I don’t remember her,’ she says.

‘It was so busy that night. I used to walk home but I always get a cab now.’

Lyn, with white blonde hair, who was also working here that night, says she is ‘more fearful now, I’m more nervous. It’s just so mysterious’.

I leave the bar at 8pm and retrace Joanna’s steps. Even though it’s January, the streets are packed. There are a couple of women joggers but they are with boyfriends or husbands.

I walk past the beautiful university building on my right, with Waitrose on my left. I wander the bright aisles, full of young women rushing round after work, leaving with carrier bags and expectation.

I head up the hill towards Clifton, the leafy part of the city. It’s quieter now, and darker. I find Tesco, and go in. I almost buy that upmarket pizza; the choice tells me Jo wanted a lovely life, something above the ordinary.

There is one police van on the green as I turn right into Canynge Road.

I bet Jo’s heart lifted as she reached this junction, looking forward to the feeling only a Friday night near Christmas can give you.

Last haunt: Where Miss Yeates had been drinking the night she vanished

Last haunt: Where Miss Yeates had been drinking the night she vanished

As I near her basement flat, at No 44, the road is quiet. Earlier in the day there had been an ITN news van here but it has gone now. I’m reassured to see two policemen standing vigil at her iron gate, either side of a small, discreet pile of flowers in varying degrees of decay.

I tell them I’m spooked, walking here. ‘Don’t be spooked,’ one says. ‘Residents are campaigning to get brighter street lights installed.’ So the antique, lovely ones are to disappear to be replaced by ugly ones because of something even uglier.

That afternoon I had gone to the lane where Jo’s body was found. It was horrible and windswept. I don’t know what I had expected but not this.

There was no ceremony here, no policeman, just that lovely face on a now dog-eared poster. I got the feeling the world is starting to forget Jo, that she’ll become just another thumbnail on the Avon and Somerset Police website, along with the faces of the other murder victims no one can recall.

I’d have expected the cars to slow down here to show respect but they sped past, carrying people on their way home from work. The lane is narrow. I can’t see how a car stopped here and a man struggled with a body without being beeped at and

told to get out the way, as I was. There were no messages with the flowers, just one card, still sealed in its Cellophane. The person who left it hadn’t ¬bothered to scrawl a note.

Mystery: The apartment block where Miss Yeates had a flat

Mystery: The apartment block where Miss Yeates had a flat

Leaving Jo’s flat, I return to my car. My satnav takes me to the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

The theory is the killer took the long route from the flat to where he dumped the body to avoid the CCTV cameras. Perhaps he also wanted to avoid the 50p toll.

I don’t have 50p and try tossing 30p and a White Company button into the bucket. It doesn’t work.

There is now an angry queue behind me. Isn’t it interesting that you can snatch a young woman’s life away from her in the most violent, painful, frightening way possible, take away her future children, her future Christmases, take away everything she loves, and yet there are elaborate systems in place to ensure you do not cross a bridge for only 30 pence?

Finally, a man in a taxi jumps out, and runs to me brandishing a 50p piece.

‘Not all men are monsters,’ he says, grinning. Maybe not. But one monster is all it takes.

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I wonder if LJ is really so self absorbed she doesn't realise she is dropping names in a story about a murder victim, or maybe these companies pay her to do it. Either way this borders on the absurd and the sick.

There is now an angry queue behind me. Isn’t it interesting that you can snatch a young woman’s life away from her in the most violent, painful, frightening way possible, take away her future children, her future Christmases, take away everything she loves, and yet there are elaborate systems in place to ensure you do not cross a bridge for only 30 pence?

What does that even mean? How did this get past the editors? :huh:

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Unbelievable.

To save myself from typing them here are a few of the comments (and bear in mind that the Mail has a filtering system so these are the tamer ones):

I have never reading such a trite piece of journelism. Why would you find it necessary to comment on the food ...I wish she had been in a lovelier place in her last hours...and make a comment that she obviously aspired to a better life by buying a 'finest range' pizza? And to trivilise the tragic story by mentioning you tried to get away with paying with a button is outrageous. That is such an insenstive article and I can't believe the Mail found it necessary to publish it, you really such stick to writing fashion article there are plenty of good profeesional writers to cover the serious items.

- Jane, Bristol, 16/1/2011 10:34

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It's nothing other than weird and creepy that you chose to hang around the murder scene and the surrounding area. Totally out of order.

- John, Cambridge, 16/1/2011 11:21

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This is someone's life and death you are trivialising you miserable woman

- C Spencer, Bath, 17/1/2011 15:06

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What a bizarre article. Why has Liz Jones of all people taken it upon herself to review this case, and follow Jo's footsteps? Utterly strange. RIP Jo xxx

- kitty, UK, 16/1/2011 11:20

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I'm horrified that the Mail sent the self obsessed Liz Jones to do this article ! What was the point? So she can complain about the pub where Jo met her friends ? So she can make "funny" remarks about the killer maybe wanting to avoid the bridge toll? What is the headline supposed to mean - is she accusing the police of not trying? Of course she even has to turn it round to her usual me me me by moaning about her veggie burger and not being able to cross the bridge as she didn't have the right money . Pathetic!

- Welsh woman, Wales, 16/1/2011 9:36

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Everything about this piece makes me uncomfortable. What an ill-conceived concept. It is cringe-worthy from start to finish and should never have found its way to print. Astonished by the level of crassness displayed by the author.

- Judith, Hastings, UK, 17/1/2011 12:33

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One of the comments recommends reading it to yourself in an Alan Partridge voice. If you do, it suddenly becomes a work of genius.

Boo - comments now taken down.

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Absolutely brilliant - surely that's not a photo of her. She shouldn't be out without a brown paper bag.

i,ve seen her before !...........the cheddar caves witch , either that or on h.r. puff & stuff ! showing my age now. :)

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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