British nurse Lucy Letby was given a rare prison sentence last Monday after nearly a year on trial. She’s the fourth woman in England to be given no chance of parole, joining the 70 people that’ve been dealt ‘whole life orders’. There’s this one photo of her in blue scrubs, looking especially blonde and especially peach, stretching an empty baby-grow with both hands. It’s been agreed that this is the photo. It sings the chorus of the decided song. People think it says what a mugshot won’t. Yet Lucy Letby herself doesn’t say a thing.
There’s shading in the picture of her booking, a bit of shadow by her head and features, but Lucy is flat. Her childhood is nothing special, the dynamics of her relationships— paled by her nature— 1.5 litres of skimmed milk, from what there is to read of her. She’s a white surface, good for the projection of ‘innocent guilt’, or whatever you’d like. Her genericness is beloved, it has made her murdering of seven newborns and the attempted murder of six others worthy of limitless questions. It’s making people strain their eyes into the darkness, refusing to accept the endless black.
She is evil— that is final, absolute. It matches the shape and size of the missing motive, and it is where we begin to introduce the full stops. Only, she doesn’t look it, or, she does. There are several wicked white women in front of her, and there will surely be more following behind. Yet sin doesn’t have a face, and, regardless of how it all looks from time to time, it doesn’t have a shade either. A black heart doesn’t go on a sleeve, and evil is one of the best kept secrets.