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Admit slaughter, says local priest


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LONDON, England -- The Roman Catholic priest in Hyde, where 143 of mass killer Dr. Harold Shipman's 215 victims died, appealed for him to end his denials and tell the truth about his mass slaying spree.

Father Denis Maher said: "Dr Shipman, please, please, please own up to what you have done -- not only for Hyde but for yourself too."

The parish priest at St Paul's Roman Catholic Church, Hyde said he was unable to convey "the full range of feelings" of relatives whose emotions were running high with the publication of the report.(Full Story)

He said his parishioners were shocked to see it in black and white that their loved ones had been "unlawfully killed " -- a euphemism for murder, Fr. Maher told Sky News television.

"I've seen people shaking with inconsolable grief in the last few days," Fr. Maher said.

"There is not one person in my parish of Hyde who has not been touched by the evil this man did when he was here," he added. (Families' 'Devastation')

He said he himself was unable to come to terms with what had happened in Hyde. "I've been into people's homes. I've been with families a half an hour later when they find their loved ones dead.

"He took away so many lovely, lovely people from this parish -- most of them came to Mass on a daily basis."

Fr. Maher added: "I'm finding it really difficult in the whole area of forgiveness. I know I have to forgive but it is difficult. I am very angry."

Later relatives of 215 victims were holding a news conference to describe their horror at learning the full extent of of his mass slayings. (The system failed)

A further 45 deaths of Shipman's patients were ruled inconclusive by the inquiry report by Dame Janet Smith and their relatives were having to come to terms with the agony of never knowing if they were murdered or not.

Suzanne Brock whose mother Edith, 74, was killed by Shipman told Sky News of her battle to find out the truth. (Silent Suburban Slayer)

Brock said relatives had faced a number of hurdles in her quest for justice -- first to get the attention of the police, then to get through the inquest, and finally to face the public inquiry.

"Every step of the way we have had to fight," Brock said.

Some said the publication of the report would at last allow the people of Hyde to grieve.

But Fr. Maher said: "It is so early to talk about closure. I can honestly see no end to this for a long, long time."


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