OK, this is weird. It's sort of funny, but it's sort of not. It's definitely weird.
As far as I'm aware, I don't associate with many criminally-inclined people, but if I were planning to, I could pretty much guarantee that they wouldn't be the female kidnapper/rapist of a Mormon missionary.
Back in June 2011 [when this site was hosted elsewhere] I received an email:
We read on your column on the internet about a song called Holloway Girl which is on an album called Seasons End. It did not say the name of the group who sang it. Could you please call us and let us know where we can get a copy of the album, as I am a screenwriter and I would like to use it as underscoring for a screenplay I am writing about Joyce McKinney, a beautiful American girl who was falsely arrested in England in 1977 when she went there to find her missing fiancé, and found him under brainwashing of the dangerous Mormon Cult. She tried to do a CULT RESCUE to get him out but the powerful Mormons and their tabloid connections paid off people to have her falsely imprisoned even though she was innocent. And she was illegally held in black Holloway Women's prison until she got out on bail and became a celebrity. She had her life destroyed by the tabloids who pretend a PRESS HOAX for 34 years that she "kidnapped and raped" him, and he was 300 pounds and 6'5" tall.
This poor women suffered so much due to this tabloid press hoax and now we are writing a movie to clear her name, especially in light of the fact that a defamatory trashy film distributed by Mormons just came out to discredit her again.
We want to do a TRUTHFUL script telling HER side of the story and tell the story BEHIND the headlines. Could you tell us how to order or hear the song "Holloway Girl"?
Our phone number is XXXXXXXXXXXXX. THANKS.
No name was given.
As you almost certainly know, I run a website dedicated to the lyrics of the band Marillion - stop sniggering at the back. There is indeed a page about the song "Holloway Girl" that explains the song is about a woman called Judith Ward who was imprisoned there for being involved in acts of IRA terrorism. Ward was mentally ill and inclined to making false confessions and her conviction was overturned for being unsafe in 1992, after she'd spent 18 years inside. I'm not entirely sure if my correspondent was suggesting Holloway is a prison exclusively for black inmates, but we don't have racially-segregated prisons. Although it doesn't say on the "Holloway Girl" page that the website is specifically about Marillion, they're mentioned 197 times on the site, so it's not exactly hiding it, but whatever - so much for that side of the story.
Then I looked up "Joyce McKinney" on everyone's lazy first port of call, Wikipedia. That name redirects to another page entitled "The Mormon Sex In Chains Case". Along with a couple of other sources, I learned how, in 1977, former Miss Wyoming McKinney and an accomplice abducted Kirk Anderson, a Mormon missionary from a Mormon meetinghouse in Surrey using chloroform and a replica firearm, drove him to Devon, tied him to a bed and did bad things to him against his will. Three days later, fearing he would be kept there for weeks, and having promised marriage, he was released and promptly went to the authorities. McKinney and accomplice were arrested and charged with false imprisonment and possession of a false firearm. There was a court appearance at which the defence made much of the Mormon’s considerable size advantage over the former model (seemingly glossing over the apparently genuine weapon and the fact that he was tied to a bed, which I would have thought were rather important details). Apparently there was much squalid speculation in the tabloids about how it could even be possible for a man to be 'raped' (back then no such crime existed in British Law, and in fact the charge eventually made was Indecent Assault on a man).
All of that is bizarre enough. It is at this point that McKinney and her accomplice were bailed, absconded, obtained false passports and escaped to Canada disguised as - I'm not making this up - deaf-mute mime artistes. The FBI later picked the pair up and did them over getting passports using false details, but the UK never instituted extradition proceedings, so they were sentenced in absentia to a year in jail.
I also learned that in 1984, McKinney was subject to further police action in the States for stalking the now-married Anderson.
Very, very odd, and all a rather different slant than that given by my correspondent. Then I noticed two other things. The first was about a film that my nameless emailer claimed was a stitch up by the Mormons. That, I think, referred to a film called Tabloid by someone called Errol Morris which, as far as I can tell from reading a number of reviews on the net, attempted to be even handed in telling the story and is generally well-regarded.
The other thing that raised an eyebrow, was the email alias. It contained the word 'clone'. In 2008, a Californian woman paid £25,000 to a South Korean laboratory to have her dead pitbull cloned, in the first transaction of its kind. She had saved tissue from the pooch's ear, which was frozen and then used as DNA source material to produce five pitbull pups. The woman's name was "Bernann McKinney", and it didn't take long before someone discovered that the middle name of Joyce McKinney was...
There's an interesting YouTube in which McKinney turns up at a promotional event for Tabloid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqyO81UZ3Mc
All very, very odd.
What did I do? I told her who the song by.