Richard McCann: 'I can't forgive the Ripper for killing her'

The writer, now 36, was five when his mother, Wilma McCann, became the first victim of Peter Sutcliffe

I believe what goes around comes around and you can't avoid it.

I believe shared values are the most important thing in a relationship. My fiancée and I are from different worlds. She grew up travelling and living in places like Kenya, with happy stable parents. After my mum died, I grew up in a council flat with my father who had a drink problem. Despite all this, our values and morals are the same.

I believe that writing about an experience can be cathartic and is a powerful tool. I had always been associated with my mother's murder and there was a lot of shame. I felt like we were damaged goods. For me, writing about it enabled me to tell the world what I have been through and it was liberating.

I believe everyone should walk somewhere every day.

I believe forgiveness is better than resentment, but that it isn't always possible. I have explored the idea of forgiving Peter Sutcliffe but I don't feel I'm able to because he has shown no sign of remorse.

I believe education is extremely important. I used to be intimidated by people who went to university. Now, I'm studying social policy at Leeds University and it's challenging but I love learning about the world around me.

I believe you should look on the funny side of life. Humour can get you through the bad times.

I believe that eating healthily becomes more important the older you get. I used to just eat processed food but my fiancée is a great cook and has introduced me to healthy food.

I believe in fate and deep down I feel that things, however bad they may seem, happen for a reason. Horrific as my mum's death was, it has helped the hundreds and thousands of people who have contacted me to say that they were touched or inspired in some way by my book.

I used to believe that drugs gave me confidence and liberated me from my fears. I ended up in prison serving six months for drug dealing. Today, I don't smoke and drink only occasionally.

I believe it is possible to claw yourself back from the brink. When I left prison I hit rock bottom. I had a joint suicide pact with my sister and it was only when she took an overdose that I realised I had to live to be strong and help her to live. Wanting to protect her gave me something to live for. Somehow I pulled myself back up.

I believe in dancing. I love salsa - the people, the music, the scene. It's liberating and it frees the mind.

I believe that losing my mother has given me the ability to communicate with people on a different level. I was part of her at one point, and losing her has given me a deeper understanding of pain and distress and bereavement. It's something you can only understand if you've gone through it.

I believe shopping can be dangerous for those who are unable to stop themselves spending thousands of pounds on things they will never wear and getting into debt.

I believe my strengths are compassion, understanding, and an ability to sympathise. My weaknesses are taking on too may things and not being able to say no.

I believe capital punishment is wrong but I do believe Peter Sutcliffe should be locked up in prison until he dies.

I believe having a child is the most exciting thing in the world. When I was younger, I was concerned that I would be similar to my abusive father. Our first baby is due in August and I'm determined not to repeat history.

I believe that children need the love of their parents, guidance, rules and boundaries in order to feel confident and secure.

I believe that there is something bigger than me and that we have a relationship but I'm not a practicing Christian.

I believe the best way to exist is to live life to the full and never take anything for granted.

I believe it is important to talk about things openly with children. We didn't receive any counselling when our mother was murdered, which made our situation worse than it could have been.

I believe in travel. I would love to go to China or trekking in a jungle.

I believe my mum still guides me in terms of what is right and what is wrong.

Richard McCann was talking to Danielle Demetriou. 'Into The Light', his follow-up to the best- selling 'Just A Boy', is now available (Ebury Press, £14.99).

Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine