There’s a reason I don’t usually blog about real-world bondage sex scandals, and the reason is, there’s usually a victim if we’re reading about it in the papers, and real victims (as opposed to fantasy ones) aren’t erotic. When the victim in question is stalked across an ocean by a crazed ex-lover with a gun and some handcuffs, that’s not sexy and it’s not funny.
No, wait, scratch that, this is where life gets too complicated to be encompassed by my reflexive distaste for blogging about sex crimes. Not funny? I feel sorry for the guy, and no, not funny at all from his perspective. But, yeah: Big guy, Mormon, missionary, fur handcuffs, special Mormon chastity underwear insufficient to save his virtue, his stalker beauty queen ex-girlfriend escapes to Canada posing as a deaf-mute mime, and later as a nun…. You can have all the empathy in the world for the victim, but you still can’t claim this isn’t funny. Terrible, sure, but also funny as hell.
I’m talking about this story from the 1970s, back in the news for reasons not germane to this bondage blog:
In 1978, Joyce McKinney jumped bail and disappeared after being charged with kidnapping a 17-stone male Mormon missionary, whom she had chained to a Devon cottage bed with mink handcuffs and forced to have sex.
Joyce McKinney was born in Avery County, North Carolina, in August 1949, the daughter of two school teachers.
She first made the headlines, albeit local ones, in 1972 when she was crowned Miss Wyoming, but soon tired of the world of beauty pageants and enrolled as a drama student at Brigham Young University, in Utah, the heartland of Mormon America.
It was there that she met 19-year-old Kirk Anderson, a 6ft 4in fellow drama undergraduate, some seven years her junior, from a small town near Salt Lake City.
There was a brief fling, and McKinney later claimed that she had miscarried his baby.
Overcome by guilt, Anderson, a devout Mormon, apparently sought advice from his bishop, who told him to sever ties with McKinney and move away from Utah.
She was not prepared to be spurned so easily. Private detectives were hired to trace Anderson from the U.S. to Ewell in Surrey, where he was living as a door-to-door Mormon missionary.
In the summer of 1977, McKinney flew to England with an architect friend called Keith May.
Armed with an imitation revolver, May confronted 21-year-old Anderson on the steps of Ewell’s Church of the Latter Day Saints, and frog-marched him to a car in which McKinney was waiting.
Chloroformed and hidden under a blanket, the bespectacled Mormon was driven some 200 miles to Okehampton, where his kidnappers had hired a 17th-century ‘honeymoon’ cottage for ￠G50 a week.
McKinney later said that she had packed the fridge with Anderson’s favourite food and studied The Joy Of Sex in preparation for what was to come.
May chained the prisoner to a bed. For two days, McKinney tried to persuade the missionary to marry her and father her children. She even read Scriptures with him in bed.
When this failed to melt his opposition, McKinney reverted to Plan B.
This involved slipping into a ‘see-through nightie’, playing a cassette of ‘romantic music’, having Anderson ‘spread- eagled’ and sexually stimulating him.
She claimed this was a bondage ‘game’ played with his full consent.
He later told a court: ‘I couldn’t move. She grabbed the top of my pyjamas and tore them from my body until I was naked.
‘I didn’t wish it to happen. I was extremely depressed and upset after being forced to have sex.’
This ‘rape’ occurred three times.
For the record, his pyjamas, later produced in court, were light blue and ‘silky’. He also claimed to have been wearing some kind of Mormon chastity belt underneath. Alas, to no avail.
Fearing he would be kept prisoner for weeks (later there would be a body of male opinion which felt pangs of severe jealousy at his plight), Anderson promised to marry her.
But after she loosened his chains, he escaped and went straight to the police.
McKinney and May were arrested at a roadblock three days later and charged with false imprisonment and possessing an imitation firearm.
There was an entertaining, if not downright titillating, committal hearing at Epsom Magistrates’ Court, during which her counsel said of Anderson: ‘Methinks the Mormon doth protest too much… you have seen the size of Mr Anderson and you have seen the size of my client.’
McKinney spent three months on remand in Holloway Prison – to which she had been driven weeping through the bars of a Black Maria – before being released on bail on grounds of her failing mental health.
Now the case, which had already become a worldwide cause celebre, was about to be given a new lease of life with a sensational twist.
McKinney met the similarly bailed May and the pair fled to Canada, using false passports and disguised as deaf-mute mime artistes.
It was later alleged that McKinney was helped to escape by her former landlady, an Irish woman, who went with her to a West End theatrical outfitters.
There, they bought the wigs and glasses which were later used in their flight from justice.
By now an international fugitive, McKinney reappeared staying at the Hilton hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, disguised as a nun.
In a rare comment … she said in 1999: ‘I loved Kirk and all I really wanted was to see his blond-haired babies running round my home.
‘Nobody can understand what it is to lose the man you love to a cult, and I believe that is what the Mormons are. Back in Britain [then] nobody knew what a cult was.’
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