The Perception Of Dolls by Anthony Croix, Edited by Russell Crow
“It's almost as if history is trying to erase the whole affair.” - Anthony Croix
The triple murder and failed suicide that took place at 37 Fantoccini Street in 2001, raised little media interest at the time. In a week heavy with global news, a ‘domestic tragedy’ warranted few column inches. The case was open and shut, the inquest was brief and the ‘Doll Murders’ - little more than a footnote in the ledgers of Britain’s true crime enthusiasts - were largely forgotten.
Nevertheless, investigations were made, police files generated, testimonies recorded, and conclusions reached. The reports are there, a matter of public record, for those with a mind to look.
The details of what took place in Fantoccini Street in the years that followed are less accessible. The people involved in the field trips to number 37 are often unwilling, or unable, to talk about what they witnessed. The hours of audio recordings, video tapes, written accounts, photographs, drawings, and even online postings are elusive, almost furtive.
In fact, were it not for a chance encounter between the late Anthony Croix and an obsessive collector of Gothic dolls, the Fantoccini Street Reports might well have been lost forever.
About this book
Probably best if we let Russell Day explain this project in his own words...
"Toward the end of 2018 I received a parcel containing 500 sheets of printed paper, 57 photographs, scores of pen and ink sketches and a collection of exercise books. The documents had been neatly packed into a pair of box files, but not before being wrapped in multiple layers of tinfoil.
I decided I had some phone calls to make.
A few weeks earlier, I’d been contacted by a friend who worked in a small law firm. She’d asked me if I’d be willing to look over a manuscript with a view to formatting it. The manuscript wasn’t hers, she explained, it was the work of a client: Anthony Croix. When pressed for details she invoked client confidentiality but did allow that Mr Croix was ‘having a bad time of it’. On the understanding that I couldn’t promise anything I agreed to look at the manuscript.
What I’d been expecting was an email with an attachment. My experience of formatting and proofreading extended no further than beta reading work presented as Word documents or e-reader files, where changes could be made with a few keystrokes. What I’d been given was a much larger undertaking.
The package had no return address for its author and, it transpired, neither did my friend. She assured me she’d contact Mr Croix, pass on my apologies, and find a way to return the manuscript to him. Weeks passed. Finally, I reapplied the layers of foil and put the manuscript in my attic.
More than a year later, my friend contacted me again, this time acting as executor of Mr Croix’s will.
The ‘bad time’ Anthony Croix had been having had stayed with him. When he died, in a shelter for the homeless, his worldly possessions consisted of the clothes he lay in and the manuscript in my attic. The latter he had bequeathed to me, with no instructions or requests as to what I should do with it. If I wished, I was within my rights to throw my inheritance into a bin.
I found I couldn’t. Homeless, penniless, and alone, Anthony Croix had entrusted to me the only mark he would leave on the world. I retrieved the manuscript from the attic and got to work.
The dedication at the start of this book is Mr Croix’s. All foot notes are attributable to Mr Croix unless expressly stated otherwise. All descriptions of photographic, video or audio material are assumed to be Mr Croix’s unless credited otherwise.
The title The Perception of Dolls, the section and chapter titles, and the addition of a bibliography are attributable to me."
As you can imagine, this book is something a little bit special even for us.
We guarantee you won’t have read anything else like it and any of you who’ve read King Of The Crows will know that really is saying something.
Russ calls this project his ‘concept album’ and issued meticulous instructions about every aspect of it from the type-setting to the orientation of the cover.
Apparently the cover had to be turned on it’s axis because of something to do with a concept in advanced mathematics called imaginary numbers that seemingly don't relate to normal maths laws and can only be utilised by turning the numbers through 90 degrees.
Well that's what he told us, to be completely frank by that point we were slightly worried by the frenzied look in his eyes, were agreeing with anything he said, and just replied ‘yeah sure mate, right angles, maths, sure, whatever you need fella…’