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  • The Beaumont Children

    Hi all,

    This 52 year old cold case has been in the news again in Australia in the past week or so. Any Australian members on here would already know all about it, but for anyone else on here who isn't so familiar, it really will be one of the most bizarre and bothering cases you will have read about. We can only continue to hope that one day they will be found, hopefully while their parents are still alive.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-0...ildren/9352254

    Cheers,
    Adam.

  • #2
    Hi Adam,
    You are right, Mate. Outside OZ there would be few that have been aware of the 'Beaumont Case'.

    Given the time that has lapsed since their disappearance, it was ,so to speak a shot in the dark to reveal the perpetrator. The 'Satin Man' certainly fits into the frame , however 'Father Time' has beaten modern technology to the punch.

    The person of interest is no longer with us. May , if, guilty his soul rot in hell.

    Closure , is a difficult concept to confine, however at least the 'Cold Case' brigade have done the best they could.

    Celer et Audax,
    Merv
    Be nice to one another!
    Merv

    Comment


    • #3
      I have never heard of this case. It is certainly unusual in that three children of varying ages disappeared.
      The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Merv,

        It surprises me, because it would surely have to be top 5 in the history of Australian crime. Perhaps it's just that Lindy Chamberlain gets all the coverage overseas!

        It also surprises me that if Harry Phipps is such a strong suspect, and circumstantial evidence points to the Castalloy factory site, why the whole site hasn't been excavated? The factory is closing down anyway. A section was dug up 5 years ago as well, why not do the lot?

        In any case, I agree that it's highly unlikely that the perpetrator/s will be brought to justice now (unless we believe that Bevan Spencer Von Einem was responsible, he's still very much alive albeit already rotting in jail), but regardless I hope that the children are found for the sake of the parents more than anything else. Time is running out.

        Hi Anna,

        As an outsider to the case as such, I'm interested in your thoughts? You may have a fresh suggestion, as I said we in Australia have been inundated with information on this case for half a century.

        Cheers,
        Adam.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adam Went View Post
          Hi Merv,

          It surprises me, because it would surely have to be top 5 in the history of Australian crime. Perhaps it's just that Lindy Chamberlain gets all the coverage overseas!

          It also surprises me that if Harry Phipps is such a strong suspect, and circumstantial evidence points to the Castalloy factory site, why the whole site hasn't been excavated? The factory is closing down anyway. A section was dug up 5 years ago as well, why not do the lot?

          In any case, I agree that it's highly unlikely that the perpetrator/s will be brought to justice now (unless we believe that Bevan Spencer Von Einem was responsible, he's still very much alive albeit already rotting in jail), but regardless I hope that the children are found for the sake of the parents more than anything else. Time is running out.

          Hi Anna,

          As an outsider to the case as such, I'm interested in your thoughts? You may have a fresh suggestion, as I said we in Australia have been inundated with information on this case for half a century.

          Cheers,
          Adam.
          I started with Wikipedia and branched out. Looks like there were other bad things happening to children after the Beaumont children disappeared. Just a thought, but it feels like some of the cases could be connected.

          I am involved in a site that is doing the latest research on the Jonbenet Ramsey case which looks like it has to do with sadistic pedophiles. There are some Australians posting there and the Beaumont children came up there. If anything of interest is said there I'll share it here but it is just general commentary like here.

          The first shocking thing about the Beaumont children is that three disappeared at a time. One source mentioned a man and three children entering an empty house and a little boy running away but getting caught and brought back by a man. A thought is the perp wanted young girls. Among the three children there was a fairly wide range of ages and that seems odd also. Seems like pedophiles zero in on certain ages like six and under or pre-teen or whatever. The oldest girl is/was about my age give or take a couple years and I think back to life in 1966 and being about that age. It is certainly a creepy case.
          The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Adam,
            Actually never heard of Bevin Spencer Von Einhem! Having now read through the case ( via Wikipedia)

            He was certainly would have been a potential person of interest to the South Australian Police. If one is to believe the Wiki account, his only tentative connection to the Beaumont Children case was the alleged sighting of him ( or someone closely resembling him) near the spot where the children were though to be buried.

            Eiinhem was certainly an evil creature who was a suspect in other murders, ,but despite going to trial for allegedly killing two other young men escaped conviction after the prosecution withdrew the charges. Apparently , the Crown considered that there was insufficient evidence to secure a conviction in either on the case, which were to be conducted as separate trials.

            All the cases he was associated with were essentially based on his homosexual leanings. As the Beaumont children were a trio of two young sisters and a younger brother , I have doubts that this factor would have fitted into his preference for teenage boys. I could well be wrong!
            '
            Historically, (for our American friends)- South Australia is considered to be the' weird' murder State of Australia. Many of us think that this may be due to the abysmal quality of the tap (faucet) water!

            If Jonathon Hainsworth should read this, please don't it personally!!

            Cheers,
            Merv
            Be nice to one another!
            Merv

            Comment


            • #7
              It is an interesting case. I have it at #47 on my Top 1000+ Classic Unsolved Murder Case List between Hinter-Kiafeck (1922) at #46 and the Lake Bodom Murders (1960) at #48.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi all,

                Anna:

                Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I think you're probably just about bang on the money. There's definitely some other cases which have been linked to the Beaumont children over the years, most notably two children who went missing from Adelaide Oval, which i'm sure you would have read about.

                There's just some things about this case that bother me - well, a lot actually. The first is that conventional wisdom is that the eyewitnesses saw a man talking to and playing with the children on Glenelg beach, so he must be the prime suspect. Yet the children were later spotted buying their lunch from a bakery, and the local postman who knew them well saw them near the bakery as well - without the company of an adult. So was the man they were seen with on the beach really the same one who took them, or did they get abducted elsewhere? Their mother had given them money to catch the bus home, but it was only a 5 minute bus ride home - did they decide to walk home? Their mother had given them change, but when they bought their lunch from the bakery, they cashed a 1 pound note which they otherwise shouldn't have had - where did that came from? Was the person trying to lure them with the promise of buying their lunch and then wait for them to rejoin him down the street somewhere? So many questions.

                The other thing that strikes me is that this took place on Australia Day - the equivalent of American Independence Day - and it falls on January 26, right in the middle of summer. It was hot, very hot. It was a public holiday and Glenelg beach was packed, there was people everywhere. So it's evident from the eyewitness accounts that whoever led the children away didn't do so forcefully - the children had evidently been persuaded to go with them. So, as is so often the case, was it somebody that they knew? What persuaded them to go? They had only been to the beach together the day before, I believe it was, without incident. What changed in a day?

                Harry Phipps is the fashionable prime suspect at the moment, and there's no doubting he was a nasty individual and a sexual deviant. But he was also a millionaire, a business owner and quite prominent locally - if it was he who was playing with the children on the beach, surely more of the locals would have recognised him?

                So I definitely think there was more than one person involved. Surely one man, no matter how strong or persuasive, could have made three children vanish without a trace? Which makes your comment about the boy attempting to run away even more interesting - he was also the youngest. Perhaps it was one person who took them, but once they realised something was horribly wrong, there must have been more people involved?

                Merv:

                Yep, I totally agree with your assessment of Von Einem - absolutely a sadistic, brutal individual, but he did seem to have more of a penchant for teenagers than young children. He was also only very young himself when the Beaumont children vanished - if that was indeed him watching the harbour being dredged in that video clip you refer to, then maybe he was just following a morbid curiosity that was going to take a much darker shape when he was older.

                Max McIntyre has been another prime suspect, claiming on video that he didn't kill the Beaumont children himself but he knew plenty about it. He died last year and his former home outside of Adelaide is probably the site of most interest to Beaumont researchers now outside of Castalloy.

                Of course, as with any case like this, there's often innuendo about cover-ups, official involvement, documents that haven't been declassified, etc etc, but it's hard to put too much faith in that. As I said before, bringing the person/s responsible to justice shouldn't be the prime motivation anymore, it should just be finding the kids.

                Stan:

                Wow, that's quite high up the list! Fingers crossed it will be solved soon and you can find a replacement case.

                Cheers,
                Adam.

                Comment


                • #9
                  HI Adam


                  I, along with every other Australian, was so disappointed that the search came up empty. Agree with Adam - why not dig up the entire site? The parents are now in their 90s and deserve some sort of closure. Losing one child would be bad enough but all three? Cannot begin to imagine the heartbreak.
                  I think that there may have been a paedophile ring involved. At the time people were far more trusting. Luring them away wouldn't have been that difficult. Maybe the person offered them a lift home, said that he knew the parents and they asked him to look after them for a while or some such thing. Perhaps they were sedated. Easy enough to slip something into a drink. The fact that they paid for lunch with a pound note is interesting. If this was someone they knew then it could have happened before so as to get their trust. Would the kids tell their parents about this generous stranger?
                  I really do hope that they will be found.
                  t

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I had not known it was Independence Day when the children disappeared. Were there events planned for the day? Fireworks or something? It was interesting that they were supposed to be home by 2:00 PM but the parents were concerned when they were not home by, what was it, 5 or 7?

                    Supposedly the younger girl had told her mother that Janie had got a boyfriend down at the beach the day before. The mother assumed this was a classmate of the same age as the girl.

                    It seems the children were going about freely and not with any adults as such. So I wonder if they had been invited to meet an adult at some place for some reason and if they walked to whatever destination. Were they given money for an extra fine lunch with promises of more later if they would meet someone somewhere?
                    The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would be curious if the children, probably mostly the oldest girl, ever earned spending money with odd jobs? She was old enough to be in charge of her young siblings. Did she babysit? Girls that age did when I was young. Did the children have a work ethic, like small jobs here and there are a good thing and maybe even help the family?

                      What if the pound note that purchased lunch was a pre-payment for a small job to be done on the way home? Maybe walk a dog? Creeps like to lure children with pets. Feed a horse? Maybe something entirely different but the same idea.

                      There is a factory in question. What did the factory make?
                      The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Tania,

                        Very good point by you that the children may have been sedated or similar, I hadn't really considered that. Forgive me if this sounds like a stupid question, but I wonder what sort of sedatives would have been readily available in 1966? If someone was carrying them around that day, that would suggest that it was pre-planned rather than opportunistic. Incidentally, apparently the bakery worker who served the children recalled them buying some soft drink. Could a sedative have been administered by an adult in this manner?

                        Regarding whether the children would tell their parents anything, did you happen to see the special on the Beaumont children aired by Southern Cross last week? There was an interview on there by a woman who claimed to have been attacked by Harry Phipps when she was 14. She said she didn't tell her parents as her father was the sort who would have blamed her for it, and the consequences of saying anything would have been worse. If the Beaumont children had met this stranger before, but had been warned by their parents of stranger danger, perhaps they worried that telling their parents would mean no more trips to the beach?

                        Hi Anna,

                        I'm unsure if any events were planned for that day. Generally speaking, because it falls so quickly in the wake of New Years Eve, when there is a lot of fireworks, celebrations of Australia Day are more likely to involve sports, barbecues, spending the day at the beach, etc etc.

                        If I recall correctly, the children were expected to be home by around 1 pm on the bus - their mother became concerned when they didn't show up. The father had been away for work, and returned around mid-afternoon. When he was told what was happening by the mother, he spent some time driving around the area hoping that he might stumble across the children. When this didn't happen and night was approaching, they were then reported missing to the police. So probably 6-7 hours had elapsed by that point.

                        The eldest, Jane, would have turned 10 that year so she was evidently seen to be mature enough to be able to look after her younger siblings. I've just downloaded a book about the case by Michael Madigan (written in 2016) onto my Kindle, so i'd have to do a bit more research before I could say whether she did any jobs for cash in the neighbourhood. It's interesting though that you mention that, as that was the whole reason the Castalloy site has been excavated - two men who were teenagers at the time claimed to have been paid 1 pound each (coincidence?) to dig a large hole on the factory grounds, by a man they thought to be Harry Phipps. Surveys of the area revealed that they were telling the truth, which was why the most recent section was dug up, but nothing of note was found.

                        As for Castalloy, it was exactly that - cast alloy. The factory made wheels and parts for vehicles and motorcycles. Car manufacturing was a boom industry in Adelaide for many years.

                        I was hoping to use the Trove website to trawl through some contemporary press reports, in case there was some hidden, forgotten gem in there, but annoyingly there is a gap in the online database for Adelaide from 1960 - 1990.

                        However, if you're interested, do check these couple of news articles out from last year:

                        https://au.news.yahoo.com/sa/a/36061...n-in-car-boot/

                        http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/l...7460a13a3deb12

                        With the failure of the recent dig at Castalloy, a lot of the focus is now on this story and the property with the filled in sinkhole. What do you think?

                        The one thing that we can perhaps take heart from is that a whole new generation of investigators, free of the prejudices of the past, are now determined to solve the case - it seems that the net is slowly tightening. Let's hope so, but if not, then let's at least hope that the children can be properly put to rest.

                        Cheers,
                        Adam.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hi Adam
                          I think that basically any kind of sleeping pill, crushed into a fine powder would do the trick. Things like barbiturates and valium were available at the time. Maybe even Serapax. If the man had met the children previously and gained their trust he could have taken a drug with him on that day. Being Australia Day it would have been very crowded and maybe not much notice was taken of anyone in particular.
                          No I did not see that documentary but is sounds really interesting.


                          Anna - you raise an interesting point about the babysitting/odd jobs. Even at that time 1pound would have been considered a lot of money to a kid. I think I recall (maybe wrong) that whoever served them that day was surprised that they had that much money to pay for the lunch.


                          Years ago kids just walked to school alone and went to the beach or other places without an adult. I remember when I was 11 or 12 I had to get a bus-train-bus to high school. My mum walked me to the bus stop on the first day and every day after that I went alone. How times have changed!


                          Adam - off on as tangent here but have you ever heard of the Bogle/Chandler case that happened in NSW 1963? Still have no idea what killed them. Quite bizarre.


                          t

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A problem with sedatives is they are hard to control and the results are unknown in advance. There were three children. One could maybe be packed off with the excuse, "My daughter is sleepy," or something. Three drowsy, possibly vomiting children present a problem. Three sleeping children would have been a problem. How fast would drugs have taken hold, would the victims have been manageable, etc. Drugs would be best used once the victims were confined to a private place.

                            Interesting to think of the boys being give a one pound note to dig a hole. The U.S. has a complex measuring system while the rest of the world has gone metric, but at least we have a decimal monetary system while the British system is as complex as our measuring system. In our money in 1966, one dollar was a lot of money. The lesser coins, including pennies, still bought quite a bit but the leap to a dollar was big, especially for a kid. It seems the one pound note was similar in Australia at the time.

                            A dollar bill was wealth for a kid in 1966. What would it have cost to hire a man to dig a big hole? More than one pound? To a kid, a dollar or a pound may have seemed like big pay. Did the person of interest regularly dish out one pound notes to kids for odd jobs? Was there a pattern there?

                            A thought about using the one pound note to buy meat pie and cakes also brings up another thought. Was an adult grooming the kids to "work" for him? Did he "trust" them to go to the bake shop to get HIS lunch, a meat pie? Put in U.S. terms, I could imagine an adult saying, "Here, take this and get me a hamburger with all the works and you kids get yourselves a little something too." Maybe change would be brought back, trust would be proved and the child would be praised. The adult would have established himself as a big spender with more where the first came from.

                            Perhaps the meat pie needed to be delivered to an office or house so the kids would know how to get there? If they went once it would be easier the next time and they would act natural and feel comfortable going there.

                            (I am sure three kids could manage to split a meat pie but it seems it would be somewhat messy. Of course I am not an expert on the subject but occasionally supposedly authentic meat pies have been available to me. They are full of gravy and delicious and potentially messy.)

                            The whole thing smells like trust was established with the kids and they had an "obligation" to meet someone somewhere on their way home. That way the adult could keep distance from the kids in public and the victims would deliver themselves to a location. Had anyone asked where they were going they could have said, "We are heading home," without mentioning, oh by the way we have to do a job for our friend on the way.

                            My first husband went to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, etc. in the early 60s. His observation was that Australia had far fewer consumer goods like cars and TVs than were common in the U.S. What was the situation with TV in 1966? I am not terribly old but I grew up in the wilds of Idaho and TV was a little late getting there, too. The wealthiest people in the nearby town got them first. Could the children have been invited to stop by and see a TV on their way home?
                            The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I love the subject of food. Three children buying one meat pie struck me as odd. Maybe the two sisters each took half and baby brother got the cakes? Or did they sit down and help the youngest eat his share? Did each get a bite till it was gone? Or maybe I am wrong altogether and there is nothing odd in sharing a meat pie between three young children enjoying the sights at the beach?

                              Here at the time kids would more likely have chosen hot dogs or corn dogs, rather than our somewhat equivalent to the meat pie, the hamburger, which is messy to share. What else would have been available to these children?

                              The logistics of it makes me think the meat pie was for someone else and the children took it to him.
                              The wickedness of the world is the dream of the plague.~~Voynich Manuscript

                              Comment

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