Friday, October 27, 2006

The Beaumont children

No walkies yesterday or today. Too tired. Been laying about the house.

Dr Bogle & Mrs Chandler

On New Year's day in 1963 Dr Bogle & Mrs Chandler were found dead, partly naked and covered with cardboard beside Lane Cove River in Sydney. Every now and then over the years the cause of their deaths has been hashed over in the papers. There were only very slight injuries, a skin scrape on Mrs Chandler's nose or something. No puncture marks from a syringe or whatever, no wounds or bruises or strangulation marks or anything else. A complete mystery for more than 40 years.

Then a couple of weeks ago there was a doco (documentary) on the telly about it. The river was polluted in the sixties and this guy who did the doco thinks it was hydrogen sulphide, rotten egg gas, that killed them. They went down to the river from a New Year's Eve party, they were a bit pissed (drunk) and horny and didn't notice or care about the smell, and they started getting naked and keeled over from this gas. Then some prudish old guy, who the police interviewed at the time, was walking along there, found them half nekkid and covered them up.

There's more arguement about whether he's right of course, but if he's right he's cracked a 40 year old mystery.

The Beaumont children

Three of the saddest and most frightening words in Australia. They scared the shit out of me as a kid and plenty of other kids and no doubt out of all our parents.

On Australia Day in 1966 three children disappeared off Glenelg Beach in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. It was normal then for children to be allowed out on their own during the day. They were thought to be safe.

These three kids got the bus from near their house and got off at the beach. They were supposed to catch the bus back at lunchtime.

They were seen at the beach by several people, including some who saw them with a man. The postie (mailman) was the last person to see them. When he saw them they were alone and walking along a nearby street. They were never seen again.

Child murderer James Ryan O'Neill was the subject of a doco called The Fishermen on last night. A retired copper (cop) talked to this guy for three years. He thinks O'Neill killed the Beaumont children and he's probably right.

It started with a woman talking about something she saw as a kid. O'Neill was a kid she knew. One day he showed her the body of a boy with a head wound under a tarp in the back of his (O'Neill's) father's car. O'Neill told her "we're going to bury him".

Then there was the bit about the head wound. O'Neill's not the dead boy's. O'Neill had been accidently shot in the head as a young man. The bullet had gone into his frontal lobes. A psychiatrist or neurologist talked about the effect of being shot in the temporal lobes. Wiki says pretty much what he said:

"The Frontal lobes have been found to play a part in impulse control, judgment ... sexual behavior, socialization and spontaneity. ... [a person with damaged frontal lobes may persist] with one course of action or pattern of behavior when a change would be appropriate."

Essentially, he was anti-social before, due to his dodgy upbringing, then what little empathy and impulse control he had left was shot away by the bullet.

There was a summary of his conviction for the rape and murder of a child and mention that the coppers in another state had him on bail for another offence involving a child and he'd skipped on bail and that there were similar offences all over the country that he could've done, offences following the pattern of his behaviour and in places he'd been or been close to at the time.

In the late 1960s he travelled several times between Melbourne and Coober Pedy on opal buying trips. After a flash flood the body of a child was found in a tree next to a nearby river. The body had been bound to a log with barbed wire. O'Neill was in the area when the child went missing.

He worked at some cattle station (ranch) for two months in the seventies. Some said they remembered him and he was full of bullshit, everything he said turned out to be bullshit, his job qualifications, being a Vietnam vet, being shot by his mother's gangster boyfriend, working for ASIO, everything. Others said, a bit too quickly, that they didn't remember him.

He'd worked or travelled in every state in Australia and talked about his travels pretty easily. Except that he never mentioned Adelaide, where the Beaumont children went missing. All through the interviews with the ex-copper, he was pretty relaxed and polite and confident. Then when Adelaide was mentioned he went still and watchful and changed the subject as fast as he could.

It was one of the creepiest things I've ever watched. Thank fuck the bastard's sentence was life.

More about the Beaumont children and the search for them


Suzanne said...

Chilling post to read, especially on the eve of Halloween (a Very Big Deal here in the States.)

Spike said...

Hadn't thought of it that way, Halloween not being popular here.

Would be good to solve the mystery at last and put the Beaumont parents out of their misery. But if that O'Neill bastard did it, and it looks awfully like he did, he ain't telling. He showed no signs of remorse whatsoever.

Dodderyoldfart said...

Re Dr Bogle
this in todays NZH

Anonymous said...

yet another scumbag wiping the shit from its arse on these children's privacy and pain