Recap #CrimeChat Jan 27, 2014 that was dedicated to the three Beaumont Children who disappeared on January 26, 1966.
Jane, Grant, and Arnna Beaumont were the children of Jim & Nancy. I wrote a case analyses and that post is one of the most popular on my blog. It is called “In search of Jane, Grant and Arnna” and you can find it here.
During the chat we highlighted all the points that we thought were worth exploring again.
The most pressing points for me remain:
- Jane was key to get all three children to go some place. Despite her nine years she was very mature, serious, and careful. Whoever was involved in this crime was known to her. I am convinced of that. Jane had seen this person either at her home (e.g. a friend of the family) or maybe at school, at playdates, etc.
- Jane was acting normally in the shop where she made an unusual purchase: she bought pastries and a meat pie using a £1 note. However, Mrs. Beaumont had not given Jane notes. She had given Jane coins. The store owner was familiar with the family and the children. He noted that meat pie was not among their usual purchases. However, he did not say anything about any unusual behaviour in Jane. I think that later, whoever gave her that note, offered to carry her packages and laced the meat pie.
- If somehow we still had that note I’d love for it to be scanned with the M-Vac!
We briefly discussed the Satin Man theory but since police did not find anything after digging behind that factory, the subject was dropped quickly.
During the chat, the mode of transportation came up. To move all three children around we thought that a car had to be involved. If so, we are looking at people who were licensed to drive without attracting too much attention to themselves. This means that we are most likely not looking at drivers who were so young that there was a risk of being pulled over by police.
We went over a list of suspects (see here) noting that von Einem was never ruled out as a suspect and that Percy was really young when the children disappeared. He passed away in 2013. However, we cannot rule him out especially not if you read this article about him and what was found in a storage facility.
“Police discovered 35 boxes of files, clippings and handwritten diaries concealed by Percy in a South Melbourne self-storage warehouse that he has rented for 20 years. They also found razor blades similar to one used to mutilate a victim.
The material includes newspaper articles on sex crimes, pictures of children, a video with a rape theme and handwritten stories on fresh sex offences involving abduction and torture.
Percy managed to collect and transfer the material from jail to his private collection, despite being one of Australia’s most violent sex criminals and judged too dangerous for release.
Police now know that Percy, a former naval rating, has maintained storage facilities in Melbourne since the early 1970s.”
He managed to move documents from jail to those storage facilities? Who was on his visitors list? Did we check the storage facilities entry for finger prints? If anyone has follow-up articles about this, PLEASE let me know.
One of the saddest parts in this case (and with other high profile missing persons cases) is dealing with impostors and wannabees. Remember how many Princesses Anastasia the world had to deal with before her remains were identified by DNA? Check here for Romanov impostors. Well, here too we have a person who thinks that he might be Grant Beaumont. I wrote about that here.
Estes lost credibility when I read that he approached Oprah with the news that he was a love child from Elvis Presley …
And seriously: if I suspected that maybe I was a kidnapped child from another family I’d move heaven and hell to get my DNA to the cops. There are so many kickstart projects to raise money so I cannot imagine how this is “an obstacle.”
One of the chatters hinted that she remembered reading that a DNA test was done. It proved that Estes was not Grant Beaumont. She will let me know when she finds that article again. But then something else, very interesting popped up in my head.
I scanned Twitter for Australian Law firms. I found a few like Gadens (tweeting as @gadenslawyers) and Prime Lawyers (tweeting as @primelawyers). I asked them (by tweet) how many bodiless trials Australia has seen over the years. Suppose we find indications in Percy’s notes that some of the children involved were the Beaumonts? What if the razor blade contains Beaumont DNA? How difficult would it be to prosecute Derek Percy posthumously without the cops ever having found the three children’s remains? I don’t know. I hope they answer my tweet.
UPDATE: Prime Lawyers did answer my tweet. I asked “How many bodiless trials has Australia seen?” Their answer and I quote: “They are rare, but circumstantial evidence can be enough, as the charge of murder does not require a body.” More information about Australian criminal law is here.
The next #CrimeChat is on February 14. We will do an open mic over lunch from 12-1pm EST so you can tell me all about your most favourite unsolved case.