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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Crime Tidbit: Australia's Beaumont Children

Did you know...?

That there is a famous missing children case in Australia that goes back to the '60s? 

Here in America, most people are fairly familiar with unsolved crimes in our own country that became media darlings, as well as the major serial killer cases that captivated the nation while they were happening. And then there are the world-famous cases like Jack the Ripper than everyone knows about. Yet, famous cases in other countries tend to elude us. I'm sure that's true of most people in their respective countries.

So, this famous case, the disappearance of the Beaumont children, happened in Australia in January of 1966. The three Beaumont children--Jane, age 9, Arna, age 7, and Grant, age 4--left their parents' house to go to the beach. Jane, the oldest, was to watch the two younger kids. They left home about ten and were to be back by noon. When 3 o'clock rolled around and they still hadn't returned, their mother called police.

Now, it might sound odd to send three such young kids from home without supervision, but this was 1966. People felt safe and this was a common practice. The three Beaumont children had made this trip to and from the beach countless times.


  • The children were seen playing on the beach at in the company of a blond, athletic man in his mid-thirties.
  • Later, a shopkeeper said the eldest, Jane, came into his store and bought a meat pie with a 1-pound note. He was familiar with the children as they often bought things in his store, but he'd never seen them buy a meat pie before. Mrs. Beaumont reported that she had not given Jane a 1-pound note.
  • Jane was a shy, quiet girl and probably would not have gone willingly with a stranger. Police believe this was not the first time the children had met the blond man at the beach and that they had become familiar with him. A seemingly innocuous remark from Arna to her mother a few weeks before the disappearance that "Jane got a boyfriend at the beach" seems to support the theory. At the time, Mrs. Beaumont just thought they'd found a playmate their own age.
  • Months after the disappearances, a woman came forward to say that on the night of the disappearance, she saw a man, accompanied by two girls and a boy enter a house near hers that she'd thought was empty. Later, she saw the boy, walking alone in the street. He was pursued and roughly caught by the man. The next morning, the house appeared to be empty again and she never saw the man or children again. Why the woman waited so long to tell police of the incident was never satisfactorily established.
The case spanned years, garnered international attention in it's day, and even suffered hoaxes and psychic involvement. The Beaumonts, who were largely embraced by pubic sympathy, stayed in their same house for decades, hoping the children would return. They never have.

The case is credited for changing public outlook concerning the safety of their children and the dangers of society at large.

Why do you think this case, above others, would have had that effect on parental lifestyles of the '60s?

1 comment:

  1. It's true, the world was more naive in the 60s. We used to run around our neighborhood until 8 or 9 at night. In fact, the rule was out the door in the morning, come back for lunch, and then go out again-- especially during the warm summer months. It was a break for our parents! Now I ask my kids if they have their cell phones on, to let me know where they'll be at all times.

    What a sad case for this poor family. I can't imagine the heart ache.