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The Beaumont Children

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Re: The Beaumont Children

Post  milly on Sat 22 Oct - 2:04

Babies beneath the floorboards

In November 2000, a builder renovating a house in the Adelaide suburb of Queenstown found children's remains after lifting a trapdoor concealed beneath some carpet. Police investigators said that the remains were too small to be the Beaumont children.


Babies beneath the floorboards
On Saturday, 4 November 2000, an Adelaide sales consultant named Trevor Terrell discovered the skeletal remains of three children beneath the house he was renovating in the Adelaide suburb of Queenstown. Detective Superintendent Paul Schramm of the South Australian police announced soon afterwards that the remains were not those of the Beaumont children.

Mr Terrell, 35, had been renovating the house in Victoria Street, Queenstown, when he discovered a trapdoor that had been concealed beneath a carpet. When he opened the trapdoor he found some bones, including a small skull, that had been half buried and wrapped in wallpaper. He immediately realised that the remains were human and took some photographs, before taking the skull to police to inform them of his discovery.

Police went to the house to investigate and discovered more remains. It soon became apparent that the remains were of three babies and were too small to have been the Beaumont children. Police forensic experts examined the remains but beyond stating that they were decades old, could not reach any firm conclusions. They were unable to discover if the babies had been murdered or had died of natural causes.

The local Port Adelaide police were left in charge of the case and it was reported that police were considering taking a police archeologist to the house to try to work out what had happened. They had been unable to establish the identity of the babies and were also waiting for a professor from Adelaide University to return to South Australia from another state, as they were hoping that he could determine when the babies had died.

Land title records revealed that the property had been owned a local family named Simmons from 1900 to 1992. The house itself had been constructed in around 1910. Police said that the remains might have dated to when Charlotte Simmons lived in the house with her four children, in the mid-1960s. Her two sons had since died but police were trying to locate her daughters. However police admitted that they might not be able to find out how the children had died.

Mr Terrell, who was reported to be consulting with media outlets about the sale of the pictures and details of the discovery, later said: "I thought I might have solved something. I was thinking it would be good if it was the Beaumonts." 12


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Re: The Beaumont Children

Post  milly on Sat 22 Oct - 2:04

On Saturday 25 August 1973, a South Australian National Football League game was in progress at Adelaide Oval. North Adelaide was playing Norwood. Joanne Ratcliffe, aged 11, was at the match with her parents. Kirste Gordon, aged 4, was there with her grandmother.
Kirste Gordon
The Ratcliffes were regular visitors to the Adelaide Oval. So too was Kirste Gordon's grandmother, who knew the Ratcliffes, but Kirste never been there before. She was being looked after by her grandmother while her parents had a weekend away. The Ratcliffes, Kirste and her grandmother were all sitting in the Sir Edwin Smith stand.

Joanne was the motherly type and when Kirste needed to go to the toilet, Joanne offered to take her. The toilets were about 300 metres away on the other side of the ground. They went and came back without any problems. Later in the match, the two girls went out of the stand to get some straws for their drinks.

Kirste needed to go to the toilet again during the third quarter, at about 3:45pm. This time they did not return and at 4:06pm Mrs Ratcliffe left the stand and went to the secretary's office, to report them missing. She asked if an announcement could be made.

The request was refused. The explanation given later was that nothing would have been heard over the crowd noise. This may have been true, however Mrs Ratcliffe was given the distinct impression that the staff in the office did not want the match interrupted. Mrs Ratcliffe was advised to return to her seat and report the matter to the police if the girls didn't turn up.

The Ratcliffes and Kirste Gordon's grandmother spent the remainder of the match searching for the missing girls. Mr Ratcliffe searched the back of the stands, the carpark, the bowling area and the tennis courts. His wife searched the female toilets. Mr Ratcliffe was convinced that his daughter would not have left the oval "on her own steam." 81

At match end Mr Ratcliffe spoke with Mr Blundell, secretary of the South Australia cricket association, and told him that the children were missing. Mr Blundell had an announcement made immediately.

The girls were reported missing at police headquarters at 5:12pm. Police began an immediate search of the area.

Several eyewitnesses were located. Anthony Kilmartin was a thirteen-year-old who'd been selling lollies in the Sir Edwin Smith stand. He'd had to move over for two girls who came walking down the stairs. He'd also seen a man, who'd been watching the girls, go "running or trotting" 81 after them towards the gate.


Joanne Ratcliffe In the statement he gave to police, Kilmartin said the man had caught up with the girls, had lifted the little one up, and had carried her to the gate. The bigger girl looked frightened and had grabbed at the man.

"He told her to 'take off' or something, and I thought he must have been a friend and they had just had an argument," Kilmartin said 81. He assumed the man was the girls' father.

The man had grabbed the bigger girl and gone towards the corner of the tennis courts near a pine tree. After that he hadn't seen anything more.

The assistant curator of the oval, Ken Wohling, saw two girls trying to lure some kittens out from under a car. There were plenty of cats at the oval and children were always trying to play with them. However, Wohling then heard a man's voice say "I'll try and get him out for you." 83. Joanne's father later commented that his daughter was a "terror for cats and dogs" 82

Wohling saw a man walk towards the southern gate, the two girls following a few metres behind. They then rounded the corner and were gone. Wohling only saw the back of the man but noticed he was slightly stooped.

"Not long afterward the father came looking in the shed," Wohling said later. "I assumed he was looking for the two girls. I said to him, 'they're not here!'" 82 Unfortunately neither man realised the significance of the conversation until much too late.

Over the next 90 minutes there were four different sightings believed to be of the man and the two girls. In three of these sightings the older girl appeared distressed. In one case a man driving past went so far as to stop his car, but then decided that it was none of his business and drove on.

The girls were last seen with the man about three kilometres from the Oval, 90 minutes after they'd left. Neither they nor the man have been seen since.

It needs little imagination to suggest that the Beaumont disappearance and the Oval abduction were the work of the same man. The artist pictures of the men are very similar. The modi operandi, or what was known of them, were similar. And in both cases the suspect and the children vanished, as though into thin air. Months of intense investigation produced no identity for the suspect and nothing to go on.



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Re: The Beaumont Children

Post  milly on Sat 22 Oct - 2:05

Possible Suspects
This page is titled as a piece of dramatic license. It is entirely possible that no person named on this page had anything to do with the disappearance.

A moment ought to be taken to dismiss as suspects three people who are often suggested by armchair sleuths as having been involved in the disappearance. Firstly, Mr and Mrs Beaumont have been on the receiving end of many slurs that they were responsible. In fact, everyone who ever met the Beaumonts agrees that they had nothing to do with the disappearance. It is their unique tragedy.

Secondly, visitors to this site have pointed out that the postman, Mr Patterson, was not consistent in his account of events. I cannot confirm whether Mr Patterson was a suspect but I assume police questioned him closely. More importantly, his confusion about what time he saw the children is wholly explicable when it is remembered that he had no reason at the time to think the encounter in any way significant.

As far as other suspects are concerned, four men have been publicly named in the news media as being suspects for the presumed abduction and murder of the children. One of the men has since died; the other three remain incarcerated. Information about all four is given below, listed in the order in which they entered the public eye in connection with the case.

It is also worth pointing out that while each of the men might seem to be a good suspect for the disappearance -- three of them have been imprisoned for sex-related murders and the other was strongly suspected of the same; two of them have allegedly told other people that they abducted the Beaumont children; all four are said to have been in Adelaide at the time the Beaumont children disappeared -- there are grounds for ruling each of them out. Von Einem, the only man certain to have been in Adelaide at the time of the disappearance, possibly preferred older victims; there is nothing but anecdotal evidence against Brown; Percy was too young to drive; and O'Neill has been eliminated by police on other grounds. It is highly probable that the person who abducted the Beaumont children is known to police. It is also, perhaps, probable that none of the men listed below are that person.

Bevan Spencer Von Einem
Bevan Spencer von Einem is currently serving a 36-year sentence in a prison in South Australia, having been convicted in 1984 of a murder in Adelaide. He is strongly suspected of having committed or having been involved in four other murders and is been considered by some to be the prime suspect both for the Beaumont disappearance and the Adelaide Oval abduction.
Derek Ernest Percy
Derek Ernest Percy, once described as "Australia's Hannibal Lecter" is a suspected serial killer who has been imprisoned in Victoria since 1969. He is the prime suspect for a number of child abductions and has been named as a suspect in the disappearance of the Beaumont children.

Arthur Stanley Brown
In late 1998, Arthur Stanley Brown was charged with the murders of Judith and Susan Mackay, aged 7 and 5, on 26 August 1970, in Townsville, Queensland. The Mackay sisters disappeared during a 10 minute period in which they were waiting for a bus. On 28 August a New Zealander named Graham Tough found the bodies.

It was noticed that he bore a facial resemblance to the pictures of the suspect in the Beaumont children and Oval Abduction cases. South Australian Police announced that they were investigating to find out if there was any connection. Brown is now dead

James Ryan O'Neill
James O'Neill is the longest serving prisoner in Tasmania, having been convicted and imprisoned for murder in 1975. In January 2005, suggestions emerged that he may have committed multiple murders, including the abduction of the Beaumont children.

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