|This article's content is marked as Mature|
The page Mature contains mature content that may include coarse language, sexual references, and/or graphic violent images which may be disturbing to some. Mature pages are recommended for those who are 18 years of age and older.
If you are 18 years or older or are comfortable with graphic material, you are free to view this page. Otherwise, you should close this page and view another page.
|This article is to be edited carefully.|
Due to a global legal injunction, DO NOT post recent pictures, make comments or reveal the new identities of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.
If we see you uploading or comment anything about their whereabouts, YOUR PICTURES AND YOUR COMMENTS WILL BE DELETED AND YOU WILL BE BANNED IMMEDIATELY, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. We kid you not.
|“||Friday, February 12 1993. Two outwardly unremarkable ten-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, began their day playing truant and ended it running an errand for a local video shop. In between they abducted and killed the toddler James Bulger.||„|
|~ The Sleep of Reason: James Bulger Case by David James Smith|
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables (both born in August, 1982, but Jon was born on the 13th, and Robert was born ten days later) are two felons, known in British history as the youngest convicted criminals at the age of 10. They were responsible not only for truanting from school (in the process), but mainly, for kidnapping, torturing, and brutally murdering a 2-year old boy named James Bulger, inflicting so many injuries that it was impossible to determine which one was the fatal blow. Afterwards, they left his body on the train tracks, where it was run over and split in half by a train, hoping to cover up their murder as an accident.
They were found guilty on 24 November 1993, making them the youngest convicted murderers in modern British history. They were sentenced to detention during Her Majesty's pleasure until a Parole Board decision in June 2001 recommended their release on a lifelong license aged 18. In 2010, Venables was sent to prison for breaching the terms of his license, and was released on parole again in 2013. In November 2017, Venables was again sent to prison for possessing child abuse images and pornographic images of children on his computer. While in jail, he was attacked by a fellow prisoner who broke his nose.
The Bulger case has prompted widespread debate on the issue of how to handle young offenders when they are sentenced or released from custody.
Robert Thompson seems to have had the worst upbringing out of the two boys. Thompson, along with his siblings and mother, were all mercilessly beaten and apparently molested by their father. This continued until Thompson’s father finally left the family, although this didn’t stop the abuse. The siblings continued to beat each other, and Thompson’s mother turned to alcohol to cope.
Venables, on the other hand, seems to have had a somewhat easier life than Thompson. His parents were estranged, but there was no sign or evidence of any abuse from his family or at school. In fact, Venables is actually described as being quite a bully in school. Something the boys did have in common was that they both enjoyed skipping school together.
The day of 12 February 1993 began quite normally with James’ mom taking her son along with her to the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle, England. Unbeknownst to them, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables had chosen this day, like many others, to play truant and make their way to the same shopping centre. Now, it can and has been argued that Venables and Thompson had decided well before seeing James that they were going to inflict some sort of harm on someone that day.
After running throughout the shopping centre, stealing multitudes of items and tossing them down escalators, the boys actually attempted to abduct another young boy. They spotted the boy with his mother, and once her back was turned, they beckoned to him. This little boy eventually followed Venables and Thompson outside. Luckily, the child’s mother was able to find him outside before any harm could be done, but it is argued that the boys had hoped to push the child into traffic.
After their first failed abduction attempt, the boys didn’t give up. They soon spotted James with his mother at a butcher shop in the shopping centre. James’ mother, Denise, described the time it took for Venables and Thompson to kidnap her son as less than a minute. She said that she took money from her purse to pay the butcher and then looked down to see her child gone. Venable and Thompson had gotten James’ attention at precisely the right moment and had led him off before Denise had a chance to notice anything.It was just after this moment that the CCTV footage at the shopping centre picks up Venables leading the child out of the shopping centre by the hand.
The boys left the shopping centre and led James to a nearby canal. Here, they picked James up and dropped him on his head, causing an injury to his forehead. This also caused James to begin crying and blood to drip down his head. Unbelievably, a woman saw the children but decided to ignore them.
This wasn’t the first injury the boys were going to inflict on James and they then started to lead the child through the streets of Liverpool. The boys were seen by no less than thirty witnesses throughout this time. Some actually stopped the boys to check on James, but eventually decided that their plans for the day were more important than the safety of this child.
Now, the boys were travelling towards Thompson’s home. It is stated in one of Thompson’s parole applications that he wanted to return home to go be with his normal friends. They actually ended up at a trainyard that was close to Thompson’s home, so this may support his statements.
Venables and Thompson had brought blue paint stolen from the shopping mall and splashed it in Bulger’s left eye. They then kicked him and pummelled him with bricks and stones. They also stuffed batteries into his mouth. The police had claimed that there may have been evidence of the batteries being inserted into James’ anus, although none were found. But the police and prosecution did insist that there was evidence of an assault, although both boys deny this.
The two boys then hit Bulger over the head with a 22-pound iron bar, causing 10 skull fractures. In total, Bulger sustained 42 injuries to his face, head, and body. With so many injuries sustained, authorities concluded there was no way to tell which injury was the one that killed Bulger.
After killing the child, Venables and Thompson placed Bulger’s dead body across the train tracks and weighted his head down with rubble. They then abandoned the scene. Soon afterwards a train entered the trainyard and severed the toddler in two.
Understandably, the murder of James Bulger caused public outrage. This was only exacerbated during and after Venables’ and Thompson’s trial. Five hundred protesters showed up at the young murderers’ trial. Due to the risk to their safety, they were referred to as Child A (Thompson) and Child B (Venables) during the trial.
Following the trial, the court decided to actually release their names to the public. This decision was made due to the graphic nature of the murder and the public reaction to the case, which was obviously quite powerful.
There were over 200,000 signatures on petitions asking for the boys to be imprisoned for their entire lives, which was actually considered in the Home Secretary’s decision to keep the children in custody for a minimum of 15 years, timing their release for their 25th birthdays. However, through a series of appeals, their detainment was shortened to a minimum of 8 years. The boys were both released and given new identities in 2001.
The terms of their release include the following: They are not allowed to contact each other or Bulger's family. They are prohibited from visiting the Merseyside region. Curfews may be imposed on them and they must report to probation officers. And breaches of those rules would mean they would return to prison. If they were deemed to be a risk to the public, they would also be returned to prison.
An injunction was imposed on the news media after the trial, preventing the publication of details about the boys. The injunction was kept in force following their release on parole, so their new identities and locations could not be published. David Blunkett stated in 2001: "The injunction was granted because there was a real and strong possibility that their lives would be at risk if their identities became known.”