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James Bulger Murder Case 1993 One of the truly shocking crimes of the late twentieth century was the abduction and murder of two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool, England. His killers were two 10-year-olds, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who committed the crime for no discernible reason. James wandered away from his mother, Denise, at the New Strand Shopping Centre on February 12, 1993. His mutilated body was found on a nearby railway line two days later. Thompson and Venables, who had skipped school, were photographed by a security camera leading Bulger away. They took Bulger two miles from the mall where they tortured him and bludgeoned him to death with bricks, stones, and an iron bar. The killers then placed the child's corpse on the railway tracks to make Bulger's death appear to be an accident. They were charged with Bulger's abduction and murder on February 20. The twosome were found guilty on November 24, 1993, thus becoming the youngest people ever to be convicted of murder in England. The trial judge sentenced them to be detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure, with a recommendation that they should be kept in custody for 'very, very many years to come,' recommending a minimum term of eight years. Shortly after the trial, the Lord Chief Justice ordered that the two boys should serve a minimum of 10 years, which would have made them eligible for release in February 2003 when they were both 20. The outraged British public felt the sentence was far too lenient. The editors of The Sun newspaper began a petition asking Home Secretary Michael Howard to increase the killers' time in custody. The petition eventually topped 300,000 signatures. This campaign was successful. In 1995 Howard announced the boys would be kept in custody for a minimum of 15 years, meaning that they would not be considered for release until February 2008 when they would be 25 years old. In 1997, the Court of Appeal ruled that Howard's decision was unlawful, and the Home Secretary lost his power to set minimum terms for life-sentence prisoners under 18 years of age. The High Court and European Court of Human Rights have since ruled that, though the parliament may set minimum and maximum terms for individual categories of crime, it is the responsibility of the trial judge, with the benefit of all the evidence and argument from both prosecution and defense council, to determine the minimum term in individual criminal cases. After a parole hearing in June 2001, Thompson and Venables were released on a 'life licence' after serving just eight years. The hearing concluded that 'public safety would not be threatened by their rehabilitation.' An injunction was imposed after the trial, preventing the publication of details about the boys, for fear of reprisals. The injunction remains in force, so their new identities and locations cannot be published (although this ruling only applies to the United Kingdom). They walk among us today, protected by legal anonymity. Meanwhile the hapless James Bulger remains two years old forever...
Tags: murder  James  Bulger  Jon  Venables  Robert  Thompson  Britain 
Added: 15th December 2009
Views: 3779
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Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: Classico on 2009-12-15 
I well remember the outrage shown by the British public. How lucky the families of these two boys were in that they were not attacked.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2009-12-15 
The families of the murderers both moved from Liverpool and assumed new identities. It must be a strange feeling to know that the child you raised turned into a monster.

To date there has been no vigilante action against Venables or Thompson. Apparently Denise Bulger was tipped off by an anonymous source to where one of her son's murders could be found. She says she saw the killer at a distance and was so revulsed by his presence that she did nothing.

John Major, who was Great Brtiain's Prime minister at the time of the murders, said of the hug-a-thug justice system, We should condemn a little bit more and understand a little bit less.
Posted by: eric1957 on 2009-12-17 
Each day of their lives those two will be haunted by what they did no matter how they turned their lives around. They will have no peace.
Posted by: Jedwgrn on 2009-12-17 
Truly a tragedy, first for the child that is no longer with us, second for the boys who will live with this and their deeds forever, and, lastly, for all those will contemplate this and ask, 'Why?'
Posted by: Astaldo711 on 2012-05-06 
These depraved monsters are not fit to exist on this earth with human beings. They will never feel sorry for what they did. They tortured this poor child and beat him to death. They have their lives. They will get to have familes and see their children grow. The family and friends of this child have gotten a life sentence.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2012-05-06 
I'm with yoou, Astaldo. They should be shown as much compassion as they showed the victim. That is none!

How evil must these two monsters be to do something like that to a two-year-old stranger!
Posted by: masonx31 on 2012-08-06 
I can say i vaguely remember this...
Posted by: Steve on 2012-08-06 
Welcome to the site masonx31! Boy can we use you and your memories. I was just mentioning the other day we need someone with first hand memories of the decade besides news.

I look forward to your comments and hope you have some good posts to share with us!
Posted by: Reid385 on 2020-04-03 
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