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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: 3610
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Florence Sally Horner Abduction Case Florence Horner (who answered to the name Sally) was the victim of a 1948 case of child abduction. It only merited regional coverage at the time. Had it happened today, it would surely be a national media sensation. In 1948, as part of a club initiation, 11-year-old Sally Horner stole a five-cent notebook from a dime store in Camden, NJ. Frank La Salle, a 50-year-old mechanic who had served a prison term for statutory rape, witnessed the theft and saw a perverted opportunity: He told Horner he was an FBI agent, and threatened to send her to 'a place for girls like you' if she didn't cooperate with him. La Salle abducted Horner and spent 21 months travelling with her from Camden to Atlantic City to Baltimore to Dallas and finally, to San Jose--all the while using Horner as an unwilling sex partner. LaSalle posed as Horner's father on their travels, even going as far as enrolling her in local schools under false names. While attending school in Dallas, Sally confided her situation to a classmate who urged her to contact the police. Shortly after relocating to a San Jose motor court, Sally confided her situation to another resident while Frank was away looking for a job and phoned her brother-in-law and older sister in Camden, asking them to 'send the FBI.' La Salle was arrested when he returned to motor court, but he claimed he was Florence's father. However, an FBI investigation found that Horner's true father had died seven years previously. La Salle was sentenced under the Mann Act to 30 to 35 years in prison. Literary scholars believe the Horner case at least partially inspired Vladimir Nabokov's famous novel Lolita. In fact, there is a reference to the Horner case in Part II, Chapter 33 of the novel. Nabokov also uses the adjective 'Florentine' to describe Lolita--likely an allusion to Florence (Sally) Horner. Like the fictional Lolita, Florence Horner died young: She was killed in a car accident near Woodbine, New York, on August 18, 1952. Two days later the Associated Press reported, 'Florence Sally Horner, a 15-year-old Camden, N.J., girl who spent 21 months as the captive of a middle-aged morals offender a few years ago, was killed in a highway accident when the car in which she was riding plowed into the rear of a parked truck.'
Tags: kidnapping  Lolita  Florence  Sally  Horner 
Added: 11th May 2011
Views: 4524
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Missing Beaumont Children - 1966 This is one of the saddest stories I've ever come across: Australia's most famous abduction case. On January 26, 1966, three siblings under the age of 10 vanished from Glenelg Beach on Australia Day, the country's national summer holiday. To many Australians it is the day their country lost its innocence. The three Beaumont children - Jane, nine; Arnna, seven; and Grant, four -- headed alone to the resort town of Glenelg Beach, a five-minute bus ride from their Adelaide home at about 10 a.m. Due back at 12 noon, their parents raised the alarm when they failed to return by 3:30 p.m. Several witnesses said the three Beaumont children had been spotted in the presence of a blond man at the beach. He was never identified and the children have not been sighted since. Their disappearance spawned one of the largest police investigations in Australian criminal history. Understandably, it forever changed parents' attitudes in Australia about how they supervised their youngsters. In all likelihood, the children, who had often traveled to the resort without their parents, had become friendly with their abductor in earlier visits to Glenelg Beach. After one such visit, Arnna told her mother that Jane "had a boyfriend" at the beach. The mother assumed Arnna was talking about another child--not an adult. On the morning the Beaumont children vanished, Jane bought some treats from a refreshment stand with a one-pound note. Her mother had only given Jane enough coins to cover the children's two-way bus fares. The case remains unsolved.
Tags: Australia  missing  children  Beaumont  abduction 
Added: 3rd June 2014
Views: 2064
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Charley Ross Abduction Case - 1874 The first prominent child abduction in American history was the Charley Ross case. On July 1, 1874, four-year-old Charley Ross was playing with his five-year-old brother Walter in the front yard of their home in the affluent Germantown section of Philadelphia. Two men pulled up in a horse-drawn carriage. They offered the two brothers candy and fireworks if they would take a ride into town with them. The naive youngsters agreed. After a short ride, the carriage stopped in front of a store. Walter was given a quarter to buy fireworks. When he came out of the store, the carriage was gone. A sobbing Walter was found by a policeman. Walter explained what had happened. He described one of the men as having "a monkey nose." Not long afterward, ransom demands were mailed to Charley's father, Christian Ross, from various post offices in and around Philadelphia. The notes demanded the enormous sum of $20,000 for the boy's safe return. Christian was heavily in debt following the 1873 stock market crash and could not afford to play the ransom. The Pinkerton Detective Agency circulated thousands of handbills with an artist's drawing of Charley's face which made the case national news. Attempts to meet with the kidnappers on several occasions failed when the abductors never showed up. There were no significant developments in the case until December 1874 when two career criminals were shot while attempting to burglarize a judge's home in Long Island. One intruder, Bill Mosher, died instantly. The other, Joe Douglas, was mortally wounded. Before he died, Douglas confessed that he and Mosher had kidnapped Charley Ross in July. Contradictory statements were given as to whether the boy was still alive. Walter was taken to Long Island to identify the dead twosome. He agreed they were the men who had taken him for the carriage ride in July. Mosher was easily identified because of his deformed "monkey nose." The Ross family resolutely continued to pursue leads for Charley well into the 1930s. Hundreds of would-be Charley Rosses were investigated. None could be proven as legitimate. It is believed the admonition, "Don't take candy from strangers" was inspired by the Charley Ross kidnapping.
Tags: Charley  Ross  kidnapping  child  abduction 
Added: 17th July 2014
Views: 1841
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Posted By: Lava1964

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