So... the Beaumont children drowned, right?

For context:

The working theory seems to be that sonebody abducted and murdered them. But wouldn’t an accidental drowning be a more likely answer? They were last seen on or near a beach, and dead bodies in the ocean can stay hidden for years, if they are found at all.

People usually point out the following to discredit the drowning theory:

  1. Multiple witnesses saw the children with an adult stranger that day

  2. Their belongings were not found on the beach

  3. Nobody witnessed the drowning even though the beach was very busy that day.

However, for 1), we know how unreliable witnesses can be. Plus, almost none of the witnesses knew Beaumonts personally, and there were hundreds of children out that day (being an Australia day), so the possibility of misidentification is probably high.

And what kind of child molester/murderer parades his soon-to-be-victims in front of multiple witnesses, and then abducts three children at once, in broad daylight?

As for 2), their personal items could have easily been taken/stolen after being left unattended for long; maybe by other children at the beach. They had already been missing for at least a few hours before the beach was searched.

As for 3), there have literally been cases of children drowning in swimming pools with other people and lifeguards present.

And most (big) beaches have more secluded areas as well, just because there were a lot of people on the beach that day doesn’t mean it was busy on literally every corner.

Three small children are out without an adult supervision, they go missing, they were last seen at the beach, almost 60 years later there are still absolutely no solid leads, no bodies found, anything. It seems pretty obvious what most likely happened.

First I’ve heard of the case, but not sure this is true. Dead bodies out at sea can be lost for forever but I that’s not true of bodies close to a beach (as would be the case in an accidental drowning) the chances of all three bodies being lost in a busy section of beach (after a widespread search) are very very small I think.

Did the police check into where Harold Holt was that day?

On a different note, I wonder did that case inspire “Picnic at Hanging Rock”.

Theorectically, it’s possible because the book was first published in 1967. But it would have had to have been published really quickly after the disappearance. I’d guess it wasn’t.

Cruel irony is a dish best served cold. 50+ years cold. Bravo good Sir!

Heh, I thought of him when someone said the bodies would be sure to be found.

I love the Aussie sense of humour:

Paging @penultima_thule !

To be honest, my assumption has long been that they went home from the beach and were subsequently murdered by their parents.

I always thought they were murdered by someone, even though drowning occurred to me, I dismissed it, because there were three of them-- all three drowned? all three never washed up? no one witnessed THREE children in trouble in the water? It would have been either THREE children in trouble at the same time, and probably trying to signal for help, or else, one in trouble, and another one going in to help, and either that one, or at least the third, trying to get an adult on shore to help before going out.

Another thing that occurred to me was that they were hit by a car, and the driver then did something with the bodies either to stay out of trouble, or maybe initially to get help, but they died before that was possible, and THEN to stay out of trouble.

I believe they were abducted and murdered, and that there’s likely a link to the Ratcliffe/Gordon disappearance a few years later.

Really Stupid Question Here–were any salt-water crocodiles seen in the area?
If the children took their stuff, left the beach, went somewhere marshy or woodsy…

That’s unlikely, as crocodiles are native to the northern coast. Adelade is on the southern, much colder coast.

It’s the drop bears wot got 'em.

Eye witnesses can be very unreliable. On April 12, 1927, little Floella McDonald never returned from school to her Little Rock home. The police began a massive search that eventually went statewide. Witnesses reported seeing her accompanied by a man in an automobile in several smaller towns around Arkansas. But when her badly decomposed body was discovered in the belfry of 1st Presbyterian Church on April 30, they realized Floella had never left Little Rock.

It seems improbably that a stranger could abduct three children in broad daylight. But then it seems improbable that three kids could just drown on a crowded beach without anyone noticing them. But improbably doesn’t mean impossible and three kids just disappeared seemingly without a trace.

Barring the introduction of new evidence, it seems likely this will simply remain a mystery.

It always mystifies me when people expect old and mysterious cases to somehow be solvable much later. With the exception of a deathbed confession by a participant, there is no new data to be gathered. And unless the original investigation was laughably incompetent or corrupt, nothing to be gained by poring now over typewritten reports & grainy photos from then.

Yet somehow, trying to solve “cold cases” is a perennial favorite of crappy TV. I can see the attraction for the producers: easy, cheap, and no author to pay for the basic script. But I don’t see the interest for the consumers.

Oh, I love a good mystery. I lose interest when all the facts come in.

I think it’s something about human nature, our brain gets stuck on things we can’t solve. The possibilities make you imagine something so much worse than what actually happened. I’d bet it’s evolutionary. The unknowns are more dangerous.

New investigative methods and new science can do wonders. Who, in 1957, would have thought the identity of The Boy in the Box would remain a mystery for over 60 years, but then would be revealed through science, the foundation of which, was only as old as the boy himself, and the techniques for analysis were decades into the future?

His killer has not been found, and may never be, but identifying the boy makes finding his killer, even at this late date, at least somewhat possible-- when who he was was unknown, and there was no weapon to trace, there really was no place for an investigation to start.

DNA also revealed the identity of Australia’s “Somerton Man,” and his death was solved inasmuch as it was confirmed to be suicide, something that was always on the list of possibilities, but was impossible to confirm when his identity was unknown.

Not if they got caught in a rip tide. You can be a mile out in minutes, even if you’re a strong swimmer.

But Australian beaches are famously well guarded. I don’t know if that was true at the time.