Two Missing Girls

Those of us on the east of the pond have been hoping and praying for the safety of two young girls, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. they are both 10 years old.

They have been missing for over a week now.

At the moment, two areas of recently disturbed ground have been found not more than 10 miles from where they were last seen.

The newsreader giving the update almost started to cry as he gave the update.

They have very few leads on who did this.

I just hope that the perpetrator of these kids abductions can be found.

I hope that the recently disturbed earth are not graves.
If these children are found murdered, there will be a special place in hell for the guilty party.

That’s awful. :frowning:

Please keep us posted of the outcome.

Ack! I hope the ground doesn’t contain bodies. Everytime I hear one of these stories, I imagine the possibility of it happening to someone I care about, and it makes my heart lurch. It’s sickening, that there are “humans” out there who would do stuff like this. Their karma will eventually catch up to them, but to a guy like me, that’s not soon enough.

Also, I apologize if it’s been discussed before (and the slight hijack), but what’s with all the recent kid abductions? Is it a copycat thing, or has this matter just recently been given much more attention than usual? Or, have I just been living under a rock?

What beautiful girls.
Hoping with all my heart that they are found and everything is alright.
I have a daughter that age.

Is anyone else wondering whether the masive media attention given to this case might have been a bad call and driven whoever abducted these girls to believe the only way to avoid detection was to murder them?

I really have a lot of issues with the way the media handles “crimes in progress” these days and wonder to what extent media scrutiny contributes to the very outcomes people are hoping to avoid.

As the excavation at the site has been going on for well in excess of 12 hours now without further announcements, let’s all hope there’s nothing there to find.

Just in from the BBC.

My grandmother’s visiting from England, and she was asking about these girls. I’m fed up with these people who apparently think they can take whatever they want with no regard for anyone! Yes, I realize that’s a broad statement, but that’s what the attitude of these abductors seems to boil down to to me.


reprise - yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking this morning.

IANA criminal psychologist, but I think it would have been a lot more helpful if the police had loudly advertised that the abductor would get - bear with me - (1) amnesty from prosecution and (2) guaranteed anonymity from the press, on condition that the girls were restored alive and unharmed immediately.

Obviously the police could renege on at least part (1) of the pledge the minute the girls were safe.
Let’s imagine for a moment what effect the huge publicity seen so far may have on the mind of the abductor. He knows that he’s up for a long stretch in Broadmoor, and maybe he can face that.

But add to this what the papers make so clear - that they’ll never leave him alone, his perversion will be exposed to the world, he’ll be hounded and persecuted for the rest of his life …

It’s all too easy to envisage him panicking and turning abduction into murder.

Re;the media handling of this. Last week the Evening Standard billboards all had in big lettering POLICE PLEA “PLEASE DO NOT KILL” as if the abductor was going to walk past on the billboards and think to himself “You mean they don’t want me to kill them? I’d better hand them over then, knowing the entire county is baying for my blood.”

And I’m not even going to start on how disgusted I was by the News of the World running with a front page splash about how the parents have thanked them for their 1m pound reward offer. Not a story about the welfare of the children, but a story about how great the News of the World is. Fuckers.

Thanks for mentioning this, Twisty. This is so tragic, and scary, and the parents have borne it with such dignity.

I don’t want to get all tabloid about child abductors, but what fucking animal could do this? ??? Ghgrgrgrgrgr???

This makes me SO FUCKING ANGRY.

The cops missed a number of really hot leads in the few days after they disappeared.

Though I like the way they’ve given him a bit of an out - “contact a solicitor to arrange their handover”.

Sky News has also been exploiting it: “Don’t go away, because after the break we’ve an exclusive interview with one of the police working on the case.” etc.


Why does the cynic in me think that the million pound reward offer was probably linked in some way to exclusive publication rights? Please, tell me that cynicism is unjustified Francesca. Please…

The media (or at least the BBC) were very ill-prepared for last night’s developments (which all turned out to be worthless anyway); I sat and watched a reporter at the scene spluttering and speculating about the terrain and what might or might not be found. I agree that the media have over-played the ‘what ifs’ to the extent that it could well adversely influence the actions of an individual with psychiatric problems (particularly if he had not particularly thought the whole thing through to conclusion).

I probably ought to keep quiet anyway; my thoughts are far from rational about this whole matter.

Thinking back to the awful events in Belgium a few years ago, one wonders whether they might even be better off dead. :frowning:

When the news of the discovery of the disturbed earth was breaking at the end of last nights ITN tea-time news, the on-location reporter almost lost it live on air. He had to take a couple of deep breaths before continuing. I found that very moving.

Does anyone know whether payment of the reward is condition upon the girls being found alive? Because IIRC, most children who are abducted and murdered are murdered within a relatively short period of being abducted (and the newspaper would be aware of that).

I truly believe that people who contract with media outlets for “exclusive rights” to their story under traumatic conditions like these should be allowed a mandatory “cooling off” period in which to consider the full implications of the contract and withdraw from it without penalty.

How sad, what adorable children. While reading the link to the story, did anyone else find it strange that the jogger said he heard screams the night before and then discovered the disturbed ground the next morning but yet he didn’t call the police the night before and tell them about the screaming?
Am I reading this right?

This was the first thought that occurred to me, too, as a complete cynic. I bet Desmond et al have no fear that they’ll be spending the money.

The most hopeless part of me wonders if even the police are taking the same tack – that there’s no harm in assuming abduction rather than something even worse since it offers some hope. I wonder whether the police on the case still believe that the girls are alive. But I have to wonder what an abductor would gain (given the lack of ransom demands) and a tiny part of me has lost hope already.

Someone else here from the other side of the water who would like to echo Twisty’s hopes and prayers for the safe return of the girls.

There was an retired chief of the London Metropolitan Police on Irish radio this morning who suggested that the slowness of police to respond to some of the information was down to an over-reliance on computer systems. He said that while the major investigation handling system ensures that leads aren’t missed entirely and that information is properly cross-referenced, the strict methodology imposed means that the views of officers taking statements on the relative reliability and importance of information is not sufficiently taken into account. He said that while the typed transcript of the taxi driver’s evidence didn’t stand out from other statements, the significance was far clearer when you saw him interviewed. Still, it can’t be easy to work through over 10,000 statements.

I have been shocked by some of the media coverage of this case too but there’s a certain irony that it’s precisely because of the level of coverage that I’m much more concerned about the fate of these girls than I would be ordinarily. I’m ashamed to admit that is the case.

I heard that he did contact the police last Tuesday (or something), but that the lead wasn’t followed up…

Latest BBC update.

It seems very puzzling that a few days ago the police were optimistic that the girls were still alive. And we’ve heard nothing more about the “internet connection” since the computer equipment was taken from their home. Although if reports earlier today that the police are receiving 1800 phone calls per day (another byproduct of such intense media scrutiny) are accurate, then they have an awful lot of “static” to search through and most of it will yield nothing useful.