Australia Day 2016 (January 26) marks 50 years since the disappearance of three children from a beach in Adelaide.
The mystery of the missing Beaumont Children is probably this country’s greatest and most tragic unsolved crime. The case is burned into the psyche of a generation.
On January 26, 1966, the Beaumont children Jane, 9, Arnna, 7 and Grant, 4 caught a bus to Glenelg beach from their home (only a short trip) for a bit of sun and fun. It wasn’t unusual for children that young to go off by themselves back then and eldest Jane was a responsible girl. (My mum, who was a teenager at the time, remembers that she and her siblings and cousins would often go down to the beach without adults and be there all day). The children never returned home. Vanished without a trace.
The book The Missing Beaumont Children by Michael Madigan is a very thorough overview of the mystery and details the investigation, the suspects, the leads, the dead ends…
It’s fascinating and disturbing reading. My heart broke during the book as I kept thinking about the parents of the children, Grant (known as Jim) and Nancy, and how they survived this tragedy…this evil.
I recommend this book. It’s a well-paced read that covers the twists and turns of the case and is also told with great compassion for the children and parents Nancy and Grant who are now 88 and 90 respectively. Madigan manages a fine balance of detailing the “mystery” of the case that people around Australia have been transfixed by but also the “misery” that has affected Nancy and Jim for the rest of their lives.