Susanna Reid has recently completed a documentary entitled Children who Kill. This comes after the furore and uproar as it was recently revealed the notorious child killer Jon Venables has been caught again with sickening child abuse images.
But this now raises a question of not only ethics, but beliefs. Does the system work? Why did the other boy, Robert Thompson never reoffend? Is there more here than meets the eye? Did something happen to Venables that spiralled him further down in his depravity? Or was he simply born inherently evil?
There are so many questions that need to be answered. While Thompson has gone on (with a new identity) to forge a basic but decent life for himself, with a steady partner, home and job and hasn’t been in any kind of trouble since his release.
Was Thompson even truly an accomplice? Or was he bullied into the heinous act by Venables, who was a persistent bully boy during his time incarcerated?
What was going on behind closed doors at the Venables home that we don’t know? By rights, it is Thompson who falls into the usual category of sadistic socio/psychopaths. Dysfunctional family, one of 6 kids, growing up on a council estate in one of the roughest parts of Liverpool. While Venables was worlds apart, with his parents being respected, middle class workers.
There is speculation that Venables had seen the film Child’s Play and it ‘damaged’ him somehow. However, I’ve been watching horror films since I was 8. I’ve seen Child’s Play (and all the subsequent sequels), and I assure you, what he inflicted on James Bulger is not seen anywhere in the film or it’s deleted scenes.
I’ve grown up with Freddy, Chucky, Jason, Michael and I know that it’s not ok to walk around with a machete, or to inflict pain or murder. My mother always told me, from My Little Pony to A Nightmare on Elm Street, what you see on TV and film isn’t real, and you should never attempt to replicate it.
In police recordings, the 2 of them blamed each other, with Thompson breaking down saying that he told him to take James back, while Venables branded his friend and liar, but during a break in recording he finally confessed. Saying, and this is the important bit ‘I killed him’, not ‘we killed him’.
This may be an unpopular opinion, but I am entitled to it, but I honestly believe that it was all Venables, and that Thompson was simply bullied into the situation and that he was too scared at the time to leave for fear of Venables wrath (he was known to threaten people at the secure unit with violence against families if they didn’t bow and cow to his wants).
What we have here, are 2 very different boys. One who had to claw his way up due to his large family, and one that had nearly anything delivered on a platter. However, one has to question why did rehabilitation work for one, but not the other, or is it a case of Yin and Yang?