What happened to the Beaumont children?
Where’s the Beaumont children? It’s been 53 years since the Beaumont children disappeared from South Australia. To this day it’s still one of Australia’s most famous unsolved case.
January 26, 1966, was the last day the three children were ever seen. Jane, 9, Grant, 7, Arnna, 4, all got on a bus to head to Glenelg Beach around 8:40 that morning. Their parents, Jim and Nancy, let them go by themselves because in the 1960s, things were different and parents normally wouldn’t have to worry about something happening to their children. Their mother sent them on their way with just enough money for the bus fare. The ride to the beach was only about five minutes. They’ve ridden the bus multiple times before to the beach. Their mother told the kids to catch the afternoon bus back home so the kids should’ve been home around 2 that evening. Whilst the kids went to the beach, their mother went to hang out with a friend while their father went to work. When the mother had gotten back home, she realized the kids weren't there. At this point in the evening, she just thought they had missed the bus and were waiting on the next. It was 1966, there were no cell phones to call each other back and forth on. As the evening went on, still no sight of the kids. Nancy started getting worried so she told her husband, Jim, as soon as he got home. Around 7:30 that night, Jim called the police and told them that his three children were missing. What followed after the phone call happened to turn out to be one of the biggest manhunts nationwide.
Witnesses recall seeing the children playing on the beach with a “tall, blonde, thin-faced man.” He appeared to be in his mid 30’s. The children appeared happy and comfortable with the man which seemed odd to the children’s parents because Jane normally was a really shy child. The police think that the man may have been “grooming” the children for a while by hanging out with them while they were at the beach. Shortly after midday, witnesses saw the children and the man leave the beach and walk to a nearby shop. The shopkeeper who recognized the children said that their order that day was odd. It was odd to her because the children bought pastries and a meat pie but they had never bought a meat pie before. The children said the meat pie was for the man, then they proceeded to pay with a crisp one pound note. Once the mother found this out, she realized that the man must’ve given the children the money because all the mother gave the children was just enough for the bus fare. The last known sighting of the children was around 3 that evening by a local postman stating that he had seen the three children walking up the main road towards their house. He said the children seemed happy as he watched them walk up the road while holding hands. The postman also told police that the blonde man was no longer with the children. Two days after his initial statement, the postman went back to the police station and told police officers that he was mistaken that he saw the children in the afternoon, he actually saw them in the morning. Several months later, a lady came forward and said that on the night of the children’s disappearance, she saw a man accompanied by two girls and one boy enter the house next door. The woman found it odd because she had thought that the house was vacant. Later that night, she had seen the boy walking along a lane where he was pursued and roughly caught by the man. The next morning, the house was empty. Police couldn’t figure out why this woman hadn’t called the cops before.
On November 8, 1966, a Dutch psychic, Gerad Croiset, flew into Australia to assist with the search for the missing children. He identified a possible site where the children’s bodies could be buried. The site was in a factory close to the children’s home and school. At the time of the children’s disappearance, the factory was a building site. The psychic believed the children’s bodies were buried underneath new concrete. The owners were hesitant at first to allow a search to be done. The only evidence was from a psychic whose story kept changing daily. Soon after, they caved and allowed a search of the property. What made them change their minds was that the public had raised over $40,000 to have the building demolished. The search turned up zero new evidence of the missing children.
Two years after the children went missing, Jim and Nancy received two letters that were supposedly written by Jane and the man who had kidnapped them. The letter stated that the man who had them had appointed himself their guardian. In the letter, it said that the man would allow the children to go back home if they met him in a designated place. Jim and Nancy met up with an undercover detective and drove to the meeting place. They waited for hours but nothing, so they eventually went back home.Some time later, a third letter had arrived. This letter stated that the man was willing to give the children back but became enraged when he saw an undercover detective with them. No further letters came after that. In 1992, new forensic examinations of the letters proved they were a hoax. Fingerprint technology proved that it was a 41 year old man who had sent the letters. The man was a teenager at the time of the children’s disappearance and told police he wrote the letters as a “joke”. Since so much time had passed, the man didn’t get charged with anything.
1. Bevan Spencer Von Einem
2. Arthur Stanley Brown
3. Alan Anthony Munro
4. Harry Phipps
Bevan Spencer Von Einem was sentenced to life in prison in 1984 for murdering a 15 year old boy. Police believed he was involved in multiple other cases but had no hard evidence to convict him of them. During the investigation into Von Einem, police heard from an informant called ‘Mr. B”. Mr. B said he had a conversation with Von Einem in which he boasted of having taken three children from the beach many years earlier and preformed brilliant surgery to connect them up. One child supposedly died during the experiments so he killed the other two and threw their bodies into the bush-land South of Adelaide. Police did not previously consider Von Einem as a suspect in the case but he did somewhat match the description of the man seen with the children. Mr. B was dubbed as a reliable source during the investigation of the murdered 15 year old boy but police didn’t know whether to believe him or not because some of his statements did not fit up with already known facts.
Arthur Stanley Brown was convicted of the murders of two sisters in Townsville, Queensland in 1998. He was 86 years old when convicted. Brown had a striking resemblance to the sketches of the man who was with the Beaumont children and the man believed to had done the Adelaide Oval murders. A search trying to find a connection between the children and Brown came back unsuccessful. Although there was no proof that Brown had ever been to Adelaide, a witness recalled having a conversation with him where he told them he had seen the Adelaide Festival Centre nearing completion. That places Brown in Adelaide in 1973, the same year the Oval abductions took place. There was no evidence that could place Brown in Adelaide in 1966 when the children went missing.
In 2015, Allan Macintyre, who was investigated and cleared of involvement of the Beaumont children abduction, claimed in a newspaper interview that a man he’d known in 1966, according to his children, came to his house with the bodies of the Beaumont children in his car. The man in question was named as Alan Anthony Munro, who had already pleaded guilty to child sex offences dating all the way back to 1962. In June of 2017, police were given a diary from a child written in 1966 that placed Alan in the vicinity of Glenelg Beach at the time of the children’s disappearance. Munro was previously investigated by police but no evidence was found that could tie him to the Beaumont children.
In 2013, Harry Phipps was named as a potential suspect by Channel 7 News based on information given from his son, Haydn Phipps, to former detective Bill Hayes. Haydn, 15 at the time, claimed to have seen the children at his house in Glenelg. Haydn had also told police that Harry was often very abusive. This information led to a search of the factory that Harry had owned in 1966. The same factory that the Dutch psychic had thought the children were buried under. During a major investigation into Phipps, they had found out that Harry had hired young men to dig a large trench behind the factory. Once the factory was demolished in 2013, the owners allowed for a full search of the premises but still nothing was ever found.
Still to this day in 2019, police have no leads on what happened to the Beaumont children. None of their items were ever found. This is still one of Australia's most famous unsolved cases that still haunts the country everyday.
Remember, if anyone ever sees anything odd or out of the ordinary, or even something that’s giving you a weird vibe, please report it to the police because it’s better to be wrong than to not say anything.