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Jamie Bulger Email Petition

Seriously outdated email petition requests that recipients "sign" and send the message to others in an attempt to prevent the release of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, the boys who murdered toddler Jamie Bulger in 1993(Full commentary below.)

Pointless - Venables and Thompson were released from custody years ago.

A another rumour claims that the person who raped and murdered a young child in Perth Western Australia is actually one of the boys who killed Jamie Bulger [Read more].

Example:(Submitted, March 2006)
Do you remember February 1993 when a young 3 yr old was taken from Liverpool, United Kingdom,by two 10-year-old boys. Jamie Bulger walked away from his mother for only a second and Jon Venables took his hand and led him out of the mall with his friend Robert Thompson.

They took Jamie on a walk for over 2 and a half miles, along the way stopping every now and again to torture the poor little boy who was crying constantly for his mummy.

Finally they stopped at a railway track where they brutally kicked him, threw stones at him, rubbed paint in his eyes and pushed batteries up his anus.

It was actually worse than this . What these two boys did was so horrendous that Jamie's mother was forbidden to identify his body.

They then left his beaten small body on the tracks so a train could run him over to hide the mess they had created. These two boys, even being boys, understood what they did was wrong, hence trying to make it look like an accident.

This week Lady Justice Butler-Slosshas awarded the two boys anonymity for the rest of their lives when they leave custody with new identities.

They will also leave early this year only serving just over half of their sentence. They are being relocated to Australia to live out the rest of their lives. They disgustingly and violently took Jamie's life away in return they each get a new life.

Please ... if you feel, as we do, that this is a grave miscarriage of justice .. copy the entire email ..then add your name at the end, and send it to everyone you can.

If you are the 500th person to sign, please forward this e-mail to:
[address removed] and attention it to Lady Justice Butler-Sloss.

Then start the list over again and send to your friends and family. The Love-Bug virus took less that 72 hours to reach the world. I hope this one does as well.

We need to protect our family and friends from creatures like Robert and Jon. One day they may be living next door to you and your small children, without your knowledge

[391 names and area addresses removed]

This email petition is now so far out of date that sending it onward is totally pointless. Although the events described in the email are factual, the boys who committed this horrendous crime were released in 2001.

In February 1993 Jon Venables and Robert Thompson, who were both ten years old at the time, tortured and killed toddler Jamie Bulger and left his battered body on railway tracks.

At trial, the boys were sentenced to an indefinite period of detainment with a minimum of 8 years. Soon after, this was increased to a minimum of 10 years. However, the perceived leniency of this sentence created a great deal of public debate in the UK. A 300,000-signature petition organized by the Sun newspaper called for the boys' time in custody to be increased. In 1995, the sentence was increased to a minimum of fifteen years. In 1997, this increased sentence was reversed when the Court of Appeal found that it was unlawful. In 1999, the original ten-year minimum sentence was reduced to 8 years after lawyers acting for the boys appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.

Finally, in June 2001, the boys were released from custody under stringent conditions and with new identities. An open-ended injunction in place when the boys were released prevents the publication of any information that could lead to their identification or whereabouts. Although unconfirmed "sightings" of the boys have been reported, their current whereabouts remains hidden from the general public.

Some versions of the petition (including the one above) claim that the boys were to be relocated to Australia. However, given that the boys are to remain indefinitely under the supervision of UK authorities as a condition of release, this seems unlikely. It is also highly improbable that the Australian government would have agreed to such a relocation.

During 2008, a new version of the protest email began circulating that included a photograph of two youths smiling, gap-toothed, at the camera. A caption on the photograph identified the two as Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. However, the pair of unidentified yokels depicted in this photograph are almost certainly not Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. Although recent photographs of Venables and Thompson are not commonly available, the two boys in the photograph show little resemblance to photographs of the boys taken during the Bulger murder investigation. Moreover, it was a stringent condition of their release that the boys have no contact with each other, so it is highly unlikely that they would be posing together for happy snaps.

In any case, even in the unlikely event that the photograph does show Venables and Thompson, the email petition is still utterly pointless. As stated above, the pair was freed from custody back in 2001, so any message protesting their imminent release in 2008 and beyond is no more than a waste of bandwidth. Moreover, Lady Justice Butler-Sloss has now retired and is no longer in a position to influence the case, regardless of how many signatures are emailed to her. In reality, it is exceptionally unlikely that Butler-Sloss will even get to see the email petition, let alone act upon it. In fact, since the address specified in the message now appears to be invalid, no one in authority is likely to even receive completed copies of the petition. Most versions of the protest email instruct recipients to send the petition to ([email protected]) after a specified number of "signatures" have been collected. However, emails sent to this address bounce back to the sender with a "User unknown" error message.

Given the horrific nature of this crime, it is not surprising that the original sentence and subsequent early release of Venables and Thompson has caused such outrage, not only in the UK, but in the rest of the world as well. Originally, this email petition was undoubtedly a heart-felt expression of this outrage.

However, regardless of any intrinsic value that the petition might have once possessed, one fact is paramount. Rightly or wrongly, these boys were released and relocated years ago, and no amount of names on an email petition is going to change this. The continued circulating of this message will serve no good purpose.

In March 2010, one of the pair Jon Venables, was recalled to prison after an apparent breach of his terms of release. At the time of writing, UK authorities were unwilling to release details about the breach. However, his return to prison in the UK should finally put to rest speculation that he was relocated to Australia.

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Death of James Bulger
Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Baroness Butler-Sloss
James Bulger's mother says killer 'where he belongs

Last updated: 10th March 2010
First published: 2003

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen