There aren't many mysteries that remain compelling over multiple decades. But the story of the missing Beaumont children is toward the top of the list. In 1966, these three children vanished and were never seen again.
|Arnna, Grant, and Jane Beaumont|
The quiet city of Adelaide, South Australia was the perfect place to raise children in the 1960s. In 1955, Grant ("Jimmy") Beaumont married Nancy Ellis and their first child, Jane, was born a year later. They had a second child, Arnna, in 1958, and a third, Grant, in 1962.
On Australia Day in 1966, the children wanted to go to Glenelg Beach, which was only a five-minute bus trip from their home. They set out that day in swim clothing, carrying one bag with beach towels. Their mom gave them money for lunch and their bus fares.
|Grenelg Beach today|
The children boarded the bus just after ten a.m. When they didn't return on the midday or two p.m. bus, their mom began to worry. A little after three p.m., their father headed to the beach to look for them.
An exhaustive search failed to locate the children. With the help of the police, they gathered information on sightings of the children. Several witnesses reported seeing the children playing with a tall, blond man who was described as tanned with a lean face. One witness reported seeing the man dressing one of the girls in a way that seemed "off." Around 12:15, they were spotted leaving the beach together.
A shopkeeper at a cake shop near the beach said the children purchased some pastries, along with a meat pie, with a one pound bank note. There were two odd things about that. One, the children didn't have that type of currency. Their mom had given them only six shillings. The other was that "meat pie" was not something any of the children would have normally ordered or eaten.
Police focused on the man last seen with the kids, whose composite sketch looked like this:
To this day, the mystery of what happened to the Beaumont children has never been solved. The primary suspects include:
- Bevan Spencer von Einem, a convicted murderer who allegedly bragged that he'd abducted the three children and "conducted experiments" on them. One child died during these experiments and he killed the other two and disposed of the bodies, the informant said.
- Arthur Stanley Brown, who died in 2002. At the time he was on trial for the murder of two young girls who disappeared in Queensland while walking to school in 1970.
- James Ryan O'Neill, who told several people he was responsible. O'Neill was jailed in 1975 for the murder of a nine-year-old boy.
- Derek Ernest Percy, who was jailed for the 1969 murder of Yvonne Tuohy. Authorities believe he may have murdered quite a few other children before being caught.
At this point, it's likely this is one mystery that will never be solved. What do you think happened to the Beaumont children?