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article imageOp-Ed: Thompson & Venables back in the news

By Alexander Baron     Jan 11, 2012 in Crime
Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were both back in the news this week. One story had a humorous angle to it. The other was anything but funny.
On Sunday, the Daily Star, the newspaper that styles itself simply the best, ran a story about convicted child killer Jon Venables. At the ongoing Leveson Inquiry, a journalist who worked on this paper revealed some home truths about it, so it remains to be seen if this story has even a grain of truth, but apparently Venables had overdone the festivities at Christmas, and appeared to have been taken ill. “There was a real fear that he was having a heart attack.” Like anyone would care. It turns out he was suffering from constipation, said the paper. No shit?
It remains to be seen if Venables had quite the festive feast the paper claims, but he is known to tip the scales at something like 18 stone, so if (hopefully at some time in the very distance future) he is released, we will know who to look out for: an overweight, dishevelled looking individual hanging around outside the gentleman's toilet.
His partner-in-crime was also back in the news, although only by name, and this time there was nothing humorous about it. We have read, heard and seen much of late about moronic policemen and equally moronic CPS lawyers chasing people for using racial epithets on the football field, Twitter and elsewhere, but there are far worse things that a man of any race can be called than one of those apparently so terrible names that rap singers and even the occasional rock band can use with total impunity while others risk arrest, imprisonment and total ostacism even for miming them. Calling a black man Robert Thompson is probably no big deal, but a white man of a certain age is a different matter. This is what landed 44 year old Spencer Payne in court, and escaping with a soft sentence.
The 9/11 Truth Movement is forever telling us that the White House and half the FBI are responsible for the greatest act of mass murder on American soil outside of war time. Because nobody who matters takes the Truthers seriously, no one bats an eyelid. To accuse a man of murdering one child though is a different matter.
Those British citizens of a certain age will realise the emotion the murder of 2 year old James Bulger generated. In fact, you don't have to be British to realise it, because the case made headlines all around the world, and if you are too young to remember, there is quite a lot of material relating to the case on YouTube. It would have been horrific enough for an adult to kidnap a young boy, batter him to death on a railway line and stage the crime scene to make it look like an accident, but for two 10 year old boys to commit such a terrible act is beyond the pale.
The real identities of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson are protected by lifelong injunctions. No one knows where Thompson is; hopefully no one will ever know because he will continue to walk the straight and narrow until he is called to the pearly gates when just maybe St Peter will let him through. If Thompson's new identity were ever revealed, he would be in serious danger, as would any man who was mistaken for him.
Both the innocent Maxine Carr and the not so innocent Casey Anthony have been physically attacked by vigilantes, or rather their doubles have. At least two women who have been mistaken for Anthony have had narrow escapes. Gregory Filby, the man branded Robert Thompson by Spencer Payne is said to be terrified to leave his house. The reason for this is that vigilantes are often not the brightest of people, and if his local chief constable were to pull up outside his house and shout the truth from the rooftops, someone might still get the wrong idea.
Free speech is one thing; people who use racial and other epithets exhibit only their own ignorance, but those who shout fire in a crowded theatre should realise that if someone gets hurt as a result, they will themselves be held to account.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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