Unsolved Girls that went missing from Adelaide Oval 1973

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sprockets

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This abduction at a football ground with thousands of people in attendance would have to be one of the most audacious I have heard of.

Unlike the Beaumont Children in 1966, which was done in a sneaky covert way in the cover of crowds at Glenelg (although wild inconsistencies in the times and locations of the sighting of the three children by witnesses throughout the day cast much doubt over what actually happened), or Rhianna Barreau who seemingly seemed to vanish into thin air in 1992 leaving not a single clue, this perpetrator grabbed the younger girl at a crowded football match and took her away with the older girl (the babysitter) following.

Witnesses who saw the trio at the time thought it was a case of a young grandfather/older father who had taken the two girls for a day out at the football and things had ended badly given the way the younger child was screaming and crying and that's why they did not intervene, but all the older girl had to do was to attract the attention of the police or yell the dreaded words 'Stranger danger!' or call for help and the abduction would have been stopped while in progress, with the sicko nonce no doubt sporting some bruises, black eyes, broken bones and other injuries by the time the police arrived to arrest him.

In fact thinking about this case, one of the biggest mysteries is why the older girl - aged 11 at the time - didn't call for help with so many people around.
Actually the crowd at the footy may have resembled the crowd at the beach, which would point to a similar M O.
 

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emuboy

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Actually the crowd at the footy may have resembled the crowd at the beach, which would point to a similar M O.
That's true, however there's three significant things that set the Beaumont children and Ratcliffe/Gordon cases apart:

1. At Glenelg when the Beaumont children vanished, people were coming and going all day, some to the beach, some in the Colley Reserve, others having lunch others passing through. The people were in differing locations for different lengths of time, which could have provided cover for the abductor. However in the Adelaide Oval case 7 years later, the crowd were in one location for roughly the same amount of time for a specific purpose - to watch a football game between North Adelaide and Norwood. Therefore the second case is much higher risk.

2. Witnesses in the Beaumont case said that the three children were relaxed and comfortable in the company of a man, and nobody thought anything of it assuming that he was their father or an uncle which is perfectly reasonable. Only one female witness said that she thought it was a little unusual that the man was helping the oldest girl Jane Beaumont dress, but was not unduly alarmed and other witnesses who knew the children and saw them that day (staff at a cake shop and a postman) said that the children were alone at the time. The perpetrator must have won the children's confidence - i.e. grooming - possibly before this day, which allowed him to abduct them from with the crowds without making a scene and drawing attention to himself. However, in the Ratcliffe-Gordon case, the kidnapper grabbed a young child in a crowd and took off with her with the girl screaming and crying, the older girl following. That's very different from the modus operandi in the Beaumont case.

3. At the time of the Beaumont disappearance, Australia was a more innocent place. It was the Beaumont Children case and several others, like the vanishing of a young girl at Melbourne's St. Kilda Beach in the late 1960s and the brutal murders of two teenage girls at Wanda Beach in the Cronulla area south of Sydney in 1965 that made people more aware about the dangers to children. When the two girls vanished from Adelaide Oval, all of these cases were less than a decade in the past, so one might think that people would be more vigilant, and that a person planning to abduct children might also take this into account.
 

GreyCrow

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emuboy I wont quote your post but you summarised it well

One thing on the AO abductions and why it was ignored or dismissed was because the values at the time meant that parents had control over children and a screaming child was just a brat/nuisance

While there was a crowd it was a shifting crowd , especially by the toilet area.

Children go to toilet , parent waits outside - meets and grabs children (nobody would really know whose children they are so the adult is accepted as the parent) - children start screaming - most would look away or ignore it - even outside the ground this would occur
 

johnymac1

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it was reported in the advertiser as far back as 2015 that a most likely theory is there was no distant house or car, at least in the vicinity of the parklands, and that in fact the three boarded a gawler line train at north adelaide station
Lots of potential witnesses if they took a train. don’t suppose the advertiser found any?
 

emuboy

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emuboy I wont quote your post but you summarised it well

One thing on the AO abductions and why it was ignored or dismissed was because the values at the time meant that parents had control over children and a screaming child was just a brat/nuisance

While there was a crowd it was a shifting crowd , especially by the toilet area.

Children go to toilet , parent waits outside - meets and grabs children (nobody would really know whose children they are so the adult is accepted as the parent) - children start screaming - most would look away or ignore it - even outside the ground this would occur
I definitely agree with the attitude towards children at the time this happened, and how people would have thought that this was a family where the kids were misbehaving and the parent/grandparent was taking them outside. Even today you see families out in public where children are making a fuss in public - screaming and crying and the like - and the parents are struggling to control them. Your first thought isn't child abduction.

However, this Adelaide Oval case is so unusual in that people who abduct children usually use some sort of ruse or grooming to win the child's confidence so as not to arouse suspicion. Some other offenders carry out the abduction only when the child is alone and no witnesses are around, likely the case in the disappearances of Rhianna Barreau or Eloise Worledge. It is extremely rare for an offender to forcibly grab a child in a public place and make off with them. And two children, one of whom is 11-years-old? Even in crude kidnapping cases there is usually some sort of grooming or confidence trick, for example even in the horrifying James Bulger case in Liverpool in 1993 the two boys responsible Thompson and Venables gently lured the toddler away from his mother and had a story ready for people who asked questions, that the younger boy was their brother.

I can't recall any case similar where an offender forcibly abducted not one but two children from a public place.
 

charlie20

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I definitely agree with the attitude towards children at the time this happened, and how people would have thought that this was a family where the kids were misbehaving and the parent/grandparent was taking them outside. Even today you see families out in public where children are making a fuss in public - screaming and crying and the like - and the parents are struggling to control them. Your first thought isn't child abduction.

However, this Adelaide Oval case is so unusual in that people who abduct children usually use some sort of ruse or grooming to win the child's confidence so as not to arouse suspicion. Some other offenders carry out the abduction only when the child is alone and no witnesses are around, likely the case in the disappearances of Rhianna Barreau or Eloise Worledge. It is extremely rare for an offender to forcibly grab a child in a public place and make off with them. And two children, one of whom is 11-years-old? Even in crude kidnapping cases there is usually some sort of grooming or confidence trick, for example even in the horrifying James Bulger case in Liverpool in 1993 the two boys responsible Thompson and Venables gently lured the toddler away from his mother and had a story ready for people who asked questions, that the younger boy was their brother.

I can't recall any case similar where an offender forcibly abducted not one but two children from a public place.
according to anthony kilmartin, the lolly seller, joanne and kirste were not alone when the abduction took place, they were playing with a soccer ball in a small group of people, near the toilets
 

emuboy

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according to anthony kilmartin, the lolly seller, joanne and kirste were not alone when the abduction took place, they were playing with a soccer ball in a small group of people, near the toilets
I wish, I just wish so much in this case that Joanne would have yelled out the words, 'Stranger Danger!' when Kirsty was grabbed by that piece of sh*t.

Then the nonce would have been stopped by angry Roosters and Redlegs fans, had his head smacked in and incurred broken limbs, ribs and other injuries as he was forced to the ground and beaten up until the police arrived to arrest him and take him into custody, where he would have found out the hard way what happens to rock spiders in prison. Joanne and Kirsty would probably still be alive today with kids of their own and maybe by now for Joanne grandkids, and their families spared years of pain.
 

PenfoldsFan

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That's true, however there's three significant things that set the Beaumont children and Ratcliffe/Gordon cases apart:

1. At Glenelg when the Beaumont children vanished, people were coming and going all day, some to the beach, some in the Colley Reserve, others having lunch others passing through. The people were in differing locations for different lengths of time, which could have provided cover for the abductor. However in the Adelaide Oval case 7 years later, the crowd were in one location for roughly the same amount of time for a specific purpose - to watch a football game between North Adelaide and Norwood. Therefore the second case is much higher risk.

2. Witnesses in the Beaumont case said that the three children were relaxed and comfortable in the company of a man, and nobody thought anything of it assuming that he was their father or an uncle which is perfectly reasonable. Only one female witness said that she thought it was a little unusual that the man was helping the oldest girl Jane Beaumont dress, but was not unduly alarmed and other witnesses who knew the children and saw them that day (staff at a cake shop and a postman) said that the children were alone at the time. The perpetrator must have won the children's confidence - i.e. grooming - possibly before this day, which allowed him to abduct them from with the crowds without making a scene and drawing attention to himself. However, in the Ratcliffe-Gordon case, the kidnapper grabbed a young child in a crowd and took off with her with the girl screaming and crying, the older girl following. That's very different from the modus operandi in the Beaumont case.

3. At the time of the Beaumont disappearance, Australia was a more innocent place. It was the Beaumont Children case and several others, like the vanishing of a young girl at Melbourne's St. Kilda Beach in the late 1960s and the brutal murders of two teenage girls at Wanda Beach in the Cronulla area south of Sydney in 1965 that made people more aware about the dangers to children. When the two girls vanished from Adelaide Oval, all of these cases were less than a decade in the past, so one might think that people would be more vigilant, and that a person planning to abduct children might also take this into account.
You forgot #4 the Beaumont abductor was at the beach so might have been wearing speedo's whereas the AO abductor was wearing a suit although probably with his favourite players number stitched on the back.
Im sorry but the differences in the two cases you've put forward are a long way from being as significant as the similarities in MO of multiple children from a high risk public place, there are always slight differences in crimes of opportunity.

Sleepy old Adelaide in the mid 60's early 70's and crimes of opportunity involving children from public places is reason enough to consider them possibly linked, throw in the kicker of multiple victims on both occasions and the likelihood of it being unrelated is harder to ignore than believe.
It takes a certain kind of evil to even consider committing these crimes, that it happened in Adelaide in those days and never since suggests a connection.
 

charlie20

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I wish, I just wish so much in this case that Joanne would have yelled out the words, 'Stranger Danger!' when Kirsty was grabbed by that piece of sh*t.

Then the nonce would have been stopped by angry Roosters and Redlegs fans, had his head smacked in and incurred broken limbs, ribs and other injuries as he was forced to the ground and beaten up until the police arrived to arrest him and take him into custody, where he would have found out the hard way what happens to rock spiders in prison. Joanne and Kirsty would probably still be alive today with kids of their own and maybe by now for Joanne grandkids, and their families spared years of pain.
i agree with your sentiment, but that is not how the situation was, the final quarter had just started by the time the abductor actually made his move on kirste, they were behind the stand, near the toilets (creswell stand archway) so everyone was back to watching the game, kilmartin himself confirmed that there was hardly anyone around (that spot)
 

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johnymac1

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why do you assume there would be lots of potential witnesses? it was near on dark, most likely an almost empty station, and carriage, winter, dark streets by the time they got off the train ...
I have walked or ridden the escape route about 7 times now, its always been around midday though. Maybe I should retrace their steps at a time closer to the actual abduction time.
 

charlie20

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I have walked or ridden the escape route about 7 times now, its always been around midday though. Maybe I should retrace their steps at a time closer to the actual abduction time.
kilmartin watched the whole thing, he said the abductor, carrying kirste in one arm, practically dragged joanne out through the south gate and through the car park, until disappearing behind the memorial drive southern stand, this means a westerly direction away from the oval, later, a man in a car at bonython park, port road, saw them in the parklands, heading "away from the city", from that point it can be traced that they were headed directly towards north adelaide train station, the delay, through the parklands, being to allow for darker conditions to assist the abductor, and also a near empty train, no doubt pre planned in detail
 

GreyCrow

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kilmartin watched the whole thing, he said the abductor, carrying kirste in one arm, practically dragged joanne out through the south gate and through the car park, until disappearing behind the memorial drive southern stand, this means a westerly direction away from the oval, later, a man in a car at bonython park, port road, saw them in the parklands, heading "away from the city", from that point it can be traced that they were headed directly towards north adelaide train station, the delay, through the parklands, being to allow for darker conditions to assist the abductor, and also a near empty train, no doubt pre planned in detail
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The area hasnt changed that much in 50 years so we can get a sense of what would have been there. The red line is my attempt at drawing an approximate of your post

The golf course would have been populated at the time so its highly unlikely to be used as a route even though it is the quickest. A person can still walk along the route and have good cover so I dont dispute that

My concerns are over the timing and the wait. If the 2 girls are upset then waiting in trees for dark seems odd - also recognising once the football has finished many more people will use a route very similar and may come close to the location.

Waiting for dark for the train also seems high risk.

The question then arises as to which direction the person wanted to catch the train to? Back into Adelaide - yes a much quieter train - but why? The cry was out and 2 girls and a male would have stood out

Heading north on the train line - which runs through Brompton, Prospect, Kilburn , Dry Creek and to the northern suburbs of Salisbury and Elizabeth would have its own issues around spectators using it

Is there a time on when the man in the car saw the trio?
 

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The latest episode of Little Lost Girls reads some of Marshall's statement and testimony at the Royal Commission. It wasn't read in it's entirety but what I heard does sound plausible in how the girls were taken from the oval. He's had a lot of time in jail though to develop his fantasies, it would be really difficult to sort truth and lie if not impossible.
 

johnymac1

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The latest episode of Little Lost Girls reads some of Marshall's statement and testimony at the Royal Commission. It wasn't read in it's entirety but what I heard does sound plausible in how the girls were taken from the oval. He's had a lot of time in jail though to develop his fantasies, it would be really difficult to sort truth and lie if not impossible.
unless other family members came forward with the same story.
 

charlie20

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also MM states they all left in a van, and has indicated he attended the football on the day
that didnt happen either, but that is not to detract from the value of mm's statements, he's a genuine witness, unlike other people re other cases, however everything he says has to be deciphered in order to determine the plain truth from his, understandable, imo, need to semi-fictionalise it
 

johnymac1

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that didnt happen either, but that is not to detract from the value of mm's statements, he's a genuine witness, unlike other people re other cases, however everything he says has to be deciphered in order to determine the plain truth from his, understandable, imo, need to semi-fictionalise it
So police spent a few days at Yatina. How thorough were they ?
Ive seen the video where they are sifting through soil.

Did they gather any DNA traces? That could be matched to any of the victims.
Did they light up the main house or buildings with Luminol, or perform other methods to establish the Yatina building was a crime scene?. As indicated in the statements of MM. Did they obtain any other witness statements, that might be helpful?
Iam still not convinced the MM story is true, generally if I find one or more untruths in a statement, I tend to disregard the whole lot.
 

anquer

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Actually the crowd at the footy may have resembled the crowd at the beach, which would point to a similar M O.
The crowd at the footy may not have resembled the crowd at the beach because the crowd at the footy were there to spectate a scheduled wintertime sport.
 
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