Alesha MacPhail: They know why the ‘boy’ killed and remembering Venables and Thompson
Friday, 22 February 2019 In July 2017 Alesha MacPhail was abducted, raped and murdered. Her killer’s name will not be known. The Mail calls him a “boy”. The Scotsman calls him a “teenager”. He’s a “16-year-old” on The Scotsman’s front page. The Metro just says “the teen” in “PURE EVIL”. But we won’t get to know his name.
Alesha was murdered on the Isle of Bute, an island in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. The country’s law rules that to publish the name, address, school or any other information which could identify anyone under the age of 18 who is the accused, victim or witness in a criminal case in any media is illegal. So don’t. You can, however, name the victim. Alesha MacPhail is the only name that matters.
Minds turn to the abduction and murder of James Bulger, 2, in 1993. The names of the guilty – two boys aged 10 – were soon known. Tony Blair stirred the mob, positioning the crime as one emblematic of the country’s dire straits and moral disintegration.
The killers’ families lived in fear of revenge attacks. In 2012, 38 year-old Scott Bradley committed suicide, unable to cope with people mistaking him for Jon Venables, one of the killers. “My son was tormented by the allegations,” said Mr Bradley;s mother. “He had a good heart and didn’t deserve this. It’s been heartbreaking.”
England: 1993 – James Bulger, 2, is abducted, abused and murdered by two boys. We knew their names.
Do we need to know the name of Alesha MacPhail’s murderer? The killer’s own mother helped bring him to justice. She alerted detectives after reviewing footage from two CCTV cameras outside the family home. She watched her son coming and going three times between 01:54 and 04:07 on the night Alesha was murdered. If we know the killer, we know her. Why should an innocent woman wear the stain in public? He will be in jail for a long, long time. Isn’t that enough?
Venables and Thompson were released on parole in 2001 under new identities. They must not ever reveal to anyone who they once were. To do so would land them back in prison. Venables was caught downloading child pornography. He has been jailed indefinitely as it is feared he is likely to reveal his true identity.
Feb 1993: Jon Venables and Robert Thompson pose for their mugshots.
We don’t know the killer’s name. But do we know why he did it?
The BBC: “The jury heard the teenager previously bought cannabis from Alesha’s father, Robert MacPhail, but the pair fell out five months before her death over an unpaid £10 drug debt.”
The Star: “The unnamed boy, 16, searched for the Slender Man meme, and some of his sick acts mirrored those carried out by the character… Slender Man was invented by users on the Something Awful forum in 2009 for a paranormal Photoshop competition. Shown as a thin, tall, featureless figure in a black suit, in many stories written online about him feature stalking or abducting people, especially children.
The Sun: “The teenager got sick thrills from playing gory video games.”
Daily Mail: “How the boy of 16 who murdered ‘angel’ Alesha MacPhail, six, had already ‘almost drowned a girl’ and was mired in a culture of drugs and cheap booze that has gripped the Isle of Bute”
One heinous and blessedly rare crime now defines a place?
Daily Mail: “He is handsome, in a modern, metrosexual way, with luxuriant, swept-over hair and a milky complexion. Dressed immaculately, in a tartan suit and collar and tie, he gave evidence with great self-assurance.”
So much for the CV.
BBC: ‘Judge Lord Matthews told the killer he had stolen Alesha’s life by “committing some of the most wicked and evil crimes this court has ever heard of in decades of dealing with depravity”. He said he had “no idea” why the teenager carried out the murder, and described the evidence in the case as “overwhelming”.’
Sky News: “Alesha MacPhail: Killed for the ‘life experience’?”
The 16-year-old boy who raped and murdered Alesha MacPhail can be identified as Aaron Campbell after a judge allowed his name to be reported. The body of the six-year-old was found in woods on the Isle of Bute on July 2 last year, hours after she was reported missing from the house her father shared...
The 16-year-old boy who abducted, raped and murdered six-year-old Alesha MacPhail has been locked up for at least 27 years. Aaron Campbell took Alesha from her bed in her grandparents home on the Isle..
Credit: PA - Press Association STUDIO Duration: 01:12Published