Venables and Thompson – An Update on Little Bulger’s Killers

I have a number of comments about Venerables and Thompson’s early release as teenagers after their brutal murder of little James Bulger.  One reader wonders what they are doing now. I dug around for an update and found some limited information on both the men.

Venables and Thompson
In June 2001, after a six-month review, the parole board ruled the boys were no longer a threat to public safety and could be released.The terms of their release include the followisCAETV3DYing: they are not allowed to contact each other or Bulger’s family; they are prohibited from visiting the Merseyside region, the location of the crime. If they breached a number of rules, or were deemed a risk to the public, they would be returned to prison. Both men were given new identities and moved to secret locations under a “witness protection“-style action.This was supported by the fabrication of passports, national insurance numbers, qualification certificates and medical records. In a psychiatric report prepared in 2000 before Venables’s release, he was described as posing a “trivial” risk to the public and unlikely to reoffend. The chances of his successful rehabilitation were described as “very high.” Both boys, however, were reported to suffer post traumatic stress disorder, and Venables in particular told of experiencing nightmares and flashbacks to the murder.

The boys received education and rehabilitation while institutionalized. Despite initial problems, Venables was said to have eventually made good progress at an institution known as Red Bank, resulting in him being kept there for the full eight years of his incarceration. Thompson was incarcerated for eight years at Barton Moss, an institution tisCA6WHEXGhat housed both boys and girls. He was considered to be well-behaved and intelligent, and to have coped well with his situation, however he never showed any remorse or interest in his crime. A social worker at Barton Moss described Thompson’s treatment as being that of “kid gloves.” He continued to suck his thumb until he was 14. He also became adept at ‘burning’ music CDs which he would sell to staff and other children for £1 each. Once, he was involved in a confrontation with another youth and afterward he stood in the  lounge area. It was bedtime, but he wouldn’t go to his room. The social worker suggested he be made to go to bed or to lose TV privileges, but the staff refused. “It was a good 40 minutes before he eventually went to his room. It was  ridiculous.”

When oarticle-1171606-04821A4E000005DC-46_468x286ther inmates went to bed, Thompson was permitted to stay up for a further 20 minutes watching  television. He was close to the manager at the unit and they’d sit drinking tea, talking and laughing together. By the age of 14, Thompson was taken on outings to the theatre, and shopping centres, where he could spend some of the £60-per-month allowance he received. At the age of 16, he had a girlfriend, a fellow inmate and pretty redhead, who served time in the unit for one year.  Staff was unaware if the relationship became sexual, but they would kiss and cuddle during ‘recreation’ time before being separated. The girl was in for theft but had a long history of crime and a very troubled  childhood. She was there for about a year before being released.’

In spite of his girlfriend, when Thompson was released at the age of 23, he moved in with his gay lover. The child killer has received huge financial support from taxpayers through the Home Office and Probation Service since his release. He is allowed to  claim benefits to stop him turning to crime when he is not employed.


By far Jon Venables appears to be the most perverse between the two. 17 years after little James’ murder, Venerables was back in the headlines for committing criminal acts. Venables began living independently in March 2002. Some time thereafter, he began a relationship with a woman who had a 5-year-old child. It is not known whether Venables had already begun dSNN0405AA-380_998139aownloading child pornography at the time of dating the woman, though he denies having ever met the child. In 2005, when Venables was in his mid-20s, his probation officer met another girlfriend of his, who was aged 17. After a number of “young girlfriends” it was presumed that Venables was having a delayed adolescence. On 21 June 2010, Venables was charged with possession and distribution of indecent images of children. It was alleged that he had downloaded 57 indecent images of children over a 12-month period to February 2010, and allowed other people to access the files through a peer-to-peer network. On 23 July 2010, Venables pleaded guilty to charges of downloading and distributing child pornography, and was given a sentence of two years’ imprisonment.

At the court hearing, it emerged that Venables had posed in online chat rooms as 35-year-old Dawn “Dawnie” Smith, a married woman from Liverpool who boasted about abusing her 8-year-old daughter, in the hope of obtaining further child pornography. Venables contacted his probation officer in February 2010, fearing that his new identity had been compromised at his place of work. When the officer arrived at his flat, Venables was attempting to remove orarticle-2290627-173C9A77000005DC-917_306x423 destroy the hard drive of his computer with a knife and a tin opener.The officer’s suspicions were aroused, and the computer was taken away for examination leading to the discovery of the child pornography, which included children as young as two being raped by adults and penetrative sex with seven- or eight-year-olds. Venables continually revealed his hidden identity to the community for unknown reasons.  Perhaps he was boasting over his notoriety? On 2 March 2010, Venables was returned to prison for an unspecified violation of the terms of his licence of release. Venables had been returned to prison because of “extremely serious allegations“, those of child pornography.

In April 2010, a 19-year-old man from the Isle of Man was given a three-month suspended prinot-jon-venablesson sentence for claiming in a Facebook message that one of his former work colleagues was Robert Thompson. In passing sentence, Deputy High Bailiff Alastair Montgomery said that the teenager had “put that person at significant risk of serious harm” and in a “perilous position” by making the allegation. In March 2012, a 26-year-old man from Chorley, Lancashire, was arrested after allegedly setting up a Facebook group with the title What happened to Jamie Bulger was f**king hilarious.” The man’s computer was seized for further investigations. There are many images circulating online claiming to be of Venables or Thompson; potentially innocent individuals may be placed in danger.  On 26 April 2013, (yesterday as of the writing of this blog), two men received suspended jail sentences of nine months after admitting to contempt of court, by publishing photographs which they claimed to be of Venables and Thompson on Facebook and Twitter. The posts were seen by 24,000 people.

Scott Bradley
A Ramsbottom father, 36, committed suicide after months of verbal abuse by his community after he was falsely identified as Robert Thompson. Scott Bradley left a note in which he claimed “they called me all sorts-  a paedophile, a follower of young girls, walking around bullying old people. The list is endless.”

So, it would seem, is the damage incurred by James Bulger’s murder.

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46 Responses to Venables and Thompson – An Update on Little Bulger’s Killers

  1. Ann-Elise says:

    A horrendous crime that should never be forgotten. I cannot imagine what the parents of the darling James Bulger have had to live with. No punishment could ever make up for what those two disgusting criminals did to that poor child. Thank you for your article.

  2. Dalia says:

    I love how everyone has ignored the poor parenting in this case. Who leaves their two year old unattended? I hate it when people do this crap at malls, stores, etc. It doesn’t justify the criminal behavior on the other kids’ part BUT c’mon, I had to point that out. My mother would keep me on a leash when I was a kid. Cruel? Well that’s the western culture’s beliefs.. I was raised in a third world country and yet my mom would have never done that. I would always be holding my mom’s hand (even if I hated it)…

    • marilyn4ever says:

      There is a sad element of truth in what you are saying. I was also a highly watchful mother (and still am even though my child is 19). But I do pity the mother who’d left little Bulger alone in the shopping mall. Her mistake will haunt her for the rest of her life.

      • Maria says:

        Its really down to the community you live in though. I don’t think blaming the mother at that point can be justified. She looked away for less than a minute (a few seconds as reported) and the child is gone. If he wasn’t lured by these two boys, he’s probably still there. I am a watchful mother, especially when I go to places I’m not familiar with (like on holiday), but if I go to my regular shopping centre, especially with the amount of crowds, I will never expect things like this will occur (and in Merseyside too).

        Don’t forget that she was also blamed by her husband (James father) due to this and their marriage broke down. What these 2 people did destroy a family.

    • Cb says:

      How dare you blame the family, you self righteous opinionated dumbass. It’s people like you that are an even bigger problem. How dare you!

    • Billy Atterly says:

      So any child not on a leash deserves to be killed and it’s their parents fault ?

  3. marilyn4ever says:

    I have trashed your comment because it is hostile and sarcastic. Whether or not Bulger’s mother turned her back for a minute isn’t the major issue in this story anyway. Watch your attitude and read the blog A Quick Comment.

  4. annonymous says:

    Why the duck are thir identities still being concealed? They are grown men who are also murderes. Concealing those monsters’ identities is only endangering innocent men that could pass for them.

  5. Mandy says:

    Those little sick demented pos mf need to be done the way they did that innocent lil baby n justice was not fuckin done idk y they don’t just kill themself n go to hell where their asses belong i wish only the worst for them n they keep doin all that shit n get outta it yea thats fucked up sorry bastards n i hope god shows no mercy for the ppl that let them out of all that

  6. Robert Thompson as served his time and as not been heard of since, well done to him for getting his life back on track. No murder is good and he’ll have to live with what part he played in that poor kids death. With regards to jon venables, well in my view he wasn’t born to be a paedophile, and something most have happened to him in care that contributed to his latest offences. That needs to be investigated. Nobody will forget these two lads crime, but isn’t it time to forgive them and help them instead of ostricing them. Good luck to both of them.

    • Carole keele says:

      They should of been jailed for life
      They took a life that did not belong to them
      Forgive them ????????
      If it was your child which I presume u have none you would not state complete and utter nonsense
      James Bulger did not get a choice nor a second chance

    • Carole keele says:

      Good luck???????????
      Do you require help
      You sick bastard

    • Darrell says:

      Kill them both end of story!!

    • adam says:

      Robert Thompson was involved with the murder of a 2 year old in which two boys smashed his head with bricks, rocks and violated his anus, poured blue paint into his eyes and put batteries into his mouth. Ultimately they put him on a set of train tracks where his body was severed in half. Neither of them should have ever been released to the public

    • Meli says:

      Are you serious ?!?! Forgiven … well I am not God to forgive … investigated why he is a pedophile? Who gives a crap what happened to him … he was and still is a SICK PERVERTED … can’t even call human ….
      As for Thompson … served his time ?!?! They shouldn’t even breathe air … they should have SENT THEM TO JAIL and let them rot there … if it would have been your child I bet you wouldn’t have such an ignorant comment made. Good luck to both of them ? I won’t even name call you but I highly doubt you are a sane person … who knows what sort of stuff you are in to that you see this as it was not that bad and should be forgiven and forgotten …

    • Brandi says:

      How much more “help” could they get?? They’ve been “helped” and coddled since they murdered an innocent baby. Good Luck?!?! Move them in with your family then and “help” them all you think they need. I have a feeling they’d end up helping themselves to your children while you had your head up your tail…

    • PAUL says:

      Your the only one Chris whose comments warranted any real deserved interest. As horrendous as this crime was, people forget that they were only children themselves. Understandably there are many who through their anger still seek revenge on those two who killed little james,but hate begets hate anger begets anger and violence begets violence. Jesus Christ said to forgive your enemies.Two wrongs don’t make a right. Those who wish the Bulger killers ill will only come back on them. Judge ye not and ye shall not be judged.

  7. Mary Lou says:

    Sounds like England is worse then U.S.A. about coddling murderers…..even giving one money to keep him on the straight narrow. Disgusting…they both should be 6 feet under.

  8. Anna says:

    Can someone please either remove the photo of the man with the long fringe under ‘Thompson’ or label it correctly as the late SCOTT BRADLEY?

    I googled and came across your blog today as I had been reading the Bulger case and honestly believed that this photo depicted the face of Thompson until I read another article on the poor soul –

    I cannot believe that you mentioned Scott Bradley’s sad story in your post, labelled the idiot Wayne Dale’s photo as ‘not Jon Venables’ but still left Scott Bradley’s face under Thompson’s profile. If I was a member of the Bradley family, I would be so upset with this. PLEASE REMOVE OR LABEL THE PHOTO.

  9. Travis perkins says:

    Both should be castrated by the public whilst being filmed. Dont see why you can be sent to prison for killing 2 psychopaths

  10. Anna paul says:

    A sad day when we blame the mother and then wish the two lads good luck

    • helthnut says:

      I agree that it is very one-sided to blame the mother and not look closely at the children’s actions. At the same time, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

  11. paris says:

    i feel so sorry for what happend to the 2 year old them to dirty fucking basterds need shooting i would do it myself but i dont know where the fucker lives horrible wankers

  12. Joe C says:

    These two boys were children when this occurred and had both been severely sexually and physically abused. Their parents should have been put on trial for the result of their parenting skills. The social services and other authorities should have also been looking at what they were doing wrong to let two 10 year old boys (known to them as “at risk”) be so horrifically treated that they then went on to act out their problems on a small child with the resultant tragedy. You call them demons but there is no such thing….only reactions to actions. Where is your compassion for all 3 of the victims back in 1993 all 3 lives were throughly ended whether by death or by institutionalisation. The later imprisonment and so called rehabilitation of the boys has obviously also been a total farce if the social worker and prison supervisor were so at odds with their ideas of how to treat them! Venables subsequent crimes and imprisonment just shows how totally our systems fail – did he not have psychological treatment for the abuse he suffered prior to the murder? For the crime he committed? At the very least you would think these boys would be seeing a therapist on a regular basis for the rest of their lives. The idea that his probation officer is speculating he was having a “delayed adolesence” …..what about his therapist? Why weren’t they discussing this in detail with Venables? The public and politicians destroyed any chance of there being any tolerable outcome to the Bulger case – baying for their blood has made everyone focus on their punishment and totally ignore their more intrinsic need for rehabilitation and looking at how to avoid horrific crimes like this occurring in the first place.

    • Brandi says:

      Where are you finding information that they were abused physically and sexually?? I’ve seen NOTHING stating that. Neglect and dysfunction but not abuse. This boys are psychopaths. Plain and simple. They should be jailed for life. Possibly Thompson could live without hurting anyone else but that devil Venables has proven time and again that he should be UNDER the jail until the day he dies and returns to hell.

      • helthnut says:

        One of the boys, being Robert Thompson was indeed sexually and physically abused. He was physically abused by his other and brothers. He was sexually abused by an older brother.

    • Brandi says:

      It doesn’t matter how much therapy he has recovered. You can’t rehabilitate a psychopathic pedophile. He’s evil to his core. How about you stop blaming everyone EXCEPT the murderers. When does it become HIS problem? At what point do you admit that this person is an evil, sick killer? With all the help he’s had, all the therapy and rehabilitation and you’re STILL not able to see that he isn’t a perverted murderer bc the system failed him, he’s a perverted murderer bc it’s in his soul. A psychopath can be born. Even a person from a good home and stable background can turn into this kind of evil. A sociopath is created by their environment. I think in this case there was an element of both. Thus creating a monster. Venables needs to be inprisoned for the remainder of his natural life….

      • Brandi says:

        I guess I just need to do some more reading bc I still haven’t found where he was abused. Do you know where I could look to find it? It definitely would explain Venables actions as an adult but it confirms my belief that a molester can NOT be rehabilitated….

      • helthnut says:

        Read my previous post about venables and Thompson

  13. Maria says:

    As I started to look into the case more, I just hope the parole officers put these 2 under close watch. I am still unsure out of the two, who are the more evil one (on top of the fact that they are evil). At first, seems like Jon is a more troubled one, and accordingly Jon was closely watching the news after James’ disappearance, asking whether the murderer has been caught and will kick the murderer if he ever finds him etc. But a user comment mentioned that Rob has never shown a sign of remorse, whether during the trial or during his rehabilitation. He seems to continue on living while erasing that event without talking with anyone. I am not an expert in human behaviour, but how could anyone not blinked an eye after killing? Rob also seems to be intelligent, cunning and manipulative. He managed to get his way around in prison by knowing his rights and what the staff can and cannot do to him. Someone like Mary Bell really. It makes me think that Rob is smart and if he is to re-offend, unlike Jon, he will cover his track carefully.

    But Mary Bell hasn’t reoffend (or at least we hope she hasn’t apart from shoplifting), and she has a daughter and grandchildren too, so hopefully Rob will continue on living the right path and not destroying anymore lives.

  14. Jeff says:

    My last comment didn’t have email notifications enabled, so won’t see a non-public response. This one has email notifications – or you can email me at the @gmail address

  15. michaela says:

    R.I.P 👼 wee darling james. I hope jon and robert get all the worst luck on earth and burn in hell they are disgusting people

  16. Brandi says:

    Some of these comments are enraging. How can anyone defend these monsters?

    • helthnut says:

      Monsters is probably a misguided expression as it gives people an excuse to commit evil. Somewhere along the line these “monsters” were also children who suffered atrocious abuse and no one helped them. That makes the community just as culpable.

      • Brandi says:

        See I haven’t read or seen anything about “atrocious abuse”….I read about dysfunction and neglect. Where did you find that info? I’d like to read it. All I’ve seen is that they were neglected in ways, definitely didn’t have the structure and guidance that they needed and both families were dysfunctional. I’ve read three articles and watched two television programs and don’t remember hearing of abuse. Physical or sexual I mean. I understand they didn’t have the best childhood but to say that that is an excuse isn’t right to me. I grew up in a home of drug and alcohol addicts, dealt with sexual, emotional/mental abuse, mental illness and extremely dysfunctional. Yet I still had compassion for people. For these boys to be able to hurt a little boy that way, watch him bleeding and hear him screaming and crying, that to me says they have no conscious….no empathy, no compassion. It’s just a terrible crime, especially to have been committed by children so young. Then there is the fact that Venables came away from that and still committed crimes. Taking pleasure in watching children be tortured…rape is torture,ESPECIALLY for a child very young. He had plenty of help, rehabilitation. He wasn’t really even “locked up”…they probably lived better incarcerated than at home. That tells me that the evil is just in him period. Had he not been caught when he was I have no doubt he would have destroyed many lives.

  17. Tomasz Szpak says:

    Nothing further would have happened if they got life without possibility of parole. They will be a growing cancer on the public until they are sput away for good. And they will be doing life in prison but only after many more innocent people will be hurt in the process.

  18. Anomynous says:

    What these kids did to this poor innocent angel was wrong. But we as a society have to remember that these two “killers” were also children. Now they have been released because they are no longer a threat to society then one of them is already incarcerated again and in this case deserves no mercy. But as far as the other one goes he should live his life I mean he was 10 years old… and he has to live with it for the rest of his life knowing that he killed an innocent child. But even in the report it said that the community went as far as not investigating the boys when they dropped the two year old on his head… explained that they figured it was older siblings watching the younger one. I don’t care what you think it is if there are two children doing this to another someone needs to go and check out what is going on. Some of this burden needs to be put on the community. This is why we all need to watch our children closer and watch out for one another. But in all that I have researched about this case I can not find anything on the background history of the two killers?

    • helthnut says:

      Some of this burden needs to be put on the community” – I’m inclined to agree. There were people who were well aware of the boys’ situation and did little to nothing to intervene. The abusive households are directly responsible for the formation of 10-year-old killers. For a history on the killers read my previous blog Venables and Thompson.

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