Sticks and stones may break my bones
But names will never hurt me
Sticks and stones certainly did kill little James Bulger. But names certainly hurt victim 36-year-old Scott Bradley to the point where he too died – he committed suicide after a hate mob in his community turned against him and tried to kill him. Why? The resemblance he bore to Robert Thompson was so striking that people were convinced Bradley was the notorious child killer. He became a pariah and was frightened to leave his own house. The irony of all this is that he too was a father, and no doubt, a very good one. Bradley suffered months of malicious abuse and torment from a mob in Garlieston Village, Wigtownshire, in Scotland. Bradley left a suicide note which read: ‘They called me all sorts – a paedophile, a follower of young girls, walking around bullying old people. ‘The list is endless. And I’m supposed to be a child killer.’
His mother described how her son’s life became a ‘living hell’ after the hate mob claimed he was Thompson. Thompson was 29 at the time of Bradley’s suicide, Bradley, 36. ‘He kept saying ‘I’ve had enough, I’m going to kill myself’, but I didn’t believe him.’ The rumours are believed to have begun after a local playwright wrote a fictional play last year that was allegedly about Robert Thompson moving to a remote coastal village in Galloway.The play, Village of the Damned, was made into a movie by famed director/actor/producer M. Shimalayan, and proved so controversial that playwright Des Dillon
was interviewed by police. Denise Fergus, Bulger’s mother, said she was ‘shocked and upset’ to hear of Bradley’s death and believed he would still be alive if Thompson and Venables’ whereabouts and identities were known to the public. I have to agree with her on that one except here’s a weird truth: Venables is so pleased with his part in Bulger’s murder that he has informed people four times – count ’em, four – who he is, and has happily revealed his true identity. The court has intermittently jailed Venables to prevent him from being harmed or killed. Each time this happens, Venables costs the taxpayers significant money. Meh. I say throw him to the lions. If he wants his identity known, so be it.
Listen, I get where the mob that led to Bradley’s suicide is coming from. If I truly believed that, say, Karla Homolka, the pathological Ontario woman who raped, tortured and murdered schoolgirls and her own sister, lived on my street since her release, I’d be the first one in line to torment her every time she left her house. She’d be out of my neighbourhood before she’d even moved in. But this was a tragic case of mistaken identity and a man’s life was the cost. Hopefully this “hate mob”, whoever they are, feels some kind of sorrow and shame for Bradley’s suicide. It’s one thing to hate a killer, quite another to hate an innocent man.