The murder of Jamie Bulger
By Louis and Rachel
Location and Age
Both were born in Walton village, Liverpool.
They were both 10 years old at the time of
Thompson and Venables grew
up in circumstances which had
both striking similarities and
Both boys had parents who had separated, each
had difficulties with attendance and learning and
behaviour at school.
They bunked off, they shoplifted, they were
violent; all these pieces in a pattern that made up
a pair of empty, broken young lives.
Neighbours told of pigeons having their heads
shot off with an airgun and of rabbits being tied to
There were also incidents of violence at school.
Both victims had very different types of parents.
Ann Thomson was a single mother who struggled
with alcohol addiction. Locals say she she was
often found in the local pub instead of looking
after her children, and neighbours were quick to
criticise her for the number of men she brought
On the other hand Susan Venables was a very
strict parent, her son has spoken of his fear of
This is a drawing by one of the boys, drawn shortly before the murder was it
a cry for help?
Was the Trial fair?
Throughout the trial, the boys were referred to
as ‘Child A’ and ‘Child B’, however, at the end
of the trial, the judge ruled their names
should be released (because of the nature
of the murder and the public reaction).
This was later criticised by the European Court
of Human Rights, which ruled in 1999 that they
had not received a fair trial by being tried in
public in an adult court.
The boy’s mothers were put under intense media scrutiny.
Interestingly, both fathers were relatively ignored by the media.
The treatment of the mothers also varied. Ms Venables (right) was
treated far more nicely
by the media because she took far more care
on her appearance.
However Robert Thompson’s mother was portrayed as a ‘mess’
who was never there for him, her repeated absence from the .
News stories reported the demeanour of the defendants. These
aspects were later criticised by the European Court of Human
Rights, which ruled in 1999 that they had not received a fair trial by
being tried in public in an adult court.
This image demonstrates the anger of the public and media frenzy.
After the Release
Jon Venables was returned to prison in
2010, following claims of child pornography.
This brought the issue back into the
spotlight, people still felt extreme emotions
over the case despite it being 17 years on, .