Lost Boy: The Killing of James Bulger Review
I think, despite knowing a lot about this crime already, this documentary was hard to watch because you got to hear it first hand from the boys who killed this poor two-year-old child.
James Bulger was a child just like any other. He seemed happy and had a good life and a happy family. That was until a fateful day where Jon Venables and Robert Thompson decided to go to the local shopping centre and abduct the two-year-old and take him to train tracks over 2 and a half miles away and torment and murder him.
The shocking thing about this case and the thing that most people hold onto is the fact that Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were only 10 years old at the time of the murder. These two boys were only eight years older than their victim and the things that they did to this poor boy are so callous and disgusting. You think how small a two-year-old child is but that child had 42 separate injuries on his body! The amount of pain that child must’ve gone through in his final moments is too much to even think about.
But what I find fascinating with this documentary compare to others that I may have watched before is you get to hear the police tapes of Jon Venables and Robert Thompson admitting what they did to this child. These two 10-year-old boys admitting how they hurt this kid, how they treated this kid in his final moments, and the only reason I can think of why they seemed so upset in this interrogation is because they got caught and because their parents found out. These are two 10-year-old children who I don’t believe have ever taken account as to what they did or realise the level of seriousness of the crime they committed.
The most horrific part for me within all this is the fact that these boys never even served jail time as adults. They were sent to a secured care home where they did their time, but really how much of a sentence is that? Because they were allowed out before they became 18 they never saw a day in prison, they never had to deal with actually going to jail for the crime they committed, and I see that as just wrong. Murderers have treated their victims with more care and attention and got longer sentences than what these two boys got, and you have to wonder what sort of children they were and what was going on in their brains to make them think that it was ok to do this to someone else.
It makes you wonder about the whole nature versus nurture argument and whether they were born to be evil or whether something in their lives made them become who they were. This isn’t a normal case, they didn’t take this child and accidentally have him be hit by a car in the road as they were walking away with him or whatever, there was intent to harm this child in ways that is so unspeakable and for them to get off in a way that I see is quite light is shocking. People see people harming animals as children as a gateway to being a killer but these two killed another child in cold blood and yet now if they followed more of the law they would both be normal citizens.
It seems from what I’ve heard that Robert Thompson has a normal life now, he has a new name and a new identity and he could easily have children of his own these days. The only reason that Jon Venables is in prison is because of things that he did as an adult when he was released. It’s clear to me that Jon has a lot more mental illness going on inside of him than Robert Thompson, but still why should Robert Thompson be allowed to have a normal life when he took away a child’s life in the first place? Why should he be able to be safe and have relationships and have a family when he did such a horrific thing?
I think it’s wrong that they are able to have a life and James Bulger never got the chance. It’s such a shame and such a horrific case and it just leaves me wondering: how did these boys come to be who they were and why did they ever think, even at the tender age of 10, that this was something that was ok to do?
What do you think of the James Bulger case?
Until next time.