What happened that day
Jane nine, Arnna seven and Grant Beaumont four were abducted from Colley Reserve, Glenelg Beach, South Australia on Wednesday the 26th of January 1966. Leading to Australia’s largest police investigation and manhunt.
The children were eager to venture to the beach due to the stifling hot weather. Also being one of the last days of the summer school holidays and due to the heat their mother Nancy insisted the children catch the local bus instead of walking or riding their tricycles. A bus ride that took ten minutes to arrive at Glenelg from their place of residence at Somerton Park.
Nancy gave Jane eight shillings and sixpence to buy some fizzy drink and something to eat for them and Nancy when they returned home for lunch. Jane placed the money in her beige clip coloured purse into her light blue airline type bag. Mum had also briefly heard teasing from Arrna and Grant. That Jane had a boyfriend at the beach but did not think much of it at the time. The children left home at approximately 10 am and were expected home around noon.
- Jane was dressed in her pink one-piece bathers with pale green shorts and canvas sandshoes with white soles. Taking with her a paperback copy of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. She carried three drying towels inside a generic airways type bag.
- Arnna wore a one-piece red and white striped bather with tan shorts and sandals. She also sported a bright orange hairpin.
- Grant wore only green and white vertically striped bathers under green cotton shorts and red sandals. ; no shirt
The children arrived at Glenelg / the Moseley Street bus stop across the road from the iconic Wenzel’s bakery. Followed by a short walk to the beach and Colley Reserve.
A woman saw the children between 11 am and 12 noon. She was sitting on a wooden bench near the Holdfast Bay Sailing Club / Yacht Club and watched the children run up from their dip in the ocean. The layout their towels before running under the sprinklers. This witness noticed a middle-aged man already lying on his towel before the children arrived and was closely watching them. In their words ” starring ” at the children.
After frolicking under the water spray the children walked over and started playing games with this individual. Grant, the youngest boy was jumping over him followed by Arnna then Jane. The two girls then began playfully flicking him with their towels.
He was approximately 6ft to 6ft 1in tall.
Clean-shaven with a suntanned complexion. He was thin with an athletic build. Longish face. A high forehead.
Swept back light brown to fair short hair parted to one side
He was wearing navy blue bathers with single white stripes down either side.
He had with him a towel, shirt and trousers that he placed on the park bench.
NB: This man was initially described as a tall blond-haired surfy. With hair in need of cutting. This description has permeated for years in the media. However, the description has never been correct.
A female eye witness who got up from the park bench to walk home around 11.30 a.m stated the man and the children were still playing on the lawn.
Later the man approached a couple close by and asked:
“Did any of you people see anyone with our clothes?
When asked why he said:
“We’ve had some money taken from our clothes.”
Another witness believed the man stated;
“Has anyone been messing with our clothes? We have had our money pinched”.
After asking the people the man then returned to the children. However, this couple had their curiosity aroused when they witnessed the man dress all the kiddies. They thought this was strange especially as the elder girl Jane appeared to be old enough to dress. The man then picked up his towel and his clothes just after midday and walked in a northerly direction toward the changing sheds at Colley Reserve; 130 metres ( 142 yards ) away from where they were playing.
Jane, Arnna and Grant happily followed him and waited outside the change rooms before walking away with him. Note: This walking with the man was in the opposite direction to the children’s bus stop and Wenzel’s bakery where they were last seen.
The last sighting of the Beaumont children was also around 12.20 pm to 12.30 pm at Wenzel’s Bakery. The corner of Mosely street and the main thoroughfare of Jetty Road. Jane bought a pie & placed this separate bag. Also buying five pasties, six finger buns and two large bottles of fizzy drink with a pound note. From the bakery, they were never seen again
Page constructed by Stuart Mullins
Page created by Stuart Mullins