Monday, November 16, 2009

The Fascination With James Bulger, And His Killers

A year ago today, I wrote a post.

It was about little James (Jamey) Bulger. Or more specifically, 'whatever happened to his killers?'

I had NO idea at the time, the amount of traffic that one post would drive to my site.

It has both shocked, and saddened me. According to Google Analytics, this post has been viewed 5,265 times since it's appearance.

It has, beyond a doubt, generated the most hits, and comments on my blog.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Most of the hits have resulted from Google searches.

The most popular, being some version of 'James (Jamey) Bulger's Killers' followed closely by 'James (Jamey) Bulger's Killers, Where Are They Now?'

Fifteen years later, and all these people are still wondering what happened, and where these (now) men are living.


Why is it, that EVERY SINGLE DAY someone does a search on Jamie Bulger and the boys who tortured him?

That was the question that went through my head, every time I saw the page had been viewed.

Then, about a month after it was up, the hits on that post started climbing towards the end of the day.

And climbing FAST!

By the end of the viewing frenzy, it had been looked at 750 times in 12 hours. And 99% of the hits were from the UK.

What the heck was up with that?

I went to the analytics site, to see where everyone had come from.

ALL google searches.

I could understand if someone had 'stumbled' or 'dugg' the post, but all the visits were because people had done a search on Jamie. Or his killers.


That surprised me.

Over time, I got curious, and ran my own 'Whatever happened to James Bulger's killers' search in Google.

The scary thing is, it came back with 24,000 results.

And there I was, in the top three.

Now, usually I'd be happy to be in top three anything!

But this ...?

A few months later, there was another spike.

This time, I had come to the conclusion that the surge in hits was caused by one of two things.

Either there had been some sort of 'special' aired on TV about the crime, or the case had now become homework for university/law/crimiology students, and they had just been given their assignment.

A few weeks ago, one of my theories was confirmed.

I received an email from a guy in the UK, who had just watched a show on the Bulger killing on TV. He then went off on a Google search, and found me.

(And took the time to write. Which is always nice BTW. Getting a 'hi, like your site!' email from strangers. Now matter HOW they got there!)

So that explains the days with super hits.

But what about the others?

What fascination, curiousity or requirement is bringing people to this post daily?

And what are they leaving with?

Compassion? Rage? Nothing?

Judging by the comments, it's still clearly an emotional issue.

Both the post, and comments have brought about heated opinions on the matter.

And right or wrong, people have very strong feelings on how these men should be allowed to lead the rest of their lives.

Keeping in mind, they were already judged. 15 yrs ago.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

That's why I've published all comments left on the blog.

All comments, with one exception.

Yesterday, I finally added an update to the original post.

I'm actually a little creeped out that it had to be done at all.

I've asked that readers stop sending me what they think are the new identities, and whereabouts, of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.

I will NOT publish this information.

Yes, I think what they did was absolutely horrible. Reprehensible.

But what happens if I were to approve a comment that says 'Robert/Jon's NEW name is Oscar the Grouch, and he now lives at 123 Sesame Street! First trash can on the left ... you can't miss it!'

Would the people who have commented, who continue to hate these men, and believe they should be tortured/killed for their sins, would they and their friends suddenly show up on Sesame Street, trashing that first can on the left?

And what about the poor Bird who lives next door? What if he gets caught in the crossfire?

Seriously though.

There have been some pretty hateful comments left on the original post.

I am NOT going to be responsible for pointing the finger at people who may, or may NOT be who someone thinks they are.

And just because my mind works in the strange ways it does, another thought ran through it ...

What if there was some sick, vindictive person who was pissed off at someone, who was absolutely NOT Robert Thompson or Jon Venables ... but accused them anyway, for reasons that would only benefit the accuser?

Too many Criminal Minds episodes? Perhaps.

Any way you look at it, innocent people could get hurt by flinging names randomly out into the Internet universe.

If you think you know who and where they are, and feel you need to ABSOLUTELY do something about it? Send the info to the local police, (which I'm sure they already have), and then knowing that the proper authorities (now) know, and will be watchful, should be enough to ease that conscience of yours.

Don't send me your info.

I don't want it.

After a year, that post now generates anywhere from 300- 400 hits a month.

And sometimes, it still spikes to almost 500 hits a day.

For whatever reason, there is still a fascination with James Bulger, and his killers.

Was it because of the nature of the crime? That it was committed by children.

Who knows.

For whatever reason, people are still wondering Whatever Happened To James Bulger's Killers?

But, for Robert and Jon's sakes, I hope they never find out.



Sue said...

I agree with your take on not publishing. Good on you for taking a stand and sticking to it!!

Employee No. 3699 said...

Wow, that is a lot of action on one post.

I also agree that any information on them that might come your way should not be published.

Debbie said...

I think you are being so wise and considerate to not publish people's wild theories. Good for you!

loving bingo said...

Perhaps people think you're one kind of superhero and catch those bad guys! You are right. If they know something about it and can help, they should contact people who are in authority. It's enough for you to post and get the people aware of it.

Anonymous said...

If you have seen a recent spike,it would be because of this:

It just brings it all back...

The pure anger.

IK said...

"But, for Robert and Jon's sakes, I hope they never find out. "

Your concern for innocent bystanders seems a bit of a smoke screen for your real opinion.

Shame on you for reaching such an unconflicted POV. I don't believe I have ever seen these two predators addressed in such a familiar fashion, it took a moment to realise who it was you were talking about.

Steph said...

Hi, i am a forensic science student in glyndwr university and as part of my degree i have to pick a case study that o feel strongly about and do a presentation of the story of it and what happened etc and where are they now is apart of what i have to do in my presentation next week. i feel strongly about this case because i remember it well as i was 16/17 at the time. not everyone searching for this type of thing is sadistic but maybe they are trying to study it as part of their degree or its a case being used in their degree which they have to come home and do more research for. i have to do my presentation then a 5000 word s essay about the story and what happened in court and the suspects and where they are now and if i feel they got what they deserved etc so please dont think of everyone who searches this as sadistic but maybe they just want to know little jamesy got has got justice and those sick lads got what they deserved. you only ever get to see the news as it happens nobody ever reports whee are they now type of thing so it often leaves people who were drawn to the case to wonder many years later what happened after all the press left this case alone.

Anonymous said...

they deserve to die post the comments bitch what if it was your son