In Australia, there is one case among the many mass disappearances in history that parents will never forget. After this case made headlines, the carefree days when parents trusted that their children would be safe on their own were over. This is the case of the missing Beaumont children.
In 1966, the three children (Jane, age 9; Arnna, age 7; and Grant, age 4) left their home in Adelaide to spend the day at Glenelg Beach. It was a 5-minute bus ride to the beach, and the children had made the journey numerous times before. The children were expected home later that afternoon but never arrived. Their parents searched for them to no avail.
During the police investigation, witnesses claimed they had seen the children on the beach speaking happily with a tall blond man. This concerned the parents; the children were notoriously shy, and it was unlikely they would be comfortable speaking with a stranger. Another witness, who knew the children well, stated that he saw them walking together, unaccompanied, in the direction of their home. His testimony was deemed reliable, making it less likely that the children had in fact been abducted on the beach. What happened to them on the short walk home?
The search for the three children went on for months but was unsuccessful. The case was all over the headlines, but the media was driven into a frenzy when Gerard Croiset, a well-known psychic, flew to Australia to assist with the case. Croiset led authorities to a recently excavated building site, claiming that the bodies of the children were buried beneath the cement that made up the foundation of the building. After a harsh public outcry, the owners of the building spent $40,000 demolishing the building. However, no trace of the children was ever found at the site.
Two years later, the family received a letter offering to return the children. The parents went to the designated meeting spot, but no one ever appeared. After this, the case largely went cold.