The morning of Australia Day (26th January) 1966 was already hot in Adelaide, with the temperature due to peak at almost 40°C. Jim Beaumont, a linen goods salesman, wondered whether to go to work or go swimming with his children. Work on this day meant a two hour drive to Snowtown to see some customers. Staying home and taking his children to the beach sounded more appealing. Being a good salesman, however, Mr Beaumont decided that he'd better see his customers. It was a decision he would regret for the rest of his life.
The children left their home at 109 Harding Street, Somerton Park, on the corner with Peterson Street, at 10am. They were catching the bus to Glenelg. It was only a short distance and they could have ridden their bicycles. Being a hot day, however, it seemed more sensible to catch the bus. It was understood by the children that they would return home on the noon bus. There was no way they could be confused about the time because the clock tower at Glenelg was highly visible. Mrs Beaumont gave Jane eight shillings and sixpence for expenses 78.
The children having left for the beach and her husband gone to see potential customers, Mrs Beaumont visited a friend. She returned before the noon bus arrived, and was waiting at the bus stop. The children were not on the bus. She didn't consider this serious as the children could have decided to walk home, which they had done before. Or they could have missed it, and would be on the 2pm bus instead. Some friends visited and Mrs Beaumont didn't worry for the moment.
The children did not return on the 2pm bus, and Mrs Beaumont began to feel uneasy. She could have gone to look for the children but their route home could equally take them down Moseley Street, Partridge Street or Brighton Road. She could very easily miss them, so it was best to wait.
The children did not return on the 3pm bus, and if Mrs Beaumont was uneasy before, she must have been distinctly worried now. Jim Beaumont returned home early (his customers had not been available) and when his wife explained what had happened, he immediately went out searching for his children. He drove to the beach, searching, and was home again by 3:30pm. He picked up his wife and returned to the beach, and kept searching. The children were finally reported missing to the police at 7:30pm. Jim Beaumont stayed out all night, still searching.
The next morning the Beaumont children were officially declared missing.
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My mum is currently reading a book on this case and when she's finished I plan on reading about it also. In the mean time, I thought I would share it here.
Edited by Thomas J, 19 September 2012 - 04:36 PM.