What would eventually become one of the most horrific crimes in Australia’s history began with a search of the Beaumonts’ residence, with police wanting to deny that the children were not hiding. That night, Jim rode in a patrol car as he scanned Somerton Park and Glenelg from road to road. And when the police took him off, he came back to his car and kept watching.
By morning, Sea Rescue Squadron boats had joined the search efforts, airports and train stations were alerted and roadblocks were put in place to monitor anyone driving in and out of the state of Adelaide. Police patrolled the streets with loudspeakers so that everyone could hear them asking if anyone had seen the Beaumont children. The taxi drivers understood this, Jim has been a former driver and so is one of them, and people of all ages, including members of Jane’s brownie contingent, walk the area.
And, naturally, reporters flocked to the family home, and Jim addressed them from his back porch on the mid-morning of January 28. “Someone must have been holding them against their will, otherwise they would have come home by now,” he said. “It’s a complete mystery, I can’t figure it out. My kids must be crying their eyes out. It’s like a nightmare.”
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