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James Bulger Killers - Should They Be Baited?

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Revealed: The horror image drawn by Jon Venables just weeks before he killed James Bulger

At first sight, it appears to be a child's attempt at illustrating a terrible nightmare.

But what makes this image so horrifying is that it was a violent fantasy, inspired by the 18-rated horror movie Halloween, and that the ten-year-old artist was close to committing a deadly act of his own in real life.

Jon Venables drew the stick-men style picture weeks before he and Robert Thompson abducted and murdered James Bulger in 1993.

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The release of the image came as it was revealed that Venables will be charged with a criminal offence and faces the prospect of a court case over the possession of child pornography.

The dramatic development means Venables will have to appear in a public arena for the first time since his conviction for murder in November 1993. Justice Secretary Jack Straw today hinted that he could disclose more information soon.

Pressed over the public interest in having more details released, he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: 'I understand your point and I will give further consideration to it during the day. 'I think it is pretty well known that my overriding instinct in public life is to give as much information as possible as early as possible, it is not to sit on things.

'So there has to be a good reason for doing what I am doing at the moment.'

The never-seen-before drawing by Venables is believed to have been unused evidence prepared for his murder trial. The image shows an attacker with enormous knives, slashing two individuals who are prostrate with blood gushing out of their bodies. It gives an insight into the deeply disturbed mind of a boy who was brought up in a dysfunctional home and, despite his tender years, routinely watched sick horror movies.

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Venables, who was said to have been subjected to regular beatings by his mother Susan, titled the drawing 'My Dads house'. Words with the drawing, full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, make little sense apart from illustrating the story of the 1970s slasher movie Halloween.

Venables wrote: 'In my dads I saw howowen is when you a girl and this man and he kiled people especial girls and he has got a mask on that he robed knifes out the shop and the police that it was pice but it was not it was the man.'

For his upcoming trial, Venables is expected to appear under the identity he has used since his release from custody nine years ago. The case is likely to be held amid unprecedented secrecy to protect his new identity from leaking out. Venables, now 27, was given a new name at huge expense on his release from a secure unit in 2001.

While there is no significant public clamour for Venables's identity to be disclosed, the decision to withhold from the public the exact nature of the offence - which carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and has seen him recalled to prison - has prompted outrage.

Critics believe the cover-up has been ordered to prevent any further embarrassment for ministers over the Home Office's supervision of one of Britain's most notorious killers.

But despite ministers' refusal to come clean:

• On Thursday it was revealed he has had drink and drugs problems since his release from a secure unit in 2001.

• On Saturday he was accused of a serious sex offence and it was revealed he had previously worked as a nightclub bouncer.

• Yesterday it was claimed he had been caught with child pornography and had even disclosed his real identity to strangers.

The restrictions imposed by the court order, which still remains in place today, include:

• A ban on publishing any image or description of either of the pair including details of their voices or accents since February 18, 1993 (the time of their arrest).

• No information published or solicited that could identify Thompson or Venables.

• No information published or solicited that could identify their whereabouts.

• No information to be published detailing their medical treatment or any therapy received.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw has refused to detail how Venables breached his licence terms, saying only that he faces 'extremely serious allegations'.

James's father Ralph said: 'If they don't let the British people know then we can only assume that politicians have got something to hide and their silence is protecting not just the killers of my son but the politicians themselves.'

James's mother Denise Fergus, 42, said: 'If he is accused of a crime he must be subject to the law like everyone else.'

Albert Kirby, the retired police chief who led the Bulger murder inquiry, said: 'I can see no reason why they can't release a brief statement, outlining what he is accused of, but stressing that nothing more can be said because of an on-going police investigation.'

Some senior politicians yesterday lined up to support the Government's refusal to reveal what Venables has been accused of.

Labour's deputy leader Harriet Harman said that disclosure of the alleged offence could prejudice a fair trial - even though no media outlet is allowed to publish Venables' new identity.

And asked whether he felt Venables had spent long enough in custody for James's murder, Children's Secretary Ed Balls told Sky News: 'A society where politicians make those kinds of decisions would be the wrong kind of society. It is rightly a matter for judges and courts and juries.'

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Not until he's stood trial.

Can we also point out that it is only ONE of them not BOTH of them who has done something before everybody starts jumping on the restorative justice doesn't work bandwagon.

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The only thing that's gonna happen if they reveal his identity now is vigilante attacks, and undoubtedly another murder. That's not gonna bring James Bulger back, and it's not gonna do anyone any favours.

They made the choice to give him anonymity, it's too late to go back on that now.

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If they release his identity its a death sentance, simple as that.

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WRAP DIS YOUT UP.

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what purpose does it serve to reveal their identity? even to the parents. what do they want to know for? will it bring trheir son back

i saw Will self on question time talking about this and he was the best speaker on this whole issue.

people are going on like they were premeditated killers whove been killing for yrs.

i dont care what drawing they had on their walls... they were 10 yrs old simple as.

this is just the hypocrtical media trying to control people by giving them little facts and encouragin people to make an informed decision.

so that the end game is to demand "justice".

this same "justice" will come back and bite u in the ass but then it will already be too late cos it wouldve been signed into law. whatever that is

no 10yr old child can commit such a crime and be fully intune with their responsibilities.

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No, absolutely not.

I hate this "the public have a right to know" bullshit.

And it's very depressing to observe the way the Mirror and The Sun are driving this bloodthirsty, vigilante agenda.

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What do you expect from those papers? They sell papers from creating mass hysteria.

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What do you expect from those papers? They sell papers from creating mass hysteria.

I know. But this differs from their usual bullshit (to be fair the Mirror's normally not even that bad, i've been surprised at how ahrd they've gone with this story) because they are targeting a specific individual, not a group like paedophiles or MPs.

Like, this is an actual person's life we're talking about.

They are potentially going to be almost directly responsible for a man getting stabbed to death.

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Yeah but they don't care as long as it sells papers.

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Imagine the headlines if he actually does end up getting identified, then murdered.

The Sun's offices would look like my sig.

"WE GOT HIM! WE GOT HIM! WE GOT HIM!"

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Yep

"Thanks to our loyal readers we caught him!!!"

THE SUN CAN DIE (not literally the sun please jeebus)

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Rah, a lot of sightings - it seems this could have been prevented.

But then again, this was 1993 (almost 20 years ago) when the general public were a lot less paranoid and it was normal for young boys to be on the street.

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i rekon the reason why hes been arrested should be published....

not his new identity tho.... no going to solve anything

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Having studied the whole interests of justice thing, it makes sense not to disclose any info, especially at this stage.

However, my class was discussing this with our tutor today, and felt that at 27 he is fully responsible for his actions, and if past breaches are anything to go by, his right to anonymity should be waived as he abused an unprecedented priviledge he should never have been awarded with in the first place.

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"Jon venables is known as David calvert lives in fleetwood "

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They're never going to reveal his identity if he has to stand trial because if they do the jury is going to be bias which will mean it is thrown out of court or he will appeal against the decision and win.

What happens after that well...

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LOL @ coming out of jail and diving straight in to some child porn. g00n.

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I don't like it when you get mad at me I feel like I've upset my Dad.

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