Friday, June 22, 2007

Too much reality

February 12, 1993.
Liverpool, England.
Two-year-old Jamie Bulger wanders away from his mother at The Strand shopping center, and is lead out of the store by two 10-year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. The scene was caught on a store security camera and was a key bit of evidence used in their trial. Jon and Robert had been at the shopping center for a while, shoplifting different items. They had a history of run-ins with the police; these were not "good kids". Apparently they got bored with simple theft, and raised the stakes attempting to kidnap a child. The mother noticed her missing toddler, ran out of the store calling his name, and he returned to her, safe and sound.

Not long afterwards, the boys successfully completed their mission when they lured another 2-year-old away from his mother and left the store with him, unnoticed- except by the store's security cameras. Jamie was then lead on a 2 1/4 mile walk with the boys. Nearly 40 people report seeing the trio, but no one thought that this was anything more than two older brothers keeping watch over their baby brother. No one thought it could possibly be a kidnapping which eventually lead to torture and murder... but it did.

Jamie had paint thrown on his face. He was kicked, hit with bricks, stones and a 22lb. iron bar. They put batteries in his mouth. They laid him across a railroad track, weighed his head down with bricks and stones, and left him to be ran over by a train. The coroner later reported the beating killed little Jamie before the train hit him.

Jon and Robert were tried as juveniles, convicted, and eventually sentenced to 15 years at a juvenile correctional facility. In 2000, their sentence was reduced to only 8 years. The boys were released in 2001.

Why is this important now, 14 years after the murder?

Because the store's video survellience tape was recently used as a clue in a computer game. "Law & Order: Double or Nothing" includes a still shot of the video footage, supplied as a clue to a murder. The game has been removed from UK stores, but is still available in the US.

I am a fan of "Law & Order" and their "ripped from the headlines" storylines.. HOWEVER... They have NEVER (to the best of my knowledge) used real footage from real crimes. EVER. This is a disgusting abuse of corporate greed. Could you imagine being Jamie's parents, and realizing real footage of their son's abduction was being used in a VIDEO GAME!?!??!?! 14 years after the brutal death of their child, his image is being used in a toy. I am truly disgusted. Who in their right mind would ever thing that using the kidnapping image was "ok"?????

I just don't get it. I really, really don't. Legacy Interactive has taken a tragic story, and made it even worse. Unreal.


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