Relative of James Bulger's killer sparks controversy by uploading photo of child lying on train tracks

A relative of Robert Thompson, who along with Jon Venables murdered 2 year old James Bulger in '93, shared a sick photo of a boy lying on train tracks after an online row.


                            Relative of James Bulger's killer sparks controversy by uploading photo of child lying on train tracks

A relative of one of James Bulger’s killers has suddenly brought the two-decade old murder case back to public consciousness in the worst way possible - by uploading a photo online showing a child lying on railway tracks.

In one of the most chilling cases since the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder of 1924, James Bulger, then two-years old, was abducted, tortured, and murdered by ten-year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables in 1993 in Bootle, Merseyside. The duo was arrested, jailed over the killing and then released with new identities in 2001. The case has prompted widespread debate on the issue of how to handle young offenders when they are sentenced or released from custody.

A relative of Thompson, who, like Venebles, was released from jail with a new identity in 2001, shared the distasteful photo in question. The image, which was subsequently taken down, showed a staged picture of a boy with his eyes closed holding a stuffed toy and was shared on Facebook to mock Robert Thompson in a family feud, The Sun reports.

A mug shot of 10-year-old Robert Thompson, who along with Jon Venables, abducted, tortured and killed 2-year-old James Buglar in 1993. (Image: Getty Images)
A mug shot of 10-year-old Robert Thompson, who along with Jon Venables, abducted, tortured and killed 2-year-old James Buglar in 1993. (Image: Getty Images)

Jon Venables was jailed and then released with a new identity in 2001. (Image Source: Getty Images)
Jon Venables was jailed and then released with a new identity in 2001. (Image Source: Getty Images)

Understandably, the photo enraged James' father, Ralph Bulger. "Posting a photo of a child on a train track is utterly sick. It's cruel and nasty and pokes fun at how my son died," he said, according to the Sun.

"How am I supposed to feel at James being the butt of a social media prank? How dare this family treat my son and his murder with such contempt?"

Earlier this year, Ralph and his brother Jimmy Bulger announced plans to challenge a High Court order giving killer Jon Venebles lifelong anonymity. The injunction was granted in 2002 on the basis that Venables was rehabilitated and would not re-offend. But Venables has since been convicted twice and sent back to jail over possessing indecent images of children, most recently in February.