|The JET Report|
For information about the background to this report, click here.
The Need to Interpret
We have been told that we must suspend disbelief and that children should be believed by the first statement that needs to be made is that the diaries cannot be taken literally but have to be interpreted. If we do not accept this we would have to accept the following as literal true statements:-
"the family kill a big sheep with their fingernails and take it to the hospital to get better and bring it back" (CH 21.1.88)
"My mum flies on a broomstick" (JB 22.1.88)
"They throw lots of babies in the bins. I was murdered when I was a baby and shoved in the bin" (LW 26.2.88)
"They kill all of us at the parties. I'm Superman at the parties and I kill the witches" (CH 25.4.88)
In fact most of the children disclosing would actually be dead. It is clear to us that anybody looking at these diaries must interpret and it is insufficient to say that "they were telling the truth" or "we believe the children".
Furthermore, we do not consider that suspending disbelief should also mean a suspension of commonsense or the use of critical faculties. We have looked at these diaries within their context, without being selective, with an awareness of possible influences upon the foster parents and the children and with knowledge of basic child psychology.
The Context of the Disclosures
The first fact that strikes you is that until Mr. W. briefed the foster parents with the Satanic indicators all four children were talking entirely about their family, of which seven are ESN, being involved in sexual abuse and what they call witch parties. There are only vague references to strangers.
The second, even more pertinent fact, is that until Mr. W.'s presentation of the Satanic indicators all the children are talking about sexual abuse and the witches parties at their homes. It is not until the 5.3.88 that they start to talk about a big house with a swimming pool and even then, only with reference to sexual abuse and nothing 'Satanic'. They only start to identify other locations in the context of witch parties in July 1988 when the foster parents had been asked to take the children around to identify locations.
The children all lived in typical semi-detached council houses on council estates. As we all know the walls of these houses are paper thin, the rooms are very small with the average living room being 14' by 12' and they have open gardens. In our experience it is virtually impossible on council estates to keep anything secret that can be seen or heard (unfortunately sexual abuse is often neither) and information and particularly anything of a spicy or bizarre nature passes around very quickly.
The family were under constant surveillance from the authorities and from an interview with a neighbour it is clear that they attracted attention to themselves as these families often do. The neighbour states that she had "seen young children naked in the garden eating their own excrement and running around the garden naked or [with] very little on even on freezing cold days". She adds that "any talk of witchcraft or any type of Satanic practices regarding the family surprises me a great deal. I have never head or witnessed anything like that on this estate before". The neighbours do maintain that the family used to frequently return from the pub and continued 'parties' with a lot of shouting and swearing.
Despite this the social workers have accepted that the family were having witch parties at which sheep were being slaughtered in the front room or the back garden and the front garden and were subsequently left in the garages in wheelie bins, that abortions were committed in the front room, that more than eight witches danced around singing in the front room, that later one of the children had her stomach cut open on a table in the front room and that [Mary] witnessed seven children being killed along with acts of cannibalism. We do not consider that the belief that this could be kept secret matches basic commonsense or reality. Outside of the babies and the children, sheep are large, noisy, difficult animals and when one was slaughtered by an Indian on a council estate in Leicester it hit the national newspaper headlines the following day. In our view another explanation has to be sought.
The Diaries of Individual Children
[Craig] was only 3 years of age when he left home in December 1986 and was only 4 years of age when he was trying to recall events that could only have happened between July and December 1986, i.e. between 2 ½ and 3 years of age. [Craig] is particularly significant because he had been in care for a year before the other children and some major themes start with him; witches (27.11.87), killing sheep (21.1.88), babies being killed (21.1.88), Selina (3.3.88), blood in the bath (27.2.88), Mr. Brown, the first stranger identified (10.3.88), Mr Pooh Pants (22.1.89). [Craig]'s diaries for November, December 1987 and January 1988 are clearly talking about his family at home, "my granddad's a monster, both daddies are clowns, etc. He mentions daddy dressing up as a witch (21.11.87) but according to his foster parent he went to his school panto on the 9th December where an older girl was dressed as a witch and since getting home (and subsequently) had never stopped talking about the family being witches who hurt him.
It is clear that anybody who has hurt or frightened [Craig] is a witch, monster or clown. His description of witches, who are all members of his family is the traditional one of a young child; they fly on broomsticks, have black teeth, long sharp fingernails, long black hair, dance around singing "witchy, witchy, witchy" except that they also sexually abuse him, bite his bum and pooh on the carpet. In with this he mixes Dracula, Soldiers, Swords and Dragons and shooting with guns. [Craig] is the first to introduce the idea of babies and children being killed but as you would expect of a child of this age he has no real concept of killing or death and quite happily and unchallenged talks about killing a baby and "then it was alright, killing a relative (who is of course still alive), killing all the children at the parties and himself killing the witches, [James] being killed and [Rebecca] being killed and made better. [Craig] also complains that his social worker has murdered him because she shouted at him.
Likewise, [Craig] introduces the concept of sheep being killed with bare hands, sticks and knives but also being taken to hospital to be made better. He clearly refers to his father being big mister but this is later translated into the master who organises the Satanic rites. After he had witnessed his foster mother giving a blood sample at hospital and on the same day watches 'Jaws' (which contains sufficient blood and water for anybody) he accuses the foster mother of having a bath full of blood, a theme that he pursues for some months. It is clear that [Craig] has a fascination and strong identification with Superman and in March talks about Superman's girlfriend being Lina (actually Lois Lane or Miss Lane). His speech is never clear and on questioning he answers 'S'Lina' which become 'Selina' because of the significance in the literature of a Selina as a Satanic figure. Likewise he mentions a little puppet but corrects himself, this was translated by social workers into poppet as these are the dolls that witches are supposed to stick pins in (although they are actually "moppets").
In March [Craig] is talking about the black staff at his nursery (an Indian lady) and in May he begins to talk about Mrs. Brown. In May he is the first child to identify locations away from the family home - a Church where the murderers hang you and the house with the swimming pool.
He was only 21 months old when he left home to be placed in the same foster home as his brother. Not surprisingly he says very little except that on the 7 July 1988 he claims that his daddy took a baby up in a balloon and stabbed it and them cooked it. His foster mother records that on the 31 August 1988 after his social worker left he had talked non-stop about ghosts and snakes. His only other comment was in June 1988 when he passed the Church at the back of Wollaton Park (previously identified by the other children) and stated that it was the Devil's Church.
[James] was the oldest child at 7 years 4 months when he left home but is ESN. As with [Craig]'s diary November, December 1987 and January, February 1988 he talks exclusively about his family being monsters, witches and clowns who hit and burn him at their homes, He has the same concept of witches as [Craig] and claims that they have curly black hair and broomsticks. He tends to agree with [Rebecca] or is prompted by leading questions, e.g. shown book of animals, asked about sheep at witch parties, asked about strange men at witch parties, asked about house with swimming pool, asked about Tony, asked about Mr. Brown, asked about going to a farm and the boat.
Interestingly he tells his foster mother that [Rebecca] was wrong about the babies. Of similar age to his sister and in the same foster home with her his disclosing cannot be separated from [Rebecca]'s as it is clear that the foster mother discusses things with them together. [James] claimed that [Mary] was present at the witch parties which she now denies.
As with [James] starts to talk about the family having witch parties at home in July 1988 two months after [Craig]. However, it is [Rebecca] on the 5 March 1988 who first tells about being taken in a car with a driver who is a stranger to a house where they are sexually abused in a secret bedroom and videoed. She is supported by [James] on the 17 March 1988 who talks about two large houses with swimming pools and the children being transported by taxi. [Lily] confirms this and adds that they go in the car with Uncle Brown.
These Diaries March-May 1988 in which they talk about an unknown place and strangers are interesting in that only sexual abuse is described without any mention of witchcraft parties, slaughter of animals, babies, etc, It is the only part of the Diaries that has received any sort of corroboration to the extent that one of the prisoners when interviewed in prison claimed that his wife had a friend called Mr. Brown who went off with her and the children and that she had another friend called Roy who was a taxi driver, There must be a suspicion that the children might have been taken elsewhere to be abused by paedophiles although reference should be made to the section "influences on the children".
Unfortunately this information was never extracted together and the children were never interviewed by social workers or Police to ascertain whether they could tell a coherent story of what, when, who, where, how, etc. If they were abused in this way with the involvement of strangers it could have happened only six months previously. [Rebecca]'s diaries for April and May 1988 are missing and we next find her talking about other locations where witch parties took place in August 1988 after questioning by her foster mother. At this stage she claims that her father cut her stomach open in the living room and that the doctors and nurses at the hospital were witches who came to the witch parties at the Archway, Wollaton Park. At this point it is worth commenting on the cutting up and stabbing of children in a council house living room. We know that [Rebecca] had previously been to hospital and had an operation scar on her stomach identified as his by the surgeon.
Subsequently in the desire to believe [Rebecca] it was suggested that Satanists were clever people and that they had cut her along the same scar so it could not be noticed. We know that this is medically impossible. All surgeons can recognise their own operations and scar tissue does not heal or if it does would be puckered and very distorted. If you had watched too many westerns in which bullets are cut out shoulders you might believe that operations could be conducted successfully in a dirty council sitting room.
However, in reality it is doubtful whether a G.P. could do this without serious medical consequences and even a skilled surgeon with sterilized instruments and trained nurse would have difficulty in a non-sterile room never mind in the middle of a witch party. Likewise in believing the children there appears to be little conception of the consequences of stabbing and mutilating animals or children. We have been told that plastic sheeting would be put on the floor (assuming that all the furniture had been taken out) but blood under pressure, as any policeman knows, would splatter the walls and ceiling extensively and the smell of mutilated babies in wheelie bins or garages would be overpowering. In our view there is no way that this sort of practice could take place in a semi-detached council house undetected. Initially [Rebecca] talked about dolls not real babies. [Rebecca] claimed that [Mary] was present at the witch parties which is now denied by [Mary].
Her diaries are missing but in any case as the youngest of the B. children she would tend to agree with her brother and sister.
[Lily] was aged 5 years when she left home with [Maggie] and joined her older sister [Anna] who had been in care for eight years. In the diaries for November, December 1987 and January she is consistent with [Craig], [Rebecca] and [James] in identifying home and the family, except that she talks about parties but not specifically witches. The main content during this period is of the family at home burning her with sticks. After Mr. W.'s presentation on the 9th February 1988 she talks on the 19th February 1988 about the murder of babies and the bath being full of blood. In March to May 1988 she agrees with [James] and [Rebecca]'s story about the house with the swimming pool but after that says nothing significant until months later when she talks about the fantastic castle, murders on a boat, Mr Pooh Pants and a local vicar's involvement.
On the 8.5.89 after watching a Blue Peter programme on the caves under Nottingham she identifies this as a place where there were monsters.
The same age as [Rebecca] and, therefore, the second oldest child. [Maggie] despite being in the same household as [Lily] says nothing except in reply to direct questioning: 'Yes' in support of [Lily] talking about the big house (10.3.88) until 10 months later when she claims that all the family killed and ate a man on a boat and Mr. Pooh Pants burnt a body. Otherwise she never talks about witch parties, killing of animals, babies etc.
Aged 11 years at the time of the disclosures [Anna] had been in care since 1980 when she was 2 and a half. The only disclosures she made are in January 1988 having been prompted by her sister's talk. She then talks about witches, a "baby doll" with a willie being used, being buried in the garden, eating spiders, etc. We know from the records that at the time [Anna]'s favourite library books were witch stories. [Anna] talks about either her uncle or grandfather being dressed as a devil and being called Master. This has been taken as significant but we do not accept that any child younger than three would remember the name used by anybody eight years ago. Children may recall traumatic events but have little memory of verbal communication as it has little significance to them at that age.
Although slightly older than [Craig] when he left home [David] says nothing of significance.
Left home at 20 months, the same age as [Kevin] but says nothing.
Left home at 2 and a half years, the age at which [Craig] remembers so much but says nothing.