This little eight year old boy was only walking 300 yards to his home in broad daylight. His remains were found seven months later 30 miles away. What happened to him and as important, who took him?
29th July 1981. I was in a pub in Liverpool that day with friends. In London, Diana and Charles were getting married. I had a good day. Vishal Mehrotra on the other hand did not. He had been to London with his younger sister, father and the nanny. They lived in Putney, London. The group had travelled into the city to watch the wedding procession and then returned to their home neighbourhood.
According to most accounts Vishal’s father went straight home from the tube station. The nanny and the children went to a newsagents. As they came out Vishal said he wanted to go home. As it was a short distance the nanny agreed that he could walk home while she and the little girl did a bit more shopping.
At this point in time we are at about 2 pm. Vishal was escorted across the last busy road on the route to his house and off he walked.
His skeletal remains were discovered in an area around Alder Copse near Rogate. The discovery was by chance in that two people out shooting pigeons found bones that had been buried. They were only visible because a fox had dug under them disturbing the grave.
Vishal was only missed later in the afternoon because the nanny returned and his father was asleep. She presumed the little boy had gone out to play. A few hours went past before dread set in. Then Vishal’s father and the nanny had a look around and only then finally contacted the police. In fairness it was a declared holiday, presuming the child was off playing in the street was more than reasonable on that day of street parties and general good will.
Thermal cameras were used from the sky and increasing numbers of volunteers scoured the likely places. There was no sign of the little boy. Vishal’s parents had separated and his mother lived in India. One theory suggested he had tried to get to her. This idea and even one that racists had abducted the lad were looked at. Obviously part of the puzzle was answered when his bones were found months later.
Conspiracy Theories and Curious Actions
There has developed a theory that Vishal could well have been abducted by highly organised paedophiles. Operation Midland was conducted by the Metropolitan police about five years ago. It seems that allegations were made that Vishal and others were taken to Elm Guest House and abused and killed. This place was not far from where Vishal lived. In addition, an anonymous caller said that this had happened.
Curiously the telephone call had been placed to Vishal’s father at the time. Being a solicitor he was maybe a bit more switched on than many and he recorded it. He took the recording to the police who wrote it off as a prank call. It was only years later that Elm House became a place of interest. This location is subject to much speculation as a place under age boys were taken and exploited. If you look at it as it stands the whole Elm Guest House thing looks like a giant hoax.
Another possible lead comes in the case of Sidney Cooke. This convicted child molester was active in areas that were all over Southern England. He worked on fairgrounds and there were two operating near where Vishal lived. Cooke worked with others to procure and abduct boys for sexual abuse. He operated during this time period. Other than in connection with this sort of case he is so awful a person he is almost too horrendous to be spoken of.
The police handling of the case has been criticised and it has been reviewed often. Still there is very little new to offer as to what happened 40 years on.
I am looking at this unfolding Elm Guest House thing. I came across it when I wrote on the high level paedophile angle in the case of Martin Allen. Of course I am not saying no such group existed. I do know that plain evil, low level groups existed like that around Sidney Cooke.
Sadly little Vishal could just have likely been taken by a lone passing monster as any other explanation. I use the word monster only as a description that sets them outside of humanity. Outside of the high ideals we have of humanity they certainly are. They are not dangerous monsters though. They are cowardly, small monsters that scatter at anything other than easy prey. I have a dislike of the likes of these scumlike predators being given powerful nicknames. They are nothing more than weak specimens who ideally would never take a first breath.
The lesson we learn from Vishal’s death is one long learned…You can’t let small children out of sight. Other than that I have nothing to offer.
The only fact that gives me any room to form opinion is on the way police can handle information and evidence. Apparently hair samples belonging to this boy were destroyed at some point, so DNA evidence later has an uphill struggle. I mean why? Incompetence? I hope that was all it was. What about the ‘prank call’ why on earth was that not followed up? Was it as some say because high level people were involved?
What are your thoughts?
Here is a list of children murdered or vanished under suspicious circumstances that we have written about. All UK cases between 1960s and 2000. We will be working on US, NZ and Australian lists soon. There are many cases from those zones up now if you search above.