Much is made of historic hunts for unsolved serial killers. In recent months we have been putting words to a whole swath of similar crimes cross the UK in the 60s,70s,80s and 90s. We don’t know if they are linked, all we can do is point at striking similarities. Yesterday Faye B wrote up the case of two Northern Irish lads who went missing in 1974. Here is an even older case.
Fakenham, Norfolk, UK on 2 September 1969. That day was a Tuesday. I am not sure if the Autumn ( Fall) term had started at school or if this was one of the last few precious days of the summer vacation. According to the police website 11 year old, Steven Newing was last seen near his home in Lee Warner Avenue.
He was or had been playing with a white mouse he had found the day before in a neighbour’s garden. He was wearing the usual stuff for a kid. He had on a blue roll top sweater over which was another one of green and yellow. Steven also wore blue jeans and baseball type boots. For a top cover he had a green anorak.
His brother and a friend were the last people to see him. At about 10 pm his mother reported him missing and the usual steps were taken to find the boy. However, nothing has come to light to give any indication as to what happened to him.
Sightings have been reported in other places in the south east of the UK but none have been confirmed. These locations were no more than an hour’s drive away. Steven had no money and was travelling on foot wherever he first went as his bicycle was left at home.
The cold case team have tried several appeals over the years and seem to be of the opinion that the boy was likely abducted. It should be noted that they do allow for the possibility of Steven having met with some misadventure though.
As with the case of Thomas Spence and John Rodgers the known facts are pretty slim. They were just seen in a place and then they were gone. Past solved cases where there are no sightings of anything suspicious have resulted in local arrests and solutions. The quickest way for a kid to vanish off a street is by them going into a house close by. I am thinking of the murder of Wesley Neailey who was enticed into a house in his neighbourhood and killed by a known child sex offender.
I am not drawing any conclusion from what little is known in these cases it is just that all three are significantly without sightings after the boys were close to home. Of course it is possible Steven wandered past many people who later could not recall him. It is possible he was ‘snatched’ in the same way as child killer Robert Black operated. He would spy a target and attempt a sudden violent abduction.
Whatever happened to this 11 year old all those years ago it wasn’t good. 30 years later his family took part in a touching memorial service.
Notably Steven’s disappearance was only months after 13 year old April Fabb was abducted a 40 minute drive to the east of Fakenham.
Other cases in this plague of unsolved murders and disappearances we have written about are:
Recently we have been approached by a few people telling us we have details wrong. That is fine but can we keep it courteous? Our aim is to keep as many names fresh as possible. Just because we have not included a point you think is important does not mean we are disagreeing with you. We have 365 articles at the time of writing. We might not be aware of the information you have.
We will ask for references as in: Where you saw the information you are stating as fact. Declaring something is ‘Obvious’ is not enough for us to print it. Also, frankly, nothing is ‘Obvious’ unless it is an indisputable fact. There are not as many of them as some people think.
Contact on this story is : Faye. firstname.lastname@example.org