The Disappearance of Martin Allen,1979
We have lived through decades of rumour and half truth on the subject of child sexual exploitation. In the UK at any rate. Maybe the same historic investigations have been taking place where you are from. Lurid tales of children being touched up, raped, abducted and in some cases killed have been examined from way back.
In the case of Martin Allen he just vanished. His mysterious disappearance, on 5th November 1979, has been rumoured to have been part of a highly organised child abduction ring. A group of people who are well connected, capable of murder and many of them remain unidentified. Is that likely or just the stuff that nightmare tales are made of?
Brief Circumstances of the Disappearance of Martin Allen
Martin lived with his family in a cottage in the grounds of the Australian High Commission in London. His father worked as a chauffeur there. Martin called at home on 5th November to collect some money and spoke to one of his brothers, Kevin. He then went out with the intention of visiting another brother who lived near Holloway Rd. So the last sighting of him was at 5pm.
He never reached his brother’s home and has not been seen since. It was not unusual for this bright 15 year old to stay overnight at his brother’s place and go to school the following day. It was thought he might well have been safe and well. By 7pm on 6th November his family realised he had not been seen for 24 hours. They contacted the police.
Update: I am really behind in updating. A reader was kind enough to point out some details I had not been aware of. Please check the comment below that suggests other sightings of this poor lad on the day he disappeared.
A massive hunt was conducted for Martin. Whole areas of property were visited, tens of thousands of people were interviewed and 600 statements were taken. There was a focus at one point on finding a man and boy who were seen at 4.15pm at Gloucester Road tube station. A witness said the boy had appeared distressed and the man had been overheard telling him not to run.
Of course if his brother was being truthful then it could not have been the missing boy. The man and child were never traced.
In an Evening Standard article, dated May 2015, there is a detailed interview with Kevin Allen. He says that he recalls an officer giving a warning about speculation that Martin had been taken by a highly placed paedophile ring. According to Mr Allen the officer said of such suggestions :
‘If you keep saying things like that you will be hurt’.
Sadly no trace of Martin Allen has come to light since he went missing. What has followed has been some incredible tales of organised child exploitation and some incredible lies.
The Historic Investigations That Rocked The UK
For many years after the war the UK rested in a myth. That myth said that overwhelmingly children had a protected status in society. As a copper new to Merseyside Police in 1985 I undertook 16 weeks in college training. After that was a two year period of supervised on the job training. Not once during that period was there any training in how to spot a child who was being abused.
We were taught the law as it applied to such situations. Never the practical ways to tell if it was happening. Slowly over the decades that followed the scale of the abuse and the way society had dealt with it became more obvious. Even so it was not until the Jimmy Saville scandal that a truly open discussion took place.
When the subject did open up there appeared to be hysteria about the issue. A sense that it was some modern phenomena. Saville, a highly regarded veteran TV presenter, seems to have been protected for huge chunks of 20th century. As his years of child sexual abuse came under scrutiny this protection he enjoyed seemed careless rather than a sign of high level conspiracy. He moved in celebrity circles, many knowing his reputation and the power he had. Several had seen suspicious activity yet it took his death to see rumour placed into fact. That makes them cowards more than conspirators.
Large TV organisations had scurried around in the past trying to minimise his access to children yet at the same time anxious to keep this predator from being exposed. What followed his death was a massive retrograde police investigation. This investigation broadened to include sexual assaults on women going back decades.
There were high level successes. Rolf Harris, another veteran TV presenter, went to gaol for child sex offences, Max Clifford being another. This retro head hunting also netted many who were accused and there was essentially no real evidence. It was a double edged sword of justice that became mixed with public pressure and fuelled by false allegations.
I am not diminishing the extent of the problem. I actually believe child abuse and specifically child sexual abuse is way more out of control than officially acknowledged. I am pointing out that the huge effort to unearth historic offences has become disconnected from a reality. It is far harder to prove an offence 40 years ago than it is to divert effort into rooting it out now.
False allegations, like those of the serial accuser Carl Beech, indicated very high level paedophile rings in the UK. The problem was it was a false trail that soaked up massive amounts of resources. So what of actual high level offenders. What of the ones that the officer was talking about with that comment to the Allen family?
All the celebrities that have been convicted are individuals. There is no evidence that they were working with others. I understand that people could call me naïve but that is the evidence before us. The victims gave evidence, long after the offences. They were given the highest public protection and yet they spoke of no other offenders.
When it comes to political big hitters there were nasty sex offenders among them. The most prominent in the UK was the former Liberal party member Cyril Smith. Smith was investigated at various points in his life because of allegations he abused children. He died at the age of 84 in 2010. Like Saville it took his death to happen before allegations came to light. No ‘ring’ of high level abusers was uncovered though there were rumours that an institution Smith was involved with allowed other paedophiles to operate.
What has been acknowledged in the case of Smith is that he was arrested and within a short time he was released and evidence suppressed. This was in the early 1980s. That and the fact that he was still free and uncharged at the time of his death indicates help of some sort. Why would authorities help a paedophile avoid jail unless it was because he could take others down with him?
Well there is a collective establishment reputation to protect. That could have been the case but interestingly the Liberal party was never that powerful. Especially at the time of Smith’s arrest. Back then the party had been rocked by far bigger scandals only a few years before. The Conservatives were riding the crest of a wave, Labour was in tatters. Liberals, like Smith, would have been small potatoes.
Small potatoes of course unless you think more localised. He was a long standing MP for Rochdale in Lancashire. You don’t become that and maintain that position without contacts. On the national stage he had briefly been Chief Whip of the party but never a cross political borders sort of personality.
He was big as a celebrity though. He liked the camera and had small screen charisma. That was useful to an ailing party. I would not say he was exactly high level. Was he on the fringes of a powerful high level paedophile group? There is no evidence of it.
Friends of Friends Protection Rather Than Paedophiles In High Places?
In the case of Martin Allen for a start many things could have happened to the poor lad. As to the words of the detective:
‘If you keep saying things like that you will be hurt’.
If this was said did it mean physically or was it a warning that the family would be hurt, harmed, as to their credibility? On the face of it it indicates physical harm to an extreme degree. The thing is even if there was a paedophile ring that was involved. Even if it was powerful enough to have friendly detectives to monitor and issue warnings, it might not have been one with protection at the very top.
Celebrities rub shoulders with politicians and high profile business people. Huge money is involved in the promotion of goods and causes. I wonder if the ‘taint’ of child sex abuse is often covered up to protect monetary rather than sexual interests.
The case of Roman Polanski is a fascinating and rather sinister example.
This guy was big in Hollywood. He had been a victim of a few horrible things in his life including the murder of his wife in the Manson Killings.
This high level director supports my idea that rather than inter reliant paedophile rings what we really have most are horrible people protecting each other.
In 1977 he groomed a 13 year old girl and had sex with her. The circumstances are more awful than that simple statement would suggest. However, he had sex with a minor after drugging her and that makes him a paedophile.
He was arrested and put before the court. He was sent to be psychiatrically evaluated as part of a plea deal that required 90 days of evaluation. After 45 days the evaluation was complete and so it looked like that and a period of probation would be finally signed off on. The problem was the judge that had agreed to the deal had a change of heart. He indicated to people who also knew Polanski that he intended to put the director away for 50 years.
They told Polanski’s lawyer who told Polanski. He left the country, first to the UK and then almost immediately on to France. In France he was a citizen ( dual with Poland). There he has pretty much stayed ever since as he will be arrested should he return to the USA. In 2010 he went to Switzerland on business. There the US warrant was executed and he was held pending extradition. This extradition was eventually turned down and he returned to France.
My point? Well Polanski, admitted to having had sex with a 13 year old. No doubt there. It didn’t even end his career. Nor did his evasion of the US judicial process end his career. He not only went on to work but remained very rich and very well thought of in many artistic circles. He was warned by people the US judge rather stupidly confided in. They literally warned a paedophile and they were high in Hollywood society.
He was accepted by European film industry big wigs. When the extradition was going on many contemporary actors said he should not be extradited. Many of these were women, not just the stereotypical ‘old boys’ club.
According to Indiewire.com:
Woody Allen, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Martin Scorcese, David Lynch, Wong Kar Wai, Harmony Korine, Stephen Frears, Alexander Payne, Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Tilda Swinton, Julian Schnabel, and Pedro Almodovar.
All signed it as a group that numbered a staggering 100 such elites. I mean Martin Scorcese? David Lynch? We are not talking obscure players here.
A great deal was made that the support came because Polanski should be entitled to the original plea deal. You know? He was ill treated and almost duped into going to prison for 50 years. That might be an argument…BUT HE HAD SEX WITH A DRUGGED AND GROOMED 13 YEAR OLD.
So what is the motivation for that sort of caring? Are they all involved in a Martin Allen style group? I would say that is highly unlikely. I saw speeches by well regarded actress’ supporting him. I have seen a well regarded ( by me) author say of Polanski, ‘I owe him some loyalty for that. Of course it puts me in an exquisitely difficult position, but in the end for me loyalty is a virtue.’
Robert Harris, the author in question, had collaborated with Polanski on three projects and it is those that he refers to when he says he owes him loyalty. I guess he does because he says that the first projects were started before a modern trend towards things like the MeToo campaign. He appears to feel it is a rather silly view for the like of me to take. He worked with him long after the facts of his assault of a 13 year old were know. He must have been comfortable with the circumstances and the man he worked with.
Loyalty to him is a virtue. Personally, for all my faults, I would be ashamed to have worked with such a man. His victim was taken to a house under false pretence’s. She was there assaulted while her parents were thinking she was with a trustworthy man. There is no excuse for supporting this guy or indeed working with him.
So luminaries are happy to work with paedophiles. They are happy to gloss over paedophile activity but why?
Well money is an obvious reason and it seems to be way more in evidence as a motive than shady groups in common purpose. Other examples of how money and influence keep a better silence than complex conspiracy is to be found in other high profile cases.
Harvey Weinstein and Jeffery Epstein as just two I can think of. Both could provide connections and career opportunities. Both operated amid open rumour that they were abusers. Both were only brought down when their preferences became widely publicly known. They were not outed by the powerful that surrounded them.
The elite class that they belonged to have boundless wealth and infinite reach. It would not be at all surprising that their wealth and position could extend to hurting people to protect interests. Yet there was no evidence of this.
There is no evidence of high level paedophile rings either. There is ample evidence that individuals exploit others sexually and their contemporaries close ranks on occasions.
Strange world eh? A brutal one probably for the like of Martin Allen.
What do you think? Highly placed paedophile rings or highly placed elites with a sliding scale of acceptance of paedophiles like Polanski?
2 thoughts on “The Disappearance of Martin Allen,1979”
Lots of facts about this case are not generally known. Martin left school 45 minutes early, with a friend, that day, and waited at Old Street station for his friend. He was seen by two other boys going down the escalator at KingsCross and heading for the train to Gloucester Road. A man was seen throwing a boy against a wall outside the station before they re-entered the station and were seen getting on, and traveling to Earls Court where they left the train. They then left the front of the station and used a side road to go to the back of the station. They then re-entered the station and were seen sitting on the platform before getting on a Richmond train. They had been heading towards North End Road, but would have bumped into Martins brother leaving work, so decided to take the train to West Kensington, further down North End Road. Thh pair were challenged at Earls Court by a member of the public, but the man said he was a policee officer, and was arresting the boy.
Thank you for the information. Would you share with me the source? Was that now archived newspaper accounts or from somewhere else? You can email me directly if you like: firstname.lastname@example.org
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