William Tyrrell was a three-year-old boy who disappeared from the village of Kendall, on the mid-north coast of NSW.
He was wearing a bright-red Spider-Man suit. The adults who were there say he was playing around the corner of the house, going RAAR like a tiger.
And then, just like that, he was gone.
Maybe part of you is thinking: ‘Oh yes, I remember .. there was always something about that case that didn’t seem quite right” — and you’re not wrong.
Key facts were kept from the public, from day one. A lot of what was reported, especially early on, was false.
In the new podcast, Nowhere Child, The Australian’s Caroline Overington delves into a case where notions of class and privilege; opportunity and poverty came crashing together, to create a nightmare for William Tyrrell.
Episode 1: Missing William Tyrrell
William Tyrrell was a three-year-old boy who disappeared from the township of Kendall on the mid-north coast of NSW on September 12, 2014. William was in foster care when he went missing: his foster Mum has said he was there one minute, and gone the next. No trace of him has ever been found. The five-year investigation has torn the NSW homicide squad apart, with allegations of misconduct, mistakes, and miscalculations. We chose the title Missing William Tyrrell carefully. William is missing. He’s also missed.
Episode 2: More than William
William Tyrrell was a foster child, a fact kept from the public for more than two years after he went missing. What else was being hidden from you? We peel back layers of bureaucracy and deceit.
Episode 3: Love and Loss
William Tyrrell disappeared from outside a house near the state forest. How can we be sure that he didn’t get lost, and that he’s simply not found? In this week’s episode, we examine the extensive land and water search for William; the failure of search teams to find a single trace of him; and the dawning realisation that he may have been taken.
Episode 4: A Person of Interest
What does it mean to be a “person of interest” in a major police investigation? In episode four of Nowhere Child, we follow police down the first lines of inquiry, as the search turns from the hunt for William to those who may have taken him.
Episode 5: Risks and Rewards
The NSW government approved a record $1 million reward for the return of William. We take you inside the public relations campaign designed to keep pressure on police and the government.
Episode 6: Secrets and Lies
Australia is one of the worst democracies when it comes to press freedom. We look at the suppression, the secrets and the lies told in William’s case.
Episode 7: The Usual Suspects
With few leads to go on — no witnesses they yet know of, and no forensic evidence — police begin rounding up the usual suspects: local sex offenders and pedophiles. But are they any closer to finding William?
Episode 8: Eyewitness
What exactly have police been doing for the nearly five years William has been missing? We look at some of the scenarios and some of the stings.
Episode 9: Coming soon
Read more from Caroline Overington about the William Tyrrell investigation here.
Do you have information relating to this case? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Caroline Overington has twice won Australia’s most prestigious award for journalism, the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism; she has also won the Sir Keith Murdoch award for Journalistic Excellence; and… Read more