Episode Forty-One: Graeme Thorne
On July 7 1960, 8-year-old Graeme Thorne failed to arrive at school and the boy's disappearance was reported to police. Later that day a man with a distinctive European accent rang the Thornes,' demanding a £25,000 ransom or he would feed Graeme to the sharks. This would be the first reported case of kidnapping for ransom of a child in Australia.
On August 16, two boys found the body of Graeme Thorne wrapped in a picnic blanket on vacant land. Forensic testing was never used in a criminal investigation previous to this, but groundbreaking new procedures for the time were used and a suspect was quickly identified. The problem was this suspect was already on a boat heading towards the United Kingdom.
Some of our research