Today I am marking off my fifteenth #15 checkpoint category for the POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020 with:
One minute a little boy is playing outside his foster nana’s house, the next minute, he’s gone. How can a three year old child simply disappear?
On Friday 12 September 2014, William Tyrrell – a playful three-year-old boy dressed in a fire-engine red Spider-Man suit – disappears from a quiet street in broad daylight. It’s assumed he’s lost in the nearby bushland, but despite an intensive search, he’s not found, and police start to suspect he’s been abducted. No trace of William – not a shoe, not a hair – has ever been found, but now is not the time to surrender. How can a little boy just vanish? We have to find him.
From best-selling author and Walkley Award-winning journalist, Caroline Overington, Missing William Tyrrell is a moving and compelling exploration of one of Australia’s most baffling and heartbreaking mysteries.
Images of the bright eyed little boy in a Spider-Man suit have been beamed across our nation since William Tyrrell tragically disappeared on Friday 12th September 2014. With an ongoing investigation and a court process, there has been an army of Australians working to solve this case. Award winning journalist and author Caroline Overington provides her insight on the case in Missing William Tyrrell
Missing William Tyrrell is 2020 Harper Collins publication, penned by Caroline Overington, a recipient of the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism. It carefully examines all avenues of the case of a little boy who was playing on the porch of his foster Nana’s house, acting like a tiger, when he seemingly disappeared into thin air. With no witnesses to disappearance and no evidence providing clues as to William’s whereabouts, the police were faced with investigating a very unusual case. The nature of the disappearance, the location and time continues to baffle authorities. With many joining arms from the time William disappeared to help track him down, despite a lengthy and widespread search, William has never been recovered. Speculation began as to whether or not a planned abduction took place. With no clues, evidence or conclusive leads, the hunt is still on to bring William home.
The heartbreaking disappearance of a three year old boy is the focal subject of Caroline Overington’s investigative piece, Missing William Tyrrell. Drawing on her well received podcast series, Nowhere Child, Overington has compiled a book that delves a little deeper into this complex and unsolved case. I read Missing William Tyrrell in just a twenty four hour turn around, which is testament to the writing of the author and the pull of this case.
It is hard not to get emotional about the William Tyrell case, knowing how many lives have been shattered by his disappearance. Caroline Overington is a mother of twins, but she is also a highly experienced journalist. Overington puts on her investigative hat and approaches this case with a steady hand, guiding the reader through a series of information, facts, insights and theories. However, there is no definitive answer as to what really happened to William that September day, over five years ago now.
Missing William Tyrrell is structured into seventeen chapters that delve into many facets of this case. We receive an incredibly detailed blow by blow account of the day, from various sets of eyes. We discover information about William’s biological parents, grandparents, his foster carers, the foster system, key figures in the case, neighbours, suspects, police personnel and advocates for Williams’s case. It makes for an interesting and full read. While reading Missing William Tyrrell some new information came to light, while other areas were already known to me via news reels. Overington builds a number of different scenarios as to what may have happened to little William, which ranges from a foul play, an accident that was covered up and a pedophile ring among others. But nothing is clear cut, or conclusive about this truly baffling case.
The added insertion of a photograph collection in the centre of the book puts a heartbreaking, emotional and human face to this case. An Acknowledgements section closes off Overington’s book, providing a glimpse into the range of sources and manpower assigned to this case and book. All in all, although there are no answers as to this ongoing case provided by Overington, it is clear that the fight to recover young William continues.
‘Nobody wants to quit. Not while William is still missing. Because can you not feel him all around us? He waits for us to find him. We must all at some point say goodbye to those we loved, or else they must say goodbye to us. He deserves this.’
**** 4 stars
Missing William Tyrrell by Caroline Overington was published on February 24th 2020 by Harper Collins Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of Missing William Tyrrell, Caroline Overington, visit here.
Missing William Tyrrell is book #50 of the 2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge