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Glasgowghirl

Alesha MacPhail Murder murder mystery

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Glasgowghirl

Six year old Alesha MacPhail from Airdrie, Lanarkshire was visiting her father and grandparents on the Isle of Bute and was last seen being put to bed on the first of July. Her grandmother went to check on her at 0625 the next morning and discovered that she wasn't in her bed, her body was found 3 hours later a mile from her house. A murder investigation has been launched, her death was leaked on social media before her mother, had been informed she was missing and only knew of her death when she saw a condolence message on Facebook.

In the initial reports her grandparents made no mention of her father being present and said she sleptwalked and the door was left unlocked. Police forensics are examining her grandparent's house, where her body was discovered and seized a car the believe is involved in her murder. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-44704892?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/c7z33dpkprwt/alesha-macphail-death&link_location=live-reporting-story

 

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Kailash

Poor little girl. I hope she rests in peace. This story reminds me of the local (to me) case of Lucas Hernandez. His stepmom claimed she took a nap and when she woke up he was gone. Later she lead an investigator to his body. Shortly after that she alledgedly committed suicide. Tragic for poor Lucas.  I hope he and Alesha are in a better place.

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Glasgowghirl

Police Scotland have announced a man has been arrested, no other information as yet. The focus seems to be on her immediate family on Bute.

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Briefly
4 hours ago, Glasgowghirl said:

Police Scotland have announced a man has been arrested, no other information as yet. The focus seems to be on her immediate family on Bute.

I am addicted to true crime books and tv shows and I've been binge watching Forensic Files lately.  My first thought was that it will be someone in the family.

How horrible for her mother to find out that way!  It would be awful beyond measure to lose her child, but to find out that way is just so bad.

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Tenyari

According to DailyMail, the man arrested on suspicion of murdering Alesha is a teenager under the age of 18.

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Tired
VaSportsMom

Sounds just like a case I followed on WS. Jenise went missing after being put to bed. She was found days later, sexually abused and murdered by a 17yo neighbor. 

https://q13fox.com/2018/02/16/man-pleads-guilty-to-raping-killing-6-year-old-jenise-wright-of-east-bremerton-in-2014/

1 hour ago, Briefly said:

How horrible for her mother to find out that way!  It would be awful beyond measure to lose her child, but to find out that way is just so bad.

Mariah Woods’ father found out that she was missing when he heard the Amber Alert on the radio at work. A parent should never have to find out that way. 

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Glasgowghirl
16 hours ago, Tenyari said:

According to DailyMail, the man arrested on suspicion of murdering Alesha is a teenager under the age of 18.

He's 16 and has now been charged in connection with her death the police haven't said if they have charged him with murder or culpable homicide and have not released his name due to his age, the courts have to approve the release of his name. 

 

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Glasgowghirl

The accused has appeared in court charged with her rape and murder, he has still not officially been named.

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Aine

Just read the articles in this thread. What a tragic case.

Are there any whispers in the media in Scotland of whether the boy was a member of the extended family (e.g. a cousin) or a neighbor kid that did just let himself in the grandparents' house and took her? I know his name can't be released and the press is good about not divulging relationships that could identify him but often some clue as to the possible connection comes out at least locally when there is so many journalists covering the story.

These are the kinds of tragedies that take away the 'innocence' of the small places they happen in. I was given a lot of freedom to play around the neighborhoods and farms I lived on as a kid with no supervision but one thing I was absolutely forbidden from doing was walking or riding my bike alone through 'short cuts' like a path through some woods or down an alley or through a quiet park. My grandparents, father, aunts, and uncles who did a team effort to raise me were so scarred by the Sian Kingi murder in Australia before I was even born that her story did change how they parented my cousins and I. I bet a lot more doors will be locked in Bute in the future :( 

I just can't even fathom her mother's pain, finding out how she did. If it was a neighbor's kid, the Dad and grandparents will be living with endless guilt over not locking the door and so many other tiny every day decisions. 

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Glasgowghirl

 

2 hours ago, Aine said:

Are there any whispers in the media in Scotland of whether the boy was a member of the extended family (e.g. a cousin) or a neighbor kid that did just let himself in the grandparents' house and took her? I know his name can't be released and the press is good about not divulging relationships that could identify him but often some clue as to the possible connection comes out at least locally when there is so many journalists covering the story.

These are the kinds of tragedies that take away the 'innocence' of the small places they happen in. I was given a lot of freedom to play around the neighborhoods and farms I lived on as a kid with no supervision but one thing I was absolutely forbidden from doing was walking or riding my bike alone through 'short cuts' like a path through some woods or down an alley or through a quiet park. My grandparents, father, aunts, and uncles who did a team effort to raise me were so scarred by the Sian Kingi murder in Australia before I was even born that her story did change how they parented my cousins and I. I bet a lot more doors will be locked in Bute in the future :( 

I just can't even fathom her mother's pain, finding out how she did. If it was a neighbor's kid, the Dad and grandparents will be living with endless guilt over not locking the door and so many other tiny every day decisions. 

Bute is such a remote area and crime rates are low, a lot of people probably didn't think twice about leaving their doors unlocked. Their has been very few incidents of crime in the islands, I have only heard of one other murder in recent years. 

Rumour's have been going round about his identity, Police Scotland had to put out a notice saying that his identity being known could allow his lawyer's to argue that he won't get a fair trial. 

 

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Aine
56 minutes ago, Glasgowghirl said:

 

Bute is such a remote area and crime rates are low, a lot of people probably didn't think twice about leaving their doors unlocked. Their has been very few incidents of crime in the islands, I have only heard of one other murder in recent years. 

Rumour's have been going round about his identity, Police Scotland had to put out a notice saying that his identity being known could allow his lawyer's to argue that he won't get a fair trial. 

 

Oh yeah, I get it about Bute and locking doors- that's why I feel so bad for the family because they must be beating themselves up about something they and all their neighbors have done thousands of time before and they couldn't have known :(  I grew up in some very remote and rural areas of Australia and our towns are just like that. One house that I lived in that was on some acres but the main house wasn't far from the road, we'd leave all the wooden doors open and just have the screen doors that were not security doors and did not lock on their own throughout the Summer to try and get some breeze flowing through the house. Even where I live right now in a fairly rural state, we're fairly lax about our door locking if someone is home. It's something that so many people can relate to but you never think something so rare and horrific will happen in your tiny little area of the world. 

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Glasgowghirl
1 hour ago, Aine said:

Oh yeah, I get it about Bute and locking doors- that's why I feel so bad for the family because they must be beating themselves up about something they and all their neighbors have done thousands of time before and they couldn't have known :(  I grew up in some very remote and rural areas of Australia and our towns are just like that. One house that I lived in that was on some acres but the main house wasn't far from the road, we'd leave all the wooden doors open and just have the screen doors that were not security doors and did not lock on their own throughout the Summer to try and get some breeze flowing through the house. Even where I live right now in a fairly rural state, we're fairly lax about our door locking if someone is home. It's something that so many people can relate to but you never think something so rare and horrific will happen in your tiny little area of the world. 

Agreed, I was the same in my town when my parents grew up in the 60s and 70s, things were changing by the time I was born in the late 80s but in the 90s and early 00s, we still knew most of our neighbours and and my town still had some community spirit. 

I feel for her whole family and her death has had impact in both Bute and her home town of Airdrie. I just hope he gets convicted of her murder and serves a long time if he was responsible for her death.

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Aine

Me too, @Glasgowghirl

What are the laws for juveniles like in Scotland for crimes like this?

I only know about the James Bulger case in the UK and Venables and Thompson got "life imprisonment" but really they got released at 18 on a lifetime parole and were deemed "no longer a threat to society" and given new identities. I haven't followed it extensively- I read up on it mostly when there was rumors Thompson was living in Australia- but I do know that Venables has gone back to prison 2 or 3 times on child pornography charges and they gave him another new identity after the he got released for the first child pornography charge.

They were 10 though and not 16. I don't know what the psychologists and psychiatrists assessments about Venables and Thompson said and the professional side of me is absolutely against children being charged as adults, especially considering the brain isn't fully developed until people are 22-25 and I think rehabilitation is possible for the majority of children who commit crimes. But these drawn out, premeditated, and absolutely evil crimes against small children? The emotional side of me obviously says lock them up for life and the professional me says that I don't know the extenuating circumstances but I can't think of many extenuating circumstances that would account for the callousness and heinous acts of kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and killing Alesha McPhail and James Bulger. 

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Chickenbutt
On 7/4/2018 at 4:28 PM, Briefly said:

I am addicted to true crime books and tv shows and I've been binge watching Forensic Files lately.  My first thought was that it will be someone in the family.

I don't mean to derail the thread, but I read today that Court TV is coming back...yay!

https://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-court-tv-revival-20181210-story.html

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Glasgowghirl
3 hours ago, Aine said:

Me too, @Glasgowghirl

What are the laws for juveniles like in Scotland for crimes like this?

I only know about the James Bulger case in the UK and Venables and Thompson got "life imprisonment" but really they got released at 18 on a lifetime parole and were deemed "no longer a threat to society" and given new identities. I haven't followed it extensively- I read up on it mostly when there was rumors Thompson was living in Australia- but I do know that Venables has gone back to prison 2 or 3 times on child pornography charges and they gave him another new identity after the he got released for the first child pornography charge.

They were 10 though and not 16. I don't know what the psychologists and psychiatrists assessments about Venables and Thompson said and the professional side of me is absolutely against children being charged as adults, especially considering the brain isn't fully developed until people are 22-25 and I think rehabilitation is possible for the majority of children who commit crimes. But these drawn out, premeditated, and absolutely evil crimes against small children? The emotional side of me obviously says lock them up for life and the professional me says that I don't know the extenuating circumstances but I can't think of many extenuating circumstances that would account for the callousness and heinous acts of kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and killing Alesha McPhail and James Bulger. 

The age of criminal responsibility here is 8, England it's 10, they usually serve a few years in secure units or young offender's institutes then when they turn 21 they are placed in adult prisons. A lot of cases of young killers the charge end up downgraded to Culpable Homicide but in this case with the age of the victim and the fact she was raped, I can see the sentence being harsher. 

Luke Mitchell was 15 when he murdered his 14 year old girlfriend Jodi Jones, her injuries were said to be similar to the Black Dahlia murder and he was given the minimum of 20 years.

In the Bulger case it wasn't revealed at the trial that James was sexually abused by one or both boys, this was done to spare his parents from reliving it but that meant neither of them were considered child molesters and were not given treatment. Venebles broke rules when in the secure unit and after his release and it was ignored, before his arrest for child porn, he had been cautioned for assault and doing drugs and had visited Liverpool without permission from the parole board, he should have been recalled for these breaches. James's mum, dad and step dad are trying to prevent him being released again. With Thompson their have been rumours of him having a wife and kids, having a husband and kids and living all over the world. He hasn't reoffended, as of yet.

 

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Aine
31 minutes ago, Glasgowghirl said:

The age of criminal responsibility here is 8, England it's 10, they usually serve a few years in secure units or young offender's institutes then when they turn 21 they are placed in adult prisons. A lot of cases of young killers the charge end up downgraded to Culpable Homicide but in this case with the age of the victim and the fact she was raped, I can see the sentence being harsher. 

Luke Mitchell was 15 when he murdered his 14 year old girlfriend Jodi Jones, her injuries were said to be similar to the Black Dahlia murder and he was given the minimum of 20 years.

In the Bulger case it wasn't revealed at the trial that James was sexually abused by one or both boys, this was done to spare his parents from reliving it but that meant neither of them were considered child molesters and were not given treatment. Venebles broke rules when in the secure unit and after his release and it was ignored, before his arrest for child porn, he had been cautioned for assault and doing drugs and had visited Liverpool without permission from the parole board, he should have been recalled for these breaches. James's mum, dad and step dad are trying to prevent him being released again. With Thompson their have been rumours of him having a wife and kids, having a husband and kids and living all over the world. He hasn't reoffended, as of yet.

 

Thank you for filling me in on that. Like I said, I read into the James Bulger case when those rumors about Thompson being in Australia happened and it was in the news on and off throughout my childhood, as I was born in the late 80s, but I Googled to confirm some facts today before posting and I just couldn't...I'm interested in forensic psychology, I'm interested in true crime and crime fiction and of course all cases cause distress in me but I can usually channel that into trying to understand the psychology and the facts of the case but something about the James Bulger case and the effect it had on me when I really dipped into the information there about 10-12 years ago made me never want to go back. I scanned the first paragraph of the Wiki article today and thought, "I'm not strong enough for this today." I'm really grateful for you filling some of that in for me.

I find it very interesting that Thompson was judged by psychiatrists (who aren't actually all that trained in psychological assessment in general- their fellowship in psychiatry is more confined to medication than the training on replicability and statistics and structured interviews that have been standardized like clinical psychologists so expert testimony in some places is shifting to reflect that) as the "psychopath" of the two boys. Maybe that's right. Many psychopaths become very successful by channeling their lack of empathy, and often charm, into more socially acceptable career paths. However, a large part of me wonders whether the reoffending patterns are a symptom of a greater issue in psychiatry and psychology, in that we're terrible at predicting violence and future criminality. We're a little better with suicide these days, and a history of violence is the best indicator of future of violence...but as a field, we're awful. Those that give "expert testimony" often hold back a lot of good research into forensic psychology and psychiatry because they become so sure of their 'hunches'. It makes me wonder whether Venables was the leader and maybe charming, glib, and intelligent enough to say what the psychiatrist wanted to hear or was Thompson the one who maybe didn't care about anyone thinking him having symptoms of psychopathy and has only learned to hide it better or channel it in other ways?

I hope they keep Venables in prison. I'm honestly not a fan of how most prisons are run or for it being in the best interest of society that so many people are housed there for fairly petty offenses (especially in the US) when money could be better spent on rehabilitation. But Venables got every chance at rehabilitation. He got an education (to my knowledge). He acquired skills. He got a tonne of therapy. But he killed a 2-year-old and tortured him and he has now been convicted twice more on child porn charges. At this point, I don't think he deserves a 3rd (or more than that) chance.

Was there ever much published on the background of Venables and Thompson, as in their life before the murder? I don't recall seeing much when I did read into it but I was also in Australia and did my reading back then retrospectively as I was too young to be aware of the case when it happened.

Sorry, I don't mean to deflect from precious Alesha. I grew up in Australia and live in the US, so I'm well versed in the vast differences between those two countries with child offenders. I am less familiar with the laws of the UK in general and how countries within the UK differ on this sort of thing, and my questions are mostly in the interest of the chances of getting justice for Alesha and her family. I know the cases aren't analogs of one another but it is the only other murder of a child by a child in the UK that I am familiar with.

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Kailash
16 hours ago, Glasgowghirl said:

A 16 year old has plead not guilty of her abduction, rape and murder. He is due to stand trial next year. He still hasn't been named

https://stv.tv/amp/1433618-boy-denies-abducting-raping-and-murdering-alesha-macphail/?__twitter_impression=true

An update to the link @VaSportsMom linked says he is Gabriel Gaeta. 

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