Stunning claims about William Tyrrell’s abduction have emerged in a new book by local writer and investigator, Ally Chumley.
The NSW North Coast teacher, who lived next door to one person of interest in the case and had access to confidential police files, has concluded up to three people abducted William.
She has also photographed a farm machinery shed where the 3-year-old may have been hidden behind after his abduction and claims the toddler’s remains will soon be found.
On private property behind a local school and screened by bushland, the outbuilding is nevertheless accessible by anyone turning off a main road.
Writing that William may have been taken with by a trio of “a driver, a snatcher and a lookout”, Chumley suggests the latter may have holed up in an empty house owned by neighbours who were away at the time.
The house overlooks 48 Benaroon Drive, Kendall on the NSW Mid North Coast where William was staying with his foster parents before he vanished on the morning of September 12, 2014.
In the book Searching for Spiderman, The Disappearance of Three-year-old William Tyrrell, available from Hardie Grant Books, Chumley leads readers to the most likely of the old, male named persons of interest to have done the crime.
And she says “there were a few people involved”, all of whom gave evidence at the inquest.
Chumley confesses to “snooping” in the abduction street and an old machinery shed just 2km away.
From there she says William was possibly taken up a nearby mountain road, or 300km away as suggested by the bombshell deathbed confession claim made at the inquest.
Using her local knowledge and informants, keen observation during the inquest and access to police information, Chumley paints a believable scenario.
Apart from joining the dots with some new facts and a bit of a special insight, it involves much of the evidence which emerged at an inquest.
And she reveals in the book which pieces of evidence appeared to give William’s foster mother a kind of acceptance or “closure”, that she finally had an explanation.
The inquest into William Tyrrell’s disappearance was due to conclude earlier this year, but is on hold because of coronavirus and may not resume as scheduled in October.
Chumley points readers in the direction of not only who most likely abducted William, but other bit players who have given evidence and clearly know more than they’re letting on.
Interestingly, the two old men police did have heavily in their sights – washing machine repairman Bill Spedding and neighbour Paul Savage – are not in Chumley’s plot.
Both men have since been ruled out by NSW Police as persons of interest.
All other persons of interest who faced the inquest into Tyrrell have denied any connection with William’s abduction and death or murder.
Counsel assisting the coroner, Gerard Craddock, has stated that describing people as “persons of interest” in the inquiry does not make them suspects.
Here’s just a few of Chumley’s observations.
THE WEATHERED MAN IN THE GREEN CAR
William’s foster mother said she could still picture a man she had seen on the morning behind the wheel of three cars she had spotted in Benaroon Drive.
Her evidence he was “a big man” in his late 50s, Caucasian with “sandy, reddy-coloured hair”, a “thick neck” had some observers in the court that day doubting the sighting.
Chumley writes this description could apply to several locals, but one person of interest, convicted child sex offender Frank Abbott is a former redhead with a ruddy complexion.
A photo of Abbott taken in the same year William disappeared shows him sporting a large belly, and with a ruddy complexion which Chumley says means he could resemble a man in a car who the foster mother described as sighting on the morning in question.
But Abbott is among hundreds of persons of interest in the William Tyrrell case, in which police have as yet to make any arrests.
WHO IS FRANK ABBOTT?
Currently serving 16 years in prison for the sexual abuse of three children, 79-year-old Abbott has told neighbours or locals many times he knows where William is, the inquest heard.
Evidence was also given that he had confessed he disposed of William’s remains then threatened the persons – in this case children – if they ever revealed this.
A woman who had babysat two boys in 2018 testified the younger one “Jeffrey” told her he knew “who killed William” and indicated it was Frank Abbott.
She told the inquest he and his brother had seen a suitcase they believed William was in, but were warned if they told anyone “their mum’s neck would get snapped”.
Abbott allegedly has prior form for bragging and then threatening in relation to murder.
In 1991 and 1994 he was tried twice for the rape and murder of 17-year-old Helen Harrison, the first trial ending with a hung jury and the second with his acquittal.
Harrison was found naked from the waist down, her body dumped in a shallow grave near a timber cutter’s road at Blaxlands Ridge in the Blue Mountains in 1968.
Abbott was questioned after the murder, and had worked around Windsor near where Harrison was abducted at the time.
Two people testified that Abbott had bragged about getting away with the murder, but that he’d threatened to harm their families if they came forward.
After Tyrrell’s abduction, when Abbott was living 8km away in a caravan near a sawmill at Logan’s Crossing, he would boast about how he “beat a murder charge in Sydney … like it was a badge of honour”, tradie Dean Anderson told the inquest.
Neighbour Jodie Huntley also told the inquest she suspected Abbott had committed bestiality on her chocolate Labrador retriever, Buddy.
The inquest also heard of a confession by a man named Ray Porter to a nurse in his aged care home before he died.
Porter said he had “picked up his best mate with a cute little boy” near a shed in Kendall and drove them 300km.
The nurse told the inquest he spoke about two friends often, named Phil and Frank.
DEAD HUMAN SMELL
The inquest also heard that after William’s disappearance, Abbott had “kept going on about a bad smell around the Logan’s Crossing area” and implied he knew it was a “dead human”.
Frank Abbott said police were looking in the “wrong spot” for William Tyrrell and told locals he’d smelt something “like a dead human” in bushland near his home.
Abbott repeatedly spoke of smelling something dead in bushland beside a road he walked along and Anderson suggested it was probably a dead kangaroo.
Abbott replied: “No, I know the difference between a dead kangaroo and a dead human smell.”
Last August, police searched a log dump at a sawmill on Herons Creek Road north of Kendall in NSW, but did not report any discoveries.
A CONFESSION AND A DECKING REPAIR
Getting towards the end of her book, a must read for anyone interested in the William Tyrrell case, Chumley highlights several pieces of inquest evidence she believes are important.
The inquest heard that Abbott told local man Danny Parish in 2016 he knew where William Tyrrell’s remains were.
Parish agreed that Abbott had told “everyone in Kew”, a village 3km from Kendall, “I know where William Tyrrell is, why don’t you check Geoff Owen’s place?”.
Geoffrey Owen, like Frank Abbott and Bill Spedding, was a local repairman, and at one point, lived in the caravan next door to Abbott.
The inquest heard Owen had been contacted by William’s foster grandmother to repair some decking on September 8 before attending the house at 48 Benaroon Drive.
Giving evidence at the inquest, Owen distanced himself from Abbott and said the quality of Abbott’s handyman work was not up to his standards.
He may be due, along with several other locals to give further evidence when the inquest resumes.
Chumley presents some tantalising plots and a glimpse inside the lives of the villagers which were disrupted when a child abduction investigation stomped into town.
The book also delves into the animosity between William’s foster and biological parents, and the hefty snobbery by welfare authorities for foster parents “of the highest calibre”.
Chumley also describes William’s disruptive, sometimes physically violent behaviour, taken from detailed reports seen by the author and recorded in detail by his welfare supervisor in the months before his abduction.
One can only hope that William gave it to his abductors, and went down kicking and screaming to his probable end.
Searching for Spiderman, The Disappearance of Three-year-old William Tyrrell by Ally Chumley, Hardie Grant Books
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