New developments in the cold case of the missing Beaumont Children

Beaumont Children with their motherNew developments in the cold case of the missing Beaumont Children. There is a new book out entitled “The Satin Man.” This book, written by Alan Whiticker explores the possibility that the Beaumont Children were at one point near a man with an alleged sinister background.

One of the sons of South Australian captain of industry Harry Phipps points to his father as a child abuser and cross-gender dresser with a love for satin. He claimed that on the day the Beaumont Children disappeared he saw three children in his backyard. The importance did not dawn to him then but now …

suspect re missing Beaumont ChildrenPhipps, who died 10 years ago, bears an uncanny resemblance to a widely-distributed sketch of a man who was last seen playing with the missing children at Glenelg Beach in 1966.” The sketch is here on the side.

The description that circulated at that time was that the suspect was “a male, in his mid to late 30s, and around 185 cm tall.

He had a thin to athletic build, with light brown or blonde hair swept back and parted on the left side. He was clean-shaven, with a suntanned complexion and a thin face. He spoke with an Australian accent.

He was wearing blue bathers with a single white stripe down the outside of each leg. He was also in possession of a pair of trousers and a towel.”

Not everyone is convinced that Phipps is involved. I have not read the book yet but if you did, let me know your thoughts! I’d be interested to hear why the son only now reveals what he saw back then. This case is very well-known in Australia so he could not have missed that. More importantly, even if Mr Phipps turns out to indeed have such a sinister history, we still need to link him to the crime. And, even if we do link Mr. Phipps to the disappearance of the Beaumont Children, that does not explain (yet):

1:  that Jane bought pastries and a meat pie using a £1 note. However, Mrs. Beaumont had not given Jane notes. She had given Jane coins. The store owner was familiar with the family and the children, and he noted that meat pie was not among their usual purchases. All were seen walking away from the beach around 12:15 pm.

2: that around 3 pm, the mail carrier saw the children walking alone away from the beach, along Jetty Road, in the general direction of their home. The mail carrier’s detailed description combined with the fact that he was familiar with the family, led police to trust this statement. The details that the mail carrier gave were that the children were happy and they greeted him. It turned out that the mail carrier was the last person to see the children alive. The postman did not state whether he saw the children carry their belongings such as the beach towels, books, and other things they had with them. No belongings of the Beaumont children were later found at the beach.

Searches with cadaver dogs have gone on at a different locations but without success.


  1. I have a copy of the book. It’s quite good and thought-provoking. Phipps’ son told his wife and maybe others what he had seen, but they were afraid of Harry and what he would do. The son reported being abused for many years by Phipps, and has had lifelong substance abuse problems.

    The 1 pound note could be important. That was a major amount of money in 1966. Phipps was a millionaire, and his son reported getting a pound whenever Dad wanted him out of the way for a day.

    Police examined the postman’s route for that day, and he almost certainly saw the kids in the morning. Phipps lived within walking distance of Wenzel’s Cakes.

    As for the belongings, co-author Stuart Mullins interviewed Phipps’ widow at her home. While there he saw a little girl’s white purse from the 50s or 60s. The purse’s origin and current whereabouts are unknown. The widow later disposed of many old things in a charity shop. One of these items may have been a 1960 edition of “Little Women.” Whiticker has the book. No name or initials on it!

    BTW, the sketch above is actually from the Adelaide Oval kidnapping in 1973. Phipps strongly resembles that man, too. At the very least, he needs to be seriously looked at and his factory examined as a possible burial site.


  2. Hi Karen,

    you are right about the sketch. I just could not find a big one of the other composite drawing. If you have one, let me know. I have not read the book but I am more than curious.

    Thanks again, Alice

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