BIRTH: March 16, 1990
DEATH: February 12, 1993
James, age 3, disappeared from the New Strand Shopping Centre, Bootle, where he had been with his mother Denise. His mutilated body was found on a railway line two days later. Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, then 10, were charged with James’s murder.
The boys took Bulger on a meandering 2.5-mile walk across Liverpool to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal where he was dropped on his head and suffered injuries to his face. The boys joked about pushing Bulger into the canal.
During the walk across Liverpool, the boys were seen by 38 people. Bulger had a bump on his forehead and was crying, but most bystanders did nothing to intervene, assuming that he was a younger brother. Two people challenged the older boys, but they claimed that Bulger was a younger brother or that he was lost and they were taking him to the local police station.
At one point, the boys took Buger into a pet shop, from which they were ejected. Eventually the boys arrived in the village of Walton, and with Walton Lane police station across the road facing them, they hesitated and led Bulger up a steep bank to a railway line near the disused Walton & Anfield railway station, close to Anfield Cemetery, where they began torturing him.
At the trial it was established that at this location, one of the boys threw blue Humbrol modelling paint, which they had shoplifted earlier, into Bulger’s left eye. They kicked and stamped on him, and threw bricks and stones at him. Batteries were placed in Bulger’s mouth. Police believed some batteries may have been inserted into his anus, although none were found there.Finally, a 22-pound iron bar, described in court as a railway fishplate, was dropped on him. Bulger suffered ten skull fractures as a result of the iron bar striking his head. Dr. Alan Williams, the case’s pathologist, stated that Bulger suffered so many injuries, 42 in total, that none could be isolated as the fatal blow.
Police suspected that there was a sexual element to the crime, since Bulger’s shoes, stockings, trousers and underpants had been removed. The pathologist’s report read out in court stated that Bulger’s foreskin had been forcibly retracted.
Before they left him, the boys laid Bulger across the railway tracks and weighted his head down with rubble, in the hope that a train would hit him and make his death appear to be an accident. After Bulger’s killers left the scene, his body was cut in half by a train. A forensic pathologist testified that he had died before he was struck by the train.