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Viewer discretion is advised. Some may find this content disturbing. This is a documentary I found interesting.
1. Wanda Beach murders
The Wanda Beach Murders, sometimes referred to simply as Wanda, refers to the case of the unsolved murders of Marianne Schmidt and Christine Sharrock at Wanda Beach near Sydney on 11 January 1965. Their partially buried bodies were discovered the next day.
The victims, both aged 15, were best friends and neighbours. The brutal nature of the slayings and the fact that the twin killings occurred on a deserted, windswept beach brought publicity to the case. It remains one of the most infamous unsolved Australian murder cases of the 1960s.
On 1 January 1965, Christine and Marianne visited the beach at Cronulla, which had been a popular picnic spot for the Schmidts. The following day, the Schmidt children visited the beach there again without Christine. Elisabeth Schmidt had meanwhile been admitted to a hospital for a major operation, leaving Helmut Jr and Marianne in charge of the household. On 9 January, Marianne and Christine asked Elisabeth if they could take the younger children to Cronulla the next day and were given permission; however, rain prevented the trip.
On Monday 11 January, accompanied by Marianne's youngest four siblings, the girls again set off for Cronulla. They arrived at about 11am, but it was very windy and the beach was closed. The group therefore walked down to the southern end of the beach and sheltered among the rocks. Eight-year-old Wolfgang Schmidt still wanted to swim, so Marianne went with him to a shallow part of the surf away from the rocks. After they returned to the group, they had a picnic. At some point during this time, Christine left the others and went off by herself. There is no evidence of her whereabouts during this period, but after her death, it was discovered she had consumed alcohol and some food that was different from the rest of the party; it is suspected this occurred while she was alone. It was also during this time that Wolfgang noticed a boy hunting crabs. Later, he claimed to have seen the same boy twice more, once in the company of his sister and Christine and again sometime much later walking alone. There has been doubt about his description of this person, as Wolfgang variously suggested he had a homemade speargun, a knife, or both.
When Christine returned to the group, it was decided to take a walk into the sandhills behind Wanda Beach. Around 1 pm, the group had reached a point around 400 metres beyond the Wanda Surf Club, and they stopped to shelter behind a sandhill as the younger children were complaining about the conditions. Marianne told her younger siblings that she and Christine would return to the rocky area at the south end of the beach where they had hidden their bags, then return to fetch the children and head home. Instead, however, the girls continued into the sandhills. When Peter Schmidt told them they were going the wrong way, they laughed at him and walked on.
The Schmidt children remained waiting behind the sandhill until 5 pm. They returned to collect their bags and then went home. The girls were reported missing at 8:30 pm.
2. Beaumont children
The Beaumont children were three siblings, Jane Nartare Beaumont (born 10 September 1956), Arnna Kathleen Beaumont (born 11 November 1958), and Grant Ellis Beaumont (born 12 July 1961), who disappeared from Glenelg Beach near Adelaide, South Australia, on Australia Day, 26 January 1966. At the time of their disappearance they were aged 9, 7 and 4 respectively.
Their case resulted in one of the largest police investigations in Australian criminal history and remains one of Australia's most infamous cold cases, even after fifty years. The huge attention given to this case, its significance in Australian criminal history, and the fact that the mystery of their disappearance has never been explained, has led to the story being regularly revisited by the press. It is also viewed by many social commentators as a significant event in the evolution of Australian society, with a large number of people changing the way they supervised their children daily.
The children lived with their parents Jim and Nancy Beaumont in a house at 109 Harding Street, Somerton Park, a suburb of Adelaide. Not far from their home was Glenelg, a popular beachside resort, that the children often visited. On 26 January 1966, the children took a 5 minute bus journey from their home to the beach; they had taken a similar trip to the beach the day before. Jane, the eldest child, was considered responsible enough to care for the two younger siblings, and their parents were not concerned. They left home at 10 am and were expected to return home by 2 pm. Their parents became worried when they had not returned and called the police at 7:30 pm.