Police dig for boys linked to paedophile murders – Clapton, London
Times, The (London, England)-May 26, 1990
Author: David Young

A POLICE search for the bodies of four boys, possible victims of a London-based paedophile ring, is underway, Scotland Yard confirmed last night.

Police, acting on a tip-off from a prisoner, believe one of the boys may have been buried under a car park near a synagogue in Clapton, east London.

“The investigation developed after we received a whole series of pieces of information,” Det Chief Supt Roger Stoodley said. “Some of it involved the possible abuse of children. We have been looking at child pornography and all sorts of other pornography.”

The police hunt for the boys, who may have been murdered more than four years ago, started in earnest two days ago when a squad of 20 officers began digging up the car park adjacent to the Clapton synagogue. A mechanical digger was brought in and officers have been sifting through the earth. Dogs have also been used.

However, it is understood that the inquiry into the paedophile ring has been going on for nearly nine months. The boys, ranging in age from eight to 18 years, may have been homeless or rent boys, according to Mr Stoodley.

Police confirmed yesterday that they were led to the car park by the original informant who was brought from prison on Wednesday to assist officers. A spokesman said: “We have a person who has indicated there is a body here. He visited the site and indicated an area.”

Officers believe that a boy, under 16 years old when he was killed, is buried under the car park.

It is understood that information about other burial sites has been passed on to police. Police are not sure of the identities of the boys. “If we knew the identity of the bodies we were looking for then we would have announced it and asked the press for their help,” an officer said. “At least two other sites have been identified for us by the person who gave us the information about Clapton. Information has come to us in a variety of ways but it all emanates from one source.”

The Clapton search has involved officers stripping the hard core off the surface and digging down to a depth of 4-5ft. The search is likely to be abandoned once the officers have reached the clay strata, 6ft below the surface.

Police denied that the investigation is linked with the murder of Jason Swift for which four men, part of a child sex ring, are serving sentences of between 13 and 19 years.

The digging was halted temporarily last night out of respect for the Jewish sabbath. It will resume again on Tuesday morning.

Detective Chief Inspector David Easy said last night that nobody was in custody in connection with the inquiry. “I cannot comment if anyone in custody is associated with the information we were given,” he added.

The site being searched has been used as a car park for the past two years. Police have emphasized that the synagogue has no connection with the investigation. The search for the missing boys led to the site after searches of other possible graves failed to find anything, according to the police.

Mr Easy said: “We are searching for the body of one youth as the result of information given to us about four months ago and in the last two weeks.”

Police last night denied that the inquiry involved “snuff movies”, sex films in which at least one of the participants is killed.

Mr Stoodley said: “With an inquiry of this sort and with allegations which are this sensitive we have been anxious to avoid publicity because it puts unneccessary pressure on us.

“It may take some time to find the body. It was buried about five years ago we think and the lay-out of the area has changed.

“If we do not find anything there it does not mean there isn’t anything there or that there wasn’t anything there or that the people didn’t genuinely believe there was something there.”

Police dig for boys linked to paedophile murders (26.5.90)