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The Killing of James Bulger: Where are Robert Thompson and Jon Venables now?

The pair were handed new identities after being released from prison

james bulger killers
Eve Crosbie
TV & Film Writer
March 10, 2021
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Channel 5 is set to air a new two-part documentary that tells the definitive story of the murder of James Bulger, who was horrifically killed by Jon Venables and Robert Thompson after being snatched from a shopping centre in 1993.

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Both killers were aged 11 at the time of their sentencing, making them the youngest people convicted of murder in English history. 

They were sent to a young offenders' institute, where they stayed until their release at the age of 18 in 2001. Twenty years on from their release, find out where they are now...

james bulger

James Bulger was just two when he was killed

Where is Robert Thompson now?

Following his eight-year sentence for the horrific crime, Robert Thompson was freed and given a new identity. Now 38, It is believed that he is still living in the UK. In 2010, it was reported that he was in a long-term relationship with a man who knows his real identity.

robert thompson

Robert Thompson is living under a new identity 

While he has not reoffended since being released, in the two-part documentary, one of the investigators who questioned Thompson suggested that he was the ringleader of the attack, calling him "street smart" and "switched on". 

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He said: "I don't know how he was doing at school, but he was switched on and he was trying to con me, trying very hard". Another investigator revealed that the young boy would avoid answering difficult questions by crying.

Where is Jon Venables now?

Jon Venables also received a new identity upon his release at age 18. However, it has since been changed twice as he has both disclosed his real identity to friends and had it leaked by the public. 

jon venables

Jon Venables is back in prison

In 2010 he was sent back to prison for possessing indecent images of children. Following his release in 2013, he was recalled to prison in 2017 and is currently serving a 40-month sentence. 

In 2019, James' father, Ralph Bulger launched a court bid to overturn Venables' lifelong anonymity since he had broken its conditions by reoffending. However, his plea was denied as it was ruled it would be too dangerous and would lead to vigilante attacks.

ralph bulger

Ralph Bulger has asked courts to overturn his son's killer's lifelong anonymity

Over the years, many individuals, including Shameless actress Tina Malone, have been fined or jailed for breaching the injunction in place to stop the killers' identities from becoming public. 

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