Beaumont investigation part of axed Murder Uncovered series

Updated: Did staff let go by Seven and re-hired by rival allow Nine to spoil a major scoop?

Yesterday’s major news story about a breakthrough in the case of the missing Beaumont children had been researched by the axed Murder Uncovered series.

Evidence presented by Seven as well as witness testimony has prompted South Australian police to examine an area at the rear of a factory in North Plympton which is now Castalloy.

Beaumont children Jane, 9, Arnna, 7, and Grant, 4, went missing from Glenelg beach 26 January, 1966, in a case that has baffled generations.

Police confirm they will excavate an area of a property which was investigated in 2013, in a different location.

Michael Usher broke the news on Seven News last night citing it as an Exclusive following months of investigation.

But Nine News also reported the story, along with A Current Affair.

Peter Ford noted after the axing of Murder Uncovered some staff were hired by Nine, effectively taking the info with them.

If the revelations lead to a discovery it would have been a hell of a scoop for Murder Uncovered, but the show was axed by Seven late last year, as part of cost-cutting.

It remains a Seven News & Current Affairs story, but the axing appears to have facilitated a rival network jumping on the story too.

Updated: Craig McPherson, Seven Network Director of News and Public Affairs said:

“The Beaumont case was always going to be problematic with its timing given what our team has so far uncovered. We worked in full collaboration in recent months with SA Police and had a commitment to pass on the results of our ground testing which we did. As we expected these results elevated the interest to another level. Who leaked what to whom is irrelevant. Our team of journalists and forensic and criminal experts are right now compiling a ground-breaking Seven News special on this year-long investigation to air on Wednesday January 31 at 9pm on Seven which will finally answer so many unanswered questions about this terrible crime.”

7 Responses

  1. Completely agree David but what puzzles me is surely the said researcher had to sign a confidentiality agreement ? An old rule in the textbook is you can’t take another companies IP and just waltz in to ACA and give ’em your contacts? Or can you ?

  2. i get where they’re coming from, but really this is a bit sick. We’re dealing with the unsolved disappearance, probably murder, of 3 innocent children. Surely a result is the most important thing rather than TV networks squabbling over who really got the scoop. I can’t say i’m all that surprised though.
    Let’s hope something is found, i would think their loved ones would prefer closure over the torture of not knowing what has happened to them,.

    1. You raise a fair point, and one that was always in the back of my mind. To be fair it was not networks squabbling over who got the scoop. It was media, including me, raising it. I was very mindful of the issues but the news landscape does come with odd context. This was a major story. To have a rival network swoop on it due to a show being axed completely falls under my news brief as industry.

      1. Yes i can see that side of it too, if people including investigating journalists worked hard on case fair enough they get credit for their work. Was not having a go at you David, its just reminiscent of other times network rivalry has reared its head, sometimes when sensitive topics/stories are being reported. Theres a fine line between getting a scoop whilst still maintaining some sort if respectability or not.

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