Four Corners: Nov 4

On Monday’s Four Corners, Sean Nicholls (pictured) reports on “Person of Interest” -how police investigating one of Australia’s most baffling child abduction cases targeted the wrong man.

On Monday, in a Four Corners exclusive, the man wrongly accused in the William Tyrrell child abduction investigation speaks publicly for the first time.

“It’s all shattered…we’ve had no life at all.” Bill Spedding

Bill Spedding, a washing machine repair man, was accused of abducting three-year-old William Tyrrell. The little boy, dressed in a Spiderman suit, vanished without a trace in 2014 from the front yard of a family home. After initially treating his disappearance as a missing person case, the police zeroed in on Bill Spedding as their key ‘Person of Interest’, believing he had taken the child.

“It was just chaos from then on.” Margaret Spedding, wife

Four Corners investigates how the police built their case against Bill Spedding.

“He turned around, and said, ‘We know you did it’.” Bill Spedding

The program details how the single-minded approach by police led to a raft of mistakes and missed opportunities.

“The way in which they investigated…was fraught.” Lawyer

Bill Spedding has spent five years in the spotlight, portrayed publicly as the prime suspect. Now with key elements of his alibi finally proven in a coronial hearing, he is ready to speak out about the ordeal which has destroyed his life.

“We’ve basically got to restart over again.” Bill Spedding

Five years on, William Tyrrell is still missing. The image of the little boy in the Spiderman suit has become an enduring reminder of innocence lost and a case yet to be solved.

“The public is entitled to know and those who love William Tyrrell are entitled to know – what went wrong with this investigation? Why haven’t they found William Tyrrell yet?” Lawyer

Monday 4 November 2019 at 8:30pm on ABC.

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