Some of you will likely recall a somewhat recent investigation of an abandoned youth hostel, formerly an orphanage, in Jersey, UK, called Haut de la Garenne. A former ward reported some abuse, and police investigated the site, at one point finding a fragment of what they believed to have been a child's skull. This led to an intense, 4.5m investigation involving digging and dismantling the building. Several items were found, described in the press sensationally as "shackles or restraints", and several small "dungeon/torture rooms" were found. Many bones were found, reported as having apparently belonged to children. After these revelations, several more people came forward with tales of abuse, some of them rather fantastical.

Now, police are recanting; a new police chief has confirmed that no, there actually is no evidence of murder and torture at the facility.

Jersey chief officer is suspended

Ministers suspended the island's chief of police, Graham Power, after a new inquiry team said no-one had been murdered at Haut de la Garenne.

Mr Power denied any wrongdoing after detectives said information previously released by police had been inaccurate.

But home affairs minister Andrew Lewis said some aspects of the inquiry had "not been conducted properly".

Mr Lewis said: "It is evident that we didn't receive all the information about the historic abuse inquiry that we should have received."

He added that the matter had raised questions about the chief's role.


At a press conference, Detective Superintendent Michael Gradwell had discredited a number of Mr Harper's claims.

After being examined by British Museum experts, a fragment thought to have been from a skull turned out to be a piece of Victorian coconut shell.

"Shackles" found in rubble were simply "a rusty piece of metal", with no evidence to suggest it had been used for anything suspicious.

There was no blood in the cellar, and a bath said to have had blood in had not been used since 1920.

The "secret underground chambers" were just holes in the floor, "not dungeons or cellars".

Most of the 170 pieces of bone found in the search came from animals. Three were human and two of these dated from between 1470-1670 and 1650-1950 respectively.

Mr Warcup added: "It's very unfortunate and I very much regret that information was put into the public domain by the States of Jersey police about certain finds at Haut de la Garenne, which was not strictly accurate."

Yes, this kind of thing pisses me off. I guess just plain, normal, run-of-the-mill abuse isn't good enough anymore. Nobody cares about a simple claim of molestation - too bad, you're out of luck, it's been too long anyway, go home sonny. But somebody finds what they think might possibly be a bone, and suddenly the police are ready to spend millions of pounds to uncover a fictional injustice, and in their fervor to make headlines they turn rusty bed springs into "restraints", foundation voids into dungeons, and teen vandalism into "cryptic, disturbing messages left by victims". Bullshit stories about multiple "satanic ritual murders" with not one speck of real evidence behind them make breathless "House of Horrors" headlines. Molestation does not. Unless the accused perpetrator is famous - in which case, suddenly there's an outpouring of support. From the perpetrators fans, for the perpetrator.

Which reminds me how much as miss Kirk Wayne. I wonder how he is doing.

So now, after four and a half million pounds wasted chasing ghosts, the public will now not take any claims revolving around this facility seriously. Including the claim of the original complainant. You know, the guy who didn't want any big circus, but just to tell someone that he had been molested.

Makes me wonder why I bother.

Edited by melliferal (11/13/08 12:45 AM)
Children cannot consent; they can only comply.

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