Friday, 24 July 2020
The Infamous Class 3 School Illustration (1976-1979)
On 10 September, 1976, dozens of children, including every single pupil from class 3, Scarfolk High School, vanished on their way to school. A police operation was launched but no clues were ever found. The children were pronounced dead the following Monday, a mere three days later.
Every year thereafter, the police commissioned their sketch artist to draw, in the style of a school photograph, how the missing children might have looked (albeit with their faces removed) had they not disappeared in mysterious circumstances. This was sent to the bereaved parents of class 3 at an exorbitant cost of £31.25.
In the 1979 class sketch, one parent noticed a small label on one of the faceless figure's clothes that contained a code word only their child could have known.
Under mounting pressure from parents, the police eventually raided their artist's studio and found 347 children in his cellar where many had been held captive for several years. The police immediately seized and confined the children as evidence in a crime investigation, which, after much dithering, ultimately never went to court leaving the families no choice but to pursue a private prosecution against the kidnapper.
As the children had already been pronounced dead and the cost of amending the relevant paperwork was high, they were given away as prizes in the Scarfolk police raffle, which helped pay the legal fees of their sketch artist, who, it turns out, was the son of Scarfolk's police commissioner.