Many believe the Nail in the News of the World Scandal was The Milly Dowler Case. She wasn’t a Royal, Sports Figure, or Celebrity, she was simply a thirteen year old girl.
Amanda Milly Dowler went missing on her way home an after school social activity on March 21,2002. As massive inquire was launched shortly after her parents reported her missing. They reported her missing at 7pm on the 21st, six months before her body was found in a remote wooded area about 25 miles from her family’s Surry, England home.
Nine years later……. On June 23,2011, serial killer Levi Bellfield was convicted of abducting and murdering Dowler. Bellfield had previously been employed as a club doorman and lived only 50 yards from where Milly was last seen alive.
He moved out of the apartment the day after Milly disappeared, but the mismanagement of the case by Surry Police delayed his identification as a suspect for several years. In 2003-2004 he killed two other women and attempted to murder at least one other, any may have attacked up to twenty women. (ibitimes)
News International Connection
News of the World has previously been liable for invading the privacy of its story subjects. The company has admitted to hacking into phone of eight public figures, including Sienna Miller. Early this year , the tabloid settle with Miller for ($165,000) in a privacy and harassment claim over allegation that reporters of Murdoch’s News Corporation illegally listened to voice massages to scoop stories.
In the case of Milly Dowler, the News of the World is accused of not only listening to messages ,but deleting messages in order to make room for new ones, which potentially interfered with the missing person investigation and provided Dowler’s family with false hope that the young teenager was still alive.
As the Dowlers’ were asking the public for help, a private investigator working for the News of the World allegedly hacked into her cell phone,listened to her messages and even deleted some to make room for possible new ones.
It was never determined how long Milly was abducted but the tabloid’s actions reportedly came right after her dissappearance “it’s distress heaped upon tragedy to learn that the News of the World had no humanity at such a terrible time” Mark Lewis, the Dowler Family lawyer.
The UK Guardian was the first to report on the allegations ,and used definitive language ague in the article opening statement.
“The News of the World illegally targeted the missing schools Milly Dowler and her family in the march 2002, interferring with police inquiries into her disappearance, an investigation by the Guradian has established.
Glenn Mulcaire, apologized for any possible interference with police inquiries. In a statement in the Guradian newspaper, he said he knew he “pushed the limits ethically” but he didn’t understand that he had broken the law. He said he was sorry to all who had been ‘hurt or upset” by his activity.
Rebekah Brooks who was the chief executive of News International and one of Murdoch’ closest colleagues. Brooks has long insisted she had no knowledge of any phine hacking incidents at Murdock properties.
In 2002, Brooks was an editor of News of the World, and five years before a News of the World reporter and a hired investigator who was found guilty of hacking into the Royal Family phones.-which was believed to he t first case of illegal interception on the part of the tabloid.
Brooks maintains that she has no knowledge of or participation in the News of the World’s hacking into Dowler’s phone.
The UK Guardian published excerpts of the email Brooks sent out to employees.
“it is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations. I am aware of the speculation about my position. There it is important you all know that as chief executive, I am determined to lead the company to ensure we do the right thing and resolve these serious issues.”
“I am sickened that these event are alleged to have happened. Not just because I was editor of the News of the World at the time, but if the accusations are true, the devastating effect of Milly Dowler’s family is unforgivable. “
The New York Times wrote: if the allegations prove to be accurate-and so far-no one is denying the hacking took place-Brooks would then appear to have had no knowledge or control over how her reporters were obtaining the information of the Dowler case, or it would seem she permitted the interceptions. Whatever the case, it is difficult to imagine that her job and credibility will not be in serious jeopardy. (ibtimes)
The British Public’s Reaction
Britons are used to seeing their press harass royals, sports stars and celebrities. Constantly eavesdropping ahd paying even the most tangential sources for information about stars ‘sex lives” and drug problems.
Yet the hackin case involving 13 year old Milly Dowler horrifed everyone, from British Prime Minister David Cameron to movie stars. “It is shocking that someone could do this, knowing tht thte police were trying to find this person and trying to find out what happened. said Cameron.
Ed Miliband, the lead of the opposition Labour Party, said he was “horrified that the griving parents of an abducted child were made to go throug further torture that somehow she wa alived becasue her voicemails were being retrived or deleted ‘ Miliband called the events ” a stain” on British journalism.
Jo Caddis, a furniture dealer in North London, said she was disgusted by the new allegations about the Dowler case. ” The parents saw that messages had been deleted and got hope when there was no hope” she said. “You should nbot be allowed to hack into any phone, it’s a complete breach of rights,but do it in a case where a girl is missing is terrible” She said whoever was responsible should face a jail sentence.
In July, Rupert Murdoch made a “full and humble” apology to the Dowler’s at a central London hotel.
He “he held his head in his hands” and repeatedly told the family he was “very, very sorry” according the the Dowler’s lawyer Mark Lewis. “ahe was very hubled and very shakened and very sincere ‘said Lewis speaking outside the meeting. “I think this was something that had hit him on a very personal level and was something tht shouldnt have happened He apologized many many times. I dont think somebody could have held their head in their hands so many times and say they were sorry”
THE parents of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler are suing the News of the World over claims a private detective working for the newspaper hacked into their daughter’s voicemail after she went missing.
Mr and Mrs Dowler, who were told their phones were also targeted, are now pursuing a claim for damages against the News of the World, Mr Lewis said.(yorkshirepost)
“There is an article in the News of the World that suggests the News of the World were quite proud of what they were doing, but they were making a point about someone else leaving a message.
“If someone goes back to that and says, ‘how did they know that?’, well, then you know that they were looking at or listening in to the voice mails.
Dowler Family, Today
Sally and Bob Dowler
The family finds themselves at the center of the phone hacking scandal. The family has met the Prime Minister, Ed Miliband the Labour Leaderand the deputy prime minister,Nick Clegg. When asked by journalist if ther family forgave Murdoch for the hacking of their dead daughters moblie phone,Lewis said: “It is a question of forgive but not forget…they won’t necessarily forgive the people who intruded on there privacy”.