UK UK - Andrew Gosden, 14, Doncaster, South Yorks, 14 Sep 2007 #2

Grouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
932
Reaction score
5,424
Your 'book smart' comment has just had me thinking...I wonder if he had a local library card? Did he like to read? Could that have been how he accessed the internet?

Also, does anyone have his usual route home? Did we have a map?

I'm sorry if this has been covered, after being away from this for sometime a lot of facts have slipped my memory!

BBM - it was mentioned up thread in post #39 by @dotr - "But there was no trace of activity by the teen on his home, school or local library computers." - a quote from UK harrowing missing person cases - including Blackpool's Charlene Downes
 

Grouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
932
Reaction score
5,424
The Guardian even mentions not wearing coats:
Why don’t teenagers wear coats, even in very cold or wet weather? I don’t think there’s a biological basis for this. It could be an example of their lack of executive function along with their risky, impulsive behaviour – they’re not planning ahead. Their priorities are not as common sense as they will become over time

RSBM - I always thought that was just because they don't think wearing a coat looks cool!
 

OrlandoJames

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
229
Reaction score
1,066
BBM - it was mentioned up thread in post #39 by @dotr - "But there was no trace of activity by the teen on his home, school or local library computers." - a quote from UK harrowing missing person cases - including Blackpool's Charlene Downes
Yes - the police checked every single location where Andrew could have accessed the internet and there was no evidence whatsoever of him doing so. Likewise there is no anecdotal evidence from his friends or library staff to suggest he went to the library to go online. People seem obsessed with the idea that he was groomed online, but all the available evidence in this case suggests that this was not the case.

Whatever happened to him, it's almost certain that he was not groomed online.
 

Officer Dibble

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
2,753
Reaction score
11,196
Your 'book smart' comment has just had me thinking...I wonder if he had a local library card? Did he like to read? Could that have been how he accessed the internet?

Also, does anyone have his usual route home? Did we have a map?

I'm sorry if this has been covered, after being away from this for sometime a lot of facts have slipped my memory!

Librarys used to provide computers and the internet for people who didn't have them at home too
 

Laughing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2010
Messages
13,031
Reaction score
44,656
Yes - the police checked every single location where Andrew could have accessed the internet and there was no evidence whatsoever of him doing so. Likewise there is no anecdotal evidence from his friends or library staff to suggest he went to the library to go online. People seem obsessed with the idea that he was groomed online, but all the available evidence in this case suggests that this was not the case.

Whatever happened to him, it's almost certain that he was not groomed online.

Librarys used to provide computers and the internet for people who didn't have them at home too

bbm

Apparently, Andrew did not use any Doncaster library in this way.
 

Kitkat28

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2014
Messages
585
Reaction score
3,354
Yes - the police checked every single location where Andrew could have accessed the internet and there was no evidence whatsoever of him doing so. Likewise there is no anecdotal evidence from his friends or library staff to suggest he went to the library to go online. People seem obsessed with the idea that he was groomed online, but all the available evidence in this case suggests that this was not the case.

Whatever happened to him, it's almost certain that he was not groomed online.
This! It’s been discussed to death and I think people just need to move past it now and open their minds to the other possibilities.

Statistically at least, isn’t most grooming shown to take place much closer to home? Churches, youth groups, hobby clubs etc. I think if we focus too much on the internet aspect, we might miss more interesting avenues of investigation.

MOO
 

JG123

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
42
Reaction score
215
I've posted before about the online theory, and I think it's a mistake to ignore it entirely because the police claimed they "checked the computers".

The two posts I made below explain why

UK - UK - Andrew Gosden, 14, Doncaster, South Yorks, 14 Sep 2007 #2

UK - UK - Andrew Gosden, 14, Doncaster, South Yorks, 14 Sep 2007 #2

In summary:

So, essentially, regarding the checking of the computers, we have the following situation:

- Potentially months old data.
- Data that was possibly wiped at some point or even never recorded, which would mean that it's far harder or even impossible to retrieve as it may never have existed in the first place.
- A police force who have no target as to what they're actually looking for, because they don't know anything about any internet activity of Andrew's.
- If any data was found, it would be a complete mess potentially spanning thousands upon thousands of different students, or with the library thousands upon thousands of members of the general public.
- Seemingly individual computers were taken, which would increase the mess of data even further. The school had over 1,000 students. If we aim very low and say a few hundred computers, then say a dozen or so for the library, that is an absolutely incredible amount of data to look through, especially when we consider that Andrew could potentially have been visiting websites online at a school or library for who knows how long.
- Two libraries that (from memory) were actually closer to Andrew's home and school than Doncaster library, which were not searched according to the article above.
 

Ardoch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
833
Reaction score
3,545
In light of the new info, if he wasn't groomed, then the theory of being randomly spotted at Kings Cross Station and followed seems possible.
I think he wanted a bit of temporary freedom - teenage hormones etc. He didn't know how long for hence the spur of the moment (?) choice at the ticket booth.

All speculation JMO IMO

So much we don't know. Hope the family get answers.
 

Grouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
932
Reaction score
5,424
I've posted before about the online theory, and I think it's a mistake to ignore it entirely because the police claimed they "checked the computers".

RSBM.

Interesting and credible but I can't see any evidence in the article that they didn't check other libraries, only that "The police took the computers from Andrew's school and from Doncaster Library —they found nothing. " in --> The Mystery Behind the Strange Disappearance of a 14-Year-Old English Boy

Are you assuming that because they only mentioned one library in that article that no others were searched?

I do agree with you though that it's a mistake to ignore the online aspect entirely given the way the CCTV investigation was handled.

ETA: BBM - regarding "The school had over 1,000 students. If we aim very low and say a few hundred computers, then say a dozen or so for the library, that is an absolutely incredible amount of data to look through" - that is not necessarily as difficult a task as it seems. I believe schools in 2007 would have used what are known as proxy servers - a single server that all the internet browsing traffic is directed through. So it would probably be a matter of analysing the proxy server log files, and there are tools to do that. It's quite common in commercial organisations to have to do that to investigate user activity (eg. surfing when they are meant to be working etc).
 
Last edited:

OrlandoJames

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
229
Reaction score
1,066
I've posted before about the online theory, and I think it's a mistake to ignore it entirely because the police claimed they "checked the computers".

The two posts I made below explain why

UK - UK - Andrew Gosden, 14, Doncaster, South Yorks, 14 Sep 2007 #2

UK - UK - Andrew Gosden, 14, Doncaster, South Yorks, 14 Sep 2007 #2

In summary:
It isn't just about the lack of data, though. If he regularly frequented a local library, he would have been seen there. He'd also very likely have had to book slots on a computer and paid for them. Yet there is simply no evidence of him ever doing any of this.

Andrew was very much a homebody - and when he wasn't at home, he was at school. If he'd been sneaking off to access the internet somewhere, there would have been large gaps during the day when he was unaccounted for, but that is not the case. There is simply no evidence whatsoever to support the 'groomed online' theory.
 

OrlandoJames

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
229
Reaction score
1,066
In light of the new info, if he wasn't groomed, then the theory of being randomly spotted at Kings Cross Station and followed seems possible.
I think he wanted a bit of temporary freedom - teenage hormones etc. He didn't know how long for hence the spur of the moment (?) choice at the ticket booth.

All speculation JMO IMO

So much we don't know. Hope the family get answers.
He withdrew £200 - not all the money in his account, but a decent amount. He took his PSP but not the charger. It makes me wonder whether he planned to go to London, stay in a B&B or youth hostel, and head home after a day or so. If he was asking around for cheap accommodation and visiting seedy B&Bs, he may have been spotted and targeted then.
 

Dowls90

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
89
Reaction score
288
RSBM.

I do agree with you though that it's a mistake to ignore the online aspect entirely given the way the CCTV investigation was handled.

This was my thoughts also. Andrew’s father has described South Yorkshire Police’s handling of the investigation as “slow, chaotic and disorganised”

The 14-year-old boy who vanished without a trace

Also, something that has always stuck out for me is that it was reported they don't believe he was bullied. I didn't go to that school but I went to one literally 5 minutes away and someone with his described personality traits would almost certainly be getting bullied (Sad but true, children can be unbelievably cruel). I think this is why he decided to walk home a couple of the days leading up to his disappearance, more than likely to avoid someone.

Could it be that, that was the trigger for him to do something completely out of character and impulsive? Then was picked up by someone with no prior contact at all?

If this isn't the case and he really didn't access the internet then that would only leave a couple of locations to be groomed as it is widely reported he was a 'home bird'.

- School - unlikely but possible

- Bus Journey - I Believe he used the actual school bus and not public transport.

- Cub Scouts - Now this one is interesting. He was a cub scout however, a few months before his disappearance he told his dad he no longer wanted to involve himself with the group.

- Church - I understand he didn't go to church but the Vicar <modsnip> saw him in the park that morning <modsnip>. They were neighbours and he also had a key as evidenced here The missing: Each year, 275 000 Britons disappear

All my opinion of course.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

JG123

Active Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
42
Reaction score
215
RSBM.

Interesting and credible but I can't see any evidence in the article that they didn't check other libraries, only that "The police took the computers from Andrew's school and from Doncaster Library —they found nothing. " in --> The Mystery Behind the Strange Disappearance of a 14-Year-Old English Boy

Are you assuming that because they only mentioned one library in that article that no others were searched?

Yes, pretty much. Keep in mind that the online theory is so brushed over by his parents and all the articles I've found that it's hard to know to what extent they actually investigated it. Therefore, I find that we have to pick at sentences to try and work out what the investigation of his online activities actually entailed. I don't think the libraries are as important as the school, though.

ETA: BBM - regarding "The school had over 1,000 students. If we aim very low and say a few hundred computers, then say a dozen or so for the library, that is an absolutely incredible amount of data to look through" - that is not necessarily as difficult a task as it seems. I believe schools in 2007 would have used what are known as proxy servers - a single server that all the internet browsing traffic is directed through. So it would probably be a matter of analysing the proxy server log files, and there are tools to do that. It's quite common in commercial organisations to have to do that to investigate user activity (eg. surfing when they are meant to be working etc).

If all school data was routed through a proxy then yes, it would make it easier to look through any logs. However, based on their statement of how they "took the computers", which you wouldn't need to do if all the logs were centrally stored, and from what a member who lived in the same area and went to school around the same time confirmed previously about not having a user account, I don't know how they'd be able to link any webpage history to Andrew, especially as they wouldn't necessarily know what they were looking for.

If they'd said "we checked Andrew's school computer account and didn't find anything", I'd put the theory to bed. The reason I'm so stuck on this theory is because it's the most clear and obvious explanation. If you tell someone the general details of the case their first thought is "he was lured to London by someone he knew online", it's only when you say "but he didn't have a computer at home and they checked the computers at school" that it becomes mysterious.

My entire point is that considering how inept the investigation was, I think it's unwise to rule out the most obvious theory because the inept people who ran the investigation tell us we should.

It isn't just about the lack of data, though. If he regularly frequented a local library, he would have been seen there. He'd also very likely have had to book slots on a computer and paid for them. Yet there is simply no evidence of him ever doing any of this.

Andrew was very much a homebody - and when he wasn't at home, he was at school. If he'd been sneaking off to access the internet somewhere, there would have been large gaps during the day when he was unaccounted for, but that is not the case. There is simply no evidence whatsoever to support the 'groomed online' theory.

The library was more of an example to illustrate the mass of data they'd have to look through. I think it's unlikely that he'd have regularly visited a library to access the internet, for the reasons you state.
 

Grouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
932
Reaction score
5,424
If all school data was routed through a proxy then yes, it would make it easier to look through any logs. However, based on their statement of how they "took the computers", which you wouldn't need to do if all the logs were centrally stored, and from what a member who lived in the same area and went to school around the same time confirmed previously about not having a user account, I don't know how they'd be able to link any webpage history to Andrew, especially as they wouldn't necessarily know what they were looking for..

Yes there'd be less need to examine individual computers if there were proxy logs, but if it's true what you say that user accounts possibly weren't used then there would only be an IP address to go on, and they can get reallocated to different computers all the time, so there could still be a need to look at each machine to try to get further detail. If there were no user accounts, and if no other records were kept of who used school computers and when, there would appear to be no evidence that AG didn't access the internet.

Also, if a student was communicating over an email service such as hotmail it would have been encrypyted via HTTPS even in 2007 so there probably wouldn't be much to see in the logs.

Despite calls from some for this angle to be dropped now, I do still agree with you that it shouldn't be ignored. Even with all that has been said about AG's apparent lack of interest in the internet I am finding it hard to believe that a highly intelligent 14 year old boy with an interest in computer gaming in 2007 would not have used the internet. MOO.

Still, things appear to have moved on now so hopefully the investigations of the devices that have been seized won't take as long as they are saying it might.
 
Last edited:

Grouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
932
Reaction score
5,424
Also, something that has always stuck out for me is that it was reported they don't believe he was bullied. I didn't go to that school but I went to one literally 5 minutes away and someone with his described personality traits would almost certainly be getting bullied (Sad but true, children can be unbelievably cruel). I think this is why he decided to walk home a couple of the days leading up to his disappearance, more than likely to avoid someone.

Could it be that, that was the trigger for him to do something completely out of character and impulsive?

If true, that might have indeed been the trigger for him to skip school that day. At my school a lot of the bullies used to save it for Fridays for some reason to dish it out to the ones who they regularly targetted.
 

ChatteringBirds

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2019
Messages
6,084
Reaction score
26,522
I believe there must have been a ton of use of chatrooms on his school's computers and the library's computers.

We all used chatrooms as teenagers, right? Did anyone not have an email address by 2007?

So how could they eliminate him from being one of the users in the chatrooms, which surely were accessed on the computers? The individual chatroom conversations and emails weren't all accessed by LE. MOO/JMO.
 
Last edited:

OrlandoJames

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2015
Messages
229
Reaction score
1,066
I believe there must have been a ton of use of chatrooms on his school's computers and the library's computers.

We all used chatrooms as teenagers, right? Did anyone not have an email address by 2007?

So how could they eliminate him from being one of the users in the chatrooms, which surely were accessed on the computers? The individual chatroom conversations and emails weren't all accessed by LE. MOO/JMO.
Because in addition to having zero presence online, he was never observed using computers in the school or at the local library, and he showed no interest in doing so at home. I've never come across a case of online grooming in which the victim left no online footprint and was never observed to use computers to access the internet.
 
Top