UPDATE: The Day for Daniel

34 Responses to UPDATE: The Day for Daniel

  1. hineata November 2, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    I remember that case, and yes it must have been terrible for all involved, but really, what happened to protecting our children a little? What five year old needs to know about it?

    After a 13 year old local girl was unfortunately abducted and killed by an acquaintance of her family’s back in 1989 (I remember it so well because I happened to have to substitute in her classroom for the days ‘in between ….before we all knew what had become of the poor girl ) , positive changes did occur in the former of assertiveness and self-defense training for teen girls. But to my recollection young children were not informed about it …..what would have been the point?

  2. MichaelF November 2, 2015 at 11:49 am #

    At least the Titanic had the effect of changing maritime laws and ship design to now include life boats for ALL passengers, safety drills. Life preservers and the like. What has this done other than a day of fear mongering?

    I’m all for learning from events, but it seems like not much was learned here.

  3. BL November 2, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    Where I live in Pennsylvania, there was a local girl, six years old, almost certainly abducted on the way to school in a nearby town (she was never found, though bloodhounds tracked her to an intersection where she was presumably lured into a car).

    That was March 1965, and people here still talk about it. Not about the similar cases since then, because there aren’t any.

  4. Jana November 2, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    True. We should teach our children how to behave and act in order to improve their chance for survival and health-being, but this is just ridiculous.

  5. lollipoplover November 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    Where is the “Day” for all of the child victims of domestic violence?
    They far outnumber random murders but are never talked about:


  6. Monica November 2, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    I abhor this practice of focusing on child abductions and murders–and to include young children and a lock down drill! Yikes. This does NOT make children more safe.

    The thing is, I don’t believe that Daniel’s Day was intended to educated and make children more safe. What I have seen happen with these types of tragedies is that the parents of the murdered child, in their unfathomable grief, make emotional appeals to politicians and the media to pass a law or declare a day of remembrance for their child. I can understand this; I haven’t lost a child, especially not in this horrible, unspeakable way, but I have tried to assuage my grief when I lost first one, then the other parent, by being busy with all of the arrangements surrounding a death. Once their was nothing else to arrange, not any more calls to be made, the finality hit me and the hard grief set in.

    When a child dies, parents need to feel as if the death wasn’t just some useless tragedy, or that their child will be forgotten by the rest of the world. John Walsh is an example of this. I can’t stand his fear-mongering, but I understand why he does it. As long as he fights child abductions and works to save other children, it keeps his son’s memory–and the unimaginable horror of what he suffered–in the public’s view, which is the closest thing to having his son alive that John Walsh is ever going to get. “If my son had to suffer and die, at least it won’t be totally in vain, and no one is ever going to forget what he went through, or what I now suffer.” And although I wish he would stop scaring parenting into believing that their child will likely never come back if they ever take their eyes off him, I completely understand why he does this, and my heart aches for his pain. I do not know how I would cope if my own child were murdered in such a grisly way, and I can’t say that I wouldn’t so the same thing he is doing to cope.

    While I understand that focusing on rare tragedies isn’t good for us, my heart goes out to Daniel’s family, who live his death every day.

  7. bmj2k November 2, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    Let’s all wear brown in honor of 6 year old Hester Pringle, who in 1786 was struck and killed when a horse accidentally threw a horseshoe and it flew into her buggy.

  8. Monica November 2, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    Need to make a correction to my original post: *there, not their. I hate grammatical errors in my posts.

  9. Yocheved November 2, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    I am appalled at how young kids are getting dragged into politics, crime, and current events LONG before they are ready to process such adult information. As the parent, I should be the one to decide if my child has the emotional maturity to handle certain subjects, the support to deal with it, and in what way it is presented.

    Last year, during the whole Michael Brown thing, the school she was in made a huge deal about it. At the time, most of her friends were African American, and they suddenly refused to play with her anymore. They told her that “she was part of the problem, and that all white people were mean.”

    Yay, thanks liberal public schools! I hope you’re proud of yourselves. Her new school sticks to basic, classic education, and none of the indoctrination stuff. We are all much happier for it.

  10. Julie November 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm #

    In the early 80’s a little girl was abducted near where I lived. It was when the media was first ramping up about the issue of child abduction, and hers was the first one in our city. The child’s body was eventually found beneath a foot bridge hidden by water and thick brush. Her murderer had sexually assaulted her. No one was ever caught or brought to justice for this precious little girl’s death.

    From time to time I think about the case mainly because her classmates walked across the foot bridge to school at the same time she was beneath it. People were shocked by this. The Detective who led the investigation kept the case open even after it went cold. He continued working it after he retired. He has passed on too but the people in my community continue to think about the child and her family especially at this time of year.

  11. Curious November 2, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    Daniel is their Adam Walsh. Who was allegedly killed by a serial killer. A rare breed.
    I agree. Better to concentrate efforts on domestic violence. Early diagnosis and treatment of social problems like poverty and parent’s mental health issues would save more lives and result in better life outcomes for kids than all the paranoia about stranger-danger.

    There is research, an ever growing body thereof, regarding how safe kids are out of doors these days. And a growing body of research on how sad it is for kids to to be safely locked in their homes until they reach their majority–at which point the parent is “of the hook” and can claim they did the best they could.

    Red dresses for kindergartners to commemorate a morbid incident all those years ago? Bizarre. Sick. I thought the over-reaction was all on our side of the world. Why can’t the thinking people simply take charge of the planet and tell the idiots incapable of critical thinking to shut the heck up?

  12. John November 2, 2015 at 1:44 pm #


    Monica, you are certainly a much better person than I am because I think John Walsh is a sleazebag who ruined kids’ lives more often then saving them. Yes, it was very unfortunate what happened to his son but I lost my sympathy for him when he began his unwavering witch hunt for anybody and everybody who has sexual fantasies. But the big problem is elected officials who fall prey to his situation and gumption to rid the world of “sexual predators” without giving any thought to the collateral damage those increased and stringent sex laws can bring. I guess it comes down to votes, votes and more votes. That is why I am a big fan of Jacob Wetterling’s (spelling?) mom who is now pushing to reform many of those laws recognizing the fact that probably 99% of people on the SOR are not the type of people who would have posed any danger to her son and to Adam Walsh and Polly Klass.

  13. lollipoplover November 2, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    According to the Wikipedia link:

    “The death of Daniel Morcombe was one of the most extensively investigated crimes in Queensland’s history.[8]

    As of 12 December 2008, a total reward of A$1,000,000 ($250,000 from the Government and another $750,000 donated privately) had been offered. The privately donated portion of the reward expired at midnight on 31 May 2009.”

    Big money murder solved=Day of Remembering for your child


  14. 3MomAtWork3 November 2, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    I share the doubts as to whether it is appropriate to discuss such an event with small kids.

    This does however lead me to the question of how to appropriately discuss violent crimes against children with kids.

    I live in Berlin (Germany) and a couple of days ago a man confessed to the police of having abducted, sexually abused and murdered two boys (ages 6 and 4) in Berlin within the past four months. The older one had been playing at a playground close to his home (unsupervised, as is quite common in Germany), the younger one belonged to a family of refugees and was taken while queuing in front of an administrative building where the situation is presently quite chaotic due to the high number of migrants and refugees arriving in Germany at the moment.

    Both cases were extensively covered in the media and police posters bearing the photos of the two boys could be found all over town.

    My sons (ages 9 and 6) have seen the tabloid headlines at the newsstand and the posters, and they are of course very curious about the case. It seems to be more on a factual level without an undercurrent of fear that something like that could happen to them. Still, I don’t want to appear evasive and still not burden them with information that they aren’t able to handle yet.

    Any ideas as to how to approach this?

  15. Fiona November 2, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

    Our school didn’t participate, but from what of seen of the information published by the Moorcombe Foundation, it’s actually not too bad. They teach kids to recognize their body’s instinctual responses to a dangerous situation, to tell someone where they’re going and any changes to plans etc. there’s no talk of only walking with an adult etc etc
    I agree the day is a bit OTT, but the message is surprisingly Free Range.

  16. natalie November 2, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    PLEASE, before you comment any further, go to the Morcombe Foundation website and see the amazing work that they do. It is NOT about scaremongering or reliving a horrible crime. This is about education and empowerment of young people. As a parent with children in a Queensland school I have the utmost respect for the work these people do. My kids feel able and confident riding to the shops or the beach by themselves BECAUSE of the work the foundation does. The comments here are being made in ignorance about what the Morcombe Foundation achieves. My son told me that they talked about ‘trusting themselves and their own instincts’ when out and about by themselves and given strategies to stay safe…..they certainly weren’t told to stay home and try not to get abducted and murdered. I love this page, but now I am doubting some of the other articles I have read, wondering what ‘spin’ has been put on the topic without knowing the facts.

  17. Gina November 2, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    BL: Was that Kathy Shea?

  18. BL November 2, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    “BL: Was that Kathy Shea?”


  19. Shelson November 2, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

    I agree Natalie. Daniel set out on his own to get a bus to the local shops when he was taken. I’ve seen his parents in the media a lot over the years and I’ve never heard them advising people to stop letting their kids do as Daniel did. Quite the opposite and in fact, their views would align quite strongly with that of this web site. I think just the wearing red and talking about his death seems a bit absurd but I believe it is more about supporting the foundation and empowering kids to feel confident about going out on their own.

  20. andy November 2, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    @3MomAtWork3 Your kids should be able to handle the information if you give it to him in a dry but open fashion and then you talk it out (e.g. no gruesome details). It is better if they hear info from you instead of random schoolmates anyway. I do not think it is inappropriate to talk about such things with school children, they are already smart enough. They will find out details either from you or from other kids in school. It is better if you tell them first, before random kid adds details on its own.

    I remember rumors about children being killed when I was around that age, but I am pretty those were just made up by other kids.

  21. G-mum November 2, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    I’m Australian and I look at this from a completely different perspective.

    What happened to Daniel is a tragedy and his parents have worked tirelessly in the community to raise awareness.

    However, at no stage have they ever said that what happened to Daniel is common. At no point have they ever said that they regret allowing their son to travel to school or catch buses on his own.

    The thing with Daniel is he did nothing wrong, and neither did his parents. You could even argue that they were ‘free range’.

    Wearing red is about reminding people to look out for each other and each other’s children. The more people can look up from their phones and be aware of what’s going on in the big wide world, the more opportunities we can give our children to be free. To walk. To play at the park. To catch buses.

    The Day for Daniel is not about teaching kids to be scared, or telling parents to keep them locked safely inside and only to let them out when they personally drive them to wherever they are going. It’s about saying that horrible things can happen to good people, and the more the community can band together against the ‘unusual evil’ the safer our world will be.

    As for ‘protecting our children’ by sheltering them from the fact that on rare occasions bad things happen – to me this flies in the face of the Free Range philosophy. We should be able to talk to our kids about these things – but to put it in PERSPECTIVE. My five year old is not scared of spiders: she knows that Redbacks are venomous but she also knows not to touch them. Similarly, she knows that there are VERY FEW bad people in the world, and that most people are good, and I’ve taught her ways to ask for help if she needs it.

    I don’t think many people are morbidly dwelling on what happened to Daniel. It’s one day a year.

  22. Mary J November 2, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

    As others here have said, please look up the Morecombe Foundation. It took many years to firstly find Daniel’s remains, and then prosecute his murderer. All the way along this journey Daniel’s parents stood up and said do not stop your children from doing what Daniel did, allow them independence and please keep your eye out for each other. It shocked the nation, and particularly south-east Queensland. Lenore, please get in touch with the Morecombes, I am sure that they would appreciate telling their story on your forum.

  23. Laura sauter November 2, 2015 at 8:03 pm #


  24. Donald November 2, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    Napoleon Hill released a new book. I was skeptical. I assumed that this new book released 30 years after his death was the same as the release of Col Sanders new secret recipe! I was certain that it was a sales scam. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Napoleon Hills work, he did a 20 year study about the power and effects of positive thinking. However while he studied this, he also learned about the power and effects of negative thinking. The power of negative thinking can be a loaded gun! It’s destructive force can be tremendous! Being ignorant of this power will not make it any less powerful.

    He wrote a book about it but didn’t release it. He knew that if he released it, he would be ostracized! He’s very critical about the way schools, parents, and many churches harm children and encourage them into a life of pain and misery! They do this by discouraging children from thinking.

    In his book he made a parable by pretending that he had an interview with the devil. In his mock up interview he explains that the devil is fear and those that pump children full of fear like a blood transfusion, are actually doing the devil’s work. This includes the fire and brimstone style of many churches!


  25. Donald November 2, 2015 at 8:26 pm #

    “Lenore, please get in touch with the Morecombes, I am sure that they would appreciate telling their story on your forum.”

    Daniel was taken not far from where I live. Lenore, if you come to Australia to meet the Morecombes, will you have time to meet me over a coffee?

  26. SanityAnyone? November 2, 2015 at 11:12 pm #

    This is a sad story, and an unfortunate way to commemorate it. There must be a better way to raise awareness or to a create a foundation to help people without scaring children to stay inside and tied to the apron strings.

    In the “unlikely to happen” department, someone actually tainted the Halloween candy in a neighborhood near me. There have been five reports so far of sewing needles found in Twix bars in Kennett Square, Chester County, PA. I’m sure this will set off a firestorm of “trunk or treat” type alternatives to actual Halloween fun in the dark in Southeastern PA and Delaware.


  27. sexhysteria November 3, 2015 at 2:56 am #

    This “learning” is more than morbid, it’s hysterical. Children are killed every day – their heads are smahed in car crashes – thousands every year, but nobody feels any need to worry about that.

  28. Glen November 3, 2015 at 4:02 am #

    I think parental notification would be appropriate with the choice to not participate suitable. While I agree stranger abduction is rare, child sexual abuse isn’t. Parents should be the vehicle through which this info is taught, but like everything else, we surrender our responsibility to the state, especially the uncomfortable stuff. We chose to turn our home training into empowerment activities. Our community suffered an abduction and it changed everyone. I’m not going to fault a town for trying to protect their kids, but participation should be optional.

  29. Nicole R. November 3, 2015 at 5:45 am #

    “I am appalled at how young kids are getting dragged into politics, crime, and current events LONG before they are ready to process such adult information. As the parent, I should be the one to decide if my child has the emotional maturity to handle certain subjects, the support to deal with it, and in what way it is presented.”

    I agree with this. For me, the heads-up was a 9-11 presentation that was WAY too mature for my son a few years ago. I would have expected and supported some basic facts, a moment of silence, etc. – but I should have been informed and able to opt him out of the videos they actually presented. If they had been fiction, the school (according to their own rules) would never have been allowed to show them!

    It’s not healthy for kids to grow up in fear of rare events.

  30. Diane November 3, 2015 at 11:29 am #

    Many things start out as good ideas only to become misapplied in school settings. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that was the case here.

    That’s why reading the comments on this page can be enlightening. (Sometimes!)

  31. SKL November 3, 2015 at 1:17 pm #

    I thought I saw a study somewhere that said keeping permanent memorials of tragedies screws up the grieving process and prevents people from getting back to normal.

    Of course if the agenda is to prevent people from doing normal age-appropriate things, then I guess this is one way to accomplish that.

    The other day a mom asked me if “we’d” gone out trick-or-treating. I said my kids went out while I passed out candy at home. She was impressed – “wow, I thought nobody did that any more. I’m so glad to hear it.” My kids are 4th graders (and they went out alone the last year or two also).

  32. SKL November 3, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

    I was mad when I found out they told my kids about Sandy Hook at school. (They did not warn the parents first.) My kids were 5/6yo first graders at the time. The made all the kids participate in making a painting for a Sandy Hook memorial which is still painted on the wall of the school lunchroom.

    Around the same time, in our area, a young girl was “assaulted” (aka raped) and, I believe, murdered in a field. My kids heard this on the news at school and came to ask me what “assaulted” meant.

    I don’t think I shelter my kids, but I think it should be up to me to decide when they need to learn about child rape. They didn’t even know what sex was at that time.

    I have no idea what they think they accomplish by bringing young kids into these things – especially things that happened far away.

  33. BL November 4, 2015 at 7:36 am #

    ” He’s very critical about the way schools, parents, and many churches harm children and encourage them into a life of pain and misery! They do this by discouraging children from thinking.”

    John Caldwell Holt was doing that over 50 years ago. Not news, except to the willfully oblivious.

  34. Samantha November 7, 2015 at 2:20 am #

    I think that there should not be a day for him because this happens to many children teens and adults a year and many kids younger than him; Anyway my point is this happens to alot of people why is he so speical