This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more information.
I came across this case in October. It was the case that made me want to write in this blog again. I can’t explain it, but I felt drawn to this boy. Maybe because we are close in age. Or maybe for the sheer fact that he was robbed of many things, including the rest of his childhood, his family, and a future family of his own. Whatever it is, I couldn’t keep my mind off of him or the case.
I have spent hours/days researching and writing this post, probably the most time I’ve ever spent on a single post. I don’t know why. I want answers, I guess. With that being said, I introduce you to Martin Allen.
Martin Allen was 15 years old in 1979. He resided with his parents and two of three brothers in a cottage on the grounds of the Australian High Commission, where his father worked as a chauffeur to the Australian High Commissioner, in Hyde Gate, Kensington (London area).
On November 5, 1979, Martin attended school at the Central Foundation Boy’s School near Old Street then traveled via the London Underground towards his home. He wanted to go visit his brother Bob in Holloway, but had to stop at home to get money first. His friends last saw him at King’s Cross Station walking down the short tunnel leading onto the Southbound Piccadilly platform at about 3:50 p.m. Martin was heading to Gloucester Station from King’s Cross. Somewhere along the way, Martin vanished without a trace and to this day has not been found.
Martin is described as:
- about 5ft tall
- dark brown hair
- blue eyes
- wearing a brace on his top teeth
- Dressed in school uniform, i.e. dark blue blazer with school badge, white shirt, blue and yellow striped tie, grey trousers and black shoes
He was also wearing a ‘Casio’ F100 type black digital watch with black plastic strap, and a gold chain around his neck with the letter ‘M’ in a circle. He had with him a yellow Underground Term Pass for travel between Gloucester Road and Old Street, in a transparent folder. He was carrying a bright yellow sports bag with the name ‘Astral’ in black lettering on each side. In the bag were:
- A small blue knitted ‘balaclava‘ (in a British Home Stores bag) which his mother had knitted and which he was going to give to his baby nephew Paul.
- A plastic lunch box with ‘Kit Kat’ in red lettering on the lid. His lunch had been in it.
- A ‘clipper’ type model railway transformer, which he was going to give to his elder brother Bob.
- English, French, and maths, exercise books.
- A green clip folder type school note book.
- A school biology book “Life Form, and Function” (a Puffin on the cover.)
- School set book ‘Macbeth’ in paperback Kennet Shakespeare series.
- Penguin paperback ‘My Family and other Animals’ by Gerald Durrell
- French school book “A Votre Amis”.
- A Texas Instruments T130 type calculator.
A witness came forward to say that he spotted a young boy matching Martin’s description on a Piccadilly Line train from Gloucester Road to Earl’s Court Station at about 4:15 p.m. The boy was with a 6 ft. blonde male between the ages of 30 and 40. The male had his hand on the boy’s neck, and the boy appeared to be nervous and distressed. The witness recalled hearing the male say, “Don’t try to run.” Although the sighting was never confirmed, police released this sketch shortly afterwards.
In 1998, police found a secret shrine to the missing boy at the home of a 62-year-old alleged pedophile. When police visited the house they found newspaper clippings, pictures and a headstone engraved “In Memory of Martin Allen”. I have no idea who this man was because I can’t find any articles that have his name listed. Nobody was ever arrested.Despite a huge operation, including a visit to every property in Earls Court and the publication of an artist’s impression, police have not been able to trace the man. Investigators have ruled out 200 possible suspects, spoken to 50,000 people and collected 600 statements to the inquiry (Daily Mail). In 2009, 30 years after his disappearance, Martin’s parents, Tom and Eileen Allen, made a final public plea for information regarding their son’s disappearance. Not a single person came forward with new information. Tom Allen has since passed away.
The Elm Guest House Scandal
According to Wikipedia, the Elm Guest House child abuse scandal arose from claims of sexual abuse and the grooming of children by British politicians, at parties for men at the former Elm Guest House at 27 Rocks Lane, near Barnes Common in South West London during the late 1970s and 1980s. An investigation, Operation Fairbank, which was led by the Metropolitan Police Service, started in late 2012. The investigation was a “scoping exercise” aimed at a “preliminary assessment of the evidence rather than a formal inquiry”. The existence of the operation was confirmed on 12 December 2012, after operating in secret for several weeks. A full criminal investigation, Operation Fernbridge, was launched in February 2013 as a result of allegations arising from Operation Fairbank. The allegations of an establishment paedophile ring are part of a complex multi agency investigation. Prominent people who attended parties at Elm Guest House are reported to have included former Liberal MP Cyril Smith and the Soviet spy Anthony Blunt. According to The Independent, other alleged visitors to the guesthouse include the former British diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, a Sinn Féin politician, a Labour MP, and several Conservative politicians. Some people believe that Martin Allen was abducted and later taken to the Elm Guest House to be groomed and sold to pedophiles. You can read more about that here and here.
Sidney Cooke and Gang
Sidney Cooke is considered to be one of Britain’s most vile sex offenders. In 1984, Cooke, along with Leslie Bailey and and Bailey’s then-lover Lennie Smith, drugged and violently raped Mark Tildesley. Cooke lured Mark away from a funfair in Wokingham, Berkshire with the promise of candy. Mark’s body was never recovered, although it’s been said that Cooke knows the location but refuses to give up the information. In 1985, Cooke, Bailey, Robert Oliver, and Steven Barrell raped and murdered 14-year-old Jason Swift. Cooke had his cohorts pay him £5 each to have sex with Jason. A man walking his dog discovered Jason’s body in a shallow grave. All four men were arrested. In May 1989, Cooke was convicted of manslaughter and rape and sentenced to 19 years in prison. In August 1989, his sentence was reduced to 16 years. Cooke was released from prison in 1998. In 1999, Cooke was given two life sentences for the repeated assaults of two brothers and the rape of a woman between 1972 and 1981.
Bailey was convicted of manslaughter and rape and sentenced to 15 years in prison. In 1991, he was convicted again for the 1985 homosexual murder of a 6-year-old boy and sentenced to life in prison. He was murdered in his prison cell by inmates in 1993 (kudos to the killers). Bailey told law enforcement officials about Cooke’s involvement in Mark’s death. Lennie Smith was arrested and charged with manslaughter although he never went to trial. He never admitted to his part in the rape/murder, even though some of the killers said in statements that he was in the flat in Hackney, East London, during the orgy in 1985. Apparently in England, statements by accused people cannot be used as evidence against others unless they are repeated on the witness stand, so the charges against Smith had to be dropped. In 2013, according to BBC News, Robert Oliver was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court after pleading guilty to two breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO). He previously spent 10 years in prison. He was released in 1997 after being sentenced to 15 yeas for the manslaughter of Jason Swift.Oliver was arrested in June after a neighbor contacted Kent Police, concerned over his behavior. Investigations revealed that on two occasions he had allowed a child into his house. Stephen Barrel was charged with manslaughter and rape and sentenced to 10 years in prison and was released. A 1998 article from The Independent stated that he had vanished after his early release. Cooke and his gang may have murdered up to 25 boys. They were part of a ring later dubbed by the media, “the dirty dozen”. It just so happens that Cooke had ties to Elm Guest House. It is believed that he organized sex parties there.
Between 1978 and 1983, Dennis Nilsen killed 15 young men and boys. He kept his victims’ bodies for long periods of time before dissecting their remains and disposing of them by burning or flushing the remains down a lavatory. In 1979, he resided at 195 Melrose Avenue in London, a mere 6.4 miles from Earl’s Court Station. Nilsen had access to a large garden there, and he was able to burn many of the remains in a bonfire. Entrails were dumped over the garden fence to be eaten by wildlife. Nilsen was convicted of only six murders and two attempted murders. Most of the victims were unidentified. On November 4, 1983, Nilsen was sentenced to life in prison. Law enforcement officials believe he may have been involved in Martin’s disappearance, although there is no evidence supporting this. The majority of Nilsen’s victims were homeless or homosexual and he confessed to the 15 murders. He has never said anything about Martin. But he does bear a slight resemblance to the sketch of Martin with the unidentified male.
In a 2014 Daily Mail article, Martin’s brother, Kevin, claimed he was warned to shut up after he accused the police of a top-level cover-up involving Martin’s case. You can read another article on that here.
To read my opinion on this case, please click here.
- Alessandra Sandri: missing since 1975
- Bianca Lebron: Still missing after almost 15 years
- Andrew Gosden: UK teen vanished after exiting London King’s Cross in 2007
- Reny Jose: Missing since March 2014
- Christine Markham: Missing since 1973