true crime

The moment James Bulger's sister visited the grave of the brother she'll never meet.

Wearing a candy red coat and a grey pom pom hat, “Princess” clutched a small bunch of carnations in one hand and her father’s hand in the other.

For the first time, the four year-old was visiting the grave of James Bulger, the brother she never got to meet.

On the 12th February 1993 two year-old James Bulger was led away from a shopping centre in Bootle, UK in a window of just a few minutes when his mother was distracted. Two day later, his mutilated body was found on a railway line four km away.


Two ten year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, were charged with James’ abduction and murder.

Approaching the 25th anniversary of his kidnapping, James’ father Ralph took his four year-old daughter nicknamed Princess to meet him. The visit reportedly brought him to tears.

“My beautiful daughter makes my life worth living, and it feels right to bring her to say hello to James now,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

He said that while she often reminded him of his first son, he had not told her much as he didn’t want her to “live in the shadow of her brother’s dark and brutal killing.”

James Bulger before he went missing. Image: Supplied

"Instead I want her to learn the happy things about his life, and how he was a much-loved and beautiful little boy."

Describing Princess - he wants to withhold her proper name - as "mischievous", the 51 year-old told the paper he thinks the pair would have got along.

"James would’ve adored his baby sister as she bears so many of his ­characteristics – most of all his ­cheekiness and sense of fun."

He says she has given him a "second chance at happiness."

"Natalie [his second wife] and Princess have helped heal my hurt not just with love, kindness and patience but laughter and joy too."

Ralph's marriage to James' mother and first wife Denise was 'torn apart by grief' with both blaming themselves for their son's death.

Listen: What to say to someone who has lost a child.