Andrew Gosden left his home in Yorkshire, England on 14th September 2007, purchased a train ticket to London where he promptly disappeared.
Teenager Andrew is a very talented youngster who excelled in mathematics. A few days before he left home, he had returned from an educational summer camp for young and gifted children. He had been very keen to attend and actually declined a visit to his grandparents in London to attend the event.
The Young and Gifted Programme is for a select five per cent of school children that really excel in education to the point where at a young age it is recommended that they be accepted into major universities such as Cambridge or Oxford. In Andrew’s case, it was planned that he would go on to study mathematics at Cambridge.
One more very important point to raise here is that Andrew had an absolute 100% school attendance record, never took any time off for illness or truancy of any kind.
Let’s forward to the day that the teenager disappeared and look at some of the important points.
Andrew woke up a little later than usual on Friday 14th September 2007 but got ready for school and set out in the same way at around 8.05 am just like any other school day, even calling out ‘see you later’ as he left, but that is where the similarities end.
The teenager did not make his way to catch the school bus as he normally would have, instead he headed in the opposite direction and hid in the local park until his sister and parents left the house. Clearly, even at this early stage, he was following a carefully hatched plan.
Just twenty-five minutes later, Andrew was back at his house changing his clothes and making good plans for heading off to London. Now I have to say here that some people believe the teenager planned to return and only went for the day or at most the weekend, but I do not follow that hypothesis. I believe that Andrew Gosden had a definite plan to leave home on that day and make a new life elsewhere.
Having made things look ‘normal’ at home by hanging his blazer in its usual place and popping his school uniform into the washing machine, Andrew headed off to a local ATM cash dispenser where he withdrew the sum of two hundred pounds. He then walked to the railway station and purchased a one-way ticket to Kings Cross, London.
Now, this is where the questions begin to come up. A 14-year-old boy, who appeared younger than his age turned up at the station's ticket office on a school day, ordered a single ticket to London, even insisting that he would not want a return despite it only being a very small amount more.
Why did the ticket office operative not question all this? Why did she not seek advice or even alert the British Transport Police? Hardly the act of a professional in my opinion.
I mean put yourself in that ticket office; would you have sold a one-way ticket for a lone child to travel some two hundred and seventy miles to the UK capital city at a cost of one hundred and thirty pounds, which he tendered in cash? I know that I definitely would have tried to hold him up and summoned help.
I think it is important to mention here that Andrew left approximately one hundred pounds in cash in his bedroom on the day he left. This was money that he had accumulated from his birthday and savings. Why he did not take it with him I am unable to decide, but I believe he did not simply leave it by accident. That was a very deliberate and calculated act, possibly to make his family believe that he would return.
Let’s remember that Andrew Gosden was very much above average when it came to education and would probably have thought each step through carefully. For example, he knew he had to pass a neighbouring house that was fitted with CCTV when he left so he knew that the family would have known what he was wearing and carrying.
I think that he would have carefully considered others movements who lived locally to him in order to reduce the risk of being stopped and questioned as to why he was not at school, where he was going and so on.
So, Andrew boards a train to London at 9.35 am and sets off on his journey. We know that he was on the train because witnesses have come forward to state that they saw him and one lady, in particular, recalled seeing him concentrating on a game that he was playing on his Portable play station.
He arrived at Kings Cross station at 11.20 am and was only seen by one CCTV camera, despite there being many around the site. I believe that this may have been hampered by the Metropolitan police not seizing the CCTV tapes quickly enough and many images being recorded over, but I will come to that.
Now, various reasons have been suggested for Andrew heading off to London including him wanting to attend a rock band gig or two as he was a heavy metal fan, but I really do not buy that. As previously mentioned he had a 100% school attendance record so why bunk off when the very next day was Saturday and he could have gone legitimately, the action does not fit his profile at all.
It was suggested that Andrew travelled away in order to commit suicide. Once again I find this almost impossible to comprehend that a boy would travel that kind of distance in order to kill himself. Further to this of course, if he had committed suicide then ultimately he could not have concealed his own body and he has not been found.
Please be mindful of the fact that he withdrew some two hundred pounds from his bank account when he knew he would only need seventy for the train fare, this only adds to the presumption that he did not travel in order to end his life.
So why did this 14-year old lad up and leave just like that? Well, I do have one or two theories but they are merely that, theories. I will however raise one or two points and leave you to think it over. Whatever way we go the fact remains that this very smart, highly educated boy made a conscious decision to spend money and travel 260 miles to London.
The other very serious question that springs to mind here is, how did this boy simply vanish into thin air in a busy London terminus area in broad daylight? Abduction is almost completely ruled out as there are no reports of struggles, screams, vehicles or people acting suspiciously in the area.
For those of you that are not familiar with the area surrounding Kings Cross, it is a very busy and vibrant area with many retail premises, bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and hotels as well as residential living areas. It amazes me that no one has ever come forward to say that they saw Andrew, met with him, spoke with him or even served him in a food outlet so this to me indicates that he went somewhere quite quickly out of sight.
I am of the opinion that Andrew Gosden knew where he was going and who with well before he left Doncaster, probably he had either met someone during his attendance at the high achievers camp or even before that. I think that he arrived in London and was either in a vehicle and off out of the area within minutes or more likely he went into a property very close to the station.
So let’s look at some points that I believe to be important. Whilst I do not want to ruffle feathers or want anyone to sue me, I feel that some things have to be put forward.
One: Andrew’s family were always churchgoers and I believe that Kevin Gosden (Andrew’s father) had studied theology and religion for some of his life. Andrew had chosen to stop going to church about a year before his disappearance.
Two: Andrew had also stopped attending the local scout group a few months prior to him leaving.
Three: On the morning of his disappearance, the family vicar Reverend Alan Murray saw Andrew Gosden in the park on the morning of September 14th 2007. Remember the boy was at that point wearing his school uniform and the park was in the opposite direction of the school bus.
Reverend Murray did not pay Andrew any attention, despite knowing that he had a 100% school attendance record. This man, a pillar of the community and a personal friend to the family chose not to approach Andrew and enquire as to his wellbeing and not to contact his parents to report the teenager’s very unusual behaviour. I cannot help but wonder if there is a connection, but at this time I have no evidence to suggest that there was anything untoward so I can only speculate. I would like an answer to this question if anyone reading this article can enlighten me.
Four: During the passage of time a report has been made to the police that an online conversation had been held between two males, one of whom used the handle ‘Andy-Roo’. Interestingly one of Andrew’s childhood nicknames had been ‘Roo’,
Andy Roo told the person who he was talking with that he had rub short of money and needed to pay rent. When the person offered to help and said that he would transfer money to a bank, Andy-roo said that he did not have a bank account as he had left home at 14-years-old.
Andy-roo also said that he was in the Lincoln area, which of course lead to the Gosden family heading over there where they talked to people on the streets and distributed a large number of fliers, all to no avail. It is my opinion that if this was Andrew that held those conversations then he probably gave a false location, knowing that if the story got to his family they would probably go looking for him.
Unfortunately, or conveniently depending on how you view things the site made a number of changes and somehow the records of the conversations and identifying IP addresses were lost. Convenient or coincidence? You decide.
Five: This in my mind is one of the most important leads in this whole case but seems to have received the least attention.
An unknown male attended the Enterprise Way police station in Leominster, Herefordshire in 2008 and having discovered the offices to be closed he rang the intercom and told police that he had information regarding missing Andrew Gosden, including that he had seen the boy in Shrewsbury.
Sadly, it took time for police officers to arrive at the entrance to the police station and when they did so they found the man had gone.
The same man also wrote to the BBC and told them the same thing; that he had seen Andrew several times in Shrewsbury but despite reports that West Yorkshire police were liaising with Herefordshire police in order to make further investigations, no further reports have been made available on this.
The story was featured on the BBC Spotlight programme on November 26th 2008 but as far as I am aware, the Gosden family did not go leafleting there or even visit Shrewsbury. Whether they believed that the story was a hoax and therefore ignored it or were advised by police not to attend it is not clear. Once again, if you have any information on this do please let us know.
In closing, I am sure many will want to know what my team and I believe happened to Andrew Gosden. Having looked at a lot of material connected to this case, it is our gut feeling that Andrew is alive and well and more than likely still in London with his partner, who may well be another male.
We believe that Andrew is aware of the ongoing search for him but, he either will not or feels he cannot go back after so long. He may well read this actual article and our plea to him os of course: Andrew if you are reading this, please get in touch with your family or even the police and let them know that you are safe.
Here are links to articles and the family site in connection with this unusual and rather confusing case.
Missing: How do families cope?
Andrew Gosden update, December 3, 2008: Last week we asked you to look out for two missing people - and we might just…
Dad of missing teen speaks out as fresh appeal launched on TV
The anguished dad of a Doncaster teenager who vanished without a trace 13 years ago has revealed that every day is a…
Help Us To Find Andrew
new age-progressed images Andrew has been missing from his home in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, since 14 September 2007…
We will be back later this week with a collaboration deep-dive study of the Claire Tiltman case featuring Liquid Bullet Productionz and crime researcher Vincent Wright.
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