The Wall Street Journal has some intriguing new detail today about the hacking of murdered teenager Milly Dowler’s phone by the News of the World in 2002.
It reports that former News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck dispatched eight reporters to monitor an printer-cartridge factor in Telford in April 2002, three weeks after Dowler disappeared.
The News of the World was apparently acting on information left on Dowler’s voicemail offering her a job in the Midlands. It may have been that a hoaxer had applied for the job posing as Dowler and using her number. The reporters apparently spent three days monitoring the factory in the belief that Dowler was working there.
The WSJ also reports that News Corp has identified the individual who commissioned private investigator Glenn Mulcaire to target the missing schoolgirl’s phone.
Amazingly, it now turns out according to the WSJ that an early edition News of the World story went into far more detail about Dowler’s voicemails:
The first version of the article ran in the early England edition and the Scotland edition, reaching hundreds of thousands of readers.
The roughly 300-word story led with the fact that voicemails had been left for Milly after her disappearance, and said one of the messages “appeared to be offering [Milly] a job in the Midlands.” The article quoted a message about this job offer, saying it was left at 10:13 on March 27: “Hello Mandy. We are ringing because we have some interviews starting. Can you call me back? Thank you. Bye Bye.”
http://blogs.pressgazette.co.uk/wire/8129The article also gave detailed accounts of two other messages left on the youngster’s phone. It quoted from a strange and unexplained message left on March 28, at 7:48 a.m., by a man who signed off by saying, “Piggo, baby.” The article also cited the time and date of a third voice mail, which it described as “another brief cryptic message.”