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Author Topic: Murder of Geraldine Beston in Chatham, 1968  (Read 3213 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: Murder of Geraldine Beston in Chatham, 1968
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 23:54:00 »
If anyone has further information to share please make it available via personal messages.  I am locking this thread as it is uncertain whether close family members may still survive.

Offline njblas

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Re: Murder of Geraldine Beston in Chatham, 1968
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2016, 10:31:40 »
Hi njblas,

Geraldine was actually playing in our garden a few days before her death, with my sister and our pets!
We were children at the time so my memories are a bit hazy,plus Im not sure what I heard was truth or speculation,so I shall curb what I could say.
All I will say is that she was one of the nicest girls I knew and was always happy,the weeks following were very dark and we never really saw her family again,certainly not in the same way.
As for the flats they have been pulled down,I think in the 1980's,.I thought the block in question backed onto Ordnance St but I could be mistaken.
Your post has answered my question,as to why I could never find any information over the years on the murder.
I will leave it up to the moderators wether I disclose any more family background.Not that I can remember much !

Thank you, snodlandmalc, for sharing your personal reminiscences here. Much appreciated, and thank you for the information regarding the flats being pulled down. I don't know for sure whether the flats backed onto Ordnance St, or whether they were on the other side of the street, around the Priestdale Court area...

Offline njblas

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Re: Murder of Geraldine Beston in Chatham, 1968
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2016, 22:57:56 »
Well Nick, the problem is that Geraldine may have had siblings or other family members and Joyce Ballard is reported as having had children; victims all I suggest.  Any of  these could consider that the search for more details is akin to media photographers running alongside the windows of prisoner transports trying to take superfluous pictures of the convicted.
I agree with you 100%, any children of the Ballards are victims as well and totally entitled to their privacy. I apologise if my posts seem to indicate I believed otherwise.
As stated earlier, I don't believe Geraldine had any siblings. Should this turn out to not be the case, again I will offer my apologies for stirring up painful memories caused should they see this thread.

Offline snodlandmalc

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Re: Murder of Geraldine Beston in Chatham, 1968
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2016, 20:43:28 »
Hi njblas,

Geraldine was actually playing in our garden a few days before her death, with my sister and our pets!
We were children at the time so my memories are a bit hazy,plus Im not sure what I heard was truth or speculation,so I shall curb what I could say.
All I will say is that she was one of the nicest girls I knew and was always happy,the weeks following were very dark and we never really saw her family again,certainly not in the same way.
As for the flats they have been pulled down,I think in the 1980's,.I thought the block in question backed onto Ordnance St but I could be mistaken.
Your post has answered my question,as to why I could never find any information over the years on the murder.
I will leave it up to the moderators wether I disclose any more family background.Not that I can remember much !

Offline Nemo

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Re: Murder of Geraldine Beston in Chatham, 1968
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2016, 17:41:35 »
Well Nick, the problem is that Geraldine may have had siblings or other family members and Joyce Ballard is reported as having had children; victims all I suggest.  Any of  these could consider that the search for more details is akin to media photographers running alongside the windows of prisoner transports trying to take superfluous pictures of the convicted.

Offline njblas

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Re: Murder of Geraldine Beston in Chatham, 1968
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2016, 15:32:39 »
Good Morning Njblas,
                                  I don't know for what reason you are researching this subject.
      The reason the NA has locked the details until 2062 is to protect folks involved.
       The little girls parents are probable still alive and living in Kent and obviously would be caused distress  by this,I don't think it is a suitable  subject  to ask for help from our forum members ,some of whom may well know the family..
                                  Please understand this is only my own opinion and some forum members may wish to assist you.
Hello Grandarog, thank you for your comment. I completely understand and respect your point of view. I was remiss in not making it clear that I did not wish to pry into the distressing details of this crime - which, as you say, are now locked away for valid reasons. That would be insensitive and crass of me, and I would not wish to cause any upset to any member of Geraldine's family. Their suffering over the years must indeed have been immense. However, before starting this thread I did some research which indicated that both Geraldine's parents had passed away in 2008 (and I was unable to find any mention of Geraldine having any siblings). While I cannot state with 100% certainty that this information is correct, it came from a seemingly reliable source.
The sort of information I was hoping to elicit was really more along the lines of:  information about the block of flats and whether they are still standing; any details about what became of Joyce Ballard; and any recollections people may have about the impact of this crime on the local community at the time.
I hope that within the boundaries of respect and consideration of the feelings of those affected, this could still be a subject which readers of this 'Crime, Punishment & Law Enforcement' forum may wish to comment on. My apologies if my initial post did not appear to reflect the fact that I do feel enormous sympathy for the Beston family and what they have endured.

Offline grandarog

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Re: Murder of Geraldine Beston in Chatham, 1968
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2016, 08:16:11 »
Good Morning Njblas,
                                  I don't know for what reason you are researching this subject.
      The reason the NA has locked the details until 2062 is to protect folks involved.
       The little girls parents are probable still alive and living in Kent and obviously would be caused distress  by this,I don't think it is a suitable  subject  to ask for help from our forum members ,some of whom may well know the family..
                                  Please understand this is only my own opinion and some forum members may wish to assist you.

Offline njblas

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Murder of Geraldine Beston in Chatham, 1968
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2016, 00:54:20 »
Hello! I am researching the murder of Geraldine Beston, aged 12, at 64 Fort Pitt Street, Chatham on or around 15th October, 1968. It was an horrific crime. Her neighbour and killer Robert Henry Ballard committed suicide immediately afterwards. For her role in the crime, Ballard's wife Joyce Frances Ballard was convicted of manslaughter on or around 18th December,1968. She was sentenced to just 3 years gaol.
There is very little material available on the web about this crime. The records are frozen at the National Archives until January 2062. It doesn't appear to have ever been covered in any true crime anthologies or magazines.
Does anyone have any personal knowledge or recollections of Geraldine's death, or any newspaper reports/photos relating to the murder (and also Mrs Ballard's trial) they could share? Particularly any photo which might show the block of flats at 64 Fort Pitt St. where the murder happened. Can anyone tell me whether the block of flats is still there today?
I would also be very interested to find out whether anyone has any knowledge of what became of Joyce Ballard (and her two children) after her release from gaol. However, I realise it's likely that she changed her identity and started a new life elsewhere, so this information might be hard to come by!
I have attached the only press report I have been able to locate so far (it appeared in an Australian newspaper on 20th December, 1968). If anyone is able to supplement the information contained in this article in any way, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

 

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