It was 4pm on the 21st September 2001.
Under the bright lights of the famous Globe Theatre where Shakespeare produced some of his most gruesome and bloodiest plays, life would exceed the absurdities of drama — a mutilated torso had washed up from the river covered in a red cloth. Police investigators would discover it was a child’s torso (they named him Adam) and the ethnic origins were sub-Saharan African.
Police initially linked the remains to a religious sacrifice and the African mythology of Muti-based ritualism.
Muti reflects the idea of South African ritual killings for a kind of pseudo-scientific medicinal purposes. However; this would send the Metropolitan Police of London on a bit of a wild goose chase where they investigated heavily in South Africa and even had the help of Nelson Mandela; who made an international appeal for information. Gaining Mandela’s help was a major coup for the Met Police but may have covered up the embarrassment of being 1000s of miles out geographically.
It wasn’t until further forensics carried out that the Met could link Adam specifically to West Africa, as opposed to the initial belief that Adam was from Southern Africa. This was as a result of the poison found within Adam’s intestines. Trace minerals identified that Adam may have come from an area near Benin (not the country but the region in Nigeria also called Benin). The forensics were remarkably specific in identifying Adam’s birthplace.
Adam was poisoned and paralysed before his murder with his blood drained of blood and the specific plant extracts found were Nigerian in origin. In sacrificing Adam’s throat was slit, his blood was drained and his head and limbs were removed. Remember that we are talking about a boy no older than 7 years old here.
The stomach contents found within Adam indicated that he had only been in the UK a few days — and it was believed that Adam had been trafficked from Africa to Germany and then to the UK; where he was murdered in what may have been in an extremely painful and gratuitous manner.
The main purpose in the mutilation of Adam is to harvest parts for medicine in Muti related murders however there may be a spiritual sacrifice to the Juju entities also involved. In any event, the discovery of Adam lifted the lid on related Muti sacrifices which had occurred across Europe in the early 2000s.
In the aftermath of the Torso case Kingsley Ojo was arrested for human trafficking. Kingsley to this day denies any involvement in the Adam case however he was named under the alias as “Bawa” as the man that shipped, for lack of a better word, Adam from his care-giver Joyce Osagiede, from Germany to the UK — where his remains were later found.
In 2004 Kingsley (then 35) was charged with bringing false papers into Britain, using a forged driving licence and heading a substantial network of bringing children to the UK to work as slaves or prostitutes. However; according to Scotland Yard they do not believe he killed Adam — but it seems he holds the key to whoever may have been involved. It is now believe that Kingsley is in Nigeria after being deported from the UK.
A further interesting point is that within the domicile of Kingsley, found in a plastic bag was a mixture of bone, sand and flecks of gold similar to what was found in Adam’s stomach. They also found a snuff film, however, it was a shared accommodation and Kingsley denied owning either the concoction of gold and body parts or the snuff film and there was not enough evidence to charge Kingsley directly with the discovered torso or the murder of Adam.
Joyce is an interesting case as she was the carer for a boy named Patrick Erhabor (possible surname of Oghoho) and she may hold the most information with regards to Adam. A tip-off and raid of her flat in Glasgow led to police finding a pair of Orange shorts similar to the cloth that was wrapped around the discovered torso. Joyce was also deported back to Nigeria and huge questions remain regarding her mental state. If she was the caregiver of Patrick who emerged to be Adam in the Thames, then people in future may want to steer clear of living their children with this incompetent moron.
While living in Nigeria, Joyce and Kingsley have refused co-operation on the case and have denied direct involvement in the torture, murder or ritualism of Patrick or Adam.
Although it is believed that the Torso was belonging to that of Patrick Erhabor and investigators from the BBC even tracked down witnesses in Hamburg who were familiar with the young boy; there is no definite proof or conclusion to this case and there is nothing to conclusively determine that Adam is Patrick Erhabor.
The word Juju is ominous around many African communities and the idea of human sacrifices in sociological history is a long and painful one and thankfully, is something that is totally archaic and repugnant to modern humanity. Ultimately despite the mystery and intrigue of the case what we should not forget is that a young child suffered needlessly and that there was a spate of related sacrifices in the UK AND “witchcraft” related murders of young children with links to African superstition.
The Adam case was around the time of Victoria Climbié — a young girl that was beaten to death by her piece-of-shit caregivers as they believed she was possessed by witchcraft. In prosecuting those responsible for the death of Adam; there should be a clear and harsh message that religious beliefs do not supersede the law and human decency. It is a tragedy that nobody has yet been convicted or identified to be behind the murder and that Adam’s death may have been in vain. The story is a truly devastating one.
For now the case remains frozen solid and there have been no further developments mentioned since 2013. I fear this matter will remain closed as all of the potential suspects have scarpered to Africa or that the evidence to arrest anyone is flimsy at best.
However; I am sure there are people out there that know better than me and could potentially shed some light on this dark case. My thoughts go out to Adam/Patrick and any child that suffers such horrific abuse.
THE BOY IN THE RIVER was written by Richard Hoskins. It has a 3.99 rating on Goodreads.