I don’t believe I’ve mentioned this in a blog post before, or if I have, it’s been only briefly touched on, but this is actually for a college class. Most of my blog posts have been assignments, although I do hope to continue this blog when the semester ends. We were allowed to pick whatever topic we chose – my topic is pretty different from the rest of my classmates’.
This week’s assignment was to edit a Wikipedia page. Obviously, I wanted the page to be related to murder. At my professor’s suggestion, I took a look through the “stubs” category, which are unfinished Wikipedia pages with minimal information. I went straight to the crime stub and quickly found a stub that caught my eye: “Babes in the Wood murders (Wild Park).”
There are two crime stubs titled “Babes in the Wood,” but I chose this one because the other, while similar in style and equally tragic, was older and would be more difficult to learn more about and research. Unfortunately, young children turning up dead in parks is common enough that “Babes in the Wood” has turned into a subcategory of sorts for murder. The one I chose was about two young girls found in a park by their homes in Britain in the the last 1980s. It remains unsolved.
The Babes in the Wood murders in Wild Park had minimal information, so I scoured the internet for any extra details on the case. The most recent item on the Wikipedia page was that an unnamed man had be arrested in connection to the murders in May 2016, but I was unable to find any more information on this man and why he was arrested after all this time.
I had never contributed to a Wikipedia page before, but in middle school I had friends who would joke about inserting pop culture references into pages about World War 2. The point of the assignment was to add something truthful to the page that furthered the discussion. I googled the case and combed articles for anything that wasn’t on the Wikipedia page. I found that one of the father of one of the girls had been arrested over 20 years after the murders for sexual assault unrelated to the murders, but evidence of sexual assault was allegedly present on that girl’s body. I added that bit of information in, along with the day the girls went missing and were discovered (previously, only the month and year were on the page).
Editing a page is shockingly simple. Wikipedia is very user-friendly and makes it very easy to add internal hyperlinks, citations and more. I barely had to read any of the tutorials to figure it out. Or maybe I’m just a fast learner.
Working on this assignment really got this case under my skin and I want to do more research into it. The process was really exciting and made me feel like some of my favorite murder media content creators, like the women of My Favorite Murder or the guys from Buzzfeed Unsolved. I’m also a bit of a research nerd – when I want to know about something, I go to the far reaches of the internet. I’m inspired to go through more crime stubs and try to expand on more unsolved cases. Maybe I’ll even solve and get a movie made about me. Or not. A girl can dream.