Since next month marks the ten year anniversary of the disappearance of Andrew Gosden, I thought we’d take another look at the case.
On the 14th of September 2007, then 14 year-old Andrew Gosden purchased a one way ticket from Doncaster train station to London King's Cross. He was offered a return ticket for the small cost of around £1 (around US $1.30) but turned it down.
CCTV cameras at London Kings cross captured his image for the last time.
(The last images of Andrew Gosden. Source)
He has not been seen since and the purpose of Andrew’s journey and his current whereabouts are unknown to this day.
As the story goes, Andrew woke up late on the wrong side of the bed and seemed to be irritated on the morning of his disappearance. However, he continued to get dressed in his school uniform and prepared for the day as usual.
He was young looking for his age, stood around 5”3 and was a shy boy. The 14 year-old is described by his parents and in various online articles as an intelligent and gifted teenager who had an unblemished school attendance record. On the day he went missing, however, he skipped class to return home from school around the time that he knew his parents would have set off to work and the house would be empty.
He changed out of his uniform into his everyday attire (on this day, specifically, a black Slipknot band T-shirt and a pair of jeans), bundled his school clothes into the washing machine and per his daily routine, lay his blazer neatly over the back of a chair. Andrew slung a messenger bag over his shoulder, picked up his PSP (minus the charger), and left the family home. From there he withdrew £200 from his bank account and set off for the nearest train station in South Yorkshire- Doncaster.
He boarded the train with a single ticket (as confirmed by a passenger who later came forward as an eyewitness) and used his PSP for most of the journey.
The console has been a point of interest in the case for many amateur online sleuths who consider it to be the very device on which they believe Andrew was chatting with someone he met online and planned to meet.
Although the teenager’s parents claim that their son didn’t have so much as an email address, the PSP did have the ability to connect to the internet. One popular theory is that Andrew met someone online and bought a ticket to London in order to secretly meet them. However, when he showed up, the online friend wasn’t who they claimed to be and Andrew fell victim to foul play.
This is an idea that I personally subscribe to, as well. As a teenager, my parents had no idea what I did online and weren’t really as computer literate back then as they are now. Despite the dangers, my teenage self met online friends several times and luckily never got into any sketchy situations. Of course, we never told our parents of our plans and were back by the time the day was over and I feel this may have been what Andrew had planned, but something possibly went wrong along the way.
If Andrew had premeditated running away long term, many people feel as though he would have made more preparations. For example, he might have packed the charger for his PSP so he could continue to use it. The fact that he didn’t suggests that he may have fully charged it (apparently fully charged it would last for around 4 hours, which was enough for the train ride there and back).
Also, Andrew had an extra £100 sitting around in his room which he neglected to take. This seems to me like he intended to return and the £200 he had withdrawn was his budget for the day (or overnight) trip to the capital city. As far as I can tell from the various articles online regarding Andrew’s case, the single ticket he purchased would have been around £60 - £70 (although I have to state that there is debate if that is the cost of an adult fare and if there would be a difference in price for a children’s ticket).
If the teen intended to return to Doncaster the following day, a day return ticket would be useless to him. If he was planning to attend an event at night time (let’s say a concert as he was into his music and most touring bands tend to play in London) and get a train early the following morning, he would have to buy another single anyway. So, let’s say that’s another £60 - £70 maximum. That would leave Andrew with around £60 - £80 in his pocket. This would be enough money to buy tickets to a concert and feed himself until the next day and he wouldn’t really require a hostel or hotel if he was planning to stay awake all night and catch the earliest train back the following morning.
I read on the help us find Andrew website that his dad had taken him to at least one concert in London in the past, so wouldn’t Andrew just ask his dad to take him if that was the case? Or was he at the stage in his teen years that it would be embarrassing for him to go to a show with a parent? This might especially be the case if he was going to meet a girl or a boy he was interested in, or even an older online friend..
Maybe Andrew felt mature enough to go alone and by then was familiar with the journey from previous trips with his dad and decided to go it alone.
When the Gosden family returned home that day, they didn’t realize that Andrew was missing until they called him for dinner and he didn’t respond. Friends, family, and those in the local community hadn’t heard from or seen Andrew, so at a loss for what to do next, the family called the police.
Through their own investigative work, Andrews family and friends figured out that he had went to the train station and purchased a one way ticket to London King's Cross after talking to the cashier who had served him. They followed his footsteps and put up missing posters and handed out flyers at his favorite places in London in the hope of finding the next clue.
It took police 27 days to retrieve the still image from the CCTV at London King's Cross station in an apparently slow and incompetent investigation that disappointed the Gosden family deeply.
The police neglected to collect surveillance footage from local transport and establishments in the area on time and most files had been deleted by the time they got around to it, letting the CCTV trail go cold.
In an interview, Andrew’s dad, Kevin, admitted that he felt blamed and pressured by the local authorities to the point that he attempted to take his own life. He is only alive today because at the very moment he attempted to hang himself, the family priest showed up at the Gosden home and saved him.
In this interview his dad also mentions that although Andrew had a couple of phones in the past, at the time of his disappearance he didn’t own one and had actually rejected the offer of a new one. Apparently he “lost” them and didn’t really care for a new one.
Did Andrew really lose them? Or were they taken from him (say, by a school bully for instance) or maybe he sold them and had more money than we believe he did for his trip to London.
One behavioral change that the family noticed was in Andrew’s route home from school. Apparently during the last two weeks before his disappearance he began walking home as opposed to taking the bus as he usually did.
Why would the teenager do this?
In my opinion, the only reason I would have changed my routine as a kid in school would be to avoid someone (lets go with a bully again) or to pocket the bus fare to save the cash for whatever I wanted it for.
Another theory that you’ll find online when searching this case, is the idea that Andrew ran away to start a new life. It’s often mentioned that he enjoyed the series “The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin” which was a TV show (based on a series of books) about a middle aged man who grew bored with life and faked his own death to start anew. Is this plausible? Is it possible with such little money? If this was his plan, did he believe that he would meet someone who would help him out? Maybe someone older and with their own place?
Finally, some believe that Andrew may have ended his own life in London and was just spending his final day in his favorite city.
The truth is, we have no idea what happened to Andrew.
Recently, I made a post over at my personal true crime blog about a post from over at unresolved mysteries. A user there had done a lot of sleuthing and thought they found a sighting of Andrew in a video recorded the day he went missing.
(The original footage from the train station. Source)
The above image is a still from the video on reddit post.
The first thing I noticed is that the bag is a different color. But this is some dedication to the case. An edit in the original post states that the user contacted Kevin Gosden and the man himself does not believe it is his son.
People in the comments section began looking at the videos from the user and found out there were actually a few kids who looked like Andrew. This one in particular stood out to those in the comment section.
(Comparison image made by this user)
The users searched for photographs from that day (which was a YouTube meet up) and amazingly found this image.
I enlarged a small portion of this image to point out the kid that people think resembles Andrew.
Some people think that he looks too tall. However, he could be standing on the base of the monument. You can explore the comments section of this post if you’re curious.
Lastly, there’s this 4Chan post to consider.
This image was posted on 4Chan by an anonymous OP who believed his friend may be Andrew.
Apparently, he lived in Wales and had a bit of a British accent and worked in IT or software, IIRC.
Nothing ever came of this to my knowledge.
What do you think happened to Andrew?
(An image generated to suggest what Andrew may look like today. Source)
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