Author(s): Ally Chumley
Three-year-old William Tyrrell made headlines across Australia in 2014 after he disappeared while playing outside his foster grandmother's house in Kendall on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales. Writer and researcher Ally Chumley, who has lived a stone's throw from Kendall for decades, watched as the events that unfolded devastated the community and the country. It grabbed her, as a mum of two boys, by the heart and didn't let go. Compelled by a need to understand, Ally began investigating. Searching for Spiderman takes us on an intriguing hunt through state forests, waterways and old bush camps. Solid clues, gossamer leads and red herrings abound. Everyone's a suspect. There are anonymous foster parents veiled in secrecy, neighbours who distrust each other, local paedophiles and a parade of persons of interest. Instead of having too few suspects, detectives have too many. Among it all is William's own birth family, who once hid the toddler from authorities. This bizarre cast of characters keeps everyone guessing, particularly when a veteran lead detective is sensationally removed from the case and subsequently quits the force. Where is little Spiderman? Ally Chumley investigates the many possible answers to find which one may finally put this terrible saga to rest. With powerful storytelling skills, she brings the tragic tale to life, inviting us to join her in sleuthing and to make our own judgements. Speculation, assumption and misinformation have riddled the case. It's time to go beyond the headlines and the soundbites. It's time Australia knew the full story.