Anorak News | Who Gave The NoTW Journalist Milly Dowler’s Pin Number And Why Did The Paper Then Hire Glenn Mulcaire?

Who Gave The NoTW Journalist Milly Dowler’s Pin Number And Why Did The Paper Then Hire Glenn Mulcaire?

by | 12th, December 2011

NICK Davies writes on the Milly Dowler phone hacking crime:

A week ago, I discovered that the police had found new evidence about the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone – lots of it.

Can we trust the police? (image: the NoTW’s man at Scotland Yard, Neil Wallis – “I’ve never heard of a policeman, a civil servant or a lawyer wanting me to pay them for information“.)

In London, Scotland Yard had finally gained access to 300m emails on News International’s servers. In Surrey, officers had retrieved all the logs and records from the inquiry that they ran after the 13-year-old schoolgirl was abducted in March 2002.

All the logs they retrieved… No all the logs.

Happily for both police forces, this confirmed almost everything they had previously discovered. The News of the World had indeed hired a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, to hack into the voicemail of the missing girl; he had succeeded; reporters had listened to her messages; Surrey police had known this at the time and taken no action; some messages were deleted; as a result the Dowlers were given false hope that Milly was still alive.

Davies puts the case well. Two questions remain: who trained Mulcaire to hack emails? Why did the police sanction the hacking by their quiescence?

Oh, there is one more question: who deleted the voicemails on Milly Dowler’s phone – the act of callousness that gave her parents false hope? Was it the News of the World? Was it Glenn Mulcaire?

Davies writes:

However, two pieces of new evidence have made the picture more complex. First, Surrey police have been able to establish the exact timing of the false-hope moment, at 7pm on the evening of Sunday 24 March 2002, three days after Milly was abducted. This was a surprise for the Dowlers who had always recalled that it happened two or three weeks after her disappearance. Original police records show that, understandably in the awful stress of events, their timeframe was distorted.

Go on:

Second, Scotland Yard concluded that Mulcaire was not tasked to intercept the girl’s messages until after that date. This was a surprise to Mulcaire who had felt very oppressed by the Dowler revelations and who, according to a close friend, was in tears after he heard the news.

So. Who deleted the voicemail messages? And might it be the same people who train the hackers? And why hire Mulcaire to dow what you are already doing?

At first, one other fragment of new evidence appeared to provide the answer: records showed that Milly’s phone would automatically delete any message 72 hours after it had been listened to. The false-hope moment happened some 75 hours after she was abducted on Thursday afternoon, March 21. But this theory then collapsed, because the records also showed that she had not listened to her voicemail since the preceding day, so the 72-hour period had ended on the Saturday afternoon.


Surrey police have evidence suggesting that one of the paper’s journalists had her phone number and pin code.

Given to him or her by..? The journalists don’t do their own hacking, that much we know. They hire external experts. Someone provided that pin number. Who? Why?

This leaves open the possibility that, before Glenn Mulcaire was tasked, that journalist separately was hacking the girl’s messages and made deletions. However, there is no confirmation of that. So far there has been no comment on this from News International.

Journalists do not hack. They get handed the keys. If a journalist could hack a phone there would be no need to hire the likes of Glenn Mulcaire.

The question is, as it always has been: who trained the hackers and why?

Posted: 12th, December 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (4) | TrackBack | Permalink