A comedy mystery podcast in which two friends discuss a weekly mystery.

Vishal Mehrotra

This week Zach we’re heading back to jolly old England. The home double decker buses, keep calm signs, and such wonderful bands as Oasis, Blur, and S-Club 7. Much like S-Club 7 in their hit music video for the song S-Club Party we’re going back in time. In fact we’re going back to a momentous day in English history. We’re going back to Wednesday, July 29th 1981. The day that Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married. Now, both of us are too young and too American to remember but this wedding was a big deal. The wedding itself was attended by 3,500 of the world’s most rich and powerful including every crowned head in Europe (except for King Juan Carlos I of Spain who refused to attend because of the couple’s planned stop in Gibraltar during their honeymoon). Adjusted for inflation the wedding cost more than $70 Million. In addition to the 3,500 people who attended the wedding itself and estimated 750 million people watched the wedding on television worldwide.


One of the people who went to see the wedding procession was a young 8 year old boy named Vishal Mehrotra. After watching the festivities Vishal was walking home through the Putney area of London with his nanny and his sister. According to the two of them Vishal was walking ~100 yards in front of them. Eventually Vishal rounded a corner and was out of view of his nanny and sister. When the two finally caught up Vishal had disappeared.


Of course a search was conducted and investigation was launched, but nothing was found. It seemed as if this young boy had vanished into thin air.


It wasn’t until 6 months later in 1982 that his body was discovered, buried in the woods in Sussex, 50 miles away from where he had disappeared. This is where things start to drive me crazy. I can’t find any proper information on how the body was found, how he was buried, or even cause of death because everyone is so eager to rush to the part of the mystery. Here’s what I know, Vishal’s body was found 50 miles away from where he had disappeared, he was buried (not just dumped) in the woods, and only his torso was found. Where he was killed by blunt force trauma, a gunshot, stabbing, strangulation or any number of causes I have no idea. It is also not clear if Vishal had been raped for a couple of reasons, first, only his torso had been found, second it had been 6 months. I’m honestly not sure what evidence can be found after 6 months of decomposition. That’s about as much as I can find on the murder of Vishal Mehrotra and I’d like to take a second before we get into this next second to recognize that Vishal was a person. Way too often in stories about this mystery he’s a footnote that is merely another block building to something bigger. His disappearance was tragic. He was a happy vibrant young boy who had his whole life ahead of him and when he was killed it destroyed the lives of his family members as well.


Now then, let’s talk about what might have happened to Vishal. At the time the police seemed to implicate a notorious child murderer named Sidney Cooke. Sidney Cooke was a member of the “dirty dozen” a group of organized peadophiles who systematically kidnapped and raped minors in the 70s and 80s. During this time Cooke worked for a fair company and ran a “test your strength” contest which he would use to lure young boys. From there he would drug the boys and take them to an apartment the group had rented. The group would rape and abuse the victims. According to police reports it’s suspected that the group murdered up to 20 victims. There’s no evidence that Vishal was abducted by this group but it was brought up during later investigations as a possibility.


Okay, we got the convenient “local peadophile” theory out of the way, now this is where things go a little off the rails. In 2014 Vishal’s father, Vishambar, a former magistrate, came forward and said he had received a phone call a few months after Vishal’s disappearance. The caller was a man in his twenties who claimed that Vishal had been kidnapped by a group of “powerful and high profile” paedophiles who frequented the Elm Guest House. Vishambar taped the phone call and gave it to police but was told it was most likely a crank call and it was never followed up. This wasn’t unexpected by Vishambar, the man on the phone said he had been dismissed by police before.


Now at this point Zach you may be asking yourself, what’s the Elm Guest House? The phrase guest house isn’t something we say often in the US. Essentially it’s a bed and breakfast, a normal home that’s been repurposed to... you guessed it… host guests. Now here’s what we KNOW about the Elm Guest House. It’s located in Hammersmith, less than a mile from where Vishal disappeared. The house was run by a woman named Carole Kasir and her husband. It was widely reported that the Elm Guest House was, in fact, a gay brothel. It was advertised in gay publications as a place where homosexual men could meet in safety and comfort. The house was raided by police and shut down in June of 1982 (a couple months after Vishal’s body had been found). Carole and her husband were both arrested and it’s alleged that Carole was held for three days without being charged but (and you’re about to hear this a lot from me) this can’t be proven. The couple were given suspended sentences for running a disorderly house and having obscene videos. I’ve seen reports (and I’ll be honest, I have absolutely no way of verifying their validity) that as many as 12 underage boys gave evidence to the police that they had been abused. I don’t know what that evidence was or what the police reaction was. I’ve also seen reports that children’s clothing was found in the Elm Guest House. There weren’t any further charges at that time and (as far as I can tell) there wasn’t any further investigation. The next thing we know for sure is that Carole Kasir died in 1990. She was a diabetic and found in her apartment next to several bottles of insulin.


A man name Chris Fay (a friend of Carole Kasir and former social worker) claimed that a peadophile ring, consisting of many powerful British figures and politicians, existed and often used the Elm Guest House as a host. Chris Fay met Carole Kasir in 1989 and says that, at that time, Carole showed him a guest list of VIPs who had stayed at the guest house. Fay wrote down many of the names on the list. Fay also says that Carole showed him photos of British MPs and cabinet ministers in compromising positions with naked children. At this point in her life Carole had been on a downward spiral for several years, she was drinking heavily, had been separated from her husband, and was reportedly suicidal. When Carole died Chris Fay showed up at her inquisition (which is held for anyone who dies under unexplained circumstances in England and Wales) and testified to the existence of Carole’s records.


This is a topic that gets people super super angry, especially on the internet, so I’m going to just apologize for my lack of familiarity with the case and my inability to go into great detail as to what happened next. In the 80s there was a member of parliament named Geoffrey Dickens. Ol’ Dicks actively campaigned against a supposed ring of powerful paedophiles.


In 1984 Dickens gave a dossier on peadophiles allegedly associated with the British government was given to then Home Secretary Leon Brittan. Brittan claims that he then handed the 40 page document to the police but the police claim they received no such document. In addition the document wasn’t retained by the home office and further investigation discovered that during his term as home secretary, Lean Brittan lost 114 documents related to child abuse WARNING: I CANNOT I REPEAT CANNOT FIND CREDIBLE EVIDENCE FOR THIS NEXT STATEMENT, many of these documents implicated members of parliament.


In 2014 the Metropolitan Police of London launched several investigations into an alleged paedophile ring in parliament. These investigations were sparked by the testimony of a victim known only as “Nick” who gave 12 names of people he had been abused by in the 80s including multiple members of parliament as well as Leon Brittan and former prime minister Edward Heath. Nick also claimed that the group was organized, transported to multiple locations in London and murdered at least 3 boys. A huge media frenzy was launched when police came out and said that these claims were, “credible and true” before the investigation had even been conducted.


Eventually former Prime Minister Edward Heath, former army head Lord Bramall, and former member of parliament Harvey Proctor. With immense media coverage the investigation went on with the eventual conclusion that there was not enough evidence to bring charges against any of the three.


That should be the end of it but because of the initial media coverage there was a great deal of distrust toward the government and this mystery has been a goldmine for conspiracy theorists around the world. Here is one such theory that claims to provide proof of a link between the Elm Guest House, in advertisements for the Elm Guest House the phrase “10% discount to sparticus club members”. What is the Sparticus club? Well… NO ONE REALLY KNOWS so let’s talk about what the internet assumes it to be, the spartacus club (later known as Spartacus International) was a publisher of homosexual guides and other written material. It was run by a man named John Stamford who was a former Catholic priest. After disappearing from England and reappearing in Amsterdam Stamford supported the Paedophile Information Exchange and was a publisher and editor for the Peado Alert News which was a magazine for peadophiles by peadophiles. In 1986 Stamford took a couple undercover reporters to the Philippines where he told them he could get them “young boys”. So, in conclusion the Elm Guest House, a proven homosexual brothel, definitely was a front for a peadophile ring because they advertised with a well known homosexual publication that was founded by a man who was a paedophile.


Now why would the police come out and say that the claims were “credible and true”. (Insert explanation of Jimmy Seville here).


Where does all of this leave us? I really don’t know. There’s definitely some suspicious and unexplained actions. Now, this is also speculation so please put just as much weight into this as you did any other piece of speculation. Buggery had only been decriminalized in the UK in 1967 but the age of consent for homosexual intercourse was set at 21 rather than the heterosexual age of 16. Maybe the Elm Guest House was ignoring this gap which led to an effort to cover it up. I just think that any evidence that points to politicians going to the Elm Guest House would indicate that they were homosexual or bisexual way before it would indicate that they were peadophiles.

Ultimately I don’t have any answers that are going to completely satisfy anybody and I definitely don’t know what happened to Vishal Mehrotra, in this case, I don’t think there’s much of a conspiracy.