The News of the World hired a private investigator to uncover stories surrounding the murder of 13 year old Milly Dowler in 2002, while also hacking into her mobile cell phone. It is alleged that journalists working on the paper deleted some voice mail on the murdered girl's phone to make way for fresh messages, which gave her family and the police false hope that she was still alive.
The scandalous behaviour of those directly employed by the Rupert Murdoch owned paper, appears to have been uncovered by a new police investigation into the whole hacking scandal, which the newspaper has always insisted was the work of rogue employees and unknown to those in charge. However the latest allegations are the most serious yet, amounting to the direct tampering of evidence in a case that became a murder hunt and can't be so easily brushed aside by the then editor Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, who recently resigned as the Prime Minister's Communications Director, but at the time was Deputy Editor of the News of the World.
It does seem unbelievable that such behaviour was taking place in a newsroom while those in charge remained totally ignorant of wrongdoings. Rebekah Brooks is now chief executive of Murdoch's News International in the UK and a major media player, with friends in high places. Andy Coulson resigned from David Cameron's team back in January because of phone hacking allegations against celebrities, many of whom are suing the newspaper. Others, like actress Sienna Millar, have already accepted large sums in damages.
Hacking into the mobiles of publicity junkies like actors, footballers and politicians is one thing, even if illegal, but to use such tactics for a story concerning a missing child, later found dead, is beyond distasteful and seems to demonstrate a lack of any moral guidelines within the paper.
Mr Murdoch himself has always been seen as a shadowy figure in Britain, said to have instant access to any Prime Minister and with enormous influence through his publications, The Sun, The Times and The News Of The World. He is also about to get full control of BSB, owner of Sky News. This latest investigation will not be to his liking and the heads of senior executives may need to be sacrificed, if his empire is to retain its credibility and influence within the UK.