Darren Jason Shannon, popularly known as Jason, was a tender babe with lustrous locks of hair and entrancing sapphire eyes when he inexplicably disappeared on the ninth of June in the year 1973. On that fateful day, Jason’s father, John ‘Barry’ Shannon, clandestinely abducted his son from the domicile of the child’s grandparents situated in the Northern suburbs of Adelaide, during a scheduled visitation period.
Under the veil of darkness, around 6:50 pm that very evening, he absconded with baby Jason. Tragically, at approximately 9:15 pm, fate struck with a head-on collision between John Shannon’s vehicle and another motor car on Main North Road, just south of Roseworthy, resulting in his untimely demise. Baby Jason was not present within the vehicle during this harrowing incident, and despite extensive searches conducted at the scene and its surroundings, no trace of Jason emerged. The fate of the infant remained shrouded in mystery.
Law enforcement authorities put forth a plausible hypothesis that John Shannon, in a distressing twist of events, might have committed an unimaginable act of filicide, subsequently disposing of his son’s lifeless body somewhere that very night, only to meet his own end in the ill-fated vehicular accident. John, plagued by several mental health afflictions, reportedly exhibited perplexing behavior throughout that ill-fated day.
Compounding the enigma surrounding the case was the severe winter tempest that had engulfed Adelaide on the night when baby Jason was snatched away. It is conceivable that John might have callously cast his son into a surging river or a tumultuous storm water drain, making the recovery of his remains an insurmountable task. To this day, no vestiges have been discovered, perpetuating the mystery.
Another conjecture, not entirely dismissed by the police, postulates that John might have surreptitiously handed his son over to an unfamiliar individual, who subsequently raised baby Jason as their own, unbeknownst to the child himself. Admittedly, the likelihood of this scenario is infinitesimal, considering the extensive media coverage at the time. Nonetheless, until concrete evidence materializes in the form of a recovered body, this theory cannot be categorically refuted. If indeed this were the case, baby Jason would have reached the age of 46 today.
During the ill-fated incident, when John ‘Barry’ Shannon spirited Jason away from the residence that night, the child’s grandfather valiantly pursued them but failed to catch up. He even hastened back to his own vehicle in a desperate bid to continue the pursuit, yet he was unable to locate John. The memory of this heart-wrenching chase continued to haunt Jason’s mother, Michelle, in the years that followed.
Overwhelmed by her emotions, Michelle, along with her parents, departed Adelaide and returned to the United Kingdom in the early months of 1974. She recollects being in a state of profound disarray and plagued by guilt for leaving Adelaide without her beloved baby son. “I migrated to Australia with the aspiration of forging a new life, and it filled me with sorrow, a profound sadness, to bid farewell. I held an abiding affection for the people,” she lamented. “People may expect one to acclimate effortlessly, but alas, it is not so. One does not feel complete, if that notion resonates.
“It has been many a year that every morn, upon awakening, my initial cogitation would unfailingly turn to Jason,” she expressed. “On one fateful day, years later, I awoke to a peculiar sensation, for he no longer claimed the position of prominence in my thoughts. Nevertheless, there hasn’t been a single day when Jason fails to occupy my mind.”
Jason’s final sighting depicted him clad in a flowing, pristine white nightgown, accompanied by a buttoned cobalt cardigan and a diaper.
The Government of South Australia pledges rewards of up to $1,000,000, subject to the discretion of the Commissioner of Police, to any individual who provides information and assistance that culminates in the conviction of the individual or individuals presumed accountable for the alleged slaying of Darren Jason Shannon (or leads to the discovery and retrieval of the victim’s remains).
We implore anyone in possession of pertinent information to promptly contact Crime Stoppers at 1800333000.”