It remains one of the most sickening murder cases in the world.
Disgusting comments made by Robert Thompson, killer of two-year-old James Bulger, have been revealed for the first time.
Thompson and friend Jon Venables, both aged 10, lured the innocent toddler away from a shopping mall in Merseyside, England in 1993.
The pair took James to a railway line and brutally beat, sexually assaulted and tortured him, before leaving the young boy to be hit by a train.
In a new documentary, James Bulger: The New Revelations, a brutal statement made by Thompson during his 2001 parole hearing was revealed.
Shockingly, Thompson told the parole board that by murdering James, he actually gave himself a better life.
'I do feel aware I am now a better person and have had a better life and a better education than if I had not committed the murder,' he said.
'At that time of my life, I was completely out of control and spending time with a group of friends whose main occupation was committing crime and causing trouble.'
Both Thompson and Venables - who were tried as adults - were released from prison in 2001 and given new identities.
But in 2010, Venables was jailed again for downloading and distributing indecent images of children.
James Bulger's father Ralph responded to the terrifying statements made by the killer of his son.
'The message here is horrific – kill a child and you will get a privileged and cosy life in return,' he told The Mirror.
'It terrifies me that this sends out a message that you can commit a crime as heinous as killing James and get away with it.'