It's remarkable how far iconic images travel. Yesterday morning I was in Liege, Belgium. In front of me, a hill of flowers and candles - a growing tribute to the two little girls found dead the previous day after an exhausting - and exhaustive - three-week search.
I started talking to one woman - tears in her eyes, her own little girl hugged up against her shoulder - who told me "now we have our own Holly and Jessica". She was referring, of course, to the Soham case - Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman. "I remember them in their football shirts" she said, "Manchester United."
And there you have it. The most disturbing British crime story in a decade, boiled down to one image, as recalled four years later on a Belgian country lane.
Compared with wars and floods where thousands die, two young lives lost shouldn't make major headlines. They do, though, of course, as the circus of TV-satellite trucks in Liege's central square yesterday stood testament too. It is the most basic of stories and one that taps into our most fundamental fears. It is also that unusual find: a story with the clearest of narratives.
It has an obvious beginning - Nathalie, 10, and Stacy, 7, go missing from a summer street party - a harrowing middle - the massive search, the drama of a prime suspect, three days later, his arrest - and a clear, if awful, chapter end - the discovery of the bodies in a storm drain on Wednesday: Nathalie had been raped, both girls strangled.
It is a story that requires no prior of knowledge, no starting base of information. There is no dispute over where the sympathy lies, no competing arguments or contrasting points of view. There is simply innocence on the one hand, evil on the other. As the heart of the EU, it's unlikely that more 'news' of direct importance to Britain comes out of Belgium than any other country.
Yet that news is about bureaucracy, policy: the turgid stuff of profound importance but little headline-grabbing impact. Of all the news to come out of Belgium this year, it is the sorry tale of Nathalie and Stacy that people will remember: their faces easy to grasp.