Well I've just discovered a great website called Hoax-Slayer, which nullifies this scenario and many others. Some of the broad subject areas covered include Nigerian scams, celebrity email hoaxes, and virus information.
This website also gives you tips on how to recognise a hoax or scam, as well as how to deal with them. For example, it tells us that these email hoaxes cover a range of subject matter, including:
Supposedly free giveaways in exchange for forwarding emailsBogus virus alertsFalse appeals to help sick childrenPointless petitions that lead nowhere and accomplish nothingDire, and completely fictional, warnings about products, companies, government policies or coming events.
So ... don't send any of these tall tales our way. We don't have time for them and they deserve no energy. And by the way, Venables and Thompson were released in 2001 and God knows where they are!
UPDATE: Just today I received an email about a woman in Texas dying from a disease called leptospirosis, which was caused by rat urine on a soda can top. I ran it through Hoax-Slayer, and hey presto, up came an entire page on the subject and yes, you guessed it, it's a hoax that's been in circulation since 2002 with a Belgian variation as well. I LOVE YOU Hoax-Slayer!