When 13 year old Milly Dowlers disappeared in 2002, the newspaper News of the World took the liberty to hack her phone. They listened to her phone so that they could get the best news stories. When the answer machine was full, they just deleted old messages, to make more room for new ones. Because of that, they gave her parents fake hope that she was alive, and they also deleted potential evidence. The journalists also hacked her parents phone. So when the police was looking for her, the newspaper had very useful information that they kept to them self. Milly was found murdered a half year later.
After a lot of investigations, the police know that this was not the first phone they had hacked, and not the last. It looks like News of the world have hacked phones everywhere in Britain. Police have a list of 4,000 possible targets. The newspaper had also paid private investigators to get private information about Gwyneth Paltrow, George Michael and a lot of others. The journalists had, according to The guardian, managed to get specified phone bills, private phone numbers, Social Security numbers, bank statements and tax information.
In 2007, two of the newspapers employees where sent to jail for bugging celebrities, politicians and royals answering machines. This case brought a lot of attention, and Andy Coulson who was the editor of News of the world on that time, and he was also press manager for the prime minister, quit his job. The paper was closed in 2011.