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Missing Persons

Fascinating. I've been reading bits and pieces on Ray Gricar, but hadn't come across a good overview. Thanks Lopaka.
May 13, 2005

Sea hero’s fate revealed after 217 years

By Charles Bremner

Linguists sent to join search for clues to naval mystery

FRENCH scientists and divers in the South Pacific have finally answered the last question asked by Louis XVI as he waited to be guillotined in 1793: “Is there any news of Monsieur de la Pérouse?”

The King fretted until his final minutes about the disappearance of Jean-François de Galaup, Comte de la Pérouse, a brilliant sailor whom he had dispatched with two frigates in 1785 to compete with Captain James Cook’s exploration of the Pacific.

This week the French confirmed that la Pérouse, who was last seen setting sail from Australia in early 1788, almost certainly died when his ship, La Boussole (the Compass), broke up on a reef off the remote island of Vanikoro in the Solomons.

An Irish sea captain learnt in 1826 that La Boussole and L’Astrolabe, the frigate captained by Paul-Antoine Fleuriot de Langle, had probably foundered at Vanikoro, a tiny atoll far from normal shipping routes, and that at least some of the 220 crew had survived. Subsequent expeditions uncovered the remains of two unidentified wrecks, the second in 1964.

The goal of this spring’s state-backed mission of 120 people was to ascertain the fate of the sailors, scientists and artists who vanished in one of the world’s most enduring naval mysteries. Had some of the “white ghosts” managed to leave the island, as local folklore had it? Had some stayed and mixed with the native Melanesians and Polynesians?

The team includes language experts charged with determining whether words in the local dialect could possibly have been handed down by the survivors.

A local bean is called the kasulay. As a native of the southwest, la Pérouse liked to feed his men cassoulet.

A breakthrough came last weekend, when the 2005 expedition discovered an 18th-century brass sextant in 40ft of water off Vanikoro, which had been aboard La Boussole. This identified la Pérouse’s vessel as the one that smashed to pieces on the reef, presumably in a tropical cyclone, leaving no chance of survival. The survivors are assumed to have come from the other wreck, L’Astrolabe, which beached less violently in a coral inlet.

“We are virtually certain that it was La Boussole that broke up on the reef and L’Astrolabe was the one that ran aground,” said Alain Conan, a businessman and president of the Solomon Association, who has spent the past 24 years trying to solve the mystery of la Pérouse.

Much of the enigma remains, M Conan acknowledged, but the fate of la Pérouse, an aristocratic captain who was a hero for winning battles against the British Navy in the Hudson Bay in Canada, now seems to have been established. M Conan said that it was also possible that la Perouse could have died before the ships reached the island because of the diseases that ravaged crews in the equatorial area.

Although France and England were competing for the Pacific, relations between the sailors were friendly. La Pérouse dined with Commodore Arthur Philip in Botany Bay, near what is now Sydney, in January 1788. The French ships had sailed in a few days after the British First Fleet landed to settle what was then New Holland. Philip sent la Pérouse’s logs back to France for him and Sydney named a suburb after the French navigator.

The 2005 expedition, which ends this week, has failed to find la Pérouse’s famed scientific treasures, but it has recovered dozens of artefacts, including a cannon, a wine glass and the foot from a skeleton believed to be that of a young French officer.

Jean-Christophe Galipaud, an archaeologist, reported yesterday that they had “confirmed the shape and dimensions of the French camp”, a site on the Bay of Paou where artefacts from the wrecks had previously been found. “We have managed in particular to pinpoint the village of Pokori, where the last survivor of the expedition is believed to have taken refuge and perhaps died,” he added.

Important findings could come from the work of Alexandre François, a specialist in Pacific languages who is the first researcher to try to learn the four local languages and glean tales of the wrecks without translation. M François said that he is wary of the contradictory legends circulating among the island’s historically feuding villages. According to these, some 50 or so survivors were eaten or died of disease within months, or sailed away in boats fashioned from the wreckage.

Missing People

There is probably a thread here somewhere already regarding this, possibly not in this section tho.
A few months ago a guy that works here, who seemed perfectly normal and happy, left work to walk home (just a few hundred yards away), and completely disappeared!! Nobody has seen or heard anything of him since and it struck me that this probably happens quite a lot. What are the theories out there surrounding this? His credit cards have not been used and all usual avenues have turned up zilch. Where do these people go and how do they continue their lives without divulging who they are or anything surrounding their past? Another friend of mine has recently been struck down with sudden and unexplainable amnesia and Im wondering if this could be an explanation? Perhaps people just suddenly forget who they are? It baffles me, so help me out with some of your theories people?
On the subject of people deliberatly going missing:-

Soldier's name taken off memorial
By David Sapsted
(Filed: 03/08/2005)

A soldier's name is to be removed from a village's World War One memorial because it has emerged that he did not die until the war had been over for more than 30 years.

The removal of Percy Cox's name represents the final chapter of a story that continues to baffle residents in the neighbouring Cambridgeshire villages of Stonea and Wimblington.

Like many others, young Percy was a farm worker who volunteered in 1916 to fight for king and country. In May, 1918, he was reported to have been killed on the battlefields of northern France.

In fact, the young private with the 7th Leicestershire Regiment had not been killed at all, only wounded. He soon recovered and, for reasons unknown, enlisted with the Australian army.

Then, without contacting his family, he left for Australia after the signing of the Armistice.

His name was put on the war memorial at St Peter's Church, Wimblington, but, in 1925, Mr Cox - apparently using an alias - returned to England to find his family had moved from their home in Stonea.

Mr Cox returned to working as a farm labourer in Norfolk and Lincolnshire but did not track down his father until 1940, after he met a long-lost friend who gave him his father's new address in Lake's End, Wisbech.

A local newspaper covered the reunion at the time and has now unearthed archive material indicating that Mr Cox even visited Wimblington to look at his own name on the war memorial.

Now Wimblington and Stonea parish council has decided to remove his name from both the memorial and a brass plaque inside the church.

"I think it is very sad," said Liz Wright, council chairman. "I wish we didn't have to take this action but, having consulted widely, we have no option because Percy wasn't actually killed in action."

However, the reasons behind Mr Cox's disappearance remain a secret that he took to the grave in 1952

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... nmem03.xml
Although the explanations may be mundane it does seem a lot to just disappear from such a closed environment:

Congress Eyes Cruise Ship Dangers

About a Dozen People Have Gone Missing On Cruises in Last Two Years

Dec. 13, 2005 — - Lawmakers are set this morning to investigate the potential dangers to vacationers cruising the high seas. Two congressional committees will hold a joint hearing focusing on cruise-ship disappearances and crimes. The hearing comes on the heels of another cruise-ship disappearance in recent months, this one aboard Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Sea, which returned to Florida on Sunday with one less passenger than when it departed.

Canadian Jill Begora, 59, was last seen by her husband on Saturday morning as the ship approached the port of Nassau in the Bahamas. A search by a U.S. Coast Guard ship and the Bahamian Navy found no trace of her.

"It's just too much to comprehend," said Thomas Begora, a relative. "I hope everything's all right, but you know how these things are some times."

It is estimated that in the past two years, about a dozen people have disappeared while aboard cruise ships.

"The bottom line is we are suspicious, candidly, that there's some huge problem in the cruise industry," said Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn. "We think that people are not aware of some of the challenges and some of the potential problems they encounter."

In another high-profile case, George Smith disappeared while on his honeymoon in the Mediterranean last July aboard a Royal Caribbean ship. His family is convinced that Smith was killed because witnesses heard screaming and there was blood on the ship's deck. Smith has not been found. Now his family is planning to sue Royal Caribbean, accusing the cruise line of hindering the investigation.

"We can't hold a funeral, and, you know, as far as Royal Caribbean is concerned, they would merely have another drunk falling into the water, nothing we could do about it," said Bree Smith, George's sister. "That's not good enough and we're going to make changes so this does not happen to another family."

Royal Caribbean says that it has cooperated fully with the FBI in the Smith case and that passenger safety is its priority. In the case of Begora, the company says the ship retraced its path the morning of the disappearance. Because Begora is Canadian and the incident happened in the Bahamas, the FBI is not involved.

The congressional hearing will also touch on last month's pirate attack on a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia.

Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures


I have a friedn who is first mate on a cruise ship and so I'll collar him over Xmas. He usually has some horror stories ;)
Reminds me of the Roald Dahl story about the passenger trying to get a cruise ship to be delayed so he could win a bet. He jumps overboard, making sure he is seen by a little old lady, but unfortunately she is senile and no one believes her.
Dead end on Highway 16
Seven young women murdered or vanished along a lonely stretch of blacktop in northern B.C.

Neal Hall
CanWest News Service

Monday, December 12, 2005

TERRACE, B.C. -- Most people are busy preparing for Christmas, but a father in northwestern B.C. has been searching lonely stretches of highway and logging roads trying to find his missing daughter.

"We've pretty well covered every side road between Terrace and (Prince) Rupert," explains Tom Chipman, sitting with his wife Christine in the Kitsumkalum Firehall, headquarters for the daily ground search for Tamara Chipman, a pretty 22-year-old with a lovely smile.

"We're up at six every morning and we quit at dusk. I know everybody's getting tired. I don't know how long we can carry on. I guess until the snow comes and the weather shuts us down."

It's a Friday night in this northwestern B.C. town and the volunteers are tired after walking about 15 kilometres, hunting for a shred of evidence of Tamara.

Tom Chipman has also walked along Highway 16, which runs between Prince Rupert and Terrace, looking in culverts for his daughter.

"It's scary looking into a culvert," says Chipman, who makes his living as a gillnet fisherman. "Every day we don't find a body is a good day."

Chipman searched for his daughter -- his only child -- six days straight last week. A heavy snowfall last Sunday closed the road to Prince Rupert and curtailed search efforts temporarily. He resumed the search this week.

His daughter was last seen Sept. 21 hitchhiking outside Prince Rupert, heading toward her home in Terrace. She has a two-year-old son, Jaden, who is being cared for by his father, Rob Parker, who was the last to hear from her.

Tamara isn't the first young woman to go missing along Highway 16. The RCMP is investigating seven cases of teen girls and young women who vanished or were murdered along the "highway of tears," as it's often called.

"Something's going on," said Arlene Roberts, a volunteer firefighter who has been involved in the search. "It's getting spooky."

She feels some of the disappearances could be connected. She is leaning toward the theory that a serial killer might be preying on young women along the highway. Six of the seven who went missing were aboriginals. Three bodies have been found. All the cases remain unsolved.

Roberts, who lives on Highway 16, just west of Terrace, B.C., often sees people hitchhiking.

"It's male and female, young and old. But it's only the young women who are going missing."

According to Amnesty International Canada, Tamara's disappearance brings to 33 the number of missing or murdered women along the highway -- all but one were aboriginal.

In October 2004, Amnesty released its report, Stolen Sisters: Discrimination and Violence against Indigenous Women in Canada, which cited a shocking 1996 federal government statistic that native women between 25 and 44 are five times more likely to die as the result of violence than other women in the same age group.

The report also included a figure gathered by the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC), which estimates that more than 500 aboriginal women may have been murdered or gone missing over a 20-year period prior to 2004 -- again, the figure is based on anecdotal evidence. NWAC says it is difficult to do a statistical analysis of violence involving aboriginal women because some police reports did not record whether the victim was an aboriginal woman.

Warren Goulding, in his 2001 book, Just Another Indian: A Serial Killer and Canada's Indifference, concluded that some lives seem to be worth more than others.

Quoted in the book is Justine English, whose sister Mary Jane Serlion was killed in 1981 in Lethbridge by Saskatoon serial killer John Martin Crawford. "It seems that any time a native is murdered, it isn't a major case," English said.

Crawford was convicted in 1996 of killing three aboriginal women and was suspected in the death of at least one and possibly other aboriginal women whose murders remain unsolved.

Goulding questions why Crawford's trial received scant attention from the national media. He points out the trial took place at almost the same time as the trial of Paul Bernardo, which transfixed the media. Bernardo was convicted of killing two teenage white girls, who were innocent, girl-next-door types the media could identify with, Goulding suggests in his book.

"The Canadian public's awareness of this case is virtually non-existent, even in Saskatoon where the crimes occurred," Goulding wrote.

Christine Welsh, who teaches women's studies at the University of Victoria, is making a National Film Board documentary that will focus, in part, on the young women who have gone missing along Highway 16.

"It's extremely disturbing," she says of the mounting number.

She was in Terrace last Sept. 17 to document an event called Take Back the Highway, which involved about 70 people -- aboriginal and non-aboriginal -- marching along the highway to draw attention to the missing women.

"What I'm interested in is the violence against women in this country and I see what's happening on the highway as a manifestation of that," says Welsh. "It's the everyday systemic violence."

The latest disappearance along the highway happened four days after the Take Back the Highway march, she points out.

"It's a tragic irony," she adds. "I've travelled that highway a lot and it's a lonely stretch of road."

Police have repeatedly stated that while they cannot rule out the possibility of a serial killer operating along Highway 16, there is no evidence to suggest a link between the murders and mysterious disappearances.

Retired RCMP officer Fred Maile, who helped crack the Clifford Olson serial killer case in B.C. by getting Olson to confess to 11 murders, is convinced a serial killer is working along Highway 16.

Highway 16 also runs east to Edmonton, where police believe a serial killer might be connected to the bodies of 12 prostitutes found around the city over the last 16 years.

In Alberta, RCMP have offered a $100,000 reward and released a profile that suggests the killer or killers drive a truck or SUV which is cleaned at unusual hours, may be a hunter, fisherman or camper, is comfortable driving on country roads, and is likely connected to towns south of Edmonton.


It's rather reminiscent of that highway in Texas (?) where there have been a lot of disappearances. :(
This is frightening:

Girl Missing For 10 Years Says She Was Locked In Room

Kach Was 14 When Last Seen In McKeesport

UPDATED: 10:38 am EST March 23, 2006

MCKEESPORT, Pa. -- The mother of a woman who vanished 10 years ago as a 14-year-old called her discovery "the best ending" she could imagine.

Tanya Nicole Kach, now 24, was reunited with her father Wednesday near Pittsburgh and will see her mother for the first time in a decade Thursday.

Kach said a middle school security guard kept her in his home and used mind games to control her. She said the man said her parents didn't want her, that she was stupid and no one cared about her.

Since her parents reported her missing in Feb. 10, 1996, Kach has been living in the same Pennsylvania town as her father -- McKeesport.

The man arrested in the case, 48-year-old Thomas Hose, worked as a security guard at her Pittsburgh-area middle school. Hose is jailed on charges of statutory sexual assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

His lawyer said Hose didn't force the woman to stay with him.

She finally revealed her identity to a convenience store owner Tuesday, and that led to the reunion.

Kach said, "I thought I found someone who loved me and he said he'd take care of me."

Kach said she was held in a bedroom for 10 years. She insisted she wasn't physically or sexually abused, but she said there was verbal and mental abuse.

"There were times when I would threaten to leave and there were times he threatened to kill me," said Kach.

Police said Hose used "mind games" to keep her with him and convince her that her parents didn't care about her.

Kach said after four years of never leaving the bedroom, she was finally allowed to go out once in a while, but she thinks she was brainwashed into thinking her parents wouldn't want her back.

"I didn't want to be on the streets because that's where I thought I'd be. I didn't think I had a home. That was my home, that was my life," said Kach. "I didn't think anybody cared because he would tell me, 'Your case is dead, it's cold.'"

McKeesport police Officer Joseph Pero said Kach was initially listed as a runaway, but her disappearance turned into a missing person case.

Kach was reported to be in good condition and is with family members in Pittsburgh.

Her father, Jerry Kach, never gave up hope of finding her.

Jerry Kach said, "It was exactly 10 years, one month and 11 days and there wasn't a day that went by that I didn't think of her."

Officials said the investigation is continuing, but would not comment further.

www.wsbtv.com/news/8204513/detail.html? ... tionalnews

Vanished girl returns as woman

By Jill King Greenwood
Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tanya Kach was 14 when she walked out of her father's McKeesport home more than a decade ago.

The Cornell Middle School eighth-grader vanished. There were no sightings. No phone calls.

The case went cold and stayed that way until Tuesday - 10 years, one month and 11 days later - when Kach walked back into her father's life and told the world that a school security guard with whom she had fallen in love held her captive since Feb. 10, 1996.

The guard, Thomas John Hose, 48, surrendered to police Wednesday afternoon and was charged with child sex offenses.

Jerry Kach collapsed upon seeing his long-lost daughter.

"I've got my baby back," he said, sobbing and stroking her face. "I can't believe it."

This is her story:

Kach spent most of the past 10 years locked in a bedroom of Hose's parents' Soles Street home.

Hose and Kach met in late 1995 at the school where Hose, then 37, worked as a security guard. They secretly dated. She believed they were in love.

No one could take care of her better, she believed. He invited her to move in with him, but told Kach she would have to remain hidden from his parents until he mustered the courage to tell them about her.

She agreed and dreamed of their future together - a wedding, and maybe even children.

But it was mostly a nightmare.

He locked her in an upstairs bedroom where she used a bucket as a toilet. He brought her water and food - mostly peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

She was allowed to watch television and listen to the radio, but only with headphones so his parents wouldn't hear. She tiptoed around the room. Hose made her memorize which floorboards creaked.

Hose gave her a new first name - Nikki - and told her to pick another last name. She opened the telephone book, closed her eyes and pointed: Allen.

"So from then on, I was Nikki Allen," she said.

Hose never physically abused her, but he left emotional scars. He often threatened to kill her if she ever tried to leave.

"You're stupid. You're immature. Nobody cares about you but me," he told her.

Secret revealed

As the years went by, he convinced her that she was no longer Tanya Kach and that he was her only ally.

"He told me no one even cared I was missing and no one was looking for me," she said as her eyes welled with tears. "He said the case was cold. I believed him."

Hose rarely allowed her to leave until 10 months ago, when Kach began attending church and taking walks to a nearby deli.

A woman who answered the door yesterday at Beulah Park United Methodist Church in McKeesport said Kach recently began attending Sunday services and volunteered in the church's thrift shop on Wednesday nights.

In the past 10 months, Kach befriended Joe Sparico, owner of JJ's Deli Mart on Evans Street, and visited his store just about every day. Some days she would linger for hours. She lived with an older man, Kach told him, and didn't have a driver's license or an education.

The store owner gently prodded Kach for details because "I knew something about her situation just wasn't right," Sparico said.

On Tuesday morning, something had changed in his young friend. Her hands trembled, and she was crying.

They sat down together in a back room and she revealed her secret: Nikki Allen didn't exist. She was really Tanya Kach, the girl who disappeared from her daddy's house long ago.

"To be honest with you, I really didn't believe her at first," Sparico said. "I mean, who could believe that?"

Sparico called the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which confirmed Kach's disappearance.

"I don't know what she was running away from, but he convinced her that she was better off staying with him," said Ron Jones, a senior case manager with the missing children's center. "He certainly coerced this young woman into staying with him, which is exploitation. But I don't believe the young woman realized that she was being exploited."

Charges filed

Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said investigators believe Kach's story.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children released about 400 million exposures of her picture - on television, milk cartons and elsewhere - and there were no sightings. Periodic checks on her Social Security number also revealed no activity.

"This bolsters her contention that she wasn't outside the home," Moffatt said. "That's where she was all the time."

Police charged Hose with statutory sexual assault and three counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.

Defense attorney James M. Ecker, who accompanied Hose yesterday to county police headquarters in Point Breeze, said that his client is a "good person" who has no criminal record and a full-time job, and that he should not be prejudged.

"She is 24 years old now," Ecker said. "She definitely was not held against her will."

Moffatt, however, said charges are warranted even if Kach went willingly because she was a minor at the time.

"I think it's very easy to play mind games with a child her age," he said. "He was 24 years older. He was an authority figure. He told her what to eat, when to eat and what to wear."

Unanswered questions

Many unanswered questions remain.

Police want to interview other people who might have information about the case, including a White Oak hair stylist who, at Hose's behest, changed Kach's hair color, style and length as part of her identity makeover, Moffatt said.

Hose also has a son a few years younger than Kach who lived with them part of the time, he said. Police believe Hose's parents lived in the house at some point during Kach's stay, but they are not certain when, Moffatt said.

The house is within view of a cemetery where the remains of murder victim Kimberly Krimm, also 14, were found in 1998. Moffatt would not say if Hose would be questioned in that unsolved slaying.

Kach's reappearance and Hose's arrest rocked the McKeesport Area School District, which suspended him without pay.

"This is just devastating to the district," school board President Kathy Ritchie said after last night's board meeting.

Hose worked as a security guard for 15 years and has been an exemplary employee who was well-liked by the students and staff, Ritchie said.

Big adjustment

McKeesport police went to Hose's home Tuesday afternoon, helped Kach gather her belongings and then reunited her with her father.

Clinging to him yesterday, Kach said she was stunned to learn her father had never stopped looking for her and that he became deeply depressed each February as the anniversary of her disappearance neared, and again on Oct. 14 - her birthday.

She is happy to be back with her family and said her biggest wish is to get a high school diploma. She's still getting used to being called Tanya again. When introducing herself, she has to pause to think about who she is.

She is surprised how much the world has changed, noting, for example, the higher price of everyday items such as gas, milk and bread.

During an interview yesterday at her father's home in Elizabeth Township, where he moved after his daughter disappeared, she was alternately giddy and unsure of herself.

She asks him for permission to smoke a cigarette and to go clothes shopping in the next few days.

"You're 24 years old, Tanya," he tells her. "There are no locks on these doors and no bars on these windows."

These words make her cry.

"I can't believe I'm free."

Actually what's scary is that people as stupid as this manage to survive for so long.

I'm with Dave Chapelle on people like this and Elizabeth Smart.

(Ducking and running)
I've been going through this thread and checking to see if any of them have turned up, but some haven't, like Prosecutor Ray Gricar (wiped off the face of the Earth), Linda Razzell (her husband is still in jail) and ballet man Dmitry Bryantsev (his plea for help page hasn't been updated in ages). Oh, and the Sri Lankan handball team? Never turned up, as far as I can see.

Just goes to show you, for all the high profile disappearances like the McCann one, there are many others where the trail still goes cold, publicity or not. It's not very optimistic, is it?

And another, chilling one I found on Wikipedia:
Amy Lynn Bradley (born May 12, 1974) is an American citizen who went missing during a Caribbean cruise. She has never been found. Amy, her parents, and her brother were vacationing on the Royal Caribbean International cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas. At 5:30am on March 24, 1998, Amy's brother, Bradley, left his sister sitting on the outdoor balcony and entered his cabin. Amy was seen a short time later by other passengers riding in the ship's elevator with a member of the ship's band, Blue Orchid, known by the alias "Yellow." The ship was en route to Curaçao, Antilles at the time Amy was last seen. The ship docked in Curaçao shortly after Amy was discovered missing. Extensive searches on the ship and at sea produced no signs of Amy's whereabouts.

Police investigated and discarded many theories regarding Amy's disappearance. It is unlikely that she fell overboard and drowned, given that she was a trained lifeguard and the ship was close to shore at the time of her disappearance. It is also considered unlikely that Amy voluntarily disappeared to start a new life. She had recently graduated from college and was anticipating starting a new job when she returned to her home in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

There were possible sightings of Amy in Curaçao in 1998 and 1999. Two Canadian tourists reported seeing a woman resembling Amy on a beach in Curaçao in 1998. The woman's tattoos were identical to Amy's. In 1999 an American sailor reported that he went to a brothel on Curaçao and was approached by a young woman. She told him her name was Amy Bradley and asked for his help. At this point, two men in the bar escorted her upstairs. Unfortunately, by the time the witness reported this to police several months later, the brothel had burned down.

An image of her that was emailed to her parents was shown on the Dr. Phil show, and it suggests that she was sold into sexual slavery.

There is a $250,000 reward for information leading to Amy's return.

If you can help:

Amy has been caught up in "Missing White Woman Syndrome", a phrase I learned today, where missing white women are more likely to be afforded media coverage than any other type of person. Not that it's done her much good.
It is not exactly unknown for people to disappear off cruise ships :

Death on the high seas

When the QE2 docked at Southampton on January 2, the liner was one passenger short: a 62-year-old German woman was missing. She is just one of a growing list of people who have disappeared from cruise ships in mysterious circumstances. Some of these deaths may be suicides, writes Gwyn Topham, but others appear more sinister. And of course there are no police out on the ocean . . .

After reading that article a while back I decided that I would probably not be taking a cruise. :shock:

In fact I bet I've posted it before.
Maybe there's something about peering over the side of a ship to the sea below that compels certain people to tip themselves over, kind of like that feeling some people get on bridges or on top of high buildings?

Either that or there's another type of person who feels compelled to tip them over while they're looking over the side, just grab their ankles, lift and there they go: the perfect crime.
Did anyone else see the documentary on Channel 4 tonight about people who disappear? They die and nobody goes to their funerals, not because nobody liked them, they had simply lost touch with everyone who ever knew them.

According to the programme maker, there are 2500 such funerals in Britain every year, people who slip through the gaps of life and go unnoticed. One woman was still living in the same area where she had grown up when she died, and still knew no one. She had been dead a year when her body was found. Very sad programme.

Just shows you, sometimes there's nothing sinister in vanishings, sometimes it's just a small tragedy of not knowing anyone anymore.
Re: Hunt for Genette's killer goes on

escargot1 said:
DNA may solve mystery of girl who vanished 25 years ago today
Today is the 25th anniversary of the disappearance of Genette Tate. Her undelivered newspapers were left scattered across a lane in the village of Aylesbeare, in east Devon.
When Robert Black and the Wests were locked up it seemed that every missing child and young person in Britain for years had been accounted for. Many people believe Black to be responsible for abducting Genette (he was in the right area at the time and it fits his modus operandi) (sic) but he's never admitted it. Maybe the truth will come out now.
Killer Robert Black's link to Genette Tate reviewed

Britain's longest-running missing persons' inquiry may be reviewed.
Genette Tate, 13, vanished while delivering newspapers in Aylesbeare in 1978. Her body has never been found.
Child Killer Robert Black was arrested by Devon and Cornwall Police in 2005, but there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.
However "bad character" evidence allowed during a trial in Northern Ireland, could prompt police to submit another file to the CPS.

Black, 64, was convicted on Thursday of the murder of nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy in 1981.
The delivery driver abducted, sexually assaulted and killed Jennifer before dumping her body in a dam in Ballinderry, County Antrim.
During the trial at Armagh Crown Court the jury was allowed to hear "bad character" evidence about Black, who was described as a "predatory paedophile", who had been convicted twice of sexually abusing young girls in the 1960s.

He was caught after abducting a six-year-old girl in Stow in the Scottish borders in 1990 and subsequently found guilty of murdering three other girls - 11-year-old Susan Maxwell, five-year-old Caroline Hogg and 10-year-old Sarah Harper - in the 1980s.

Allowing such "bad character" evidence could now prompt Devon and Cornwall Police to submit another file to the CPS about Genette Tate's disappearance 33 years ago.

Genette was on her newspaper round when she was last seen by two friends in Within Lane, near her home in Aylesbeare. Her bicycle and papers were later discovered in the road.
Black was considered a prime suspect, but although he was arrested in connection with Genette's disappearance in 2005, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided in 2008 there was insufficient evidence for criminal proceedings against Black.

Devon and Cornwall Police said the investigation into Genette's disappearance remained open and no-one had ever been charged.
"In light of Robert Black's conviction we will review the evidence presented to the court to establish if it assists our investigation in any way," a police spokesman told BBC News.

Genette Tate's father, John, has appealed to Black to confess if he murdered his daughter.

The Genette Tate case has always stuck in my mind - I almost felt personally involved. I was newly married at the time and living in Devon. Only two weeks after Genette disappeared my own daughter was born.

The papers continued to cover the ongoing police investigations of Genette's disappearance for quite some time afterwards. Her father was under suspicion for a while, which probably led to the breakup of his marriage. Every death of a child has unwanted results in the family and the wider world.
gncxx said:
Maybe there's something about peering over the side of a ship to the sea below that compels certain people to tip themselves over, kind of like that feeling some people get on bridges or on top of high buildings?

My Grandad was convinced that staring at the sea too long was dangerous and that eventually you'd walk in and drown yourself. Seriously.
rynner2 said:
The Genette Tate case has always stuck in my mind - I almost felt personally involved. I was newly married at the time and living in Devon. Only two weeks after Genette disappeared my own daughter was born.

The papers continued to cover the ongoing police investigations of Genette's disappearance for quite some time afterwards. Her father was under suspicion for a while, which probably led to the breakup of his marriage. Every death of a child has unwanted results in the family and the wider world.

I've always been aware of these cases - they were covered extensively in the papers at the time and I think the repetition of the photos somehow lodges the case in the brain. The Hanratty case was another that stuck in the mind even though I was too young at the time to really understand it.

I do hope there is proper evidence though - I'm sure there is in the case thats been to court, but just assigning all similar cases to this b*****d (see the Daily Mail today) could conceal another perpetrator.
A (perhaps) tantalizing clue to the still-mysterious-as-hell disappearance of Pennsylvania District Attorney Ray Gricar (he was declared legally dead earlier this year) has emerged this week amidst the sex abuse scandal that has erupted at Penn St. University and their gridiron football program.

(Coverage of this is everywhere, even the BBC, but as a bit of explanatory background to UK folk, it's almost impossible to overstate how much, in central Pennsylvania, the real power, far more than any elected official, law enforcement agency, business group, is Penn State University and the now disgraced football program, personified by the now-sacked coach-for-four-decades Joe Paterno.)

It turns out that when the child rape allegations were first reported in '98, it was Mr. Gricar who declined to bring charges against Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky, and of course he continued to be prosecutor up until his 2005 disappearance, a time period when more allegations, though not (apparently) reported to the police, were being brought forward.

How this might be connected to his disappearance isn't clear or obvious, and perhaps it's all a curious coincidence, but Deadspin has a pretty good overview: here.
With regard to the disappearance of DA Ray Gricar and the Jerry Sandusky case is it a case of follow the money?

Sometimes cliches are the only way to grasp inexplicable horror. Thus, it's not surprising that, in the wake of the Penn State scandal, in which the university is accused of turning a blind eye to its former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's alleged sexual assaults on children over the years, some have seized on a cliche. Perhaps the most shocking detail of this horrific story is the evidence that in 2002 graduate assistant coach Mike McQueary claims he witnessed Sandusky raping a 10-year-old boy in the shower and did, basically, nothing. Instead, he told his father, and he told an authority (the next day), but he neither intervened nor called the police.

Commentators have quickly invoked the Bystander Effect, in which witnesses to a crime do nothing, such as when two-year-old Wang Yue was hit by a truck and ignored by pedestrians last month in China. Shock may have played a part in McQueary's behaviour but the most likely explanation for Sandusky's alleged crimes being reportedly ignored not just by McQueary but Penn State would be money. University sports teams in America are huge business. Penn State makes $70m (£40m) a year from its football programme and Sandusky was seen as an invaluable part of that. This has nothing to do with complex psychological reactions; it has everything to do with cash.

The Grauniad
I don't know the culture, but it's also quite possible the assistant could have had his career f**ked for calling the cops on Sandusky - which isn;t a defense or anything, but people do have very unrealistic ideas about the police and how and what they'll investigate in a manner likely to lead to a conviction - perhaps he believed that he could get the guy busted with less risk to himself by getting a third party to report it?
Greatest book ever reveals truth

Have you dudes not read "The Illuminatus Trilogy", all the missing people are being fed to a demon trapped in the Pentagon (hence its shape) that supplies America with power and wealth in return!!!
Cochise said:
My Grandad was convinced that staring at the sea too long was dangerous and that eventually you'd walk in and drown yourself. Seriously.
Since this thread has been bumped anyway.. I was discussing cruise ship disappearances with my sister when I saw her at Christmas. She works on oil rigs in the North Sea and says that there is a reasonably commonly held belief out there that looking at the sea for too long will result in the compulsion to jump in..
Re: Greatest book ever reveals truth

thehangedman said:
Have you dudes not read "The Illuminatus Trilogy", all the missing people are being fed to a demon trapped in the Pentagon (hence its shape) that supplies America with power and wealth in return!!!

LOL that makes a lot of sense - actually more than you think.
The children who went up in smoke


"For nearly four decades, anyone driving down Route 16 near Fayetteville, West Virginia, could see a billboard bearing the grainy images of five children, all dark-haired and solemn-eyed, their names and ages—Maurice, 14; Martha 12; Louis, 9; Jennie, 8; Betty, 5—stenciled beneath, along with speculation about what happened to them. Fayetteville was and is a small town, with a main street that doesn’t run longer than a hundred yards, and rumors always played a larger role in the case than evidence; no one even agreed on whether the children were dead or alive. What everyone knew for certain was this: On the night before Christmas 1945, George and Jennie Sodder and nine of their 10 children went to sleep (one son was away in the Army). Around 1 a.m., a fire broke out. George and Jennie and four of their children escaped, but the other five were never seen again...."
Fascinating story - the Smithsonian site is always good value.

If the father had argued with pro-Mussolini elements those elements were very unlikely to have also had anything to do with the Mafia. (Although the story doesn't actually suggest a direct connection between the two, both are mentioned individually as potential factors).

One thing that did come to mind was the use of child appropriation as punishment, practiced by some right-wing regimes (Fascist Spain, Argentina under the Junta, Hitler's Germany, for example). This was often after the execution or imprisonment of parents - in both cases the knowledge that their children were to be stolen and resettled appears to have been applied to the victim as a kind of additional torture.

Too far fetched to be applied here, I would have thought - but some elements of the story brought it to mind.

On a different subject:

I recently read Tobias Jones book Blood on the Altar. I'd heard of the murder of Heather Barnett in Bournemouth, but somehow completely missed the connection to a long running missing persons case in Italy. The denouement of the latter, and the implications in regard to the local authorities - state and church - is really quite shocking.
I just received the Missing411 trilogy for my birthday (*ahem* June 17th, if anyone wants to celebrate late) and it's a quite fascinating read.

The focus is largely on parks and recreational areas where people just vanish without a trace. Some show up later and can't remember what happened. Others' bodies show up years later in areas that were thoroughly searched before.

I've only just started reading it, but it is gripping. So much so that I can only read a little bit at a time so it can sink in without pre-judgement.
MercuryCrest said:
I just received the Missing411 trilogy for my birthday (*ahem* June 17th, if anyone wants to celebrate late) and it's a quite fascinating read.

The focus is largely on parks and recreational areas where people just vanish without a trace. Some show up later and can't remember what happened. Others' bodies show up years later in areas that were thoroughly searched before.

I've only just started reading it, but it is gripping. So much so that I can only read a little bit at a time so it can sink in without pre-judgement.

Happy Birthday! The trilogy sounds interesting.
MercuryCrest said:
I just received the Missing411 trilogy for my birthday (*ahem* June 17th, if anyone wants to celebrate late) and it's a quite fascinating read.

The focus is largely on parks and recreational areas where people just vanish without a trace. Some show up later and can't remember what happened. Others' bodies show up years later in areas that were thoroughly searched before.

I've only just started reading it, but it is gripping. So much so that I can only read a little bit at a time so it can sink in without pre-judgement.
The author of those books has been on the coast to coast am radio show a number of times. He's been a very popular guest, so I'm not surprised the books are good.
I have been watching some of the YouTube vids featuring the author of Missing 411. The books seemed a bit dear when I looked, but they're exactly the kind of thing I love to read, so maybe for Christmas :)

Would you mind posting when you've read it/them? I'd love to know your thoughts.