5 Most Bizarre Missing Person Cases
Missing person cases where people vanish without a trace are incredibly interesting and yet almost unbelievable at the same time. It seems it is hard for us as humans to accept that someone could disappear as if into thin air, never to be found again.
Not only are missing person cases enigmatic as it is, here are some of the most bizarre cases where the disappearance is actually only the start of a very strange story.
5 Brooke Henson- Missing Since 1999
Brooke Henson, a twenty-year-old girl who lived in Southern California, who was at a party with some friends on July 3rd, 1999. After a disagreement with her boyfriend Shane, Brooke left a note to him at around 2 am and walked to the local convenience store which was only a few streets away. Brooke was last seen walking along the road to the convenience store that morning and has never been heard from or seen since.
But in 2006, there was suddenly a huge breakthrough on this missing person case. Someone with the name Brooke Henson had applied for a job as a nanny in New York, and after the employer did an internet search of her name, contacted the authorities after realising Brooke had been a missing person for over six years.
But this was not the good news her family had been hoping for, the real identity of the person claiming to be ‘Brooke Henson’ was instead a girl named Esther Reed, also a missing person who dropped out of high school and disappeared from her hometown after her mother’s death in 1999. In February 2008, Esther was arrested and sentenced to four years in prison, but the whereabouts of the real Brooke is still unknown, and no more information on the case has ever been found.
4 Maura Murray – Missing Since 2004
After crashing her car on Route 112 in New Hampshire, USA, Maura Murray, a nursing student aged just twenty-one was never seen again. There are many strange elements leading up to this missing person case. On the day of her car crash, Maura had told her professors at university that she was taking a week off from school due to a death in her family, but in fact, this was a lie.
After her crash, a school bus driver who was driving home noticed her on the side of the road. According to some reports, Maura pleaded with the man not to call the police, stating she had already called the AAA, so the man left the scene. Once he was home, he called the police, but Maura was nowhere to be found and has never been seen since.
Despite some evidence suggesting that Maura had perhaps wanted to disappear on purpose, her family still believe she had been abducted and are still searching for her today. Interestingly enough, there has been new information about Maura’s case despite it being over a decade old. A youtube user by the name of “Mr112dirtbag” posted videos claiming he had information surrounding Maura’s disappearance.
On the 8th anniversary of Maura’s disappearance, the man posted a youtube video of him laughing with the words, “Happy Anniversary” flashing at the end.
3 Benjaman Kyle – Missing Since ?
Benjaman Kyle is indeed a bizarre missing person case, because, in this case, it’s Benjamin’s past that is missing, rather than the person himself.
On August 31st, 2004, Kyle was found naked and burnt by a Burger King in Richmond Hill, Georgia. A Burger King employee had found him and called the police, the beaten and unconscious Kyle was then rushed to hospital. Once he had woken up, it was discovered that he had no memory of who he was, and without any form of identification, the name Benjaman Kyle was formed out of the initials of Burger King.
Kyle had three deep depressions in his skull which people attribute to his amnesia and memory loss, and over a decade later, Kyle still has no memory of his past life or who he had been.
Despite all of the publicity his case has generated in the past, unbelievably no one has ever come forward to say that they know him or are related to him. Due to the unusual circumstances of this case, there are many theories about who Kyle is and his past, some say he is even faking it!
2 Nicholas Barclay – Missing Since 1994
Nicholas Barclay was a thirteen-year-old boy who after playing basketball with his friends in his home town of Texas, was never seen again. That was until 1997 when a boy in France claiming to be him was flown to the United States and ‘reunited’ with the family. Although the boy had different coloured eyes to Nicholas and spoke with a French accent, the family believed that this was indeed their son, who had been sold to a prostitution ring and sent to live in France.
The boy lived with the family until 1998 when a local private investigator became suspicious of the differences in appearances between Nicholas and the boy claiming to be him. In February 1998 the FBI gained permission to take his DNA, and it was found that the boy was not Nicholas but in fact a French impostor named Frederic Bourdin.
Bourdin was sentenced to six years imprisonment and even admitted himself he could not believe the family believed he was their son for as long as they did.
Some people believe that Nicholas’ family are responsible for hiding the whereabouts or perhaps even the murder of their son, and therefore jumped at the chance to have Frederic cover it up. A documentary about the case, The Imposter, sheds some more light on this strange case and asks more question about the family’s willingness to accept this boy as their missing son.
1 Walter Collins – Missing Since 1928
A somewhat similar case to the Nicholas Barclay disappearance, Walter Collins was a nine-year-old boy who went missing while his mother was at work. When she returned home, Walter was nowhere to be found. She called the police but was told he needed to have been missing for twenty-four hours before they could search, so she took on the search herself, frantically searching the streets for him.
After the police department had faced negative publicity for failing to solve the case, a boy claiming to be Walter was found, and a public reunion was organised by police who wanted to gain positive popularity to counteract the bad publicity they had received. But on seeing the boy, Walter’s mother Christine claimed the boy was not her son.
Despite dental records proving that the boy was not her son, Captain Jones of the police department had Christine committed to a mental hospital where during this time the boy eventually admitted that he was not Walter but in fact a boy named Arthur Hutchins Jr.
After Christine had been released from the mental hospital, a ranch owner named Gordon Stewart Northcott was arrested for a series of abductions and murders of young boys in the area. Although evidence points to this man as possibly being the abductor and murderer of Walter, he had denied ever meeting Walter and the fact he could not describe Walters appearance gave Christine hope that her son was still alive.
The film Changeling with Angelina Jolie was based partly on this case and is a great insight into the events that took place and how traumatising they must have been for Christine to not only lose her child but also be told that another boy was him and declared publicly crazy in the media.