Talk:List of people who disappeared mysteriously/Archive 3

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Move? 5 December 2015

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Revert undiscussed moves of 10 October 2015 and 18 October 2015. This article had a long, stable history at List of people who disappeared mysteriously dating to April 2009‎. Trout-slaps to Oldstone James. Regarding your first edit summary "A more encyclopedic title", see WT:What Wikipedia is not/Unencyclopedic. You should "disambiguate that unclear statement" ;) Wbm1058 (talk) 17:35, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

{{requested move/dated}}

  • List of publicly unexplained human disappearances → List of unexplained human disappearances –
  • Oppose, but I suggest (as per discussion above) that the title return to being 'List of People Who Disappeared Mysteriously".--Dmol (talk) 04:12, 5 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This page was changed without any discussion to the current title from its original name, 'List of People Who Disappeared Mysteriously' (see page and talk histories for October 10 and 18, 2015). Frankly, that was a form of good faith (hopefully) vandalism. Before any discussion of changing it to the proposed new name or any other name, the article should be reverted back to its original, and to my mind quite adequate, title. Pleonic (talk) 15:47, 5 December 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Title history

It may be helpful to review the page move, redirect and deletion logs for this and related titles, before proposing any new moves relating to the suitability of terms such as "publicly", "unexplained", "mysteriously", "vanishing", or (heaven forbid) "paranormal" in this article's title. – Wbm1058 (talk) 15:59, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

"Unexplained disappearances"

Q. Was the disappearance of Amelia Earhart really "unexplained" or "mysterious"? (She's listed in this article) Surely, the explanation is that her plane crashed in the Pacific somewhere. That's not "mysterious". The only "unexplained mystery" is specifically where the plane went down, and why (though I believe running out of fuel is most likely). Neither is the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa really "unexplained" or "mysterious". The only serious question is who murdered him, and what they did with the body. I think the number of people who truly mysteriously disappeared for totally unexplained reasons of a "paranormal" nature is vanishingly small. I suppose if a young, attractive woman disappeared after having last been seen near a large lake wearing a swimsuit, there could forever be doubt over whether she drowned or was murdered.

See also Declared death in absentia. Seems the only difference here is that this article could include more recent disappearances of people who had not yet formally been declared dead in absentia. Wbm1058 (talk) 15:59, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

"Neither is the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa really "unexplained" or "mysterious". The only serious question is who murdered him, and what they did with the body." You are, as they say, assuming facts not in evidence. Yes, it's very likely that he was murdered, which the article about hims discusses at length, but in the absence of evidence or an official statement by someone investigating it that he was, it's still a disappearance, and we could as credibly state he was abducted by aliens as we could that he was murdered by some organized-crime figures (Although I have thought for a while that a separate list for "disappearances believed to be related to organized crime" would be one that could be split off from this one).— Preceding unsigned comment added by Daniel Case (talkcontribs) 04:02, 7 December 2015
Right, sure. But the key issue regarding titles for this is whether a term such as "mysteriously" or "unexplained" needs to be added to the title to disambiguate the topic. I believe that from the article's creation in 2003 until 2008, the title was simply List of people who have disappeared, with no such qualifier. Look at it from the other angle – can you name anyone who disappeared, who did not disappear "mysteriously" for some "unexplained" reason? I suppose a magician can make someone disappear, but they could fully explain why the subject of their magic trick mysteriously disappeared. Also, someone could temporarily disappear, then later reappear with a full explanation for their disappearance. That could be another list. But beyond that?
The claim was made in the 2008 move that "The adjective "mysterious" is a crucial part of the selection criteria". Why is that adjective necessary?
From the archived discussion of that move:
  • " I disagree with the change. A disappearance is by definition a mysterious thing. I don't think it needs emphasising in the page title."
  • " Disagree - a disappearance is not by definition a mysterious thing. The clarification was long overdue"
Wbm1058 (talk) 16:49, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
A motive for unexplained mysterious disappearances is to defraud life insurance companies. Would anyone ever announce in advance, "I am going to disappear. It won't be a mysterious disappearance though, because I just want my wife and kids to have some money, and we were going to get divorced anyways." Wbm1058 (talk) 17:11, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
"Mysterious disappearance" actually is a legal term in property insurance, which could be useful here. You once had to prove theft to make a valid claim, but this came to be thought unfair and arbitrary. In the 1940's tho the term "mysterious disappearance" was created to describe cases where, ..."the insured can show only that an item has disappeared, and that it was stolen is merely a conjectural explanation, perhaps supported by circumstantial evidence" [1]. That Amelia Earhart disappeared is self-evident; the mysterious quality arises because there is no obvious, agreed upon explanation as to where she went, and why. There are conjectures (just as there are with mysteriously vanished property), but no certainty, no "proof." Even the idea that 'the explanation is that she crashed in the pacific' is perhaps a more likely conjecture, but still conjectural. At one time (until the war ended and the Japanese records recovered) it was widely believed that she was forced down and held prisoner by the Japanese. Or perhaps she and Fred Noonan (her navigator) faked a crash and ran off to a quiet life together. To disappear (I'm sure we've all looked this up) simply means to cease to be visible. The quality of mystery is not an intrinsic part of it's meaning. People 'cease to be visible' all the time. If I stay home and my wife goes to Fiji, from my standpoint she 'disappears,' but there is (hopefully) no mystery. I might tell someone, "Oh, yes, she just wanted to disappear for a while, but she'll be back next Tuesday." I know where she went and how. That is a terribly pedantic example, but I'm just trying to point up that property and people can disappear with no mystery. The word is capable of being used that way. It's the disappearances with mystery -- the ones where how and why "is merely a conjectural explanation, perhaps supported by circumstantial evidence" -- that wikipedians write long lists about. Therefore I feel both "mysterious" and "disappear" should remain in in the title. Pleonic (talk) 02:35, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
OK, sounds reasonable. Any opinions on "disappeared mysteriously" vs. "disappeared without explanation"? To me, that seems like two ways of saying the same thing, so I have no opinion, other than "mysteriously" may be more succinct than "without explanation", and I'd rather use the word "people" than "humans" here. Wbm1058 (talk) 16:11, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
Now that the origin of this phrasing has been explained I'm more understanding. Yes, I do hate the way the word "mysterious" makes you want to start whistling the X-Files theme music, but given both that legal origin and that this page makes a lot of "creepiest/scariest Wikipedia page" lists, and I don't doubt that adverb has a lot to do with that, I am in favor of keeping the name. Daniel Case (talk) 06:34, 12 December 2015 (UTC)

David Durham

I'm adding this entry, per Richard Norton's observation above: this is a list, redlinks are to be expected. As for Durham's notability, the local news reports on a regular basis that he has vanished -- he has been featured on "America's Most Wanted" twice -- & probably will continue to be featured in news reports until he is either found or presumed dead. I added this article in response to seeing these reports on the tv news. There are no hard facts what has happened to him: no one knows if he has assumed a new identity, fled the country, drowned in the Alsea River, or maybe abducted by aliens. Fugitives just don't vanish without a trace, & Durham has gained notability for not only successfully evading an extensive manhunt, but for vanishing for five years. (And Dmol's brusque reversion really tempts me to nominate for deletion a number of other articles linked here on the basis of marginal notability.) -- llywrch (talk) 16:52, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

The thing is, there is a longstanding consensus policy that everyone included on this list have his/her own WP article first. To put it another way, if you believe that this guy has sufficient notability, you should probably create an article for him. (See Wikipedia:Write the article first.) Once that is done, the resistance to including him on this list will evaporate. DoctorJoeE review transgressions/talk to me! 19:12, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Even if he had an article, there's nothing mysterious about his disappearance. That is what fugitives do.--Dmol (talk) 20:39, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Where is that policy stated about an article needing to be written first? I looked before I added the material, & I looked again just now. And you have other fugitives on the list, such as Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès. Or is there evidence that he was abducted by aliens? BTW, there is nothing written anywhere that says fugitives are not appropriate for this list. Or do I need to have the skill to read Dmol's mind? Sheesh, this is why we are losing contributors to Wikipedia: stiff-necked enforcement of unwritten & capricious rules that even long-time contributors such as I can find no trace of. I'm sensing a case of ownership here, which leads me to suspect bad faith in play here. I created the article, but obviously not in time to avert a reversion -- although I suspect one of you will immediately nominate it for deletion. This kind of selective & inflexible enforcement of rules both stated & unwritten is why I hate contributing to Wikipedia now. And if a long-term editor like me is angry at this kind of treatment, do any of you have a clue how a newbie who makes her or his first edit feels when it is handled like this??? -- llywrch (talk) 21:00, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
The page is Wikipedia:Write_the_article_first which states
"Wikipedia editors should write a new article before they create links to that article elsewhere in the encyclopedia. Frequently, editors (mostly inexperienced ones) add wikilinked entries in lists, "See also" sections, navigation templates, and disambiguation pages."
If you look at the edit history, you will see that this policy has been frequently used as a reason for removing articles, and it is a long-standing consensus. As for the person you are talking about, it is doubtful they are notable enough to have their own article, but being mentioned on America's Most Wanted may make a difference. But as I and others have said, even if he has an article that doesn't mean that his disappearance is mysterious. --Dmol (talk) 21:19, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
While I personally believe that people who are either formally considered fugitives from justice or who conveniently go missing while they are charged with or suspected of crimes should be on a separate list to keep this one from getting ridiculously long, I think we are ignoring the discussion above when we say that "it's not mysterious"—as stated there, "mysterious" is simply legalese for "can't be explained by any evidence" and for better or worse (usually the latter, I admit) has become the term used in public discourse to the point that it forces our hand in choosing how we title this list. Perhaps we should make that clear in the intro. But adopting a subjective definition of "mysterious" is only going to serve to encourage more disputes like this in the future. Daniel Case (talk) 20:56, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Chandra Levy?

How about adding her under solved cases? Her remains were found some 8 years after her disappearance, which commanded national attention. Moioci (talk) 01:43, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

She was never on this list to begin with, actually. I don't think so, anyway. Daniel Case (talk) 06:59, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

Lord Lucan, and other fleeing suspects and criminals.

I took out Lord Lucan, as there's nothing mysterious about a suspect fleeing the jurisdiction. I was reverted, but still think he doesn't belong here. Nor do any other fleeing suspect or escapee. Any thoughts. --Dmol (talk) 01:48, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

In Britain Lord Lucan seems to be regarded almost as a synonym for "mysterious disappearance," similar to Judge Crater in the US. Just the other day I was reading an article in a british paper about MH370 and the writer classed that mystery with Lord Lucan without any further explanation. Here's an article from the Telegraph trying to explain why they find him so fascinating. As a yank I tend, like you, to think its just a criminal fleeing his crime, but I wonder if it shouldn't be included because british readers will expect it. Pleonic (talk) 01:45, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
His disappearance is not mysterious because he fled justice. It's mysterious because no-one who wants to talk knows where he went, and in 2016 (forty two years after the event) no-one still knows where he went. The average run of the mill fugitive probably doesn't belong here but Lord Lucan is not in the run of the mill category. Britmax (talk) 12:40, 22 April 2016 (UTC)

A lot of these seem not very mysterious

Many of these entries seem to be not all that mysteries -- Ian Mackintosh had his plane send a distress signal over the Gulf of Alaska and it was never seen again. Yes, there is no absolute certainty over what happened, the wreckage wasn't found, etc, but it doesn't seem mysterious. A small plane crashing over big water and never being found seems very un-mysterious.

While mysterious is something of a subjective term, it has that "I know it when I see it flavor".

The loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald could be called mysterious, I think for many years they didn't even find the wreckage and to this day there's no exact accounting of what happened. Yet it's not really all that mysterious overall -- Lake Superior is known for violent storms, there was a serious storm the night it disappeared, and boats sink sometimes. In contrast, the Mary Celeste is mysterious. Abandoned for no known cause, the ship was well provisioned, valuable items and cargo were still intact and there was no proof or compelling explanations as to what happened to the crew.

Mysterious disappearances seem like they should be of a nature where the most likely explanations should either be disproved or at least discounted for good reasons -- piracy would be a likely explanation for an abandoned ship, yet the expected evidence of piracy wasn't found. The circumstances should defy probable explanations. (talk) 23:51, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

"Mysterious" is a somewhat subjective term, it's true. One person's mystery can be another's, "It's obvious what happened." Somewhere above there's a discussion about whether "mysterious" was the right term to use in the title. The point was raised that "mysterious disappearance" is a legal term (property insurance law) dreamed up in the 40's to denote that the how and why of an object's disappearance, "is merely a conjectural explanation, perhaps supported by circumstantial evidence." Personally, I use that idea as my rule of thumb. If someone has disappeared but all we have to explain what happened is conjecture, then I believe it's mysterious enough to go on the list. Pleonic (talk) 00:06, 30 April 2016 (UTC)
As was discussed here more recently, "mysterious" is largely a legal term that grew out of a change in insurance law that no longer required claimants to prove property had actually been stolen, only that its absence could not be explained conclusively or accounted for. Daniel Case (talk) 05:07, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

References are needed quickly

I am noticing that a lot of these entries are uncited. Remember that we editors cannot make the determination that these "disappearances" are "mysterious". We need reliably-sourced, verifiably citations that note them as such. To that end, I am going to flat-out remove one uncited entry, to draw people to discussion, and then I am going to wait a week. Unless a lot more references start appearing that meet the criteria noted above, every unreferenced entry will be removed. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 19:28, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

Better idea: fix things. If the entry has an article, consider checking any sources cited there and importing them here. Daniel Case (talk) 05:10, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
Always a better idea, when you have the time, Daniel. As I that is the one thing I don't have in abundance, I'm simply marking the areas where improvement is needed, so that industrious editors with more time on their own hands can efficiently address the marked items. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 18:41, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

Drop the "mysteriously" from the title of this article.

Many of the entries - as already noted - are not mysterious (defintion: difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify) but just unexplained (defined : not accounted for or attributable to an identified cause).

There is clearly a great difference between someone just vanishing into what appears to be thin air without any evidence to finding evidence of foul play and no body. The latter is not mysterious only unexplained.

This article is therefore wrong if based solely on the title of the article; because many entries are clearly just unanswered disappearances not mysteries.

The title should be changed because it's misleading. Only editors who know what a mystery is should edit this page, rather than anyone who thinks a broken window, a bloodied knife, and signs of a struggle is just as "mysterious" as someone appearing to vanish without trace!!! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:41, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

As discussed in previous talk posts (some of them archived), "mysterious disappearance" is a legal term (property insurance law) instituted in the 1940's to denote that the how and why of an object's disappearance, "is merely a conjectural explanation, perhaps supported by circumstantial evidence." That's how this list uses it. Pleonic (talk) 21:02, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 15 July 2016

Can someone add this disappearance to this page:

Mickrat (talk) 17:43, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

Not done - we do not have an article on Mike Cisarik or the Disappearance of Mike Cisarik which appears to be the inclusion criterion - Arjayay (talk) 15:59, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Frederick Valentich disappearance has been solved — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:49, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

That should be added to the article, and mentioned here in the blurb. However, it cannot be considered "solved" since officially the case remains open unless Australia's aviation authorities or other investigators say that's what they believe happened. So it will have to stay. Daniel Case (talk) 06:19, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Why has the 2012 disappearance of Emma Fillipoff been deleted?

Why has the Disappearance of Emma Fillipoff been deleted from this master list? (talk) 04:49, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

It needs sources. I think I was able to find one. Daniel Case (talk) 21:01, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Jennifer Kesse I believe that this should be added to the 2006 list, but I am unable to edit the page. I can only assume from the above discourse that the page is locked due to an edit war. (talk) 03:55, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

@ Hi, I was the one who removed it for lack of citation. You have to have a reference (like a news article or a feature story, etc.) noting the disappearance. Because WP:BLP rules govern this article (as there is the faint possibility that some of these missing people are still alive), every modern inclusion needs to be referenced. If you find one, copy the link there. I'll jopin your request for re-addition, unless someone else disagrees. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 04:52, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

Removal of Uncited Content


There is a lot of content that was removed and restored (edit warring) to this article. I think the gigantic removal of information should be discussed, which has never happened. I suggest this diff is used as the restore point as it was immediately prior to the disruptive editing. A lot of these articles have citations in them and this list does not seem to have a need for citations as it is a list. Other users thoughts on this? -- Dane2007 talk 05:16, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

I oppose the edit.
Respectfully, I am the one who removed the content, for the most part, and I did so after repeated notices on both the talk page as well as the article itself. The notices both indicated the need for serious reference work, without which the uncited instances would be removed. Since then, some have returned to the article - and this is important - after they had been cited, which is the point. It took mass removals to bring people back to add references (kudos to Daniel Case for a lot of good work).
So, the only items currently going back and forth before I asked the at the page be protected for a bit (to augment the discussion regarding the back and forth) are two or three articles. Those articles concern a few folks who's whereabouts are unknown, but the circumstances of which are in contention.
That said, I would be very opposed to re-adding in all the uncited material back to the article. Wikipedia doesn't hold onto uncited information, which the uncited mass was. Everyone seems clear on that, and that's a Good Thing.
The point where differences of opinion arose over the inclusion of persons who's disappearances weren't all that mysterious. Either someone admitted to killing them or the person was a criminal/criminal suspect absconding from prosecution or imprisonment. Such entries aren't particularly 'mysterious' (and thus do not fit the article).
As per an earlier, archived discussions, the inclusion of an entry depends upon the legal definition of the term "mysterious disappearance," wherein a person vanishes unexpectedly and without cause or apparent intent.
The back and forth came about initially over the addition/removal of Lord Lucan, accused murderer of at least one person. He took off and no one knows where he absconded to. Is he alive? I don't know or care; that's not the point. The point is, his disappearance was fueled by a fear of prosecution and imprisonment for a crime. There is a clear litmus test for inclusion, if we but use it. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 07:13, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
Request disabled for now, pending consensus — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:04, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Ben Smart/Olivia Hope

I added the disappearance of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope to the list - one of New Zealand's most well-known missing person cases. It was reverted by @Dmol: with the edit summary "Not mysterious, they were murdered. Not finding a body is commonplace."

There are two things about this -

  1. if Dmol's point is taken, then many of the items on this page (most notably, perhaps, the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa - pretty much the US equivalent of this case in terms of notoriety) need to be removed from it - take for example both 1951 cases, and the first one from 1962, the second from 1969, the first from 1986.... Almost all of the "solved cases" appear to be less mysterious
  2. though there was a conviction in the Hope/Smart case, it has long been a cause celèbre in New Zealand, with many people doubting the outcome of the trial. There has been some evidence that the pair were still alive at a time after their murder supposedly took place, and some suggestion they might even be sill alive.

Given the high profile of this case, the similarity with other cases on this list, and the questions which swirl around it, I feel it justifies its place on this list. Grutness...wha? 06:03, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

I think this is one of those situations where the sole reason why tSmart and Hope would be added to this list is based upon a book that someone wrote contending that a few witnesses think they saw them days after their supposed murder and a photo also supposedly taken during this time. The courts haven't found this to be compelling evidence, and therefore neither should we. The couple was murdered. They aren't in a time share with Elvis and Cobain. They're dead, jim. They don't belong here. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 08:36, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Interesting argument - one which failed to address one of my points and makes only a bare attempt at answering the other. It seems to me you have little knowledge of just how high a profile this case has in New Zealand, or how much it is still regarded by the general public as a mysterious disappearance rather than a straightforward murder case. No, the courts have not found the books to be compelling evidence - but they have never been asked to rule on them. They ruled on the evidence as presented in the original court case, which ignored numerous known facts about the case. Furthermore, a key witness later revealed that he had lied in his evidence. Despite this, requests for a retrial have been turned down.
As I said, it has every much a need to be here as a case like Jimmy Hoffa's (also clearly murdered - therefore that doesn't belong on this list either - right?), and more so than several of the other items on the list which are listed as murders with convictions and - in some cases - where the convicted murderer confessed to the crime. If you take this item out of the list, take the rest out, too.
You also fail to answer my other point well, by suggesting that any doubt is because of one book and a photograph - tell me, do you mean the Ian Wishart book, the Keith Hunter book, the John Goulter book, or the Mike Kalaugher book? Maybe it was the television documentary on the case from 2003, or the one from 2015? Surely it can't be Olivia Hope's father's own statements that he is convinced Watson is not guilty? As for "they're dead jim", I agree with you. So, too, are most, if not all, of the other mystery disappearances on this list. That's not the point. 1) They disappeared mysteriously; 2) their bodies have not been discovered; 3) there is significant evidence which suggests that the official police verdict may not be the right one.
And what of reverting my addition of Ron Jorgensen? What did that post do to upset you? Is the fact that he has been reported seen on several occasions since in various places by people who knew him despite being listed as officially dead by the police ten years after he went missing also evidence that he is clearly dead? Or is it simply a case that you decided that because one of my entries was - in your view - a dubious addition to the list, any others automatically must be wrong as well? Grutness...wha? 13:15, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Okay, Grutness - let's address those questions you have asked. You are correct; I have little knowledge of the cases you note. I think that is actually an advantage in this matter, since I don't have the unspoken historical and cultural baggage that accompany growing up around the aspects of the case. I am freed by the unspoken content and can look solely upon its need to be here. You are approaching the matter as if it compares to Hoffa's disappearance; it does not. Whereas you have someone convicted in the case of Smart and Hope, you do not have that with Hoffa. As we do not know what happened to him (via confession or conviction), he remains a mysterious disappearance. You noted that there might be other entries to the article who are similar to Smart and Hope in that there is a confessed killer at the end, and that they should be removed as well. I agree, and I might have missed them - I was only removing uncited material at first, only later focusing on the 'mysterious' aspect of the disappearance later with the re-addition of Lord Lucan, Smart and Hope and now, Jorgenson.
As for your second point, you fairly answered your own point: there is a conviction for the murder of the two. Do you know how many books have been published regarding the identity of Jack the Ripper or the Zodiac Killer? Hundreds of books, each touting a different prime suspect and yet, none of them have been officially noted as being the actual killer. Books and insinuations do not affect articles here (unless they are articles about possible suspects or conspiracy theories, of course) about the persons missing and/or killed. The people listed in this article (governed by BLP in many cases) had little or no apparent reason to run or disappear - thus the 'mysterious' aspect that differentiates this article from, say, 'People who absconded from justice'. If anything, entries like D.B. Cooper should be removed from the list as well.
So, for me, the issue is apparent intent: was there an apparent intent to leave/vanish/disappear/head off to Narnia? In the case of Jorgenson, he was on a very strict parole after being given a life sentence. There is every reason to disappear. There is intent. He wasn't abdufted by aliens or carried off by mer-people or bitten by a radioactive clam. The official record is that he absconded from his imprisonment, and the official record is what we follow in Wikipedia.
So, I didn't revert your instatement of Jorgenson out of hand, Grutness (I'd never do that anywya - its rude); it simply failed the requirement of 'mysterious' for inclusion to the article. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 18:45, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Since a suspect has been convicted in the Smart/Hope murder, it belongs for now on List of murder convictions without a body. Not here. Daniel Case (talk) 00:37, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

Proposal to add Martin family disappearance

Drown Soda (talk) 00:04, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

No additions can be made to protected articles without consensus. Please allow others to comment before using {{editprotected}}. Thanks — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:00, 27 October 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Klare, Glen (August 20, 1999). "Let me say this about that". NW Labor Press. Retrieved October 25, 2016. 
Upon reading the article as well as looking up the disappearance, I think it should probably be added. The likelihood that the 3 missing folk are in the car underwater is probably high, but Sherlocking isn't our job. The family disappeared unexpectedly and under mysterious circumstances. It fits the criteria for inclusion. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:10, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

Removal of entry

I've removed Melissa Brannen from this list. While her whereabouts are indeed unknown, someone has already been convicted of her abduction. Not a mystery.
Before people start adding missing persons, remember that there has to be the element of mystery to their disappearance. About 90k people go missing in the US alone (50k are adults, and 33k are children); of those, almost all are found. Of the remainder, practically all are abductions. Without Sherlocking, there are surprisingly few disappearances that cannot be traced right back to an obvious abduction - those rare ones are here. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 22:16, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

New additions

I am starting to see every missing person from the side of a milk carton being added to the article. Child abductions are tragic, but not mysterious. As well, please do not include people for whose abduction a second person has been convicted of the crime. I will wait a week for folks to remove those that don't fulfill these criteria before i remove them myself. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 23:38, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

There is a pretty specific litmus for inclusion - one that was discussed in both the archives and in the above discussions. Make sure to check it out before asking why a particular addition was removed. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 23:44, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

Lord Lucan

A bit of back and forth occurred regarding the inclusion of Lord Lucan. The argument for inclusion seems to be that he became a famous fugitive who was never found ( 1). Whereas the argument for exclusion is that this is a list for missing persons, not fugitives ( 2).
I lean towards the argument that the operative word for inclusion to this article is "mysteriously"; a fugitive from justice might have disappeared, but that is the fugitive's intent - ie. there is no mystery about it whatsoever (except, perhaps, why they can't be found). I also concur with Daniel Case's offhand suggestion that the might exist a need for an article about named fugitives who haven't been brought to justice. Thoughts? - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:52, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

This is a list of people who disappeared mysteriously. Lord Lucan certainly disappeared and he disappeared under mysterious circumstances, because it has never been established that he was responsible for the death of the nanny Sandra Rivett and fled as a fugitive from justice. There are other explanations for his behaviour, as anyone with a bit of wisdom can see if they think for themselves and don't believe the simplistic view put about by police, coroner's court, and media. His name should stay in the list. Akld guy (talk) 18:43, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but are you suggesting that Wikipedia is now a clubhouse for armchair detectives? We do not - and allow me to stress this - do not deduce conclusions. We can add citations (from reliable sources) that others have Sherlocked out the disappearance, but we cannot do so ourselves. In Wikipedia, my Dad used to say, Verifiability is the litmus for inclusion, not truth. yes, Lord Lucan is a prime suspect in a heinous crime. Yes, he has absconded from justice, and has not been captured. This is not mysterious, as most criminals seek to do that very same thing (ie., to not get caught).
This article is for those who have disappeared mysteriously. While there indeed might be 'other explanations for his behavior', it isn't up to us to determine them or offer weight to them, at least within the scope of the article. Lord Locan's article, sure. Here? Not so much. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 19:51, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Ronnie Biggs was a fugitive from justice but would not appear here, because the police knew he was in Rio. Lord Lucan's whereabouts are not known: he is legally presumed dead but no-one knows where. If he does not belong in this article, given the amount of media coverage and investigation his disappearance caused, I can't see how anyone else would. If he is not a missing person the breed does not exist. Being a "missing person" and a "fugitive from justice" are not mutually exclusive. Britmax (talk) 18:46, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
See my above reply to User: Akid guy for clarification of this point. Perhaps the issue is actually one of the editors contributing to this article thinking that its a dumping ground for everyone who ever went missing, no matter what the cause or reasoning. To me, the distinction for inclusion versus non-inclusion is one that turns on the use of the phrase "disappeared mysteriously".
This phrase suggests to any reasonable person that the disappearance was unexpected and/or unanticipated, as applies to most of the individuals on this list. It should not apply to a criminal suspect fleeing prosecution. it doesn't matter if they might be innocent. It doesn't matter if the circumstances of the crimes they are accused of committing are suspect. In the hilarious words of Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive, I don't care. And neither should any editor. We are not detectives.
Maybe there should be an article for 'Missing Fugitives from Justice' or something like that. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 19:51, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
I don't understand this thinking, that a fugitive from justice cannot disappear mysteriously because he is a fugitive from justice. We don't know why he ran, although he may have fled because he killed the nanny and assaulted his wife, but we don't know. We don't know where he went, and fourty years later we stil don't know where he went or whether he is still alive (although probably not) and we don't know where his remains are if he is dead. In spite of worldwide searches and documentaries having been made about it no-one wants to talk. How mysterious does a disappearance have to be to belong here? Britmax (talk) 20:38, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Agree with Britmax; Lord Lucan is one of the most mysterious disappearances around. We can probably guess why he disappeared but where he is/was we have no idea. Lucan is a perfect fit for this article. --Roisterer (talk) 00:15, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
I am sorry that you didn't understand any of that; allow me to unpack this into smaller packages for you.
The difference between the majority of people on this list who disappear is that their disappearance is unexpected. There is no proximal cause for them vanishing. There is a proximal cause for Lord Lucan to try to disappear, to avoid prosecution for a crime he may or may not have committed. There is no mystery to the disappearance; we know why he vanished. We may not know how, but we (via reliable sources) can easily see why.
The article is about people who disappeared mysteriously. Not 'missing fugitives from justice'. That's why he doesn't belong on this list. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 08:29, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
Lucan disappeared under circumstances that are not fully understood, that is, mysterious. One reason is that he is a fugitive and that is backed up by sources. There are other reasons why he may have chosen to disappear, but they cannot be put about in the media or advanced here because they would be WP:BLP violations, and that's about as much as I can say. You see, we are hamstrung in what we can say, and so are the media so you will not find sources for those reasons. You're focusing on a narrow interpretation of why he may have chosen to disappear instead of giving the circumstances the widest benefit of the doubt. In any case, consensus seems to be against you. Akld guy (talk) 08:50, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
I am entirely open to an RfC regarding whether we include suspected murdered successfully fleeing prosecution in the list. To a reasonable person, someone suspected of a serious crime will seek to avoid punishment. To be in this article (and not another one), one must have disappeared mysteriously; ie, nothing else was awry when they up and disappeared. Let me know if an RfC to clear up the matter is something you want. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:59, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
User:Roisterer, the focus of the article is not on where they went, but the specific and unexpected act of them disappearing. To be included in this article, the subject had to have disappeared mysteriously. There is nothing less mysterious than an accused criminal running away and trying to vanish. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 08:49, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
And you know he ran away for that reason, do you? Britmax (talk) 08:53, 21 October 2016 (UTC)
No, I don't know that; all official sources in the matter consider that the most likely source of the disapppearance - sbsconding from justice. I'm a little confused that you seem to think thatI'm armchair-Sherlocking the matter, when I am clearly not. He is the official suspect in a murder, and he did not remain to defend himself in a court of law. That is not mysterious. That is common sense - a sense shared by most official sources - which is what we use to govern inclusion. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:59, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

To weigh in on this belatedly since my name was invoked without me being pinged: Despite the tremendous interest in this case on the part of the British public, I do not consider Lucan to be a missing person in the same sense of, say, Maura Murray or (in the UK, say) Andrew Gosden. A missing person's disappearance is not in itself a crime; the police investigate the circumstances of such a disappearance only to ensure that no crime was involved. Whereas Lucan was, shortly after he did go missing, indicted by a coroner's jury for murder; once that happened he was officially a fugitive, his absence in itself a violation of the law. The police have a duty to seek him and ascertain his fate no matter what. Daniel Case (talk) 00:34, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

@Akld guy:For the same reason, I have just removed Jorgenson (yet again). He is a fugitive from justice, not a mysterious disappearance. This has already been discussed here; re-adding it despite ongoing discussion and disagreement is tendentious editing, and won't get anywhere. Find consensus here, and then add it back in. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 23:42, 28 October 2016 (UTC)
@Jack Sebastian: Jorgensen was not a fugitive from justice. He had served out his sentence (handed down in 1964) and was on probation at the time of his disappearance in 1984. Nobody knows why he disappeared. He may have died in the car wreck with his body washed out to sea, or he may have chosen to disappear because of a jealous husband or because of threats from criminal associates. We don't know. Until we do, most likely when his body or remains are found, his disappearance is mysterious. Please read the article. Akld guy (talk) 00:49, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
@Akid guy: Jorgenson was sentenced to life in prison, and was out on a a strict parole. He had not served out his sentence (according to the citation presented with the entry), and his disappearance was treated as an absconding from justice. If you have references that say otherwise, you should create an article for the missing person and then add them here. It's been pointed out to me that we can't list people who don't have articles. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 01:16, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
@Jack Sebastian: This reference says "Both killers served their time." This reference, which is a New Zealand government history website, says that Jorgensen had been released from prison at the time of his disappearance. Akld guy (talk) 01:30, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
@Akld guy: Okay, that's a heckuva lot more references than were in the entry, right? So, create an article for the missing person, and then we can add the person to the list. You will note that almost all of the entries are culled from articles, either about them or related to the circumstances of their disappearance. That's what keeps the article from being a list. And kudos for seeking out more references. The one in the article suggested that he was just out on parole, and not completely done with his sentence. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 01:49, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Lord Lucan - new approach

(Note: An earlier discussion regarding this entry took place here, where it stalled somewhat. The discussion continues below.)

User:Jack Sebastian says that Lucan doesn't belong in the list because he fled from his country's justice system after being named as the murderer by a coroner's court. What I take exception to is that the "why" is JS's only criterion for disallowing the entry. Another criterion should surely be "how" the individual disappeared. Surely we are entitled to say that the way in which Lucan disappeared is mysterious. We don't know whether he died in the UK or travelled to another country, with or without the help of friends. How Lucan disappeared is the mystery, therefore we cannot exclude him only on the basis of "why" and he should be in the list. Akld guy (talk) 02:10, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

My points have been made above, but maybe the editors of this article should put together an RfC to maybe determine what constitutes a 'mysterious disappearance'. That way, we would have a pretty clear description of what does and doesn't belong in this article. Thoughts? - Jack Sebastian (talk) 02:46, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
Please put this in the Lord Lucan section above rather than starting a parallel thread here. Britmax (talk) 08:37, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
A better way would be to provide a link to the earlier discussion, so that people don't have to scroll through a wall of text to even find the discussion. I've put a link to that conversation at the top of this section. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 18:05, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Unfortunately, Lord Lucan doesn't belong in this article, as he is a fugitive from justice, wanted for murder. There is nothing mysterious about a person running away and seeking to disappear from criminal prosecution. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 18:07, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

That is your opinion, and not everyone agrees that your assumption that we knew why he ran is correct. And now this restart give two confusing references to Lucan in the contents list, giving them two blocks of text to search through. You are the one pushing for change from the long standing version here. Britmax (talk) 18:30, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

Are you stating that I am incorrect in calling Lucan a fugitive from justice? If so, I am not alone, as there are literally dozens of references that call him precisely that. As we work solely from references here in Wikipedia, what we personally think doesn't get to be admitted to the article. I get that you grew up with this as a background event. I grew up with DB Cooper. Both are fugitives from justice and thusly, their disappearance is not a mystery: they fled to avoid prosecution, and they want to not be found. Everyone else on this list disappeared unexpectedly and without warning. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 19:27, 29 October 2016 (UTC)

I support Britmax in that Lucan belongs in the list. As stated above, which Jack Sebastian has not addressed, how Lucan disappeared is a mystery, irrespective of any motivation he might have had. Consensus is currently 2:1 against Jack Sebastian. Akld guy (talk) 18:55, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
You might want to count that again - there are a few people who think that Lucan's appearance in this article is inappropriate. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 19:27, 29 October 2016 (UTC)
We should not include Lucan because he is missing for very non-mysterious reasons, to escape justice. Sundayclose (talk) 14:00, 31 October 2016 (UTC)
We have any number of RS which employ the word mysterious in connection with Lucan. I don't agree that merely because a person is a fugitive, their disapearance cannot be mysterious, which seems to be the main and only leg on which JackS seems to be hopping. We go with RS, not with editors prejudices. Here: have a bucketful. Equally the lack of definitive criteria for inclusion in this list means the article is always going to be flakey at best, a racid collection of scrapings at worst. --Tagishsimon (talk) 16:52, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
Hence, the section below, to better define the criteria for inclusion, @Tagishsimon:. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:19, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
I suppose a shit-tonne of RS saying 'it's a mystery' does not qualify, Jack? Why would that be --Tagishsimon (talk) 17:22, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
Just because a reliable source says something doesn't mean that it must be included in a Wikipedia article. It may be included if it meets all other Wikipedia criteria. If there is disagreement among editors about the scope of an article, that is resolved through the consensus process, which is exactly what is happening right now on this page. Sundayclose (talk) 20:58, 1 November 2016 (UTC)
You don't have any criteria. You just have arbitrary OWNy behaviour and a plain disregard for the overwhelming real-world consensus exhibited in a vast number of RS that Lucan's disappearance is termed and accepted as a mystery. And that's fine. This list is really an indefensible arbitrary collection of stuff which gets through your personal filters. The best outcome would be to delete the whole thing. --Tagishsimon (talk) 23:34, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── If you ask anybody in the UK over the age of about 50 for an example of a mysterious disappearance, they will cite Lucan. This is pretty much the canonical example. Yes it was a flight from justice, but he just vanished. Ronnie Biggs was found pretty quickly, after all. Guy (Help!) 00:26, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

Uncited additions

I am noticing people adding unreferenced entrants tot he list again. If they aren't cited within a week from today, they will be removed. I would encourage others to cite what they can, and remove what they cannot.
References keep the article from being considered as listcruft and subject to deletion. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 01:38, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Why wait? Uncited entries can be brought to Talk if you like, but nuking them is fine. Guy (Help!) 00:27, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
Well, not everyone is at the same skill level when it comes to Wiki work. Some people add statements but don't have references. Normally, that's okay, because they get tagged or removed or cited. However, this article is under the umbrella of BLP, which means info has to be cited or removed. Taking into consideration that at least one editor has apparently gone on a diatribe about my evil ways, I think tha tjust up and removing them would feed into that skewed perception. If you want to remove them, that's fine. I am going to tag and wait. If nothing happens in that week, I will presume that no interest exists regarding the matter and removing it. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 01:20, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
I added an editnotice, hopefully that will help. Guy (Help!) 22:43, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
I've started to remove uncited entrants. I've stopped at the 1960's. If other editors could take a gander and maybe cite an item or two, that'd be great. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 02:04, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
Isn't there a long-standing consensus here to only include people who have an article written about them. That's what I've been working on for a long time, and I believe most editors agree. --Dmol (talk) 08:40, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
Totally agree with Dmol's comments above. I've always worked under the assumption that anyone mentioned in this article should have their own Wikipedia page, with sources/references. David J Johnson (talk) 09:53, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
Each of these entrants are governed by BLP somewhat more strenuous restrictions regarding the use of references; their very disappearance, has to be cited within this article. It is not enough that the articles about the person (or their disappearance) are linked. The disappearance must be cited. If those sources appear in the linked article, it shouldn't be terribly difficult to port over a single reference. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 15:29, 12 November 2016 (UTC)