Boston’s Mysterious Vanishing Men, part 2

To read part 1 please click here

To view an interactive map of all cases click here

A note from the author Cryptid/Elise:

It has been almost a year since I wrote a blog post called “Boston’s Mysterious Vanishing Men” and it has been an incredible journey for me since then. I have experienced heartbreak in talking more with loved ones of the men I wrote about, anxiety over sharing my work to a larger and larger audience, and pride in my readers and my city in working to find solutions to this bizarre problem. I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not have an answer, and I do not know what is really happening. I do not know if these water deaths are accidental or intentional, preventable or inevitable. But I believe that each of the men I write about has a story that deserves to be told, and that it just might help us stop these tragedies in the future. 

I apologize profoundly for taking so long to write another post. It has been a difficult year for me, with many personal and health related problems keeping me from investing the time that I believe these cases deserve. Finally feeling strong enough to delve back into this work, I bring to you a part 2 of “Vanishing Men” As you may notice, many of these cases occurred outside of Boston, but there are incredible connections and similarities. It is my hope that these cases combined with the others can start to piece together this puzzle more and more until perhaps some day the mystery is solved. I want to give a final reminder as you read however, that these are not merely “cases” but also individuals, people with loved ones. Please read and respond to these posts with utmost respect. Thank you.

The cases so far:

Jerald Gelb (44) 8/2001

John Daverio (49)  3/2003

Daniel Mun (20) 12/2003

David W. Crockett (45) 1/2004

Dustin Willis (26) 3/2007

John Pike (23) 6/2007

Neo Babson Maximus/Charles M. Allen Jr. (22) 10/2007

William Hurley (24) 10/2009

Eugene Losik (26) 2/2010

Justin Marshall (30) 6/2010

David Mark (24) 2/2011

Christopher Martin (24) 12/2011

Franco Garcia (21) 2/2012

D’Anthony Green (23) 7/2012

Pedro Colon-Rodriguez (69) 10/2012

Jonathan Dailey (23) 10/2012

Joseph A. Gage (32) 1/2013

Eric Munsell (24) 2/2014

Shilo Morgado (36) 8/2015

Josue Quispe (18) 10/2015

Dennis Njoroge (21) 11/2015

Zachary Marr (22) 2/2016

jeraldgelb

Jerald Gelb had a Master’s degree in computer science and was a former employee at IBM. He suffered a mental breakdown after being let go from his job in his 30’s, and his family members suspected he was battling schizophrenia. On August 16th 2001 he showed up unexpected at his parents home in Brookline, Ma. He spent the night, but was gone by approximately 5am the next morning when his parents checked on him. Jerald was 40 when he went missing, wearing a red sweatshirt, and has not been heard from since. The area he disappeared from is very close to the Muddy River, a small offshoot of the Charles.

If you have any info on Jerald please call the Brookline Police Dept. at (617) 730-2222

danielmun

Daniel Mun was a 20 year old from Kirksville Missouri. He was a biology student at MIT and a member of a frat house. He was good at sports, particularly tennis, and was remembered as very friendly. Daniel went missing on December 5th 2003 at about 4am, and may have been intoxicated at that time. Daniel’s roommate recalled that he did not seem stressed or sad before his disappearance, though there was apparently a concerning note found in his computer suggesting a suicide was possible. Daniel’s body was found under the ice near the Harvard Bridge in March of 2004. His MIT ID was in his pocket, and he was wearing inline skates (not ice skates). Daniel’s death was ruled a suicide.

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David Wayne Crockett was a service tech at an auto shop in Wareham, MA. He was an avid mechanic and loved car racing and motorcycles. He went missing in January of 2004 after last being seen at a restaurant near the water of Buttermilk bay. Three months later on April 3 2004, his body was discovered under a dock at the Continental Marina only 100 yards away. The water had supposedly been frozen until recently and authorities said it appeared to have been in the water for some time, though the marina owner described the body as “very visible”. David’s death was ruled an accidental drowning.

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pike

John Pike was a 23 year old Syracuse University graduate in Public Communications, where he made Deans List and honors society. He was an athlete and avid musician, the drummer for a band called Ra Ra Riot. In June 2007 his band had played a show and was attending an after party in Fairhaven MA. Several friends saw John step outside at about 3am, but were concerned when he did not return later. His girlfriend received a text from him around this time saying he loved her, but this was not unusual. The house backs up to a Buzzards Bay beach, but Pike was notorious for his dislike of water and the tide was out. Later on that day at about 3pm John’s phone was found in shallow water on the west side of Wilbur Point. The next day his body was found about 200 yards away in 7 feet of water. Police said no foul play was suspected. Ra Ra Riot was enjoying growing success and John was passionate about the band.

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charlesallen

Charles M. Allen Jr. was a senior psychology major at Umass Dartmouth. In his past he had been a relatively famous online gamer, well known for his abilities in the  Valve game Half-Life. His passions shifted in college toward Tennis, and his dream was to become a professional player. “Charlie” had recently legally changed his name to “Neo Babson Maximus” perhaps in a effort to have a ‘famous persona’. His loved ones still knew him as Charlie, and insisted his name change was unrelated to his disappearance or mental illness. Charlie suffered from Bipolar disorder, though until not long before his disappearance it was well managed with medication. The trouble seemed to begin when Charlie’s sister contacted him asking him why he had deleted his facebook. Charlie became alarmed and insisted he had not. He told her that he believed he was in danger after sending some emails to “important people” and that she needed to be careful. He also said that the “answer” was in the “periodic table” then hung up. He later left a voicemail on his parents phone that sounded as if he was running through the woods. He was not heard from again until several days later when he reportedly broke into the second floor of a strangers house at 3am on October 13th 2007. He seemed confused and told the stranger he thought he was at his friends house, then he hurried off. Charlie’s car was found abandoned at his University’s parking lot, his backpack was found on Slocum Rd. and his shoes were found off Chase Rd.

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His computer at home had been completely wiped. He has never been found.

If you have any info on Charlie please contact the Dartmouth Police at (508) 910-1700

justinmarshal

Justin Marshall was a star high school football player, went to West Point, and graduated from Notre Dame. He then graduated from Suffolk Law with honors, and was working at Boston City Hall in Mayor Menino’s legal department. In June of 2006 Justin was out with friends in the Charlestown neighborhood on Pier 6, when the others in the group realized he was missing around 1am. His body was found in the water nearby. There has been little follow up to indicate a cause of death or other info.

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Christopher Martin lived in New Bedford and worked at Barden’s Boat Yard in Marion. He was 24 years old  and intoxicated when he was last seen in Downtown New Bedford at 1:30 am on December 17th 2011. His girlfriend reported him missing at 3:45 am. His body was discovered in the water behind a seafood restaurant the next morning, tangled in several life preservers. Authorities found this suspicious, as it appeared that someone may have tried to help Christopher. The stairs to the water near where he was found had been ripped up. No further information is known at this time.

danthony-green

D’Anthony Green was a 23 year old student at Suffolk University. He was very athletic and active, as well as artistic, enjoying everything from photography to skydiving. Because he lived alone, the exact date he went missing is unknown. He was found in the water, having been there ‘several days’, wearing his running pants under his regular pants, as if he had been coming or going from a work out. D’Anthony was a very capable swimmer with no history of suicidal tendencies, leaving his family suspicious about his death. Despite this, police ruled his death a suicide.

17rodriguez3

Pedro Colon-Rodriguez had immigrated from Puerto Rico to Boston. He had five children with his late wife, whose death hit him hard. In his recent years he had become a heavy drinker, and spent most of his time with Cambridge’s homeless community. He was well liked for his giving nature. In early October 2012 Pedro went to Cambridge Hospital for treatment of a fall related injury. He was not seen again until his body was discovered in the Charles River monday the 8th. He was still wearing his hospital bracelet. Pedro was found the day before Jonathan Daily, leading to his case being largely underreported.

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Joseph A. Gage was a 32 year old New Hampshire native with a degree in Mathematics from University of Hartford. He was athletic, a musically gifted guitar player, and loved to travel. On January 1st 2013 at about 3am, witnesses reported seeing Joseph crossing the Harvard Bridge with another man. Halfway across they hailed a cab, but instead of getting in Joseph apparently intentionally hurled himself over the rail of the bridge and into the Charles. Despite an intense search and theoretically knowing the exact location of the body, Joseph was not recovered until March 14th. One site described his death as a “tragic accident”.

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Shiloh Morgado was from Vallejo California, and lived in Westborough Ma. He had two children. Shiloh was known by many to be a “tech wizard” and was happiest while doing things like building his own computers. His body was discovered near Quincy Yacht Club on August 30th 2015, at around 6am. No foul play was suspected.

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Already the similarities between these cases and those in the previous post may be jumping out at you. You’ll notice in this group several technologically gifted men, several musicians, and many very intelligent individuals.

There are multiple men missing in a cluster around Buzzard’s Bay that I found intriguing.

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Again, as far as I can tell, the locations of these similar deaths are not sporadic, and do not happen along every coast or waterway. There seems to be several “hot spots” in Massachusetts alone, indicating that whom or what is causing the deaths may have a sort of “territory”. Whether it is a single migrating cause or two separate causes I cannot say.

I have charted the cases I have researched so far here to better illustrate the cluster areas.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-10-45-21-pm

As most of Eastern Massachusetts is surrounded or in close proximity to water, it stands to reason that other cities should be seeing similar deaths if this was a “normal” occurrence, particularly areas with high populations of young people and bars (cities such as Salem and Provincetown come to mind). And if this was a problem related to college aged drinkers, surely students in the western MA college areas have many lakes and rivers that could pose dangers?

The average temperature of Boston Harbor varies greatly between October and March (the peak months for disappearances). Here are some stats:

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Even at it’s coldest, Boston’s water never dips below freezing point at 32°, nor does it come close to the estimated 28° of the Atlantic when the Titanic sank. Death from hypothermia in freezing water can happen in as little as 15 minutes, but even in that small window it seems that someone could be crying out for help or trying to climb out of the water.

Normally alcohol in the system increases ones chances of hypothermia, but there is evidence to suggest that sometimes the exact opposite is true. Charles Joughin survived the 28° water after the Titanic for an astounding two hours until a lifeboat picked him up. Joughin was an avid drinker, carrying a flask with him everywhere, and said that thanks to his intoxication he barely felt the cold.

While this may be an unusual case, it does make one think. I have never heard of a case of a drunk college kid falling off a pier, climbing back out, laughing it off and going home to warm up. (If this has happened to you or someone you know, please let me know in the comments.) My only other thought on the matter is that perhaps in many of the cases the men suffer shock from the coldness of the water almost immediately as they hit it, causing them to gasp deeply and inhale water, speeding up the drowning process. Still, it seems unlikely that so many men would not survive the critical moments after entering the water, as hypothermia is a slower process.

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I hope you have found part 2 of my research interesting and informative, and I hope you join me in the comments for discussion! Thank you.

 

 

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266 thoughts on “Boston’s Mysterious Vanishing Men, part 2

  1. Dear Elise,
    I’m curious if you are planning to add one, or more of the young men found in The Charles during recent months to your official list? Us bloggers, myself included, seem anxious to jump to such conclusion(s). Are we right? Are we mistaken? Or is it simply too soon to tell because it is your practice to research the cases individually and more thoroughly? Even though there are many similarities, I realize the need for all of us to be responsible when posting anything. I imagine the tragedies of lately, have been keeping you very busy; but a quick weigh-in would be helpful.

  2. If one were to imagine for a moment that this is a serial killer and the police are aware of this fact, what would be in the public’s best interest? This is some really, really scary stuff going on. The majority of these young men are intelligent and well educated and often in college – so would we warn all those college bound young men thinking of coming to Boston as well as all the ones that are here already? Next, these young men often have had something to drink somewhere in a local establishment. So would we warn all young well educated men not to go to any local bars or restaurants and drink? Next, would we tell them all to stay away from the water and all the hotels and establishments near the water? Making all of this public would cause absolute chaos and pandemonium and potentially crush local businesses and potentially hurt the numerous local colleges and universities. The theory of warning the public and making it known that a serial killer is loose sounds like the responsible thing to do but until the investigators have any reasonable leads in the investigation and perhaps even catch this person, it does not serve the public’s best interest or our local economy’s best interest. Sadly enough, it doesn’t make sense to share such information with the victims’ families as they would be sure to go to local news sources. That’s just hard reality. The discussion earlier about a drug that creates suggestibility and perhaps even makes the person feel extremely warm like a hot flash makes some very good sense. They overheat in a crowded bar, they feel like they have to get out, someone somehow makes a suggestion to them to head to the water – perhaps to “cool off”, who knows? CCTV shows these men walking purposefully and some without their jackets in cold weather (do I have that right?). If such a drug really does exist as that documentary purports then we have even more reason to be scared. Can you imagine such a report on the evening news? We can all look on with great sympathy and concern and interest and fascination and compassion but it is quite possible that there is very good reason for us not to be informed. I just put that out there to all of you. I wouldn’t be so quick to say that the police are incompetent. They might just be doing what is in our best interest.

  3. Well said Jennifer- Thank you! This is spreading fast on face book also, serial killer in Boston. I agree panic and chaos will begin. If we are aware of what is happening spread the word but that’s causes confusion also. Trying to warn people to be safe in the city is hard without causing a ruckus and mass confusion. It’s about safety now being aware of your surroundings and not being alone as childish as it sounds use the buddy system. I’ve been telling people for a year and they laughed at me but now they see it’s happening more and more! BUDDY SYSTEM

  4. Dee I don’t think it’s the keystone cops because it’s quite obvious there is something going on. I don’t think they’re keeping it quiet so as not to create hysteria.. People are not going to run out in the streets in a riot setting fires and looting .. I doubt any of the cops or members of the department are allowing their sons to go out bar hopping, Celtics or Redsox games etc without making them aware of what’s going on and all the bodies pulled from the Charles. I’ve been warning people with sons for a long time too Petr and some thought I was overreacting. I’d like to know what the parents of these young men are being told. It’s when most are from out of town. There is definitely something going on and the press will not put it on the front page

    • Obviously, if it isn’t on front page then it’s the government ! Testing something or taking something from each of them ?

  5. There was also a body found in Taunton in the Taunton river, I haven’t seen if they have identified him yet. They had said he appeared to have been in his 40s and in the water for awhile. This was within the last couple of days. I’ll have to search for more info though.

    • Nottheother99 Thanks for the link.. Hey Boston Top Cop.. Where’s the video footage??? Evan’s should apologize to the victim’s families.

      • All I know is there is footage of Zach Marr “entering the water” which seemed very sketchy to me…no one else. Why are their bodies missing for days, weeks sometimes even months on end if they have footage of them walking right into the water? Makes zero sense. He is lying, or is being instructed to do so. Maybe they do not want to call out that they know what is going on, to who is responsible for this.

    • Not convinced! He’s saying all the right things the public needs/wants to hear – young men just don’t walk into the water. I’ll continue to follow the stories and post on social media as part of my sharing to make people aware. Thanks for sharing this piece!

      • I totally agree. I honestly feel very unsafe as a 25 yo male to go out in town now. I would rather them announce that they are aware there is a problem, and that they are looking into it. I may be crazy, but I’d feel safer that way… it is possible they are staying quiet to possibly find the person(s) responsible?

      • Boston is a beautiful city, please don’t be afraid, use the buddy system. I know it sound childish. I’d rather have you safe as I tell my children. We can’t live in fear we need to stay aware of our surroundings at all times and be safe and sober!

  6. Obviously, if it is not on main medias then it’s government invoked, taking something that won’t be missed or talked about.

  7. I read they found Michael Doherty dead, terrible to hear another kid life’s cut short; I wonder if they ever found the Indian American 26 man from Lexington who drove to Boston and went missing around the same time as Michael Doherty, he parked his car near the BU campus and disappeared.. Now, one more young guy from Watertown is missing, last seen in the Nahant area. This is very strange!

    • I don’t think Michael Doherty’s story is related. No cause of death yet, but they are waiting on reports. He wasn’t at a bar, he was at a house party less than a mile from his home. He texted his brothers for a ride home around 12:3pam, but they were sleeping. He left to walk home around 1:30 and tried to take a short cut in the woods, which is also surrounded by a lot of wetlands. On top of that, the area has had a lot of rain and that particular night there was a nor’ easter rain event. It looks as if he might have gotten disoriented. They found him in a wooded area. Very, very heartbreaking. There were some odd things in that one show was found on one side of the water, another on another side not far from his shirt. Maybe he was trying to mark where he went? Anyway, no cause of death determined yet. My heart and prayers are with his family and friends. 😦

      • Thanks nottheother99 for update. It is sad and puzzling, at 20 years of age I believe him to be strong and ride through a storm like that, especially that it was near his home area. and yes I agree, the shoe founding near the water was also weird..

  8. TODAY, MAY 26 2017 LOCAL BOSTON TV STATIONS ANNOUNCED ANOTHER YOUNG MAN WENT MISSING YESTERDAY. AS A GRAND MOTHER OF A TWENTY FIVE YEAR OLD GRAND SON I WOULD NOT WANT HIM TO COME TO BOSTON. REMEMBER THE BOSTON STRANGLER? THE NEWS CAME OUT YEARS AFTER HE WAS DEAD THAT THERE WERE DOZENS OF PEOPLE MURDERED BY HIM.
    IT IS TOO COINCIDENTAL THAT ALL OF THE YOUNG MEN WHO DROWN IN RIVERS HERE ARE ACCIDENTAL DEATHS.

    • Let’s not get crazy I don’t think your grandson has anything to worry about. He just needs to be vigilant and keep his head on a swivel. I believe the authorities haven’t released much info or said the phrase “serial killer ” so people aren’t alarmed and Boston tourism isn’t hurt. Also the probably don’t wanna tip the killer off that he/she is even on their radar.

  9. Have you looked into the link between these drownings and the ones from the Old Port in Portland, ME? Cases are eerily similar.

  10. Elise, you might also want to look into the cases of Nolan Gargas, a 26 year old Watertown man who went missing last month. He was recently found dead, though I can’t find any information about it in the press; the only reason I know is because we went to the same school and have lots of mutual friends who are grieving his death on social media.

    There’s also the case of Conrad Cook, an acquaintance of mine who was found dead, I think it was in Waltham. This was around 2012 if I’m not mistaken. The story has gotten virtually zero press because he was a homeless man, but he fits the profile of a younger white man with an impressive academic background. I also recently discovered a blog post of his from several years ago where he talks about having a hit put on him and how it’s “a miracle I’ve survived this long,” I have no idea if it could be related or not but it’s certainly interesting.

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