My review of Scott Bainbridge’s Without Trace, on the Trail of New Zealand Missing Persons. Reed Books, 2005. Paperback, 189 pages. Thanks to Justin for sending me this book.
Not for sale in the United States, this book covers sixteen cases of mysterious disappearances from New Zealand dating back as far as the 1950s. The chapters are about ten to twenty pages each in length and are usually, but not always, illustrated with black and white photos. I was impressed by the author’s ability to pack so much information into these relatively short essays. He interviewed many of the parties involved and some of the information in this book can be found nowhere else.
If this selection of cases is anything to judge by, New Zealand disappearances can be quite as weird as those in the United States. In the case of Cynthia Grierson-Jackson for instance, the police found a lone, naked woman’s leg that was probably hers. But one leg looks much like any other, they never found the rest of the body, and the leg was never conclusively identified.
Any missing persons/true crime buff would find this book intriguing. I only wish the author had included law enforcement contact numbers to submit tips.
I tried to see if American Roselyn Tilbury’s case was being investigated by the FBI, since they handle American’s missing overseas if invited to by the local PD. But they don’t like to give out any information about anything, so it was a while before I found out theat they were not. Her family was from Anaheim, CA so I checked the back issues of the OC Register. Nothing.
There is an interesting case in New Zealand at the moment about a Christchurch women Emma Campbell. She left her home early on the morning she disapeared, seen getting petrol for her car at 5.30 am, her car was found parked off the road on an odd angle with her personal belongings in it and her shoes were found down the hill on a walking track. No other signs of her. Police couldn’t rule out someone being in the car with her from the petrol station camera footage. Hate that kind of random case … does my head in wondering what happened.