Author investigating a very cold New Zealand disappearance

Jamie sent me this article about the disappearance of two-year-old Jeffrie Hill, who vanished from outside his home in the town of Tokoroa, New Zealand in 1969. The police conducted a perfunctory investigation and concluded he had drowned, even though they didn’t find his body. (Shades of Charley’s own Aaron Mitchell Anderson here.) Well, Scott Bainbridge, author of two books on New Zealand missing persons, believes Jeffrie was abducted and may still be alive today.

Mr. Bainbridge and I have corresponded. I reviewed his first MP book, Without Trace: On the Trail of New Zealand Missing Persons, and he gave me a copy of the second, Still Missing: More Unsolved Missing Persons Cases in New Zealand — which was just as good as the first, but I have yet to review it. It’s on my to-do list. He also wrote a book about New Zealand’s cold case murders titled Shot in the Dark.

Without Trace: On the Trail of New Zealand Missing Persons

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.