The only thing that is worse than knowing is not knowing. Whenever someone disappears and later turns up dead at least everyone involved gains some kind of closure but every so often something really freaky happens and people disappear without a trace. These people just vanish into thin air and are never heard from ever again. The idea that someone can quite literally drop off the face of the earth, for many people, can be the freakiest thing that could ever happen.
1 – Jimmy Hoffa
It is certainly no secret that Jimmy Hoffa lived his live inside some pretty dangerous circles or that he was most probably murdered to keep him quiet. At the time of his death Jimmy Hoffa was the leader of the incredibly powerful Teamsters union (the same Teamsters union in the movie, Casino) having started the job in 1958. The man who was in charge of the Teamsters union prior to Hoffa had appeared before a Senate committee on charges of union corruption and opted to take the Fifth Amendment a whopping 140 times throughout the entire process. Within a year of his appearance before the Senate committee he was convicted of fraud.
For a long time leading up to his death Jimmy Hoffa had been of huge interest to various law enforcement agencies. When Kennedy was elected President he appointed his brother as Attorney General and the pair began waging war on organised crime which really turned the heat up on Hoffa.
Hoffa was convicted and sent to jail in 1967 for jury tampering and for lending large sums of money from the Teamsters pension fund to his friends in the mafia. Hoffa was sentenced to 13 years in jail for his crimes but was released after only five years when President Nixon gave him a pardon. It is therefore hardly any surprise that the Teamsters supported Nixon during the next election.
Jimmy Hoffa went missing from the car park of a local Detroit restaurant on July 30, 1975. The best idea that anyone has to what happened to Hoffa suggests that he met with two Mafiosi in the car park and they were ultimately responsible for his still unknown fate. The two mobsters in question were later able to prove that they were never actually at the restaurant and even denied ever meeting Hoffa.
Jimmy Hoffa was officially declared dead seven years after his disappearance although most people believe that he was killed shortly after his meeting with the two Mafiosi. His body has never been found.
2 – Albert Victor Grayson
Whenever a person takes it upon themselves to share a government’s secrets with the world they are quite literally taking a massive risk with their lives. If they don’t end up dying under suspicious circumstance they will certainly find themselves facing some lengthy time behind bars.
Albert Grayson, who was a socialist between 1907 and 1910, was all set to reveal hard evidence of high level government corruption when he vanished without a trace in London during the year of 1920.
Albert Grayson had once been a somewhat well-known and successful orator but was also known to be very troubled man who drank too much and had suffered a nervous breakdown. After his service during the First World War Grayson had hopes of resuming his political career but the British Special Branch had very different ideas about this. The Special Branch used a special agent called Maundy Gregory to keep Grayson under constant surveillance as it was suspected he was working with either the Soviet Union or the IRA.
The main problem with this situation was that Gregory had his own big dirty secret and is now known as the man who sold honours on behalf of Prime Minster David Lloyd George. To make matters even worse Grayson was well aware of Gregory’s secret and sometime in September of 1920 had told friends that he was about to reveal all the information he knew exposing all who were involved.
On September 28th of 1920 Grayson was out with his friends when a phone called summoned him to a hotel in Leicester Square. He explained to his friends that he would return soon only he never came back. Witnesses claim to have seen Grayson entering a house that later investigations revealed was owned by Gregory but after that no one has seen or heard from him since.
It is widely assumed and accepted that Grayson was most certainly killed to make sure he never had the chance to expose what he knew.
3 – Lord Lucan
The vanishing case of Lord Lucan who disappeared without a trace the night his children’s nanny was murdered is probably one of the greatest vanishing mysteries of all time. Police quickly arranged a huge manhunt to find Lucan but he was somehow able to completely evade British authorities and his actual whereabouts have been the subject are still a mystery to this very day. Lord Lucan was said to be a flamboyant man who actually turned down the chance to audition and screen test for the part of James Bond in a 007 movie. He had also work for a short period of time in a bank but gave up on that career path in favour of pursuing a career as a professional gambler.
Lord Lucan’s marriage to wife Veronica had always been strained and by 1972 the couple were separated and involved in a bitter custody battle over their children. Veronica had even told the children’s nanny that her husband was an angry and aggressive man who would probably kill her one day. On the night that Lord Lucan killed his children’s nanny and attacked his wife he had lost the custody battle and it was widely publicised that his gambling was going badly. After the attack and murder Lucan had phoned his mother and told her there had been a ‘terrible catastrophe’ at his wife’s house before he jumped in a car and driving to the home of a friend in the south of London.
In the hours and says that followed police widely circulated descriptions of Lord Lucan but he was never apprehended or seen again despite having the time to write letters to friends and attempt to explain what had happened in his wife’s home. In the end all that was found was Lord Lucan’s car which had the suspected murder weapon in the boot. Warrant’s for murder and attempted murder were issued by police and the police even asked for international assistance. Some police complained that Lucan’s high society and wealthy friends were not fully co-operating with the on-going investigation and the media was quick to jump on stories about the ‘Eton Mafia’.
During an inquest into the death of the Nanny Lord Lucan was named as her killer and his parlous financial affairs all became public knowledge. Some people close to Lucan claim that he killed himself while others say he was smuggled out of the country to South Africa. The very last person to see Lord Lucan, a close friend, has stated that Lucan was smuggled out of the UK and was later killed in Switzerland.
In the years that have followed Lord Lucan’s disappearance he has become one of the most spotted men in the world. In fact he is even more spotted than Elvis Presley. Reports have located him in Colombia, France and Goa with one report made in 2007 had him living homeless in New Zealand.
4 – Dorothy Arnold
Dorothy Arnold was the daughter of a wealthy perfume importer who lived a very privileged life. She vanished in December 1912 after setting out to walk home through Central Park in New York.
Dorothy Arnold was a well-known socialite who on the morning of December 12 spent some time with friends and went out shopping. She then told her friend that she was going to head home through Central Park and vanished in to thin air. Upon thinking that something was not quite right her family decided to hold off from calling the police. The reason for this was that Dorothy had recently eloped and her family feared they could be further embarrassed so they called in friends and private investigators to search for her. No one managed to find any trace of her and it was six weeks before an official police press conference was called.
The media was quick to jump on the trail of George Griscom since he was the man that she had recently ran away with although he always denied any knowledge of her disappearance. Griscom even spent thousands of dollars of his own money in an attempt to track her down.
There have been many suggestions and rumours thrown around since her disappearance. Some people think she ended up hospitalized with amnesia while others think she probably died during a botched abortion. There are also rumours that she took her own life after Griscom refused to marry her and also rumours that her family staged the disappearance and sent her to live in Switzerland.
When police searched her bedroom a lot of material was found regarding steamships travelling to Europe which led to the search for her to be widened. Even though the search did indeed spread over much of Europe no trace of her has ever been found.
Like most people who vanish without a trace there is plenty or supposed sightings of her. One sighting came from a man who claimed to have dug a grave for her. The most strangest of all came from the Bureau of Missing Persons who is reported to have said that his organisation knew exactly what happened to her but then declined to say what that was.
5 – Louis Le Prince
Not many people realise that Louis Le Prince is the man who invented cinema. He is credited with taking the very first moving pictures that he recorded on paper film with a single lens camera. Louis Le Prince mysteriously vanished without a trace on September 16, 1890 while taking the train from Paris to Dijon. His disappearance has inspired a wide variety of theories to what actually happened. When Le Prince disappeared he was said to have plans to travel to America and the fact that he disappeared is the main reason why Thomas Edison is the man who everyone thinks invented cinema.
Le Prince won an American patent in 1888 for his combined camera and projector, his application for a patent for a single lens version was turned down because someone else held an interfering patent. Edison made almost exactly the same application a few years later and was granted a patent. On September 16, 1890, with a UK patent on the way and a trip to America planned, Le Prince would have seemed to have everything to live for. He was due to return to England – he was married to an English woman – when he decided to take a trip to see his family in Dijon. He apparently boarded the train back to Paris but was never seen again. His luggage was gone and nobody was ever found, no-one on the train reported anything suspicious.
It’s been suggested that Le Prince committed suicide, planning – for reasons no-one can fathom – to leave neither his body nor belongings behind. Others say he was killed by rivals in the moving picture business. Edison has been accused of some shady dealings over some of his inventions, but would he have assassinated a rival in Europe? Le Prince’s son also died in slightly suspicious circumstances while Edison’s achievements were still being disputed by the Le Prince family. A third theory is that his family arranged his disappearance to hide his homosexuality – for which there is no evidence. Finally, some claim that the last man to see Le Prince – his brother – killed him. Again, the claim has little evidence to back it.
6 – Ray Gricar
Lawyer Ray Gricar called his partner from his car on April 15, 2005 and was never heard from again. He had been district attorney for a county in the state of Pennsylvania and a popular one too, winning five elections before announcing that he wouldn’t run again in 2005.
Undoubtedly, being a public lawyer can bring you notoriety and unpopularity. Gricar had refused to prosecute a sports coach who was subsequently found guilty of major child abuse. He had been divorced twice and his brother had also disappeared in 1996 – his body was found in a river, but the authorities said it wasn’t a suicide.
On that April day he called home but 12 hours later when he hadn’t returned, his partner called the police. His car was found in the car park of an antiques shop. His computer, keys and wallet were gone, but police could see nothing suspicious.
Rivers were searched and bank accounts opened, but nothing turned up. Finally, Gricar’s computer was found in the river, then its hard drive, but nothing could be recovered. The fact that someone at Gricar’s address had searched online for methods of destroying computer data have suggested foul play to some.