Richey Edwards declared dead

Remember the band Manic Street Preachers? Although this Welsh act were mighty popular in the UK, most Americans probably remember them as a “here today, gone tomorrow” act from college radio. Their rhythm guitarist and co-lyricist, Richey Edwards, disappeared back in 1995. According to Wikipedia,

Edwards disappeared on 1 February 1995, on the day that he and [a band member] were due to fly to the U.S. on a promotional tour. In the two weeks before his disappearance, Edwards withdrew £200 a day from his bank account, which totalled £2800 by February 1. He checked out of the Embassy Hotel in Bayswater Road, London at seven in the morning, and it has been proven that he then drove to his apartment in Cardiff, Wales. In the two weeks that followed he was apparently spotted in the Newport passport office, and the Newport bus station. On 7 February, Anthony Hatherhall, a taxi driver from Newport, supposedly picked up Edwards from the King’s Hotel in Newport, and drove him around the valleys, including Blackwood (Edwards’ home as a child). The passenger got off at the Severn View service station and paid the £68 fare in cash.

On 14 February, Edwards’ Vauxhall Cavalier received a parking ticket at the Severn View service station and on 17 February, the vehicle was reported as abandoned. Police discovered the battery to be flat, with evidence that the car had been lived in. Due to the service station’s proximity to the Severn Bridge (which has been a renowned suicide location in the past) and Edwards’ depressive state at the time, it was widely believed that he took his own life by jumping from the bridge. Many people who knew him, however, have said that he was never the type to contemplate suicide and he himself was quoted in 1994 as saying “In terms of the ‘S’ word, that does not enter my mind. And it never has done, in terms of an attempt. Because I am stronger than that. I might be a weak person, but I can take pain.”

Since then he has purportedly been spotted in a hippie market in Goa, India and on the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. There have been other alleged sightings of Edwards, especially in the years immediately following his disappearance. However, none of these have proved conclusive  and none have been confirmed by investigators.

Edward’s disappearance remains a mystery. Edward’s family recently petitioned the British courts to declare him dead, and that request was granted on November 23.

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