I recently finished reading David Paulides’s new book, “Missing 411-Canada: Unexplained Disappearances,” and I found it to be just as thought provoking and disturbing as the other eight books he’s published about mysterious missing persons cases.
Published late last year, “Missing 411: Canada” is the ninth book in Paulides’s series on bizarre disappearances, and it is the only book in the series dedicated entirely to one country. This 353-page book includes dozens and dozens of missing person accounts, including information on 65 new incidents. Some of the cases in the book were featured in earlier books in the series, but they’ve been updated with new information for readers.
For those of you unfamiliar with Paulides’s research and books, he looks at missing person cases that meet certain profile points, especially cases involving missing hunters, young men who’ve been drinking and are later found dead in bodies of water, and individuals who are found in areas previously searched. He also researches people who go missing while picking berries (there are a surprising number), cases where tracking dogs fail to locate the missing person, and missing person cases involving people with disabilities. He has also done a lot of research on missing person cases that involve people of high intellect and of German descent.
The case of Eva Hall is a typical case from the book. Hall was a 13-year-old berry picker, who went missing in Ontario in 1932. On Aug. 16 of that year, she went out to pick berries in a rural area with an extremely swampy landscape. Hall never returned and a large search party of over 400 looked for her for two days without any luck. To this day, she has never been found.
Another typical case from the book is that of 70-year-old fire tower attendant Stephanie Stewart, who disappeared in 2006 from her post in Alberta. When Stewart missed all three of her mandatory check-ins with supervisors in one day, they went to look for her they found a pot of water boiling on the stove, and a pillow, sheet and blanket missing from her cabin. Despite one of the “largest searches ever undertaken in Alberta forests” and a $20,000 reward, Stewart remains missing to this day.
There’s a lot more to the two cases mentioned above, and if those two cases piqued your interest, be aware that Paulides’s new book is full of other such cases. In fact, most are more bizarre than the two cases mentioned above. I think many in the reading audience, especially hunters and outdoorsmen, will find the cases in this book highly interesting.
I also enjoyed the portions of the book that discussed the methods and techniques used by professional search and rescue personnel. These people are highly trained, know their jobs and have access to high-tech equipment like military-grade forward-looking infrared radar (FLIR). Despite all this, they come up empty handed and scratching their heads over many of the cases in Paulides’s book.
In the end, I highly recommend this book to anyone in the reading audience with an interest in missing persons cases, the unexplained and the flat-out bizarre. If you like this book, you’ll also enjoy the other books in his series, some of which include cases from Alabama. My personal favorite in the series is “Missing 411: Hunters,” which presents readers with dozens of highly unusual cases involving hunters that have disappeared over the years. For more information about these books and to purchase a copy, visit www.canammissing.com.