That brings us to the morning of October 2, 2008. Jack awoke at the usual time and announced that he was going out to Luke for a while. He walked out to the driveway of their duplex Section 8 apartment in Fort Garland, coffee cup in hand, and climbed up into his old white van. Pulling out of the driveway at about 8:30 a.m. he waved goodbye to his little family. Little did they realize that was the last they would ever see of husband and father. As usual, Jack pulled in at the post office down the street and picked up the mail. Outside the post office he chatted briefly with one of his neighbors from out on Luke Road and then got back in the van. Heading south on Highway 159 he next stopped in at a local mechanic’s house to discuss some upcoming work he needed done on the van. He left the mechanic’s house at roughly 9:00 a.m. and headed on down the road. That is the last confirmed sighting that we have.
When lunchtime rolled around and his wife had not heard from Jack she began to wonder whether she should fix his lunch or wait. As the early afternoon progressed she began to wonder what was keeping him. The wonder gradually turned to worry. Jack rarely stayed out at Luke past lunchtime. A good lunch followed by a nap was his favorite way to spend an afternoon. Two-thirty came and went and she started to really worry. Jack had never been out later than 2:30 without letting her know. She called some friends to see if someone could drive out to Luke Road and check on Jack. Nobody was available at that time of day, but by 4:00 she convinced one of her neighbors to take her on the 10-mile drive out to the property.
The two women pulled up at the house on Luke Road and saw immediately that his van was parked in the driveway in his customary spot. She walked over to the house and poked her head inside. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary or misplaced, with one rather large exception. Jack was nowhere to be seen. With her pulse pounding and her breathing rate increased to the point of gasping she ran upstairs and searched the entire interior of the house, calling frantically for Jack. Nothing. Knowing that Jack tended to lose his balance easily she took a quick walk around the house, thinking that he may have taken a fall or injured himself. Nothing. She looked inside the van to see if Jack was inside or to see if his keys were lying on the floorboard. Jack’s usual habit in the past had been to drop his keys on the floor when he pulled into the driveway rather than putting them in his pocket. Jack was not inside the van and the keys were nowhere to be seen. Nothing.
The closest telephone was a quarter mile away at one of the neighbor’s. In a near-panic she rushed over there and placed a call to 911 to report Jack missing. It took nearly an hour for a Sheriff’s Department deputy to arrive at the house. During that seemingly interminable hour a small handful of neighbors helped expand the search on foot around the immediate vicinity of the house. They found not a single trace of Jack or any evidence of what might have happened.
Those are the known facts of the mysterious disappearance of Jack Nels Gordon on October 2, 2008. The following chapters will explore some of the various theories about his disappearance, whether realistic or bizarre, plausible or outlandish, serious or comical. These theories have been put forward by various family members, authorities, friends and neighbors. These scenarios are based partly on fact and partly on speculation. My purpose in writing these vignettes is not so much to solve the troubling mystery of Jack’s disappearance but to celebrate the fascinating variety of his life.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
JUST THE FACTS MA'AM
Here is an excerpt from "The Curious Disappearance of Seamus Muldoon", since I am too lazy to work up a new post. From Chapter 1- "Just the Facts Ma'am!"