Saturday, October 2, 2021


Approaching 12 years since Jack Gordon's disappearance, I will let him speak for himself, in his own words.


The dawn of my last sunrise
the evening of my last sunset

The moment I put away my last breath,
quietly, unseen by the world, cradled in the arms
of His grace, I depart my earthly home.

Death does not end my existence,
it sets me free from mortality and sin.

My earthly presence, ordained by God,
the meaning and purpose of my life,
has an eternal destiny.

Now, the deepest longing in my heart,
groanings beyond words,
will be fulfilled.

God, my Holy Father, we love each other.
Christ, my Lord and Savior, we love each other.

All is pure, unbroken, never ending.
The life worth living, now and forever.

Jack Nels Gordon

©2004-J.N. Gordon

Rest In Peace
Jack Nels Gordon
Born- January 7, 1931
Deceased- October 2, 2008


     Here is an excerpt from "The Curious Disappearance of Seamus Muldoon", that gives a narrative summary of the events of October 2, 2008. 

.  From Chapter 1- "Just the Facts Ma'am!"

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.


On October 2, 2008, Jack Nels Gordon disappeared from the face of the earth.  I mean he literally disappeared.  To this day, now almost twelve years later, no trace has ever been found.  This blog will explore different aspects of adult missing persons, particularly those where violent crime is suspected.  Future posts will give links to news articles related to Jack Gordon's disappearance or similar/related cases as well as relevant statistics or other interesting information.
Stay tuned!


     When Jack Gordon disappeared in a remote area of southern Colorado the family relied largely on posters and word of mouth in the small community because there is no local television station. 



When Jack Gordon disappeared in 2008 there was no television news coverage. There were no satellite trucks with reporters doing live feeds. There were no somber faced talking heads reading the spine-chilling details on the six o'clock news.  There were just a few short paragraphs in the Alamosa Valley Courier published almost a week after his disappearance.
Costilla County Sheriff information officer Sgt. James Chavez confirmed that Jack Gordon, 77, has not been seen since approximately 9:30 a.m. Oct. 2, near Fort Garland. Chavez said over the last three days the search for Gordon has included elements of the Costilla County search and rescue unit and rescue dogs from Fort Carson.
The whole report was succinct, with not much in the way of facts.  Within a short time the mystery would deepen.
[Sgt.] Chavez said that as of Wednesday morning, Oct. 8 the investigation has not involved the FBI or the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. There is no evidence of foul play at this time, said Chavez

No foul play?  We shall see.

Full article:

Fort Garland man missing since Oct. 2
Posted: Wednesday, Oct 8th, 2008

ALAMOSA — The Costilla County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a search for a Fort Garland man missing since Oct. 2.
Costilla County Sheriff information officer Sgt. James Chavez confirmed that Jack Gordon, 77, has not been seen since approximately 9:30 a.m. Oct. 2, near Fort Garland. Chavez said over the last three days the search for Gordon has included elements of the Costilla County search and rescue unit and rescue dogs from Fort Carson.
Chavez said that as of Wednesday morning, Oct. 8 the investigation has not involved the FBI or the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. There is no evidence of foul play at this time, said Chavez, and the CCSO has concentrated the search on backcountry in Costilla County.
Chavez said he has received two reports that someone closely matching Gordon’s description was seen recently in the Walsenburg area. One of those tips was received Oct. 7 and the other on the morning of Oct. 8.
Gordon’s country home in Costilla County sits at the western foot of 9,400-foot La Veta Pass and the town of Walsenburg, in Huerfano County, is located at the eastern base of the pass.
Huerfano County Under Sheriff Dave McCain contacted the Costilla Sheriff’s office, said Chavez, and reported that he saw a man of Gordon’s description near the I-25 exit 49, near Walsenburg. A private citizen told the CCSO that he was “99.9 percent sure” that he saw Gordon in Huerfano County. Chavez is trying to confirm the sightings, determine where theytook place and if they do relate to Gordon.
According to a flyer issued by Gordon’s family he is described as 77 years old, 6’ 2” tall, is stoutly built, weighing 235 pounds. Gordon has a shock of white hair and a short, white beard and mustache. He was last seen wearing a grey, zip-up hooded sweatshirt and jeans. Gordon uses reading glasses but does not wear them all the time.
Gordon’s wife Leni Gordon said he has no history of mental problems or lapses. She said Gordon is an ordained clergyman, but if he wanted to conduct a retreat he would have gone to their home, which is under construction in the Sangre de Cristo Ranches subdivision of Costilla County. It appears that Gordon disappeared from that location. His van was found parked at the country home, but his car keys and a coffee cup he had when last seen are both gone.
Leni Gordon said there was no evidence of foul play, no footprints leading into remote country and no sign of a struggle at the home. She said she knew of no reason for her husband to disappear. “We have two children he loves very much. He would never take off and leave them. He would be gone for two hours and come home and say ‘I missed my family and I wish you could have been with me.’ He would say he missed us when he was only gone two hours,” Leni Gordon said.
Anyone with information on Gordon’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Costilla County Sheriff at (719) 672-0673.


     So, back to our discussion about the mysterious disappearance of Jack Gordon.  When dealing with elderly missing persons, the health status of the individual must come under consideration.  Jack Gordon was 77 years old at the time of his disappearance. For many years he had suffered from occasional bouts of vertigo, with sudden dizziness and loss of balance.  He had borderline high blood pressure, not out of the ordinary for a man his age.  About a year and half before he disappeared he had experienced a minor stroke, but had physically recuperated completely from that, without any apparent long-term neurologic deficits (weakness, slurred speech, etc.).  His mind was active and engaged, he did not have Alzheimer's, elderly dementia or senility.
     Jack did not exercise.  I never knew him to take a long walk when a short walk would do and I never knew him to take a short walk when a comfortable chair was handy. If he wandered away from his property that day in 2008 he did not walk far.
     Jack's mental health was solid.  Some would have considered him a contrarian, but he was not irrational.  About a month before he disappeared his daughter had died of breast cancer after a long illness.  He was saddened by that, as were all of us.

     We considered all of these factors while searching for answers to his disappearance.
Did he lose his balance and fall, injuring himself? Did he have another stroke, either fatal or debilitating?  Was he depressed enough to commit suicide?  Did he merely get confused and wander off? Or was his health not a factor at all...


     Many people have speculated that maybe Jack Gordon took a powder, dropped everything and set out on an adventure. Maybe he ran off with another woman. Maybe he went back to one of his former wives. Maybe he just chucked it all. I think with older adolescent and young adult missing persons the desire to leave their "miserable" life behind and start anew with nothing but a few pennies in their pocket and a bus ticket to the "big city" may be a reason for going missing.  Many of these younger individuals are pursuing a "dream". They could perhaps more properly be considered "runaways" rather than missing.  Although the anguish for their families is real and the risk to a vulnerable youth out there in the world is not negligible, that scenario really doesn't apply in Jack's situation.  For an older individual with less physical vigor, a certain fiscal vigor is needed to carry out that type of conscious choice.

     Jack Gordon's only means of support at the time he went missing was a modest Social Security monthly payment. He did not earn a regular income from employment or private pension.  Although he owned the land at the building site he was not flush with cash. He obtained building materials in a variety of ways other than buying retail. He did not have any significant savings. His Social Security checks were not redirected somewhere else after he disappeared. He quite simply did not have the monetary resources or the fortitude needed to start life over at age 77.

And rumor has it that none of his ex-wives would have him back even if he tried!


RE-POSTED 11/14/2012


From Project Jason comes this article about missing elderly, focusing on those with Alzheimer's or dementia (neither of which apply to Jack Gordon). 
Brad Dennis, Director of Search Operations for the KlaasKids Foundation, outlines typical behaviors exhibited by a missing person with Alzheimer or dementia:
• Usually (89%) found within one mile of the Point Last Seen (PLS), half found within 0.5 miles.
• Subject usually found a short distance from road (50% within 33 yards)
• Subject may attempt to travel to former residence or favorite place.
• Subject will not leave many physical clues.
• Will not cry-out for help (1%) or respond to shouts (only 1% response rate).
• Succumbs to the environment (hypothermia, drowning, and dehydration).
• They go until they get stuck.”
• Subject usually found in a creek, or drainage and/or caught in briars/bushes (63%)
• Leaves own residence or nursing home, possibly with last sighting on a roadway. May cross or depart from roads (67%).
• Coexisting medical problems that limit mobility are common.
• Has previous history of wandering (72%)
• They appear to lack the ability to turn around.
These patterns formed the basis of our initial searching for Jack.  Since his vehicle was found at the home site, we focused on the area within 3/4 of a mile from the site.  Our initial thinking was that Jack had suffered a medical event of some kind.  Multiple searches over the next week did not turn up any sign of Jack. He did not turn up wandering along the road. He did not turn up at the local hospital.


Let's gradually zoom in on the scene of the events in question, using Google Earth mapping services.

Jack Gordon disappeared on October 2, 2008 in Costilla County in south central Colorado about 80 miles north of Taos NM, 30 miles east of Alamosa CO and 50 miles west of Walsenburg CO.

Located in south central Colorado, the San Luis Valley is a high mountain plain bounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the east and the San Juan Mountains on the west. The valley comes to its northern apex at Poncha Pass just south of Salida. At its southern end the valley merges into northern New Mexico.

 Alamosa is the largest town in the Valley.  Highway 160 traverses the San Luis Valley from La Veta pass in the east to Wolf Creek Pass in the west. Costilla County is the southeasternmost of the five counties in the San Luis Valley.

The northeastern part of Costilla county contains the subdivided Forbes Ranch, including the Sangre de Cristo Ranches.

The Ranches are traversed by a dense network of dirt roads and are comprised of several thousand five-acre ranchette lots. One of these lots is the site of Jack Gordon’s home building site on Luke Road.  This is the general setting of the Mysterious Disappearance...

RE-POSTED 10/29/2012


Let's zoom in for a little closer look at the terrain surrounding Luke Road. (NOTE: Refer to the Lay of the Land- Part 1 and  Search and Rescue for a wider frame of reference.) If we swing around to the north and look back in a south by southeasterly direction we can see the main portion of Luke Road as viewed by Google Earth:

I have cobbled together an amateurish photographic panorama of this same view from almost the same perspective:
To the left (east), you can see the cul-de-sac with Jack's roofline and Big Bear's place across the way.  Back toward the right (west) you see the neighbor John's place and the mid-portion of Luke Road.

Here is a closer look at the cul-de-sac:
Jack's house is on the left of this view, Big Bear's to the right of center. Between those two is another neighbor's house.

And here is a close-up of Jack's rough-hewn house, sitting atop a small knoll surrounded by pinon pines and sagebrush:
This is about the stage of completion it was at when Jack disappeared.

TIMELINE FOR 10/02/2008

     Up until now, this blog has attempted to tell the story of Jack Gordon's mysterious disappearance on October 2, 2008 in broad strokes.  There is a limited paper trail.  A small handful of news reports and the original sheriff's incident report are the main reference sources.  There are, however, other sources of information and we can try to fill in some of the gaps in the story from first-hand accounts and see if we can pick out any useful details. 

   I'd like to start with a timeline of that day, as well as we can reconstruct it.

October 2, 2008
          8:00 a.m.-  Between 8:00 and 8:30 that morning one of Jack's neighbors sees him leaving his residence in Fort Garland, coffee cup in  hand bound for his home site on Luke Road for the morning.
          8:30 a.m.-  Jack leaves the apartment in Fort Garland in their white conversion van.
          8:40 a.m.-  One of the neighbors from Luke Road bumps into Jack at the Fort Garland post office and chats with him briefly. Nothing seems amiss.
          8:50 a.m.-  Jack stops in at the home of a local auto mechanic on Hwy 159 and speaks with him for a few minutes. He leaves at about 9:00 a.m.
          9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.- No reported contact with or sightings of Jack by any of the neighbors
          1:00 p.m.- Jack's wife starts to wonder why he is not back yet.
          2:00 p.m.-  Jack's wife calls the auto mechanic's home and speaks to his daughter asking if someone can drive out to the place on Luke Road and check on Jack.
          4:00 p.m.-  Jack's wife gets a ride with one of her Fort Garland neighbors the ~5 miles out to Luke Road. The van is parked in its usual spot in the driveway, but there is no sign of Jack on or near the premises.
          4:30 p.m.- Jack's wife goes to one of the neighbor's nearby homes and calls the Sheriff's office. The dispatcher contacts Deputy Jacob Vigil to respond.
          5:00 p.m.- Deputy Vigil talks with Jack's wife at the scene and conducts a brief search of the house and vicinity.  He spots a single set of footprints that "went to the back of the house and around the other side and onto the road where I lost track."  He is unable to identify any distinct tire tracks on the road.  We think he tried to make contact with the neighbor John Busby during this time, but that is not specified in the incident report. He advises Jack's wife to contact him if she has not heard from Jack by 8:30 p.m. She returns to Fort Garland.
          7:30 p.m.- Jack's wife contacts me (as well as other family members to inform us that he is missing.
          8:30 p.m.- Jack's wife contacts Deputy Vigil, informing him she has not heard from Jack
          9:00 p.m.-  Deputy Vigil and a small group of neighbors search the area around the house on Luke Road on foot, with flashlights, find no trace of Jack.
          10:00 p.m.- Deputy Vigil speaks with Jack's wife in Fort Garland and advises her to contact the sheriff's office at 8:00 a.m. the next day if Jack has not turned up, so that Search and Rescue can be mobilized to join the search. On his way back to the Sheriff's office Deputy Vigil returns to the house of the neighbor John Busby (aka John Robert Fureigh) and attempts to contact him.  There is a chain across the driveway and there are no lights on at the house.
     1. Who made the single set of footprints?  Jack? One of the civilian searchers? Jack's wife?  Jack's killer?  Or perhaps Deputy Vigil (remember Winnie the Pooh and Piglet?)
     2. What happened during the time gap from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.?


     Based on the initial presumption that Jack Gordon had suffered some type of medical event, our first efforts focused on the immediate vicinity of the house on Luke Road, in rural Costilla County on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley.
     Within about 36 hours of the time Jack was last seen, leaving his apartment in Fort Garland to drive out to the homesite on Luke Road, Costilla County Search and Rescue was on the scene. On Friday October 3, 2008 a general area quadrant search was undertaken by several team members on ATV's and on horseback, covering about a one mile circular perimeter centered on Jack's homesite. The searchers focused on roadways and trails, not much off road searching was done. No trace of Jack was found.
     On Sunday, October 5, 2008 a close interval line search was carried out by about 30-40 volunteers under the direction of the SAR team covering a radius of about 1/3 mile without results.
     On Monday, October 6, 2008 an air tracker dog team was brought in and performed a search for about a 1/4 mile perimeter. No trace of Jack was found away from the house.  Individual searches were also carried out on two other five acre properties that Jack owned in the area, with no trace.
     These satellite views from Google Earth mapping services show the general area of the events. For a wider perspective, check here.
     On this map, the dark red square is an approximation of Jack's five-acre property, the pink inner circle is the area covered by the close interval search, and the lighter outer circle is the approximate perimeter covered by the general area search (one mile radius from Jack's place).

     The second pushpin is the house of Jack's neighbor John, who was mentioned in the original police report. That house is just over 1/2 mile from Jack's house. Oddly enough, the neighbor John disappeared from the Fort Garland area on the saame day Jack disappeared.  His mother told the Sheriff that he moved out of the state. We don't know if the Sheriff ever contacted him.  We don't know if he knows anything about that day.


I have been trying to maintain a sense of the chronologic order in which the case unfolded for us.  Now would be a good time to introduce one of Jack's neighbors. A self-described corporate drop-out, this  intelligent young single guy blogged under the handle of 'Big Bear'.  His blog describes his experiences during the construction of an off-grid cabin in the San Luis Valley.  His cabin is about a quarter of a mile from Jack's.   At the end of October, 2008 Big Bear posted his version of Jack's disappearance titled "Strange Events" (NOTE: 'Hank' = Jack Gordon, 'Bob' = John Busby).

Friday, October 31, 2008 
Strange Events

No, I am not going to be speaking about alien abductions. Yes, there were unexplained disappearances and mysterious lights in the sky but it was most certainly not an alien abduction. Indeed, the San Luis Valley does have a problem with missing persons, secret bases, unworldly creatures and strange flying craft but this is not about alien abductions. That being said...I arrived at the cabin around 6 pm on Thursday October 2nd. I had planed to spend several days down there working on the sun room and fixing some foundation issues. This was also a bug out simulation...I was worried about the possible declaration of martial law if the bail out did not pass. So I scheduled off a few days to wait it out.Within a few minutes of arriving my closest neighbor Mary dropped by to inform me that Hank, our neighbor down the road who is also building a cabin, was missing and had not been scene since around 9 that morning. I could see Hank's van sitting in front of his place. Hank is a gentleman in his upper 70's who had suffered a recent stroke and has heart problems. It was our opinion that he probably suffered another stroke, wandered off and passed out in the sage brush or nearby woods.I got the power going at the house, put the dogs up and headed over to join a small group of neighbors and family friends searching the immediate area for Hank. It was about 6:30 pm at this time. We all wandered through the sage and around the house looking. It got dark and sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 pm two sheriff's deputies came out I think they had their lights on. They joined in the search, looked through the van and ask us when we had last seen him.The deputies asked about our other neighbor who lived a little further up the road. It dawned on us that Bob was not around. The deputies ran up to Bob's place sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 pm to see if he knew anything. Bob was also missing so everyone assumed that the two had gone off to look at the Aspens turning or something. The deputies said that if Hank had not shown up by Friday morning they would bring in a search and rescue team.So Friday comes and still no Hank. The deputies showed back up around noon followed by the search and rescue (SAR) team. The SAR team brought ATV's, horses and may people going through the brush on foot. The searched for several hours and finished up around 4:30 pm. I drove over to speak with the deputies about 5 pm assuming that they had found him. When I got over there they were bagging the contents of the van.They told me that Hank would show up and that this kind of thing was common. It was strange that they were bagging stuff from the van. The deputies stayed by the van until dark when another car showed up to relieve them. I looked through the binoculars and noticed that they had taped off the van and house with yellow tape. Very odd if they were sure Hank was coming back.Around 1:30 am on Saturday I heard an engine revving jumped up and looked out the window. The deputies were driving up along the ridge behind Hanks house through the sage with all the searchlights on one deputy driving the other out walking next to their cruiser. They were searching for someone. After 30 minutes or so they left, 10 minutes later I heard someone yelling couldn't make out what they were saying. I guess the deputies were waiting just down the road because they came roaring back in with spot lights on looking again. Unnerving.Saturday morning brought a different SAR team which did an arm linked search of the surrounding area...they found nothing. Saturday evening Mary and I met with a deputy to find out if we needed to worry about our safety. We wanted to know if there was a killer running lose...he would not answer. I slept with my pistol under the pillow and rifle next to the bed that night.On Sunday they brought in a dog team andseveral "specialist" searchers, not sure what their specialty was but they were strange. No hits, nothing. Hanks extended family had started to arrive and were wandering the hills surrounding the area. Through the night there where many cars and people showing up over at Hanks. My guess is that as family members showed up in town the first thing they wanted to do was go searching. So the evening was filled with flashlights and people yelling.Hank had left the house on that Thursday morning wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt and faded jeans. Unfortunately his wardrobe choice matches the sage brush that covers the ground out here. He could be lying five feet from you in the bushes and you wouldn't notice him.No one was searching for Bob although there were several stories circulating about his whereabouts. He had posted a comment on his blog from home on Thursday night at 7:30 pm, about the time the deputies drove by, regarding a camera he purchased. The camera was to be delivered Monday and he was excited. By 9 pm when the deputies stopped by he had vanished. The final story given by his mother was that he had decided to leave everything and go live with his ex-wife in Texas. Bob self-built a wonderful off grid cabin, had a horse and other livestock but gave all that up on a whim to go live with an ex-wife.Hank's family was allowed to take his van back to town on Monday. I visited with one of his nephews Monday afternoon. He told me they suspected foul play. He thought that "someone" forced Hank into a vehicle, took him somewhere and killed him. There was no blood or signs of a struggle at the site and strangers just don't happen down these rural roads.It has been almost a month now. Hank and Bob are both still missing without a trace. In the week before they went missing a body was found burning in a barrel placed in thefound laying across a country road on the south face of Mt Blanca in the northern part of this county. Violence is everywhere, moving out of a city will not remove you from it's presence.Hank and Bob both went missing on the same day, it could be a coincidence or foul play the question hangs and we may never know....of course it is possible that they were both abducted by aliens!The names of the neighbors have been changed to protect the families privacy.Posted by BigBear at 12:01 PM

     Big Bear has since moved away from Luke Road and relocated to another state.


   According to the Costilla County Sheriff's office, Jack's neighbor identified in the original incident report as John, was living under the name of John Busby.  That turns out not to be his real name. The sheriff has identified him as John Robert Fureigh, born 3/03/1967.

Here's what he looked like in 1993, in Florida.
And he's up to #10 on a certain Colorado Bureau of Investigation's sex offender top 100 list.

Fureigh relocated to the San Luis Valley sometime around 2006 and began building a house on a five-acre property owned by his mother on Luke Road in the Forbes Sangre de Cristo Ranches, roughly 3/4 of a mile from Jack Gordon's homesite.  Fureigh was never interviewed by the authorities following Jack's disappearance.  He currently has multiple outstanding felony warrants from various jurisdictions. For all I know, he saw the hubbub of Sheriff's Department vehicles along Luke Road that day in 2008 and left the area in order to avoid being apprehended on a prior warrant.

   I am interested to know if Fureigh, being a close neighbor, has any first-hand information about the events of October 2, 2008.  Did he see Jack Gordon along Luke Road that morning? Did he have a conversation or argument with Jack? Can he comment on Jack's state of mind? Did he see anybody else with Jack? Does he know what happened to Jack that day? Does he have any idea where Jack's body might be?  Did he hear gunshots?  Would he be willing to talk to the sheriff by phone?  Would he be willing to provide information that might clear him of any possible suspicion in this matter, allowing the sheriff to focus on more likely suspects? Unless he comes forward, these questions will remain unanswered.

Interestingly enough, Big Bear was not the only neighbor of Jack's on Luke Road who kept a blog.  The neighbor Fureigh also was a blogger of sorts. More about that in a future post.


This week we are going to get to know the neighbor John a little better. According to the 2010 Denver Post article, The Mystery of Two Men's Disappearance on the Same Day, John Robert Fureigh was living in the Fort Garland area under the assumed name of John Busby, taking the last name of his mother's current husband.

Fureigh, using an alias, wrote a blog in which he often groused about trespassing neighbors disrupting his solitude, including an entry four days before Gordon's disappearance in which he complained that a neighbor woke him in the afternoon to ask for water after his well went down.

We'll get to that particular entry at a later date. Busby groused about a lot of things on his blog, entitled Alpine Acres (long since taken down or depublished). Let's go back in time a little and work our way up to the days surrounding Jack Gordon's disappearance. I will give you some sample excerpts over the next few posts, and let you draw your own conclusions.


We've been reading some excerpts from the blog of the neighbor John Busby (aka John Robert Fureigh).  See the previous post here,  The "Alpine Acres" blog has been de-published.

On the afternoon of June 5, 2008, Jack Gordon's neighbor John tried to take a nap, but was interrupted, resulting in this reaction on his blog:


To continue with our perusal of the blog written by Jack Gordon's neighbor John, let me offer another interesting selection. The middle of July 2008 was a sad time for John Busby (aka John Robert Fureigh).  His longtime four-legged companion Chief was hit and killed by a truck passing by his house on Luke Road.

My Chief

July 13, 2008 6:27 PM
Today I was working on the fence out by the road and Chief was lounging around in the truck like he usually does when I leave the doors open. A truck came down the road so my Chief wanted to see what or who that was and the driver of the truck was too busy looking at my house to see my dog standing in the road and Chief got hit.

I don't know whether this incident had anything to do with the events a scant two months later.  Was Busby (aka Fureigh) angry at inconsiderate drivers along Luke Road?  Jack Gordon drove by Busby's (aka Fureigh's) house every time he went out to his building site.  Was he the driver who hit Chief?  Only John Busby (aka John Robert Fureigh) would be able to enlighten us in that regard.  Perhaps someday he will be willing to talk with the Sheriff about that summer.  We would sure like to hear his side of the story, but his blog went inactive the day Jack Gordon disappeared and the blogger known as John Busby (aka John Robert Fureigh) never made another blog entry at that site.  Not surprisingly, his blog was de-published a short time later, as you can see if you try the link.  And he reportedly has not returned to the San Luis Valley since that day in October 2008.


     To wrap up our week reviewing the neighbor's blog, I'd like to offer a sampling of commentary from the blog during the two months preceding Jack Gordon's disappearance.  This might give some useful insight into the neighborhood and the people who lived near Jack in the late summer of 2008.  Here are John Busby's thoughts on various topics, as expressed in his depublished blog, "Alpine Acres".  [emphasis added]


Crime reporter Kirk Mitchell of the Denver Post picked up the story of Jack Gordon's disappearance in June 2010. Read the whole thing here:

Here are a couple of excerpts:
Did they leave together? Did they both choose to coincidentally disappear on the same day? Or did one or both of them meet with foul play that night?
The only evidence left behind was a dark stain found on the dirt driveway leading to Fureigh's home. But even that has a mystery attached — the sheriff, strapped for time in patrolling a 1,200-square-mile county — didn't test the spot to see whether it was blood, or, if so, whose.  "It's real frustrating. We don't have enough evidence for a search warrant of his place," said Costilla County sheriff's Lt. James Chavez of Fureigh's home. "It's just one of those things that happens when someone goes missing."

Just one of those things that happens.


I am going to post some links expanding on the curious disappearance of Jack Gordon. Let's start with the 2010 Denver Post article entitled "The Mystery of Two Men's Disappearance on the Same Day"

When I originally posted the link to this Denver Post article back I did not excerpt very much content.  As I re-read that original post I realize that it did not really give much of the story.  Mr. Mitchell of the Denver Post summarized the Jack Gordon case very well.  I am going to now provide a more extensive excerpt from that story in order to help round out my readers' understanding of the case.

Two men, retired preacher, sex offender — vanish on same day in '08

On Oct. 2, 2008, 77-year-old retired preacher Jack Nels Gordon disappeared from his land in Costilla County, leaving behind a wife and seven children.  That same day, Gordon's neighbor, a convicted sex offender named John Fureigh, also disappeared from the area, leaving nothing behind but questions.  Did they leave together? Did they both choose to coincidentally disappear on the same day? Or did one or both of them meet with foul play that night?  The only evidence left behind was a dark stain found on the dirt driveway leading to Fureigh's home. But even that has a mystery attached — the sheriff, strapped for time in patrolling a 1,200-square-mile county — didn't test the spot to see whether it was blood, or, if so, whose.

(NOTE: Let me clarify one little detail.  Jack had seven adult offspring from previous marriages.  He "left behind" his most recent wife and two young children aged six and five at the time. )


What is known is this:
Fureigh was living in Costilla County under the alias John Busby. And he had a good reason for using it. He bought a 5-acre parcel in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains to escape an active warrant for his arrest out of El Paso County for failing to register as a sex offender.


On the last day anyone saw him, Gordon announced he was headed to Luke Road and walked out to the driveway of their duplex apartment in Fort Garland, coffee cup in hand, and climbed up into his old white van. He waved good-bye to his family for the last time about 8:30 a.m.  Gordon stopped by the post office, headed south on Colorado 159, then stopped at a local mechanic's house to discuss work on the van. It was the last confirmed sighting.

Gordon also had indicated he needed to speak with Fureigh, who was helping him design a website for people living in countries with no religious freedoms. Fureigh's house, which he also built himself, was about a half mile from Gordon's home.  When Gordon didn't come home by his customary 2:30 p.m., his wife caught a ride to the house and searched for him. She found his van, but no sign of Gordon. She called the sheriff's office, but when an officer mistakenly thought she said Gordon normally came home by 2:30 a.m., a search was delayed.

Since that day, (October 2, 2008)  no trace of Jack Gordon has ever been found.  John Fureigh left his home on Luke Road the same day, never to return.  Why would he leave a home that he had spent 2 1/2 years building with his own two hands?  There have been rumored sightings of Fureigh in the hills of the Forbes Trinchera Ranches since that day, but he is not living in the area openly.   Did they leave together?  Did their paths cross on that fateful day?  Was there a confrontation of some sort between the elderly Jack Gordon and the much younger Fureigh?  Did somebody else kill Jack and Fureigh was a witness, hiding in fear for his own life?  It is a certainty that somebody knows what happened.

We have heard through the grapevine that Fureigh's mother still lives in the area.  Perhaps she knows of a way to get a message to her son, asking him to come forward and clear his name.   If either of them is reading this post, they can contact the blog administrator anonymously by e-mail at  and let us know their side of the story.  Maybe there is a rational explanation for what happened.

My suspicion is that the only way we will ever know  what happened to Jack Gordon that day is if the burden of knowledge weighs so heavily on the one who knows that he can no longer bear to look in the mirror day after day.  Rather than taking that knowledge to his grave, perhaps he will feel the need to tell somebody what he knows.  Until that day, the man who killed Jack Gordon will fester in the rot of his own corruption.   Ultimately God will pass judgment, even if the local authorities do not.


In March 2011, the Alamosa Valley Courier printed a follow-up article (no longer available on-line) summarizing the status of several missing persons cases from the region, including Michael Rust and Casey Berry.  Jack Gordon merited a brief mention.

"Jack N. Gordon, 77, disappeared Oct. 2, 2008. Gordon is described as 6’2” tall and weighing about 235 pounds. He is described as a Caucasian with brown eyes and hair that would be gray or partially gray. He was last seen in Ft. Garland."


You just never know what you're going to find when you are looking for a missing person.

More to come, pending final analysis.


So, let's have a brief recap of the mysterious case of Jack Gordon's disappearance. To restate the basic known facts:
          1. Elderly gentleman disappears without a trace from a remote rural property in Southern Colorado in October 2008.
          2. Mr. Gordon is reported missing by his wife, and subsequent search turns up no physical evidence on his property or the surrounding countryside.
          3. In the years since then there has been no subsequent trace of activity on any of his financial accounts or any other indication that he is alive.
          4. A second person disappears on the same day from his residence on the same remote road.
          5. The second man is NOT reported missing by his relatives, who tell authorities he "left the state".
          6. The second man (missing neighbor) is found to be a felony sex offender who absconded and failed to register as a sex offender when he moved to the San Luis Valley from El Paso County, in violation of the terms of his previous probation. He is living under an assumed name at the time.
          7. The missing neighbor kept a blog that contained implied and explicit threats of physical violence against his neighbors.
          8. The neighbor's blog ceased active posting on the same day the two men disappeared.

Two basic conclusions can be drawn:
          1. Jack Gordon is dead
          2. John Fureigh left his self-built home on Luke Road in rural Costilla County suddenly


Analysis of this set of facts points to three possible scenarios.

SCENARIO ONE: Jack Gordon was killed by person or persons unknown, and the same person either threatened or scared off the sex-offender neighbor to the point that he left the area permanently.  (i.e. the two disappearances are related and due to a third party perpretrator)

SCENARIO TWO: Jack Gordon was killed either accidentally or purposefully by the sex-offender neighbor who then hid or disposed of the body in unknown fashion and then voluntarily left the area to avoid apprehension and prosecution.

SCENARIO THREE: Jack Gordon was killed by person or persons unknown who hid or disposed of the body.  The sex-offender neigbor left the area on the same day and quit making entries on his blog on the exact same day for purely coincidental reasons unrelated to the disappearance of Jack Gordon.

(PERSONAL INVITATION: If you are the neighbor John Fureigh I would be interested to hear your account of the events of October 2, 2008.  You may be the only one who can show me where I may have gone wrong in my analysis.)


Jack Nels Gordon
1/07/1931 to 10/02/2008

Born in Ohio in 1931, Jack Gordon attended high school in Stow, Ohio along with his two brothers. He went on to Hiram College near Cleveland, where he played collegiate football. Throughout his life he worked in a wide variety of fields, ranging from business to youth ministry.

He was married three times, with a total of nine children. He had four daughters and a son with his first wife. He had two daughters with his second wife. Then, When he was in his early 70's he and his third wife had a daughter and a son.  At the time of his disappearance his youngest son and daughter were 4 and 5 years old respectively.

Jack didn't leave much of an internet footprint, although in 2006 he was inducted into the William H. Hollinger Athletic Hall of Fame (Hiram College), linked here.

For several years before his disappearance, Jack was essentially retired, although he always had various projects in mind. He was in the process of building a house on a five-acre lot in the Forbes Sangre de Cristo Ranches.  He also was working on a project called Thanksgiving Hill College, a self-accredited curriculum of religious studies for foreign students.

NEXT: The events of October 2, 2008, Police Incident Report

REPOSTED 11/8/2012


          In order to understand why we refer to Jack Gordon as the "real" Seamus Muldoon it helps to understand who Seamus Muldoon was.  Here is an excerpt from the book, "The Curious Disappearance of Seamus Muldoon"...

          Whether it was a bad play on words, a tale of petrified rocks, dumpster diving behind the Wal-Mart, a scheme to become a castle inspector in the “Old Country” or a riff on Seamus’ new commercial dietary supplement product “Gas Away”, an afternoon with Seamus was an afternoon well spent. The sheer joy and playfulness of Seamus was infectious. So, who in the hell is Seamus Muldoon? I think the best way to sum him up would be to describe him as a unique literary character in the oral tradition. Jack brought Seamus to life many years ago in stories to his young daughters, and kept him alive throughout the years that I knew both Jack and Seamus.

          Seamus Muldoon disappeared along with Jack Gordon on the first Thursday of October 2008. Seamus Muldoon was Jack Gordon and Jack Gordon was Seamus Muldoon. But while we believe that Jack Gordon is gone forever, Seamus Muldoon lives on!


Lest this blog degenerate into a quagmire of despair over the injustice done to Jack Gordon, or a littany of gripes about the ineffectiveness of the authorities or dwelling on the creepiness of his neighbors, I'd like to shift gears a little bit and focus on some positive information.  NFL football season is upon us, and in that spirit let's celebrate that part of Jack's life.

In high school, Jack was a star football player at Stow High School in Stow, OH.  He wore number "60" and played fullback.
After high school he went on to play collegiately at little Hiram College in Hiram, OH. 
In 2006, Jack Gordon was inducted into the Hiram College Athletic Hall of Fame. Here is the biographical blurb from his induction ceremony.

Jack “Flash” Gordon was a four-year letter winner as a member of the Hiram football team from 1949-1952. He was a three-year starter as a fullback. As a junior, Jack was the team’s leading rusher carrying the ball 67 times for 297 yards. In his senior season, he scored seven touchdowns and ranked among the top-15 scorers in the Ohio Conference. Following the end of his illustrious career at Hiram, Jack received an invitation from the Detroit Lions to play football.


     Jack Nels Gordon was many things during his life.  But did you know he invented the World Trade Center?  Well, not the Twin Towers, and not actually invented, but he was involved in the conceptual development of a World Trade Center for the Great Lakes Region.

     In 1962, Jack Gordon was President of International Commerce Corporation an offshoot of SCOPE International, an Akron, OH firm that developed a proposal for The Great Lakes World Trade Center.

     Here, Jack is seen with then Governor Michael DiSalle of Ohio.   Governor DiSalle is holding a binder with the comprehensive Trade Center proposal. 

     A building site had been proposed in the Erieview section of Cleveland, as part of an urban renewal movement.   Potential members for the Board of Directors had been identified, including retired Army General Bruce Clarke.  General Clarke wrote (in personal correspondence to Jack dated 25 March, 1963) the following:

Dear Mr. Gordon:
     In response to your letter of 20 March 1963, I will be glad to accept the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors of your Corporation.  
                                                                                  Sincerely yours, 

                                                                                  Bruce C. Clarke General, USA Ret.
Architectural conceptions had been drawn.

Funding, however eventually failed to materialize, and the project withered. 

     As early as 1959, David Rockefeller had proposed a World Trade and Financial Center to be located in lower Manhattan.  See the historical timeline of the Twin Towers here.  The two projects (Great Lakes WTC and New York City WTC) were evolving in roughly parallel fashion.  Jack often speculated to us that in some way the Rockefellers were able to pull the rug out from under the financing for the Great Lakes World Trade Center.  Whether that is true or not, this whole incident marked a fascinating chapter in the varied life of Jack Nels Gordon.