Not Enough Degrees of Separation

I had to change offices and realized I have to throw out a bunch of old student work I’d been letting pile up for years (there are good and dumb reasons for that). Due to EU privacy regulations anything with a name on it has to be destroyed rather than just chucked into the recycle bin.

As I was going through a stack and crossing out names, one seemed to ring a bell in a way that others didn’t. Then I took a second look and realized why. The name was the same as one of the most famous missing person cases (and possibly murder victim) in the country over the last 10 years.

She had attended a company party and was spotted on CCTV cameras near a bridge clearly intoxicated and in the company of a male co-worker at which point she disappeared.

The male co-worker was arrested and released a time or two and after her body was finally found in the river (after several months 12 kilometers from the bridge she was last seen at). He was eventually tried for murder but the story never added up. The timing was more or less impossible given later sightings of him on CCTV and there was never a convincing motive. There was briefly an idea that she had resisted his advances but it turned out that he was gay. He was acquitted though that verdict is still being examined and the case remains unsolved.

I wasn’t sure if this former student was the same person as the possible murder victim but a few minutes of internet checking convinced me that she was. She was in my classes for two academic years, but I don’t remember her at all. She was in a weekend program in a group of over 20 students and my classes only met ten times per academic year over five years ago and over two years before her untimely death.

But I’m still kind of freaked out…


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