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Richard James Edwards
Missing since February 1st, 1995 from London, UK
Age at disappearance: 27
Hair: short brown
Eyes: dark brown
Extra information: Very thin. Pale complexion. Richard may use the alias of "Richey James". He has 4 tattoos, one of which bears the words: I'll surf this beach
WAT case #: ukM004
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Circumstances of disappearance
Richard Edwards, former rhythm
guitarist for the Manic Street Preachers was last seen leaving the
Embassy hotel in Bayswater Road, London W2, at 7 am on February 1st, 1995.
He drove off in his car which was discovered by Avon and Somerset police at the
Severn Bridge service station at Aust, on the English side of the bridge, on
February 17th, 1995. They could not say how long the car had been there, and
found nothing inside it to give any indication as to Richey's whereabouts.
It's thought he briefly returned to his flat in Cardiff before disappearing. Richey went missing on the day he was due to fly to New York with fellow-Manic James Dean Bradfield for a few days' promotional work. The next day he was reported missing at 10 am by band manager Martin Hall.
Behind him, in hotel room 516, he
left a packed suitcase, toiletries, a bottle of Prozac and, in the center
of his unmade bed, a carefully wrapped box with small quotes stuck to the side.
Next to the box was a three-word note saying 'I Love You'. This was for a
19-year-old London girl, Jo, Edwards' unrequited love. Edwards frequently
exchanged presents with her, though their relationship was platonic.
He is still believed to be in possession of his silver Vauxhall Cavalier motor car registration number L5 19 HKX. Richey is known to have shaved his head a couple of weeks prior to his disappearance.
Graham Edwards, Richey's father, runs a high street hairdressing salon in the small mining town of Blackwood, near Newport, Gwent. He told Red Dragon Radio interviewer Adrian Masters: "Well, all we know is that he [Richey] left the Embassy Hotel in London on the first of the month and he left without giving any reason, and just sort of disappeared into thin air."
Replying to a reference to Richey's struggles with depression and emotional problems, Mr Edwards said: "Well, obviously everyone in the family's concerned, and we just want to get in touch with him to know that he is OK... "We've phoned all his friends and all the acquaintances that we can think of... nobody seems to be in touch with him at all." Not even in the band? "No, no, no. And they're all very concerned also."
Mr Edwards concluded: "All I'd like to say is, Richey, if he's listening, please get in touch, just a phone call or a postcard just to let us know you're alright. If he needs time to be on his own, then that's OK with everybody, but if he does have a problem that we can help with, he'll have a strong support from his family and also from the band, Nick, James and Sean." The message was reiterated by the Manics' bassist Nicky Wire who was quoted on Ceefax saying: "If Richey doesn't want to come back that's fine. We just want him to give us a call or send us a postcard."
A statement issued by the band, also on February 15, said: "Richard's family, the band and management are unavailable for comment, and we would like to ask you to respect their privacy, and for your help and sensitivity regarding this matter." On February 16, the Welsh police said that while there was still no news of Richey, they had "no evidence" to suspect that he had come to harm. After the discovery of the car, the police were said to be "keeping an open mind".
A spokeswoman for the Manics said that their management had been in contact with Richey's family from the day he went missing. The band had been in rehearsal for a couple of days before that. Richey and James had stayed on at the Embassy hotel, prior to their proposed departure to the United States for promotional purposes on February 1st. "They were only going to go over for a few days or a week," said their spokeswoman. "Then they were coming back, and the whole band was going back out together later to tour." That American tour was called off. Richey's disappearance came to light when he failed to meet James for the trip to the airport. "There wasn't any huge panic at that point," said the spokeswoman. "It seemed weird, but everybody thought maybe he didn't want to go, or he'd just gone out, or something."
Reports that James went into Richey's hotel room and discovered he had left without taking any clothes are still unconfirmed. The police believe that Richey drove from London to his flat in the Docklands area of Cardiff. According to the band's spokeswoman, Richey's dad went to the flat and there found various items, such as his passport, which he was known to have had with him in London. The spokeswoman dismissed as "total rubbish" stories that Richey had argued with the band because he didn't want to go to the US, claiming to have an ear infection. She also denied rumours that Richey had been regularly withdrawing sums of money from the Manics' bank account prior to his disappearance. She said: "If you were going away to US in the morning, you'd probably have a bit of money on you." Newspaper reports dated February 17th stated that Richey had not used any credit cards since disappearing.
Fears for Richey's safety and
fragile health have been heightened by the events of the last seven months. The
extent of his personal problems became public at the beginning of last August
when he was taken first to a Cardiff psychiatric hospital, then to a London
clinic. According to doctors, he was on the point of anorexia and suffering from
A week later, rumours suggested that he had slashed himself while in the clinic. These were strenuously denied by his press people, who said that, even from the clinic, Richey was still involved in the artwork, design and marketing aspects of the new Manics album, "The Holy Bible". During an interview with the Maker later that month to promote the new album, bassist Nicky Wire said: "Richey just reached a point where something clicked. His self-abuse has just escalated so f***ing badly - he's drinking, he's mutilating himself, he's on the verge of anorexia..."
James Dean Bradfield added: "Richey never had as many setbacks as a kid as me, he's more acutely intelligent than me, he's more beautiful than me - and yet he has more problems. Problems that I'd just snip off with f***ing scissors in two seconds flat really get to Richey. "But he has a very acute perception of things, and you can't lose that perception. It's just a matter of how you channel it. And this is it. It sounds insultingly flippant to say, 'Oh these things happen' or something, but, basically, what is is. We all saw Richey's problems getting to a stage where things were gonna get very nasty, and now he's going to see a psychiatrist and try to nip that in the bud. That's the true story. Those are the facts."
Richey spent just over three weeks in the clinic and returned to Wales halfway through September. He began rehearsing with the band in Dyfed for an upcoming French tour with Therapy? and an October headlining tour of the UK. A source close to the band said that he was "a lot better" but that his treatment was not necessarily over and that the Manics would be "taking things slowly". Simon Price joined the band on the road in November. Richey had been concerned at how his illness had been portrayed in the media - as if he suddenly flipped out for a month and then was suddenly cured. "I think that is an assumption that an awful lot of people do make, and it's completely wrong, " he said. "That never happens. You don't wake up one morning and say, 'Oh bad day!' And, like, here we go. It is something very gradual, and I don't think you even realise what's really happening. You've got a different perspective on yourself and what's actually going on. "It's fairly difficult to explain. It just comes to a point where your mind thinks it can cope, but maybe your body can't carry on. You can't physically do anything, which is what happens: you actually can't move. And, again, people think when, the minute you check out, everything's OK, which it's not at all.
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