Update: I have just published a short ebook called, in a very self explanatory way, The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Boucher. This was a case that had major media coverage at the beginning and then just slipped off the news agenda. The public was left hanging about what actually happened. My ebook, which is the length of a long magazine article, attempts to provide some answers.
March 17: On the Whitby waterfront, the search is underway again for Jeffrey Boucher.
Just about everybody has their own pet theory as to what happened, including me. Let’s take a look at the possibilities:
Accident If Jeffrey Boucher had an accident, it is one hell of a coincidence given that he had supposedly gone out for a super long run the night before. His wife was so worried about his longer-than-usual absence that his daughter took the family van and went out looking for him. The same scenario repeated itself the next morning, when the daughter drove around the neighbourhood again while the mother called the police.
Suicide Men of Boucher’s age are at a higher-than-average risk for suicide. He was facing big life changes including retirement and his younger daughter leaving for college. But usually when someone commits suicide — including people who no one believes would kill themselves — there are after-the-fact signs and reasons. This does not appear to be the case with Jeffrey Boucher, whose wife Kirsten remains adamant he wouldn’t have committed suicide.
Walk away Again, when someone walks away, the preparations will usually be discovered once the person has made off. In this case, there don’t appear to be any clues whatsoever that Jeffrey Boucher was planning to bolt.
Foul Play Much has been made of the reactions of Boucher’s wife and younger daughter to his disappearance, but there’s no template for how to behave when personal tragedy strikes. Shock can explain a lot. As a result of their reactions, the wife and daughter have been subject to intense scrutiny. In contrast, there’s been comparatively little attention paid to Boucher himself.
Discussing people who may be the victims of crime is rightfully a sensitive topic and can sometimes turn into victim blaming. My training in this area is old school. Until charges are laid or there’s evidence that someone is guilty, you do not speculate in public. Of course, the media doesn’t always obey these rules. Just look at the speculation over whether the pilots of the missing Malaysian Airlines jet were involved.
I don’t believe all public speculation is always wrong, but what I do know is that when you get into speculation, there’s always a danger someone innocent will be hurt and their reputation harmed. On the other hand, there are also negative consequences to not asking certain questions and I’m sure most people would agree that it’s not out of line to ask about the pilots of the missing jets.
Keeping that in mind, here’s what I’ve always wanted to know about Jeffrey Boucher’s Sunday night outing. Who on earth goes for a two-hour evening run after a full day of skiing and with a morning run planned for the next day? Was he going somewhere else? If so, where and why?
Alternatively, he could have done an evening run because he knew he wasn’t going to be running the next day, in which case the question becomes where was Jeffrey Boucher headed Monday morning and why?
Obviously, these questions imply a foul play scenario, which is the way I’m leaning. That doesn’t mean that I’ve ruled out the other three possibilities.
#MH370 tragedy should convince everyone the world is a lot less monitored than they think, and “almost impossible” things sometimes happen.
— John Schindler (@20committee) March 16, 2014
I would love to hear from anyone who might be able to help answer my questions on the Jeffrey Boucher case and especially about a sweater photo online late last year: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment.