Transcript: 187. The Bizarre Disappearance of Richey Edwards | England/Wales

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In the prime of his life, at the height of his creative career, Manic Street Preachers lyricist and guitarist, Richey Edwards checked into a London hotel on the eve of a promotional tour to America and was never seen again. At first, fellow band member, James Dean Bradfield, who stayed at the same hotel that night, thought Richey was a no-show, because he had expressed to James that he did not want to go to the States. But as another day passed with no sign of Richey, James reported him missing.

 

Richey had a poet’s soul, was soft-spoken and prone to severe depression. Over the years people have theorised whether he staged his own disappearance, to live out his life away from the fame and attention that came with being a rockstar. Others wonder if he ended his own life. With so many intriguing clues, still emerging anything is possible…

 

Intro Music

Richard James ‘Richey’ Edwards was born on the 22nd of December 1967 in Blackwood, Wales to parents Graham and Sherry and had a younger sister Rachel. Blackwood, county Caerphilly, is located in the heart of the sweeping valleys of South Wales. The decline of the coal mining industry towards the end of the twentieth century caused a surge in unemployment and left many locals struggling provide for their families. Still, there was a strong sense of community with good family values. Since that time, however, a rejuvenation program has gone some way to returning Blackwood to its former glory.

 

By all accounts Richey grew up in a stable and caring family environment and was much loved by his family and friends, as well as the family dog, Snoopy. Richey attended the local primary school and later Oakdale Comprehensive School where he proved to be quite the academic. He displayed levels of high intelligence especially when it came to creative subjects. Richey was a talented writer and showed a keen interest in history. 

 

Socially, however, Richey was struggling. School mates remembered him to have been an introverted and a withdrawn teenager who struggled with his sexuality, mental health and anorexia. Others, perhaps those who took the time to get to know him, say he was a likable, casual, deep thinking outgoing teen and a good friend. Of course, this is merely based on

other people’s opinions of Richey as he grew up. 

 

Based on his school report he was a well-adjusted teen who did well in school, with the only strike against him being his math’s teacher’s opinion that he needed to study more. However, he himself looked back on his childhood with his family in fondness, though his desire to escape from Blackwood and its declining economy was very real. Eventually Richey attended the university of Swansea, Wales in 1986 where he studied political History, graduating in 1989 with Upper Second-Class Honours.

 

Richey and three friends from his Oakdale Comprehensive School days, became inspired to form a band at a young age. The boys grew up in the same area and were like-minded, becoming caught up in the anarchy of the punk movement during the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Their philosophy was anti-authoritarianism, anti-conformity and anti-corporate greed. But taking it one step further, the four teens from Wales were beyond Nihilism, in what James Dean Bradfield recalled them naming it: ‘Denialism’, which meant no drugs, no girlfriends, no need for money, always wear your guitars low, don’t have a fan club…

 

The band, formed during their early days at the university of Swansea, consisted of James Dean Bradfield who would become the Manic Street Preachers’ lead guitarist and vocalist, guitarist Mile “Flicker” Woodward, Nicky Wire who would eventually become the band’s bassist, and finally, James’s cousin Sean Moore who became the band’s drummer.

 

Richey Edwards was originally the driver and roadie for the band, however, when original guitarist “Flicker” left the band in 1988 because he felt the group was straying too far from their punk roots, Richey very quickly filled the empty spot and brought with him his leopard print leggings, mascara and philosophical ponderings. His fellow band-members taught him how to play the guitar and were adamant that he needed to be part of the band.

 

Richey was not much of a musician, but he could strum a cord or two on the guitar and wasn’t completely void of this playing ability as some have suggested. His fellow band members claim that despite his limited instrumental skills, Richey was an integral part of the band’s vision and development. He thrived in promoting of their music and public image, later establishing himself together with Nicky as their main lyricists. 

 

Drawing on their love from rock bands like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Generation X and Richey’s affinity for poetry and literature, Nicky and Richey took charge of all the writing duties whilst James and Sean dealt with the musical creations. And, having persistently writing to several publications the band started to get noticed by more mainstream magazines. Finally, they managed to pull together sufficient funds to self-release their first single in 1988, “Suicide Alley.”

 

Richey hadn’t yet taken his place on stage but would do so before the release of ‘Motown Junk’ in 1991. This was their first single with Heavenly Recordings. Despite big media attention, the single didn’t achieve the success that the record label had hoped, only ever peaking at no 94 on the UK singles chart in January 1991. 

 

Two decades later the single was re-released, at which time there was more appreciation for the single. It made it to number 244 on NME’s list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, in 2014. This description paints a picture of the band, as they were back in 1991:

 

"They were still stencilling their own t-shirts and playing to half-full pub back rooms, but this icon-skewering single showed that the Manics meant business.”

 

And that they did. Undeterred by the low rankings of Motown Junk, the band carried on, composing and creating, populating their debut studio album, Generation Terrorist. Its release in February 1992 was well received, but an initial projection of selling 16 million copies was never met. 

 

Either way, Manic Street Preachers were being noticed and they were appreciated for their down to earth, and frank interviews, always being open about being four friends from a small Welsh town, who share the same philosophy in life. Their first ever TV interview was in 1991. All four members are filmed, standing next to each other, with Richey as the main speaker. Here is a snippet of how he described the band:

 

“If you’re told what youth culture is, it’s not much use… We just want to mix, like, politics and sex… And be brilliant on stage and say brilliant things... We’re the most original band, I think, in the last 15 years. Just because we don’t want to do anything that’s been done before.”

 

Following the release of their single Motorcycle Emptiness, NME journalist Steve Lamacq questioned Richey as to whether the band was genuine about their music and not just copies of their rock idols and asking if they were “for real?” The interview took place after a performance at the Norwich Arts Centre in England and it became clear that most people viewed Manic Street Preachers as nothing more than four punk rock posers. To get his point across to the journalist, Richey pulled him aside after the interview. Then he produced a razor blade and sliced deeply into his left forearm, carving out the phrase ‘4 Real’ with the number four followed by the letters R-E-A-L. Steve Lamacq was not sure how to react and left the venue in shock. In the end, the cuts that covered Richey’s entire forearm was so deep, he needed 17 stitches.

 

Richey called the magazine the next day to apologise for any distress he may have caused Steve and was asked if he felt foolish for harming himself so badly just to prove a point. Richey responded by saying:

 

“I just feel like the rest of the country – banging my head against the fucking wall.”

 

After this incident, the Manics were no longer regarded as wannabes. Sadly, Richey’s desperate act to illustrate is frustration set the tone for what he would become known for, and even revered for by some: his tendency to self-harm. 

 

Richey later clarified WHY he did what he did. These are his words:

 

“I was talking to Steve for an hour to explain ourselves. He saw us as four hero-worshipping kids trying to replicate our favourite bands. There was no way I could change his mind. I didn’t abuse him or insult him, I just cut myself. To show we were no gimmick, that we are pissed off, that we are for real.”

 

This incident shone a light on the troubled mind of Richey Edwards and the fact that he was suffering from severe depression, regular self-harming and extreme insomnia behind closed doors.

 

In the Manic Street Preachers biography, In Their Own Words, James said:

 

"I don't know, maybe that's what fucked us up. Not that we had bad childhoods, but that our childhoods were too good. That sense of freedom – we weren't just reading books or watching films, experiencing second-hand culture. We were, y'know, building a dam, messing around in dirt, things like that, which, looking back, seem much more worthwhile… I suppose that's what it comes down to. You can never retain that sense of freedom."

 

Perhaps Richey wanted his sense of freedom back, that childlike wonderment and joy at the world around them. Richey was very open about his self-harming and didn’t see to seek pity or sympathy, stating that unlike a lot of people, he didn’t tend to shout or express himself in the normal kind of way. His self-harming was a form of release. He is quoted as saying:

 

“It’s all about self-discipline, self-obsession is connected with self-loathing. It doesn’t matter, you know, you’re in a frame of mind where it does not hurt. Maybe a few days later you get a certain amount of pain as the skin starts to heal. But when you are in that frame of mind it is like, really natural. It’s like the only really logical thing to do. Otherwise, you feel you could almost do something to another person and that is always something that I said I would never ever take out on somebody else.”

 

Many years later, James was asked about Richey’s self-harming in an interview, he said :

 

“To go through that must take something different. There must be a different ingredient inside of him. He’s way different from me if he can do that, I remember thinking that.”

 

1993 ushered in a new era for Manic Street Preachers. Their music had become more mainstream, as can be heard on their album Gold Against the Soul, which was released in June of that same year. Again, they didn’t quite hit the big time. This was very frustrating, especially for Richey who always said that they would release the best rock album ever, and then split up. That was the legacy he dreamed of. But they just could not seem to break the charts. 

 

Also in 1993, their friend and manager Philip Hall died from lung cancer and although it affected the entire band, it was something which upset Richey deeply. Afterall in the early days they had even lived with him in London. 

 

1993 had not been a great year for the Manics, with Philip’s death the less than successful album release, all topped with the bands’ failure to break into the American music market scene, in truth the heavy schedule was starting to play its toll on the band. Nicky was quoted as saying the following to an NME journalist

 

“It’s ridiculous, we’re working on our third album and we’ve only played there five times!” 

 

In March 1994 Richey moved out of his family home in Wales and into a flat of his own in Anson Court, Cardiff Bay. However, this put him right on the doorstep of the local drug dealers. Richey contacted them, hoping to buy some weed. But, as time went on, Richey found it increasingly difficult to avoid the gang with which he had become involved with.

 

An unnamed roadie claimed that Richey had told him a chilling story. He had allegedly been forced into a vehicle while trying to buy some cannabis and was stuffed into the back seat between two muscular looking men and drove him around Cardiff for hours. But this is not something Richey had talked about to his close friends.

 

Finally, in 1994, Manic Street Preachers had begun to gain momentum and their popularity was rising. They were especially popular in Southeast Asia, and specifically in Thailand. Their album “Gold Against the Soul,” had sold 50,000 units and gone platinum and they were greeted with approximately 3,000 fans as they began their Bangkok leg of their world tour to promote the album. The crew members, on the flight across had noticed that Richey had begun to isolate himself somewhat from the rest of the team, preferring instead to bury his head in books. 

 

He read a lot, wrote a lot… Some reckon it was perhaps the most creative period of his life. He had become fascinated with the work and lives, to a greater extent, of notable people who, on the cusp of success or in the prime of their career, had turned their backs on society and simply vanished from the public scene, like French poet Arthur Rimbaud, visual artist William Burroughs, novelist Sylvia Plath and writer and Chemist Primo Levi.

 

Disappearing from the public eye was not a new concept to Richey. Growing up he knew about his Great Aunt Bessie who had shut herself away from the world and became a recluse. He also had an Uncle Shane, who had left for America and did not contact the family for five years. The notion of going off-grid, like his relatives, was something which Richey was all too aware of and something that his sister Rachel knew her brother was intrigued with.

 

Despite hours of reading, Richey had to come out of his shell, seeing as the tour was going rather well. Manic Street Preachers were the first band of their kind to play in Bangkok and they played for two nights to a packed out MBK Hall with an audience of 2,000 fans. During the tour Richey was struck by the poverty of the region and found himself becoming increasingly homesick, however, not to the extent that he would rebuff the services of a local sex worker.

 

The opening night was extremely successful as the Manics played to an entranced audience, it was during the encore of Motorcycle Emptiness and You Love Us that an NME journalist looked to the left of the stage to see blood flowing down Richey’s chest. As it turned out a Thai fan had given him a set of ceremonial knives with a note urging Richey to use them on himself, a request which Richey willingly obliged, slashing himself across the chest several times. 

 

The now well-known black and white photo taken by Richard Cummings, shows Richey Edwards with his dark pixie cut and heavy eyeshadow, standing in front of a mirror, wearing black trousers, and no shirt with a deep slash across his chest bleeding out. When Cummings had asked him why he had done it, Richey said: 

 

“A fan asked me to do it and I didn’t want to let him down.” 

 

Although Richey was open about his depression and tendency to self-harm – there are also photos of Richey showing where he would deliberately burn himself with cigarettes – he did not want to be the poster boy for self-inflicted harm. He allegedly wrote this in a letter to his on/off girlfriend Jo:

 

“Everybody wants me to chop off my arm or something on stage. It’s like they are waiting for a car crash to happen. What a shit thing to be remembered for.”

 

After a tumultuous year of ups and downs, Richey learnt that a close friend from college had taken his own life. The news knocked Richey hard and he withdrew even further into himself and became increasingly isolated from those around him.

 

On returning from Bangkok the band went to work, recording their third album, The Holy Bible. They recorded in the Soundspace Music Studios, Cardiff, a stone’s throw away from Richey’s apartment. Their decision to record their album at this location was based on their desire to retake control of their own music’s destiny, to return to their roots. They were all together, in Wales between January and May of 1994, and Richey wrote most of the lyrics for this album.

 

Sadly, ‘third album was NOT the charm’, and The Holy Bible did not meet the success that they had been hoping for. However, they felt it was uncompromising and true to their roots, something which the surviving members of the band are very proud of to this day, little did they know that this would be their last album with Richey.

 

Before the album’s release in August 1994, Richey had checked into the Whitchurch Psychiatric Hospital, north of Cardiff. Contrary to popular there is no evidence that Richey suffered from substance abuse. Perhaps it was his slender build and pale skin that made people assume he used drugs. This doesn’t mean that he didn’t drink or have the occasional joint, but he was not necessarily an addict. Richey had other demons, like anorexia, depression and insomnia. To self-medicate, he sometimes drank until he passed out, desperate to sleep. His drink of choice was Jack Daniels. 

 

After his stint at Whitchurch, he went to Priory Hospital, a mental health establishment in Roehampton as his condition deteriorated. The Priory specialises in the treatment of Asperger’s Syndrome as well as various forms of addiction, though there is no evidence to suggest that Richey had ever been diagnosed with any such autistic spectrum disorder. Interestingly, in the book ‘Withdrawn Traces: Searching for the Truth About Richey Manic’, authors Sara Hawys Roberts and Leon Noakes state:  

 

“We read books about Asperger’s and a lot of the traits clicked with Richey. It’s something that Rachel acknowledged that Richey might well have had, something that wouldn’t have been diagnosed back in the 1990s.”

 

When Richey was admitted to The Priory, he was enrolled in the Galsworthy programme during which he was treated for alcohol addiction, but according to sources this angered Richey because he felt that this was not the issue. According to his sister Rachel he could quite happily take alcohol or leave it, he just needed it to get to sleep. Undoubtedly Richey had a severe form of depression that only grew worse as time passed and was most likely compounded by his lack of natural sleep. Fellow band member Nicky Wire felt that The Priory had taken away Richey’s soul and left the shell. 

 

There was one good thing to come out of The Priory, however. Richey told his friends that he had befriended with a mystery female artist, in her early 20’s, but it was all over when she was released and went home to – it is believed – Israel. He never gave any more information about her and her identity remains a mystery.

 

In September 1994 Richey was released from the Priory and rejoined the band for the remainder of their European tour, with their final live appearance being in the London Astoria. It was a memorable performance for sure, seeing as it ended with the band smashing their equipment and the lighting rig, causing 26,000 Pounds’ worth of damage. Richey was the one who did most of the damage, starting with smashing his own guitar before moving on the lighting. 

 

On the 23rd of January 1995 – a week before his disappearance – Richey gave his final ever interview to a Japanese magazine called “Music Life.” During the interview the journalist took several photographs, in which Richey appeared even more strained than usual: his hair is shaved off and he is wearing something that looks like pyjamas. In the interview he was also very critical of the music industry.

 

At the end of January, the band was heading to America to promote their Holy Bible album. Richey had not been keen on going to America, but James said that on the night before their departure – the 31st of January 1995 – he seemed happy, at peace somehow. In fact, prior to checking into the hotel, Richey and James stayed in the hotel car park of The Embassy Hotel in London, sitting in Richey’s silver Vauxhall Cavalier for a while. They had a nice conversation about which songs they liked, and when they realised it was getting late, went inside to check in and went to their separate rooms.

 

It is understood, though not confirmed, that James knocked on Richey’s hotel room door, as they had planned to go out together that night, however, when Richey answered the door, he said that he would not be going after all, seeing as his friend Vivian had dropped by. Richey closed the door and James never saw him again.

 

Richey and James had agreed to meet in the lobby the next morning, from where they would make their way to the airport. James was there on time and waited for a while, but Richey didn’t show. James went to his hotel room to check on him, assuming he had overslept, but there was no answer. Concerned about his friend, he informed the hotel staff who used a master key to gain access to room 561. 

 

Inside, there was no sign of Richey, but curiously the bathtub was still filled to the top with water. There was also a gift box in the room, containing various items like books, videos, photos and one note addressed to his ex-girlfriend Jo, simply saying: ‘I love you’

 

James went to hotel reception and learnt that Richey had checked out at 7am that morning. By all accounts, Richey Edwards had checked out carrying his car keys and left The Embassy Hotel in London, walking out the front door, never to be seen again.

 

Meanwhile, when Richey’s parents were informed about the situation, they travelled to his flat in Cardiff where they found his passport and a Severn Bridge ticket time stamped the 1st of February 1995, 2:55. It was believed by police that Richey had passed through the gate at 2:55pm on the 1st of February 1995 on the way to his flat. The police and the family spent 23 years believing this, but we’ll touch on this again later. 

 

Police were able to determine that, In the two weeks before the band was due to leave for America, Richey had begun withdrawing £200 British pounds from his bank account each day. By the 1st of February he had accumulated approximately £2,800.00 in cash, this cash has never been found.

 

On the 17th of February 1995 – that is two-and-a-half weeks after he was last seen – his Vauxhall Cavalier was found abandoned at the Severn Service Station, which is a notorious suicide spot in the locality. And, after finding Richey’s Cavalier it was widely believed that Richey had driven to the spot to end his own life. It is worthy of note that the car had received a parking ticket some days prior on the 14th, proving that it had been there for a while.

 

However, the car had clearly been used for a period of time after Richey’s disappearance as inside there were family photographs from the most recent Christmas. The battery was flat, and the steering wheel had been locked with a steering locking bar. There were also some music cassettes and an empty wine bottle. This is significant because Richey’s drink of choice was Jack Daniels. Plus he hadn’t touched alcohol since leaving The Priory. There was also an assortment of MacDonald wrappers inside the car. As the police felt there was no evidential value in the discovery of the car, they never tested for fingerprints. Instead of seeing it as an invaluable piece of evidence in a missing person’s investigation, they made Richey’s father Graham pay to have it removed from the Severn carpark and taken back to their house in Blackwood. 

 

On closer inspection by family and friends, the toll receipt from when Richey is alleged to have crossed over the bridge, seemed strange. Having lost faith in the police’s investigation, Richey’s family took matters into their own hands, and reached out to an investigative journalist to help them track down a Mr. Ian McCrea, the manager of the toll gates at the time of Richey’s disappearance. What they discovered was astonishing: the toll gate ticket clocks ran on the 24-hour clock system and always had. The time stamp said 2:55 on February 1st, NOT 14:55, which means Richey had driven across the bridge 12 hours earlier than they had originally thought. 

 

So the question is, if Richey drove his car across the Severn Bridge passing through the toll gate at 2:55am and arrived at his flat, left his passport and toll gate ticket on the table for all to find, then who checked out of The Embassy Hotel at 7am? And, if it was Richey who checked out of The Embassy Hotel then who drove Richey’s car across the bridge and went to his apartment? Richey could not have been in both places at the same time.

 

However, if we consider this: according to Google Maps, travelling from the Embassy Hotel at 150 Bayswater Road, London to the toll point on Severn Bridge would take between 2 hours 20 minutes and 2 hours 40 minutes. And then from that point to his apartment in Cardiff, another 45 minutes. If he had crossed the bridge at 2:55am, he would have been home at 3:40am. Let’s say he only walked in the door, left his passport and toll booth stub, spending about 15 minutes there, would he have been able to make it back to London in time to check out of his hotel at 7am? The trip from Cardiff to London would take approximately 3 hours, so yes, perhaps at the push, it is possible – only if he took the M4, and only if he spent minimal time at home.

 

It is also significant to remember that his car was eventually found at the Severn Service Station, on the English side of the bridge, hinting that he went back over the bridge at some point.

 

With so many loose ends, it’s no surprise that Richey’s family decided to look for him themselves. His sister Rachel has tried many times to identify the woman who was with Richey in his hotel room that night. No one knew of a Vivian, and the police have not released her identity.

 

After Richey’s disappearance, reports of sightings came in. A man called David Cross claimed that he spoke to Richey outside a news agent in Newport, Wales, in the first week of February. Newport is about a 30-minute drive from Cardiff. There was also another sighting in Newport, this time a taxi driver with a strange story: he claimed that Richey had been one of his fares. He recalled that his passenger produced a piece of paper from a hotel with directions on it. The taxi driver then proceeded to drive the person he believed to be Richey Edwards around the valleys and on to Blackwood. The taxi driver reported that the passenger spoke in a Cockney accent but would occasionally slip into a Welsh accent. He apparently asked if it was okay if he could lie down in the back seat. Eventually the taxi driver took his passenger to the Severn Service Station where the passenger exited the vehicle and paid a fare of £68.

 

A third sighting also came from Newport, when a fan claimed they had seen Richey outside the Newport bus station, as well as in the passport office, not long after he came up missing. The fan claimed that they had a short conversation about a mutual friend before they parted ways. 

 

Over the years, sightings have been reported from all over the globe, from Goa, to Fuerteventura. Someone saw him in Lanzarote and he was even spotted in Israel. None of these sightings ever brough about any more information about Richey’s whereabouts.  

 

So, what happened to Richey Edwards?

 

One theory is that he was in trouble with the drug gang in Cardiff, and that they took him from the hotel in London, back to Cardiff, and that one of the gang members impersonated Richey at the 7am check-out. Richey was then murdered by two unknown assailants, who then staged the scene to appear that he may have committed suicide. However, there is very little evidence to support this theory. And, at the time of his disappearance, Richey was sober, and had not been in contact with said gang.

 

Another possibility is that he drove back to his apartment that night and that somehow, hotel reception was mistaken about him checking out. Once back in Wales, he decided to lay low in Newport for a while, taking a taxi to his hometown for old time’s sake, and then, when he was dropped off at Severn Service Station took his own life. The problem with this theory is: his body was never found. Also, Richey had some mental health issues, for sure, but he was very self-aware, and always said that he would never commit suicide. In fact, in 1994, the year before his disappearance he was quoted saying:

 

“In terms of the ‘S’ word, that does not enter my mind. And it never has done, in terms of an attempt. Because I am stronger than that. I might be a weak person, but I can take pain.”

 

Then there is a probable theory to consider: did Richey stage his own disappearance and vanished because he did not want to be found? It is significant that he left certain clues behind. The books found in his hotel room weren’t random, they all had a common theme: a troubled soul, dissatisfied with his Status Quo and the society he finds himself in. The books were Equus by Peter Shaffer, Novel with Cocaine by Russian author M. Ageyev, a selection of works by German philosopher Fredrich Nietsche and Camino Real by Tennessee Williams. 

 

The play Equus is about a 17-year-old boy who blinded six horses, using a metal spike, and a provincial psychiatrist’s attempt to treat him after committing this inexplicable crime.

 

Novel with Cocaine, which can also be translated to Romance with Cocaine which is about more than an adolescent’s drug addiction, but rather an addiction to philosophy, and the toxicity of his relationships. Ultimately, it’s also significant to note that, shortly after the novel was first published using the pseudonym M. Agayev, the author was never heard of again.

 

And then there was a selection of the writings of Friedrich Nietsche, arguably one of the most famous social critics of all time, and proponent of individuality, autonomy and ‘freedom of spirit’. 

 

In Camino Real the protagonist, Kilroy, finds himself in an unnamed town – is it in Latin America, or is it New Orleans? The town has no parallels to his normal life and Kilroy meets a parade of misfit characters. 

 

So, considering that Richey, had read all of the mentioned works, would it be too far-fetched to imagine that he was trying to communicate something? Was he the troubled soul like the boy in Equus, who had evolved into Novel with Cocaine’s unscrupulous Vadim, all the while viewing the world through Nietsche’s eyes, hoping to find himself in an unnamed new place, like Kilroy in Camino Real

 

It's no secret Richey was frustrated and often felt misunderstood, or unheard. Like he felt during the interview that caused him to carve the phrase ‘4 Real’ into his skin. He opened himself up for help, willingly going to a psychiatric care facility, but they only wanted to treat him for alcoholism. The fact that he drank to fall sleep was a symptom, he knew there was something else going on, but again felt let down. Q Magazine wrote this about his last album, The Holy Bible

 

"The tone of the album is, by turns, bleak, angry and resigned.”

 

Richey’s sister knows that Sylvia Plath’s poem ‘Tulips’ resonated with Richey, and in reading it, she feels she understands what was going through his mind before he vanished. She recalls him asking her to read the poem at his funeral. Perhaps that was his way of saying goodbye to her.

 

The band, Manic Street Preachers did not record or perform anything in the months following Richey’s disappearance. But with the Edwards family’s blessing, they regrouped and are still playing together today. It is said that they still paid 25% of their royalties into an account in Richie’s name for many years.

 

Sadly, Richey’s dad Graham has passed away, without ever knowing what happened to his son. And despite her relentless search for her brother, Rachel has been unable to locate him. Despite the family’s efforts to oppose it, Richey was declared ‘presumed dead’ in 2008 so that his financial matters could be wrapped up. Rachel continues to look for him to this day and refuses to give up hope that she will someday know what happened to him. In 2017 she performed on Britain’s got talent with the Missing People Choir in an effort to, not only raise awareness of her brother, but the many others who have gone missing in the UK and remain unaccounted for.

 

With no sign of Richey for more than 25 years, all we can do is speculate. All we can hope is that he has found his nirvana, and that his sister may one day know what happened to the brother she loved with all her heart.

 

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