As the reader will probably remember, a few years ago a rather disturbing letter was discovered, which launched one of the most highly publicised missing person investigations in police history. Though the letter was never released to the general public, when details were leaked to a tabloid newspaper the story immediately became headline news. The letter’s author, a woman named only as ‘Alice’, wrote how she had suffered a bizarre and terrifying form of abuse, how she feared for her life. Tragically, much of the letter had been cut away with a scalpel, including Alice’s full name and address; and after six months and limitless police resources failed to turn up any new leads, it became increasingly apparent that Alice would probably never be found. Worse still, as no loved ones came forward to identify her and help with the investigation, it seemed nobody even cared.

The press were outraged, the public shaken; everyone took time out from their busy lives to check on forgotten friends and family1. That a young, hard-working woman could suffer such torture and then simply vanish was too much for our ever fearful consciousness to take. But the fact that nobody even cared enough to notice? Well, that was unthinkable.


1In the months that followed, all major telecommunication and postal companies reported a sudden and dramatic increase in profits.