Loading articles...

Gone Boys: New podcast draws attention to Vancouver Island’s missing men

Last Updated Jan 29, 2021 at 6:39 am PDT

Why isn’t anyone talking about the missing men? Where have they gone?

Gone Boys, a new true crime podcast series, has launched with the goal of drawing attention to missing men on Vancouver Island.

Producer and host Laura Palmer says the title of the new Island Crime series reflects the personal tragedy families on the Island are living with.

“The public may see these men as simply faces on fading missing person posters,” she explains. “But to their families — they are their boys. And they are gone.”

Palmer says her motivation for the series is rooted in the history of the missing women cases in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

“I was a young journalist back then. We had family members and sex trade workers sounding the alarm bell. Their mothers and sisters were vanishing. They knew something was wrong,” Palmer says.

So when she observed family and community members trying to draw attention to the disappearance of vulnerable men, she decided to learn more about their stories.

Rogers Sports & Media has partnered with Palmer for the new season of Island Crime.

“We wanted our first True Crime show to be a story that stood out from the rest,” explains Jordan Heath-Rawlings, the Director, Digital Radio and Podcasts at Rogers Sports & Media. “We wanted it to be a show that was empathetic, victim-focused and of course — Canadian. The first season of Island Crime was exactly that. Laura is a journalist before anything else, but she’s also a gifted storyteller who has a deep sense of connection to Vancouver Island and its people. And when she pitched us an idea for a second season, we were blown away.”

The men in the series are living with some measure of disability; brain injury, schizophrenia, or trauma. And their cases have gotten little publicity.

These are names of some of Vancouver Island’s missing men featured in the podcast series — men who Palmer hopes listeners will come to care about while listening to Gone Boys. 

  • Kelly McLeod (Missing since October 2019)
  • Brandon Cairney (Missing since October 2017)
  • Desmond Peter (Missing since March 2007)
  • Ian Henry (Missing since August 2015)
  • Daniel MacDonnell (Missing since December 2016)
From left to right: Kelly McLeod, Brandon Cairney, Desmond Peter, Ian Henry, and Daniel MacDonnell.

Gone Boys episodes drop weekly through mid March starting Feb. 8.

Rogers Sports & Media is the parent company of this station.