Book alert: “Cold a Long Time: An Alpine Mystery” by John Leake

Cold a Long Time: An Alpine Mystery” about Duncan MacPherson by author John Leake is my new “must read” for this summer.

Duncan Alvin MacPherson (Feb 3, 1966 – Aug 9, 1989), a Canadian professional ice hockey player, went missing during a short stay in Austria.

John emailed to give me the heads up about the book. I scanned the web a little today for information about the case. If you like a real mystery, conflicting forensic opinions and, the possibility that someone lied and another did everything to cover it up, this book is for you.

Duncan had accepted a job as a player-coach for a semi-pro hockey team in Dundee, Scotland, starting in August 1989. Before starting there however, he went snowboarding in Austria. And there he just vanished.

The story, especially the struggle from the parents to get answers and collaboration from the Austrians, reminded me of Kathy’s struggle to get answers in the case of her missing son Aeryn Gillern. Aeryn’s mother is still trying to get the Austrian authorities to review the case and she faces the same hurdles as the MacPhersons.

There is reason enough to review the case. Without having read the book and without having done an in-depth Internet search, I know this:

  1. You cannot assign a cause of death by just looking at Duncan’s remains. He was found frozen solid with his clothes on. A thorough review of his internal body was never done.
  2. By simply stating that Duncan died of multiple trauma without an autopsy we only know that Duncan suffered multiple trauma but not to what extent and what might have caused the trauma. 
  3. If I understand correctly, Duncan’s body was not removed from the ice and snow under the supervision from a coroner and, the area where he was found was not cordoned off immediately after he was spotted. I am not implying tampering with the body but it indicates a sloppiness in the procedures.

The website is a treasure trove with pictures, information, reports and more. It also holds a spoiler section.

I am eager to read this book. If you have read this book, let me know what your thoughts are by posting it in the comment box below and I’ll alert John so he can respond.

Last, if you know of more cases of missing foreigners in Austria, you might want to list them in the comment section as a signal to Austria that we do not forget our missing.

To be continued!