VANISHED: True Stories from Families of Australian Missing Persons

by Nicole Morris

Publisher: Big Sky Publishing 2023

Publishers blurb

They just vanished … Disappeared. Gone. Lost. No answers. Still missing.

Imagine the pain, confusion and emotional roller-coaster that families experience when a loved one goes missing. What would you do? How would your family cope?

This is a heart- wrenching collection of true stories told through the eyes of family members who have experienced the trauma of a missing loved one. It follows their journeys from the desperate searches in the first days, through the Police investigations and, in many cases, the heartbreak as the years roll by without any news.

These stories are just a glimpse into ten of the thousands of missing persons still out there, waiting to be found. From two young girls who might have been early victims of Ivan Milat and a woman who was last seen walking alongside a Victorian highway to a teenage boy likely murdered and fed to crocodiles in Kakadu and two Tasmanian men who disappeared under strange circumstances … the cases are all different, but the impact on the families devastating.

Nicole Morris is the founder of the Australian Missing Persons Register. She has written this book to develop awareness of the plight of the courageous families of missing persons and raise public awareness to help find those people who seem to have vanished into thin air.


by Margaret Walsh

Every year thousands of Australians go missing. If we see the item on the news, or perhaps a flyer on a post, we maybe give it a cursory glance and pass on. Rarely do we stop to think about the missing person. Rarer still are thoughts about the families they have left behind.

This book gives us a look at ten different missing persons cases. The search for the missing person, but most of all, the effects it all had on those left behind.

Nicole Morris is uniquely suited to write this book. She is the founder of the Australian Missing Persons Register.

I won’t say that I enjoyed this book. You cannot enjoy such a book. Enjoy is the wrong word. It is a harrowing read, but a worthwhile one. It is a deeply moving book. The sadness, the love, and the strength that the families talked to have shown is immense. I rarely cry when reading, but every story left me with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Admittedly sometimes the tears were of rage due to the seeming incompetence, or indifference, of police forces across Australia. I rapidly formed the opinion that most of our police forces simply do not care about missing people at any level. Mentions of helpful police officers were few and far between.

Each of the stories were different. But each of them said the same thing: the pain of someone you love going missing is heart wrenching and rarely lessens. Nicole interviewed the family and friends of each person, and each story sets out the background of the missing person right up to the time they disappeared. Then the story switches focus to the family. Each story is a testament to the strength, love, and sheer determination of those left behind, and the odds they fought against.

If you read one Australian true crime book this year, make it this one. You will not regret it.