The 20th anniversary of 'presumed dead' guitarist brings back personal agony.
Twenty years on since the unexplained disappearance of Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards, his sister talks of the pain she and her family have gone through over the years, especially on the part of their late father Graham.
Manic Street Preachers are still releasing music
Sunday, February 1st 2015 was the 20th anniversary of Edwards' disappearance, though it's now more than six years since he was officially 'presumed dead' in 2008. The star went missing ahead of a scheduled US flight in 1995, that would mark the beginning of their overseas tour that year. While it seemed that he deliberately made himself scarce after it was discovered that money had been removed from his bank account and he had been seen in Newport at the passport office and bus station, as well as taking a long taxi journey to Severn View service station, it was never discovered what exactly happened to him. His car was found abandoned and in later years there would be claims of his spotting abroad, but the family was forced to have him declared legally dead by 2008.
Unfortunately, there remained discontentment and a lack of closure in the hearts of those closest to him, a feeling that sister Rachel Elias admitted took its toll on their father Graham during his battle with cancer in 2013. 'It was difficult because he had to face up to that realisation - that we all may have to - we may not find out what happened to Richard', she said of her father in a statement. 'It was obviously difficult for my father.'
'Going through his bereavement, I recognised the difference between that and someone who is missing', she continued. 'When someone dies you have that acute loss. It sounds like a cliche, that bereavement is a process - but it really is. But when someone goes missing you are left with this ongoing uncertainty. Not knowing makes it worse.'
Despite their harrowing loss, Manic Street Preachers continued to make music, with their last album 'Futurology' released in July 2014.