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Eric Wilson murder 7/15/1978 (approximately) outside of Grand Junction, CO *Raymond Hatch confessed, sentenced to 26 years in prison*

The story of the disappearance and murder of 19 year old Eric Wilson of Ottawa, Canada has stayed with me for years, since I first viewed “Into Thin Air”. It has made me very sad to know of the pain that his family had to endure, just to find out what happened to him and also allow justice to be served. Eric disappeared while driving from Ottawa to Boulder, Colorado for a summer class. He started having problems with his Volkswagen bus on about the 4th day. He stopped in North Platte, Nebraska to get the van fix. He called his brother Peter and told him he would call home the next night. However, he never called back again. That was the last time anyone from his family spoke to him.

When his family tried to report his disappearance, they got no where. It was treated as a “runaway” case and did very little to help. They told them that if he did not show up within 30 days, then they should repot it. They even went to the FBI with no luck there either. His father and brother retraced his steps, but got very little information. Unfortunately, the little bits of information they did get, led them to believe that foul play was involved. They finally hired a private investigator. After two months of hard work and determination, Jim Conway was able to get the truth about Eric’s disappearance and murder within 2 months, It was discovered that a career criminal, Raymond Hatch of Brunswick, ME and a teenager named Bertram Davis had stabbed Eric to death for his van and traveler’s checks.

Although I could not find what happened to Bertram Davis, I did find that Raymond spent 13 years in prison in Colorado. Once he got out, he continue to commit crimes up until his death in 2000 while in an alcohol rehabilitation.

The story of Eric White is told in the documentary “Just Another Missing Kid”, which has won several awards, including an Oscar. It is an excellent documentary, with Eric’s family appearing in it as well. You can view it online at the link for The Fifth Estate. I do recommend watching it. It is very well done.

Eric’s story was the first missing adult story I really heard about. The pain and sadness of it has stayed with me always, knowing that sometimes justice does not always happen for each victim, however, I believe that every victim counts and needs to be remembered. Always.

The Fifth Estate: Just Another Missing Kid
Wikipedia: Just Another Missing Kid
TV movie made about man’s murder
Family’s diligence could keep killer in jail
Flawed system delivers icy killer to our door
Murderer says he won’t kil again
Convicted murderer sent back to Maine
Murderer back in Brunswick
Convicted killer charged with stealing cheese at store
TV movie made about man’s murder
‘Just Another Missing Kid’

Just Another Missing Kid
Just Another Missing Kid video (you can watch it here)
Into Thin Air

19 Responses

  1. […] up we have Bonnie at My Life of Crime. This week Bonnie has entered Eric Wilson murder 7/15/78 (approximately) outside of Grand Junction, CO . When a 19 year old young man goes on a long drive and is never heard from again, what help can a […]

  2. […] Eric Wilson murder 7/15/78 (approximately) outside of Grand Junction, CO Posted in cases/theme of the month, homicide, Eric Wilson, Raymond Hatch, Bertram Davis, Movies Based on True Crimes, murder in the 20th Century, crime, robbery, murder, kidnapping, Colorado. […]

  3. Hi,

    My name is Nick and I am a high school science teacher.

    I show the movie “Into Thin Air”, analyze the 2 articles posted here from the Denver Post, and watch the biography of the Fifth Estate with my forensics students.

    I think the case is an excellent example of many problems that the criminal system faces. I also think that many students are drawn into this case because of the reality of it.

    I would like to know if there is anymore information about this case than the materials I have listed above; in the form of news articles or any other videos. (Even if it is local materials dating back to the time of the case)

    Eventually I would like to turn this into a mini-unit for forensics. I think this story should be in textbooks and other forensic publications, for students, because of the popularity that it has gained. I would be willing to faciliate in that process or assist in any such developments.

    I would like to create a supplement of material, both text and interactive (If I can get good enough at computers!).
    I would like to get the permission of the Wilson’s, if that is possible, and any other information that they might have.

    I know it is a tragedy but their story would gain even more exposure that won’t ever be forgotten. For example, I was wondering if they had any letters, bank statements, travelers checks, etc that they saved over the years from the case. These materials would serve a crucial role as evidence for such publications.

    The main thing is to educate children about such matters, that way such incidents can be prevented, if possible.

    Nick P.
    (Long Island, NY, USA)

  4. Is Just Another Missing Kid gonna be finally released on DVD or what? I sure would like to see this movie again because it was first rate and absolutely watchable! The new generation of Americans have a right to see this and learn from it too.

    Note from blog owner

    So far I have not seen it being released. But if you go to the web site for the film, you can see it, although I believe it is in 2 parts. It is very good. But I would hope to get it on DVD one day.

  5. Dave & Bonnie:

    The documentary, as far as I know, is only available if you contact the CBC directly and specifically ask for a copy. I know they made copies on DVD not too long ago, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting one from them.

  6. Dear Bonnie,

    I’m thrilled to have finally “stumbled” across your website. I have “Into Thin Air” on DVD and have watched it many times………..and saw the documentary on t.v. back in the 1980’s while living in CA. I have been trying to find this documentary online and have had trouble downloading it from the Fifth Estate site. Thought I upgraded my media software but it still won’t work. Can you email me another link? Thanks for your blog, enjoyed reading it. This was a great movie and heart-stopping documentary. It makes me reflect back on my own travels as a teenager and I guess I was “lucky” that nothing like this happened to me! Pls send another link and meanwhile, I will contact CBC to see if they will send me a copy of the documentary. Thanks, Cindy in NC

  7. Hello,
    What an interesting site. I have spent quite a bit of time here tonight. I found this site as a result of searching for 5th Estate’ show featuring the story of Eric Wilson. Unfortunately I, like a few others, are having no luck viewing this episode. I have gone around in circles about 3 times and have almost given up. As there are no solutions/tips displayed in the comment section on your site I decided to try e-mailing you. If there is a way to see this show I would really appreciate your sharing the “how to”. I watched the original program and it has stuck with me since. Such a sad story that was portrayed so well.
    Anyway I hope you will be able to help me.
    Thanks in advance.
    Susan May

    note from blog owner
    The only way I have seen the documentary was on that web site but it was in mulitple parts. I am going to check it out again and if I get more info, I will surely post it. This case has always stuck with me since I first heard of it. I grieve for the family and the injustice they recieved. I see that the two who kidnapped and killed Eric did not recieve the punishment they deserved. UPDATE: If you go to the link in the post of the Fifth Estate, on the right hand side under Eric’s picture, there are links to the documentary for you to watch online. There are 3, with the 3rd one being an update.

  8. For the benefit of those trying to watch “Just Another Missing Kid” on the CBC website, I might mention that the first part of the documentary ends in multimedia.html, not multimedia1.html. If you get a “not found” error, try removing the digit.

  9. Living in Ottawa is correct. Removing the digital worked for me. I opened the link in a new window, then changed the url.
    Terribly sad story. Fine young man from a nice family.

  10. Sorry. My typo. I meant “digit” not “digital.”

  11. Are you still looking for bertram?

  12. I may know where he is. He is still in Colorado

  13. You can now view the full documentary at: http://www.cbc.ca/75/2011/10/the-fifth-estate—just-another-missing-kid.html

    I just watched re-watched it via this link. It is no longer divided into two sections, and runs well.

  14. Last time I saw Mr. Davis, he was in Pueblo Colorado.

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