September 20, 2012 Issue


Farrer vanished 10 years ago this week

Dear Editor:

It has been 10 years since Louisville resident Bill “Bo Peep” Farrer vanished, seemingly without a trace. Aside from a deathbed confession or an attack of conscience, it is likely that the disappearance of the man who never met a stranger will remain a mystery.

Like hundreds of you, I was there each day during the first three-week search, during the second search in December and a third in January 2003. Many of you took vacation days or lost pay because, like countless others not at Rocky Comfort Creek, you wanted to know what happened to the man who had befriended so many people.



Though I did not, could not, include in the stories I wrote the hundreds of comments and concerns expressed during those searches, I still remember them to this day. And I remember the looks of bewilderment, even disbelief, at what we saw unfolding. The fact that Bill was never in the water was abundantly clear after the blackwater divers from Tennessee finished their work, and before the creek was diverted and drained.

I’m not writing to rehash the events of the fruitless searches. Those can be reviewed in the archives of this paper. A lengthy compilation story, photos of the search site and other documentation pertinent to the case can also be viewed under the missing persons section of www.questionsunanswered.com

I am writing to say that I believe there is much more to the story of the disappearance that can only be described, by any estimation, as mysterious. Whether deliberate or unintentional, I believe Bill Farrer was the victim of foul play.

I say this because I do not believe that Bill simply walked far enough away to commit suicide so that his remains would not be found later by searchers in the immediate area or by hunters further away from Rocky Comfort Creek. Then as now, I find the suicide theory to be more convenient than plausible.

The question in the minds of some of us is whether Mary Baker, Ike Farrer and Joe Farrer, their families and the community will ever know the truth. That truth is wrapped in silence, both along the banks of Rocky Comfort Creek and inside the walls of Bill’s home.

Time passes. Months turn into years, and years into a decade. I can’t help but wonder how long it will take for those who know more than they’ve been willing to admit to shed light on this tragedy. What was the price for their silence? What is the price of a clear conscience?

Ben Nelms
Peachtree City


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