Real Name: Glen and Bessie Hyde
Case: Mysterious Disappearance/Unidentified remains
Date: November 18, 1928
Location: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Details: Glen and Bessie Hyde were married in Twin Falls, Idaho on April 10, 1928. He was twenty-seven, while she was just eighteen. In the fall, they built a boat for a special honeymoon adventure: a trip down the Colorado River to California. Glen was an experienced river rafter who wanted to set a new speed record for traveling through the Grand Canyon, which would have put Bessie in the book as the first documented woman to do so.
During their trip, they visited an experienced river rafter in Utah. He told them that the boat they had built was not safe for their trip. He was especially concerned about them not taking life jackets. However, his concerns fell on deaf ears. They took twenty-six days to get from Utah to the Bright Angel trail in the heart of the canyon. They were last seen on November 18; two days earlier, they were photographed by Emery Kolb at his studio and home near the rim. He was well known in the area and had documented the canyon extensively.
When they visited him, Bessie had grown tired of the river trip. He tried to warn them of the dangers ahead. He asked them to stay with him through the winter and wait until the weather improved. He even offered them his life jackets, however, Glen refused all of his offers. Adolph G. Sutro was one of the last people to see them.
When they failed to reappear by December, a full search was made for them, led by Kolb. Their boat with their supplies fully strapped in was found around River Mile 237. Everything appeared to be intact. There is evidence they made it as far as River Mile 225 where they may have made camp. Their bodies were never found, but it is possible they were lost around River Mile 232.
In 1971, a woman claiming to be Bessie appeared on a commercial rafting trip. Toward the end, the rafters made camp at Diamond Creek. This was the same spot where the Hydes' boat was found years earlier. That evening, a river guide told their story. The woman then revealed her "true" identity. She said that she had a fight with Glen down the river. He wanted to complete the trip, but she did not. After he beat her, she retaliated by stabbing him to death and disposing of his remains. Interestingly, she was of the right age that Bessie would have been at that point. However, she later recanted this tale.
In 1976, a male skeleton was found on Kolb's property and was believed to be Glen's. It was given to forensic anthropologist Dr. Walter Birkby. He determined that it belonged to a male Caucasian, twenty to twenty-three years old, 6'0", with light brown hair. He also discovered a bullet embedded in the skull. It was .32 projectile that came from a revolver manufactured in about 1902. The production date of the gun and clothing fragments found with the skeleton suggested that death occurred in the 20s.
There was a theory that Kolb had murdered Glen so that he could be with Bessie. However, it seemed unlikely that he would keep Glen's remains with him. Dr. Birkby superimposed a photograph of Glen over the skull to precisely compare bone structure. He determined that it was of a different shape then Glen's face. He pointed out several discrepancies: the eye orbits were angled differently; the cheeks were wider; and the shape of the chin was different. Based on this examination, Dr. Birkby was certain that the skeleton was not Glen's.
So far, no one is exactly sure what happened to the Hydes.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on Special #4 on November 29, 1987. It ranks as one of the most remembered ones in the series.
Results: Unsolved. When famous river-runner Georgie White Clark passed away in 1992, many believed she was actually Bessie, especially since items of theirs was found in her possessions. However, it has been noted that they didn't even resemble each other and it's more likely the items were souvenirs. Furthermore, Clark's early life was well-documented. To date, the case remains a mystery, although most assume that they died accidentally.
- Glen and Bessie Hyde on Wikipedia
- Glen and Bessie's cases on the Charley Project
- What Really Happened to Glen and Bessie?
- The Mysterious Case of the Newlyweds Who Vanished in the Grand Canyon