Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
368 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
August 2016
Print ISBN: 9781551309309
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Uniting the voices of twenty-two experts from academic, government, and civil sectors who study and help search for missing persons in Canada and internationally, Derek Congram’s new collection responds to growing public awareness of persons who have disappeared due to armed conflict, repressive regimes, criminal behaviour, and racist and colonial policies towards Indigenous persons and minority populations.

Missing Persons centres its attention on the people who seek others, and explores how scientists, law-enforcement agents, and researchers serve and relate to those who miss. This multidisciplinary volume both attends to the varied circumstances of disappearance and illustrates how disparate contexts connect, making for a valuable comparative resource in criminology and forensic anthropology, science, and psychology classrooms.

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor Emeritus Dr. Mark Skinner
Foreword by Dr. Marie Wilson, Commissioner


Introduction: Missing Persons and Those Who Seek Them: Questions of Perspective and Place
Derek Congram


Chapter 1: Perspectives on the Missing: Residential Schools for Aboriginal Children in Canada
Alex Maass

Chapter 2: Absent Bodies, Absent Knowledge: The Forensic Work of Identifying Srebrenica’s Missing and the Social Experiences of Families
Sarah Wagner and Rifat Kešetović

Chapter 3: The Missing Files: The Experience of the International Committee of the Red Cross
Shuala M. Drawdy and Cheryl Katzmarzyk

Chapter 4: From Mass Graves to Human Rights: The Discovery of Forced Disappearances in Contemporary Spain
Francisco Ferrándiz and Emilio Silva Barrera

Chapter 5: Psychosocial Perspectives on the Enforced Disappearance of Indigenous Peoples in Guatemala
Mónica Esmeralda Pinzón González

Chapter 6: Collection, Curation, Repatriation: Exploring the Concept of Museum Skeletal Populations as Missing Persons
Janet Young


Chapter 7: When X Doesn’t Mark the Spot: Historical Investigation and Identifying Remains from the Korean War
Michael R. Dolski

Chapter 8: Psychosocial Aspects of Interviewing and Self-Care for Practitioners
Vedrana Mladina

Chapter 9: A Review of Research into the Spatial Behaviour of Murderers and Implications for Investigations Involving Missing Murder Victims
Samantha Lundrigan

Chapter 10: Mapping the Missing: A New Approach to Locating Missing Persons Burial Locations in Armed Conflict Contexts
Derek Congram, Arthur Green, and Hugh Tuller

Chapter 11: Leading Change and Innovation in Missing Person and Unidentified Remains Investigations in Canada
Carole Bird

Chapter 12: Missing in the US-Mexico Borderlands
Robin Reineke and Bruce E. Anderson

Chapter 13: The Evidentiary Value of Cultural Objects from Mass Graves: Methods of Analysis, Interpretation, and Limitations
Ariana Fernández Muñoz and Derek Congram

Chapter 14: Farm to France: The Identification of Canada’s Missing Winnipeg Soldiers from the Amiens Battlefield
Laurel Clegg

Afterword: The Interconnectedness of Missing Persons as a Problem and as a Solution
Derek Congram, Luis Fondebrider, and Eleonor Fernández

Contributor Biographies



“Derek Congram has created an important resource for methodologists, applied researchers, and students alike. This well-written edited volume provides coverage of a number of important issues relating to missing persons who may have been victims of criminal acts. Its breadth and scope and the variety of data explored will provoke both thought and emotion. This text helps us think more clearly about important issues in relation to people who go missing in areas such as armed conflict, repressive regimes, and mass fatality incidents, as well as the dedicated effort to find and identify their remains.”
Dr. Karen Shalev Greene, Director of the Centre for the Study of Missing Persons, University of Portsmouth

“This book’s multidisciplinary perspective makes it a valuable reference for anyone interested in the study of the missing and disappeared. The integration of multiple perspectives, contexts, and methods in this text is refreshing, and the chapters on Canadian contexts remind us that we have our own sad history of missing individuals, many of whom remain yet to be found and identified.”
Dr. Anne Keenleyside, Faculty of Anthropology, Trent University

Missing Persons provides multi-dimensional perspectives on the missing, examining the viewpoints of the relatives of the missing, of society as a whole, and of the scientists who search for the disappeared. The contributions from international experts exemplify issues surrounding family support, trauma, and the identification of the deceased. The case studies, which span different geographical areas and chronological periods, bring a message of hope in their portrayal of the many efforts to find the missing and bring them justice.”
Dr. Nicholas Marquez-Grant, Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology, Cranfield University

Student Resources

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