“They’re saturated with the vampire trappings,” he said. “Posters from the vampire films adorn the walls, and the films themselves are projected continuously on high screens. The mortals who come are a regular freak show of theatrical types-punk youngsters, artists, those done up in black capes and white plastic fangs. The Vampire LESTAT by Anne Rice
I’ve looked at many missing persons’ cases, but Susan Walsh’s is no ordinary one. Susan had a troubled childhood, but aspired to be a poet and a writer. She slipped into addiction in her younger days and supported her habit as a stripper. She paid her way through college by dancing and graduated in 1988. Her real career was writing.
Susan got sober, then married and had a son. According to a friend, Melissa Hines, “Susan loved her son very much and she was always there for her son. The two things that meant a lot to her were her son and her career as a journalist.” (unsolved.com-From the Unsolved Mysteries show starring Robert Stack)
As usually happens, Susan’s writing jobs couldn’t cover the bills. Tragically, she returned to stripping, and “the subterranean culture of sex and danger.” Susan increasingly hated this line of work, but could earn enough money to finance her life dream, working as a writer. As fortune would have it, Susan snagged an internship with an ambrosial New York rag, The Village Voice.
Her research skills were superb, but the topic of choice may have sowed the seeds of her demise. She may have probed too far in her research. She was investigating the sex industry, and she uncovered foul play; Susan noticed that Russian mobsters were seemingly forcing young immigrant women to work in strip clubs. And yes, as virtual slaves.
It is common knowledge that this is happening today, but in 1996 this was revelatory. And we don’t know just how far Susan took this. Did she get names, addresses and even ‘talking’ confessions from some of these poor women victims? This is dangerous, getting too close to the Russian Mob! The Village Voice did publish her article, but this only made Susan all the more paranoid.
I have not been able to find Susan Walsh’s article on the internet. I’m sending out a plea for the Village Voice to once again make this groundbreaking article available for the public! It would be nice if we could have access to her notes and research materials as well. Yes, the trail is cold, fourteen years, many have died by now, but precious clues may be contained within these recherche documents.
Unbelievable as it sounds, for her next assignment, Susan decided to investigate a cache of ‘Vampire Clubs’ that were springing up in the Greenwich Village area. Once again, Miss Walsh threw herself into the assignment with everything she had. Started asking lots of questions to these “Goths,” who dressed themselves up in black-hooded attire. A fellow writer saw the forbidden path trodden on by a zealous Susan Walsh.
“She believed a lot of the things that these guys were telling her, about how there were secret murders and so on and so forth in the vampire world. She would come and say to me, ‘I met these two guys and they got this van and it’s very scary and I don’t know whether I should go in their van.’ So I said, ‘Hey look, don’t go in the van, because they might not be vampires, you know.'” (Unsolved Mysteries-ibid)
Unfortunately, The Voice never published Susan’s article on the Vampire World, which Susan seemed to have channeled so successfully. One would hope that The Voice will reconsider publishing the Walsh piece on this real look into these ‘Vampire Cults’ that are exceedingly popular even today. Perhaps this is due to the Twilight movie craze
Susan returned to dancing and tragically slipped off the wagon, after 11 years of sobriety. She began drinking and taking tranquilizers (I’ve heard, she was taking Xanax). I might add, she was a manic depressant, and stopped taking her medication during this time.
Her last hurrah was the excellent primary research that she did for a book, Red Light: Inside The Sex Industry by James Ridgeway and Sylvia Plachy. At a publisher’s party, James Ridgeway noticed that her wrists were bandaged. He voiced concerns about her drug and alcohol use that had resurfaced lately. Had Susan attempted suicide? Or had she attended a vampire ritual where blood was drawn? Just speculating, but how did she sustain these injuries to her wrists?
Theories regarding her disappearance vary wildly. Some believe she dropped out willingly, in order to evade those who were following her. Someone had been following her, according to her friend, Melissa Hines. Others believe she may have ODed on drugs. Many of the girls in the clubs believe she was killed by the Russian Mafia. I favor this theory.
My sole purpose in recapping the disturbing case of Susan Walsh is to keep the case alive! I’m calling on those in the media with more clout than me to please publish and broadcast Susan Walsh’s story again. People like John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted, Jane Velez-Mitchell from CNN ‘s Issues. Michelle Sigona’s International Crime Wire, maybe even The New York Times, and of course, The Village Voice should reprint her articles.
The Unsolved Mysteries feature on the most intriguing case of Susan Walsh.
*(WARNING-this tape is fragile and the sound quality is poor- a plea for a revamped edition!)