New book claims Manic Street Preachers' Richey Edwards planned his disappearance

(Image credit: Ian Dickson/Redferns - Getty)

A new book about Manic Street Preachers’ Richey Edwards is set to go on sale later this week, which claims the guitarist planned his disappearance.

Withdrawn Traces: Searching For The Truth About Richey Manic was written by Sara Hawys Roberts and Leon Noakes with the full co-operation of Richey’s sister, Rachel Edwards.

Edwards disappeared on February 1, 1995, with it assumed he’d taken his own life, after his abandoned car was found at the Severn Bridge. However, a body was never found and he was officially declared ‘presumed dead’ 13 years later.

But according to Wales Online, the publication will shed new light on his disappearance – and suggests he may have even moved to Israel.

The website reports that the book has been pulled together with testimony from his friends, the guitarist’s diaries, his essays and letters, and explores new evidence which has come to light. 

That includes reports that some members of Richey’s family had also disappeared, that he had taken an interest in books which included the subjects of disappearance and a life in exile – and meeting “a mysterious woman in Whitchurch Hospital who later left for Israel... and how, in his last weeks, he spoke of wanting to go to Israel even acquiring tattoos that pointed towards this.”

Author Roberts adds: “There was another book, a book of poetry by Hart Crane. There was a poem called Exile, with the page turned down. That was another. 

“There were a couple of books like that and it did feel odd that he would turn the pages over on ones that were about disappearance or exile. It did feel quite leading in a way.”

As for the reasons behind the book, Roberts concludes: “We wanted people to do their own research as well and look into it more and look for clues and to give their opinion.

“We want to celebrate Richey and have people take a renewed interest in the case.”

Withdrawn Traces: Searching For The Truth About Richey Manic will be published on January 31 via Virgin Books.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.