As for the rest of us, the fact that Richey was obviously planning something with his money withdrawals and clues left behind points to another conclusion. His friend and journalist Caitlin Moran summed it up quite nicely:
Richey was one of the most possibly the most intelligent people I have ever met.... For months before his disappearance Richey had been obsessed with the Perfect Disappearance - people who sucked themselves out of their social circuit and were never seen again. He bought dozens of books and studied the subject very carefully.
A Word to the Wise: Stay Away
- Caitlin Moran
Over the past two decades, sightings are rare, but do occur. Throughout the early 1990s, people reported seeing Richey in Berlin and Poland. His dissertation had been written about the Holocaust and his interest in the subject had continued (there were two songs about it on The Holy Bible). It was theorized that maybe he was touring concentration camp sites.
Another came from New York City, though that was never fully confirmed.
The most famous, and apparently credible, glimpse of Richey came in November 1996, when a music teacher from Swansea thought he saw him in Goa, India. Vyvyan Morris reported sitting down in a cafe, when he noticed a young man at the table opposite. The dark-haired individual looked 'out of it'. He was wearing a kaftan and had matted hair.
Mr Morris thought that he knew him from somewhere, but couldn't work it out. The second that he did, he looked up to find his potential Richey boarding a minibus. Mr Morris immediately asked a local if he knew the man. The answer: yes, it was Rick, who'd been hanging around for about eighteen months.
Once the story became public, Richey's sister Rachel revealed that the family had heard of other sightings in Goa before this one.
The Metropolitan Police followed up the lead, but again drew a blank.
Exactly two years later, a British barmaid named Tracey Jones, working in the Underground club in Corralejo, Fuerteventura, thought that she may have served Richey Edwards a drink. In October 2004, a Manics fan named Lee Wilde believed that he might have spotted Richey on Famara Beach, in Lanzarote.
Since Richey went missing, the Manic Street Preachers have continued to put aside a quarter of their earnings in a trust fund for their errant guitarist. It was eventually accessible by his family in 2008, when they finally declared him legally dead. But that was only to be able to sort out his financial estate. Rachel still publicly maintains that her family believes him to be alive.
Twenty years on, it's possible that we'll never know for certain.