I think I had a dream about Lee Cutler.
Well, it was probably more an ambient feed, since I sleep with the t.v. on a lot and they've been rerunning the Lee Cutler episode of Disappeared a lot on there.
I was looking at a couple different sites last night to try to find any updates on the case. Another episode of Disappeared ends joyfully with discovery of the missing woman and her reconciliation with her family--she was found by a helpful stranger. She was found on a website bearing her name followed by "dot com." I kid you not. Her parents were of another generation and didn't realize they could have avoided all those drives to other states, all those expensive private investigators, and many of those sleepless nights---if they had simply consulted the great Oz, Google!
But with Lee Cutler, it's just so sad.
I found a site where most of the postings were from 2007, when his disappearance (October 20th) was still fresh, and the school year was still underway, and many of the postings were (allegedly and credibly) by friends, neighbors, girlfriends or girls that had crushes on Lee.
It was horrible to see the effect this had on his Mother, in particular, and the clips in which she pleaded for him to return were pretty unbearable.
Most moving was one article where she talked about ID filming this episode of Disappeared, and how the show had found a look-alike to portray Lee in re-enactments, and how she would watch this young actor lying on the lawn reading a book, and feel such yearning because it really appeared her son had returned and was just doing what came natural to him.
It was terrible to see how many people missed the kid and how it had impacted so many people in ways he probably never anticipated (he was a very kind, warm kid that would hate that).
The episode of Disappeared really tries to make the point that Lee faked his death and is out there somewhere living a new life incognito (he'd be twenty or twenty-one now).
I hate to say it, but I think the kid is in the river.
Here are the reasons why I believe Lee Cutler is dead.
1. The police insisted they "would have found him" had he been in the Baraboo River, even though they searched a small section of the river and surrounding area for a very brief time and online it says this river occupies the equivalent of 614,000 acres and is known for its rapids.
2. The show tried to softpeddle the fact that Lee's pants and belt were found in the river by saying these articles of clothing were found "on a log beside the river," implying this was an attempt to fool searchers. All newspaper reports I found online said these articles of clothing were found in the river on a branch that had emerged when water levels dropped. I believe the belt had been removed from the pants. For those suspecting foul play (sexual predator or something along those lines) it should be pointed out that Cutler wore pants two sizes over his actual size so these would have slipped off easily in the water. They said on the show he would always just step out of his pants, belt in place. And if the belt was removed, perhaps Cutler stripped naked before entering the water or wandering off elsewhere. This was late October in Wisconsin, so water temperatures would have been pretty unforgiving to a human body.
3. The huge bottle of Advil PM was empty, with the exception of one pill that lay nearby. One doctor said 10 to 15 pills would be a fatal dose, although that sounds low to me. But if the entire bottle had been consumed, we would be talking many times that dosage--and there was the Coricidin box as well (but I don't think the show stated whether any of them had been consumed, or if the box had even been opened). If so, these would have induced a hallucinogenic state.
4. The note found read completely like a suicide note. The note apologized for being a "coward," and clearly beseeched forgiveness from his mother and begged her to be happy. The show tried to reinterpret the crushing pathos of this note and put a positive spin on it, but it read exactly like a final goodbye. The first line of the note read, "My head is too big for my body."
5. Lee Cutler had made an abortive suicide attempt (at school) in the previous year, and had been hospitalized against his will as a result. This had resulted in tension, when his mother would not sign him out.
6. The night before he disappeared, he frantically texted a number of friends from a friend's house where he was sleeping over. These messages contained sentences like "I can't communicate" and "I am antisocial" and other messages which pointed to exaggerated and cruel, scathing self-judgment.
7. He left his beloved yarmulke on the ground beside the Baraboo river. He was a devout Jew (he had even founded a youth group that was still ongoing) and scholar of his religion and would not have left this.
8. His favorite books were left in the trunk of his abandoned car.
9. The last images of Cutler are of him purchasing the medications in a Madison, Wisconsin WAL-MART. He is alone and he leaves there and drives to Kettle Moraine State Park, visits this and then leaves to ultimately end at the roadside pull-off by the Baraboo River. Most likely he was scouting a place to end his life and found this park unsatisfactory for some reason (perhaps there were too many people around, or perhaps people are rounded up and chased out after sundown?)
10. Lee Cutler (by all accounts) was loved by a great many friends, and was always the one to try to cheer people up and amuse them. The idea that he would simply leave and allow all these people to suffer is extremely unlikely. The only possibility for this, I believe, would be if he were to enter a fugue state or suffer amnesia, which again would be an extremely unlikely occurrence, as he seems to have been very directed and aware of what he was doing during the last days of which we have any reconnaisance.
I find the theory that he went to Israel and joined the army (the IDF) extremely unlikely as well (this is the last theory upon which the show speculates).
I hope I am wrong. I really do.
But the theories of flight as opposed to suicide seem much less tenable and not consistent with this kind young man's character.
I noted his Mom even used the past tense in describing him in one part of the interview. It was rather telling. I got the impression that she knows in one part of her brain, but the rest of her brain is telling her it's not ready to "go there" yet.
Would I bet my life that he's in the Baraboo River?
No. Life is often stranger than fiction.
Maybe he's living a Martin Guerre existence somewhere, making somebody missing something very happy.
And I want to believe he's alive.
But the show overplays the arguments in favor of this, when the grim facts all seem to point unilaterally towards a young man's feverish drive away from and out of the very fact of his existence.
And the biting irony of a show like this is: everyone who watches this can see how much this person meant to so many people....only he could not...the horrible blinkers depression puts on you for the final horse race...