John Lake
The InvestigationPhotographsThe BookGuest BookResourcesHome


He had dinner with a woman in midtown Manhattan, took her home in a cab, which he then dismissed, and walked down the street toward the subway. He was never seen again.

I was five years old.

I was forty years old when I cleaned the attic of my family’s home and began to learn some of the details surrounding his disappearance, and a great deal about him. A musty box in the attic served as an appropriate emotional metaphor for me: I opened it and dusted off what I knew and how I felt. In the process, I learned a lot about both of us.

The source of all that I had known as a young child about my father, apart from my own random memories as a five-year-old, was my mother. Your father worked in New York City. He was the sports editor of a big magazine. He was an important guy. He’d met Joe Namath, Cassius Clay and Willie Mays. He’d gotten a ride in a race car.

He wrote a book about Jim Ryun, the track star, in which he’d mentioned me in the foreword.

My father was almost a mythical figure to me, but unlike the aforementioned sports legends, most of my dad’s clothes remained in our house in New Jersey, which allowed me the opportunity to spend time in his closet, breathing in his smell, trying to remember him, to pull him back to me through some olfactory voodoo I knew wouldn’t work.

He was gone. After a while, it seemed like he’d always been gone and that I’d always felt sad about it. His absence left me feeling exposed and different. I don’t remember being told he had disappeared; I remember wishing he’d come home.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UPDATE -- These are the opening paragraphs of my book about my father, John Lake. Soon after finding documents and correspondence related to his disappearance, I spent almost a year and a half researching his life and mysterious disappearance, speaking with dozens of friends, family members and professional acquaintances, as well as members of law enforcement, conducting well over 100 interviews in total and immersing myself in hundreds of hours of research.

I came back to the project recently to re-interview several key individuals and rewrite the story, still committed to the unvarnished truth, but focused more now on the actual circumstances surrounding John Lake’s disappearance in detail, rather than simply conducting a start-to-finish biographical accounting. I also spend more time contemplating and sharing what this journey meant to me, as most of what I know about my decades-gone father has come to me recently, as a middle-aged man and father to two children myself.

Happily, I can report that this project has yielded some recent, serious interest from influential folks. A promotional campaign to publicize John Lake’s story will begin in earnest very soon. Please check back frequently for updates, keep an eye on the associated social media resources on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere, and accept my sincere thanks for your ongoing interest and support.

Eric Lake
November, 2015

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *