Thursday 7th December
On Thursday 7th I picked up a message from Stephen on the answer machine. It would have been evening time in
To: firstname.lastname@example.org From Maureen Bennett
Subject: Steve Bennett-missing person
Mailer: Apple Mail (2.752.2)
My son is stranded in Panaji. He is in fear of some people he met at
Baga beach and has removed himself to Panaji. He has left his
belongings and passport behind at Baga. I gave him the address of the
British Tourists Assistants office (13-14
Panaji, telephone 0243 8734), but their office would have been closed
at that time of night. Yesterday I received a mumbled message from
him saying he is at 101 Blacio ... and that he was very worried. We
could not hear the rest of the address. I have heard nothing since then.
I am now worried for his safety. Is it possible to identify the rest
of the address he gave and a telephone number. Perhaps he has
contacted your office. Could you possibly contact the British
Tourists Assistants office and check whether he managed to get there
yesterday? We have tried to ring but cannot get through. My son's
name is Steve Bennett, aged 40.
Thanks for your help
Later that day Stephen telephoned. He said he now had his passport and money, but he could not explain how he had got them back. I am positive he did not return to Bagga from Panaji. It is my belief that his abductors gave him these items and let him think he was now free. So who checked him out from his room at
The only other interpretation is that he returned to Baga Beach and the address at Baga is this address ‘101 Blacio …’ (or Blagio) that he quoted. This would mean he was abducted at this stage.
He said he had been travelling with two men who were ‘far too friendly’, and he seemed to have travelled with them for some distance. They had told him they were going to Bombay to see a firework display and to visit a firework factory, but Stephen did not believe this as the display they were talking about had already taken place (or was not due to take place at the time they said). He was worried because they chatted to him in English in a friendly style, but were punctuating this chat with discussions in a local language that sounded like they were working out how to do something. He felt their talk to each other sounded menacing.
He said he had asked someone else about these fireworks and their story did not match up with the dates. He seemed to be in a garage, or bus station or public place, perhaps using a public telephone. At this point he thought he had might have managed to ‘lose’ these people, but he may have been trying to comfort me. I told him he must be suffering from paranoia, but he was adamant that he was not and the danger was extremely real.
He said he would try to get to
Stephen told me that the telephone number for the Tourists Assistants Office had not worked. I then asked him to repeat the address he had previously left on our answer machine, and he spelt out the word ‘Blagio’ but I still could not hear the final part of the address (as he was no longer staying there I did not think it important). I had by this time sent the above email to the BCA so I gave him their telephone number and address and told him to contact them straight away. I begged him to return to
He told me to contact the company who had sold him the flight to
The flight booking was recorded on my email address. I telephoned the company rep, Lara Smith. who told me he could go to the airport on Saturday morning and report to the Olympic desk, and they might get him on to the flight that afternoon. The booking reference for his flight to
Stephen would never contemplate committing suicide. He had children and numerous animals. He is the type who would write millions of letters about anything going on in his life, and would discuss everything at great length. His main problem was his propensity to talk to everyone, including to complete strangers, and he told people his whole life story.
It would have been totally out of character for him to do this without leaving dozens of letters. (I was constantly rebuking him for this trait). It would be totally out of character for him to do this at all, as he would considered this a cruel act. My son was definitely murdered.