Richey James Edwards Dies

Richard James Edwards (born 22 December 1967, presumed deceased on or after 1 February 1995) was rhythm guitarist and lyricist of the alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers, from Blackwood, Wales.

He was known for his politicized and intellectual song writing which, combined with an enigmatic and eloquent character, has assured him cult status. Edwards vanished on 1 February 1995. He was declared presumed deceased in November 2008. The ninth Manics album Journal for Plague Lovers, which was released on 18 May 2009, is comprised entirely of lyrics left behind by Edwards.

Edwards disappeared on 1 February 1995, on the day that he and James Dean Bradfield were due to fly to the U.S. on a promotional tour. In the two weeks before his disappearance, Edwards withdrew £200 a day from his bank account, which totalled £2800 by February 1. He checked out of the Embassy Hotel in Bayswater Road, London at seven in the morning, and it has been proven that he then drove to his apartment in Cardiff, Wales. In the two weeks that followed he was apparently spotted in the Newport passport office, and the Newport bus station. On 7 February, Anthony Hatherhall, a taxi driver from Newport, supposedly picked up Edwards from the King's Hotel in Newport, and drove him around the valleys, including Blackwood (Edwards’ home as a child). The passenger got off at the Severn View service station and paid the £68 fare in cash.

On 14 February, Edwards' Vauxhall Cavalier received a parking ticket at the Severn View service station and on 17 February, the vehicle was reported as abandoned. Police discovered the battery to be flat, with evidence that the car had been lived in. Due to the service station's proximity to the Severn Bridge (which has been a renowned suicide location in the past) and Edwards' depressed state at the time, it was widely believed that he took his own life by jumping from the bridge. Many people who knew him, however, have said that he was never the type to contemplate suicide and he himself was quoted in 1994 as saying "In terms of the 'S' word, that does not enter my mind. And it never has done, in terms of an attempt. Because I am stronger than that. I might be a weak person, but I can take pain."