Randal Paul Gary was a 50-year-old man who lived in Ontario, Canada. Randal had a 26-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, in which he had been divorced for several years.
For many years Randal worked in the hospitality industry, but when he reached his late 40s he decided to train to become a psychotherapist. During the spring of 2003, Gary launched his own psychotherapies business called “Quick Fix.” Despite a slow start, Randal was feeling optimistic about the future of his business.
On May the 7th, 2003, Randal brought 100 advertisement slots on a Toronto radio station to advertise his business.
On May the 9th, 2003, Randal flew from Toronto to Vancouver, British Columbia. It was here that he boarded the cruise ship Veendam. He was taking an Alaskan cruise as a vacation before becoming really busy with advertising his new business back home. Randal had also mentioned to a friend that he hoped to meet a new woman onboard the cruise.
Many customers onboard the cruise ship remember Randal. He had told some that it had been a lifelong dream of his to cruise Alaska. However, when the boat stopped in Skagway and Juneau, towns in Alsaka, Randal did not get off the boat.
Randal only got off the boat in Ketchikan, Alaska. But instead of doing some sightseeing and touring the town, he brought 13 postcards and sent them to his friends and family, with most of the postcards simply saying “Love, Randy” on them.
At 6:19pm that same day, Randal left the ship once again and went back into Ketchikan. He was only gone for 9 minutes before he came back onto the cruise ship. It is not known where he went, or what he did in the 9 minutes he was away from the ship.
After stopping in Ketchikan, on Friday, May 16th 2003, the cruise ship started heading back to Vancouver. The cruise ship was scheduled to arrive back in Vancouver on the morning of Sunday, the 18th of May.
Whilst Randal was on board the ship, he spent a lot of his nights in the ship’s casino, and he would often sleep in late. Randal also kept the “Do Not Disturb” sign on his door during the duration of his trip and the one time he saw a steward inside his cabin, he told the steward to get out.
In fact, because Randal was so adamant that he didn’t want the steward inside his room, the steward had complained to his supervisor because he was not able to carry out his job properly.
On the evening of Friday, 16th of May, Randal eat dinner and then went over to the cruise ship’s casino.
When the time came on Sunday the 18th of May to disembark the cruise ship, Randal was expected to settle his bill of $127 before leaving the boat. However, Randal was nowhere to be seen. A member of the cruise ships team went over to Randal’s room, to find the “Do Not Disturb” sign still hanging from his door.
The member of the crew eventually managed to get inside Randal’s room. They found that the bed looked as if someone had lied on top of it, but had not been slept in. All of Randal’s possessions were still inside the room, including his important items such as his passport, credit cards, driver’s license, cash and even the keycard to get inside of his room.
To add to this, Randal had diabetes. His insulin, along with his blood sugar log, was found in the room. Upon further inspection, they found that the last time Randal had logged his blood sugar was Thursday the 15th of May. There was also a box of viagra in the room, with one pill missing.
There was also an empty bottle of expensive champagne, an empty bottle of red wine, and a half-drunken bottle of rye in Randal’s room. Strangely, there were no drinking glasses found in the cabin.
Crews searched the cruise ship, but no trace of Randal was ever found. As of 2022, Randal has never been found dead or alive, and he has not contacted any of his friends or family.
What makes this case even harder, is that investigators can’t be sure if Randal disappeared on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Investigators think that Randal most likely went missing on Friday night after leaving the ship’s casino.
However, three customers on board the ship said that they saw Randal on Saturday.
One woman said that she spoke to him whilst they were waiting for an elevator. Another person said that they saw Randal talking to a blonde-haired woman at the afternoon tea. Later on Saturday night, an elderly man said that he saw Randal outside of his cabin, and it looked as if two women were leaving his cabin. Randal had his arm around a woman who is described as being in her 30s and having shoulder-length blonde hair.
The women have never been identified.
Investigators have said that they are not sure if the customer accounts are reliable, as people tend to lose track of the days when they are on a cruise, and that they could have seen Randal on Friday instead of Saturday.
It was then also discovered that one of the cabin members entered Randal’s room on Saturday and did a quick cleanup. This could explain why no drinking glasses were found in Randal’s room because they had already been cleaned up. But, if the steward had cleaned his room, then why did they not take the empty champagne and red wine bottles?
It could be that the alcohol was drunk sometime after the steward had cleared the room and that whoever had been drinking took their glasses with them.
The police concluded that Randal Gary was not a victim of foul play, so therefore they did not dust the cabin for any fingerprints. Randal’s family were upset with the response from the Vancouver police, as not only did they not fingerprint the cabin, but the police also took no photos of the inside of Randal’s cabin.
There are a few theories as to what could have happened to Randal Gary.
One theory is that Randal threw himself overboard to commit suicide. Randal’s friends and family say that this is not what happened, as Randal had no history of mental illness, and he did not appear to be suicidal. Randal was also very much looking forward to running his new business back in Ontario, and he was optimistic about the future. Furthermore, if he did want to commit suicide, he could have easily overdosed on insulin rather than jumping into the freezing ocean.
There is also a theory that Randal accidentally fell overboard, perhaps his blood sugar was too low and he became disorientated and accidentally fell over the railings. However, Randal’s family say that he was always extremely careful with his diabetes and that he didn’t drink alcohol so there was no chance of him becoming drunk. Investigators also examined the ship’s railings, and they said that because they have been designed to be considerably difficult for anyone to go overboard.
Another possibility is that Randal is still alive, and he chose to disappear. Shortly before going on the cruise, Randal had told a friend about a fantasy he had which was to leave his old life behind and start again somewhere new. After his disappearance, Randal’s family discovered that in 2001, Randal had won $150,000 in the lottery, but he did not tell anyone.
The lead investigator said that the one part of this disappearance that he can’t stop thinking about is the 9-minute trip off the boat in Ketchikan. 9 minutes is not a very long time to be able to do anything on the port, however, there was a payphone close by that Randal could have used. If Randal did call someone in those 9 minutes, who did he call? And what was the call about?
It is speculated that if Randal Gary left the cruise ship alive, he could have gone to Arizona. Randal had told several friends that he had the desire to move there. Randal also made a few trips to Arizona around the same time he won the $150,000.
Randal’s family are also convinced that it was not him who drank the alcohol that was found in his room. They say that he hated champagne, and would not have been drinking it. On top of that, Randal was allergic to rye, so there is no chance that he would have drunk that.
Randal’s family think that he possibly met with foul play, and they believe that at least one person on the ship knows what really happened to Randal.
If Randal is still alive, he would be 69 years old.
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