Missing Dr Williams

01:43, Jan 31 2009

Williams syndrome was first recognised by New Zealand cardiologist Dr J C P Williams while he was registrar at Greenlane Hospital in Auckland.

He noticed that a number of children coming in for heart surgery also had other similar features.

They were very sociable and chatty, suffered from varying degrees of mental disability and were somewhat undersized. After being given the go-ahead to do further studies, Dr Williams published a paper on the subject in 1961.

He was offered a job at the Mayo Clinic – a practice and research Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, USA, in 1964 – but he failed to appear.

The job was subsequently given to someone else and Dr Williams then went to work in London.

The Mayo Clinic again offered him a post, and again Dr Williams didn’t show. Then he simply disappeared. A suitcase was left unclaimed at a luggage office in London and was never collected.

One report has Interpol tracing him to Salzburg, but his family never heard from him again.

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