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Another View -- Gloria Tafralian Wilson: My father 'disappeared' 50 years ago, and I still miss him

October 24. 2013 9:14PM

Dear Dad,

It's been awhile. Actually, 50 years since you "disappeared" on July 10, 1963. Mom was visiting Patty and me in California and you were to join us to celebrate the adoption of your first grandchild. You never made it. The police have always suspected that you met with "foul play," a euphemism for murder that somehow tries to make it a more gentle act. I believe you met a very violent death.

At the time of your disappearance and roughly a decade later, there were attempts by various law enforcement agencies to locate and recover your remains. On Oct. 4, 2013, another attempt was conducted by the Bedford Police Department. Based on a theory from a former detective with the Manchester Police Department, it was believed that you might have been buried in a car submerged in Patten Brook. You cannot imagine how hopeful I was that this time I would be able to bring you back to Oregon with me to be buried next to Mom. No vehicle submerged in Patten Brook was located.

There is so much I want to tell you. All the things you missed out on through the years. Our beloved Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007. They are in the World Series again this year. You took me to my first game, and I remember eating my first Fenway Frank with you. I will never forget that day. GO SOX!

You were not a great fan of President Kennedy and said so in a Union Leader letter to the editor early in 1963. I know you would have been saddened to learn that he was assassinated just four months after your own murder. Computers now fit in the palm of your hand, and telephones take pictures. The average price of gasoline in 1963 was 30 cents a gallon. That same gallon now averages around $3.39. Neil Armstrong was the first astronaut to walk on the moon in 1969, and there are robots wandering around on Mars gathering data as I write. The list is endless.

Your daughter, my sister Patty, died just four short years after you. In a deep depression and never fully coping with your death, she took her own life, leaving behind her two young children, Adam, 5, and April, 3. Then Mom passed away in 1972. Her death certificate did not mention that it was mostly from a broken heart from losing her husband and daughter in such tragic circumstances. Her great and loving Irish spirit could not overcome her grief.

As for me, I continued to date the jazz drummer you warned me about in my last letter from you. Dad, you would have loved him as much as I still do. Oct. 5 marked the 50th anniversary of our first date. We've been married 42 years and have three children, all given Armenian names: Haig, Siranoush and Aram to honor our Armenian heritage. Aram has a son named Kapriel, who is following in his great-grandpa's footsteps. At 15 he is an extremely precocious multi-instrumental musician with perfect pitch. His first instrument is the piano. I have your piano. You would be so proud.

To the readers of this letter, I write with the deepest sorrow that we have not been able to locate the remains of my father, Alexander Haig Tafralian of Manchester. There is someone out there, even after all these years, who knows about his murder and where his remains are. For the sake of decency and justice, I beg you to please come forward with information that will lead to locating my father and allow me to bury him next to my mom. I need to be able to say goodbye and end the pain and grief of not knowing. I was 21 when my father was murdered. I turn 71 soon. It is time.

Anyone with any information regarding my father's disappearance, please contact Det. Sgt. Michael Monahan of the Bedford Police Department at 472-5113 or

Gloria Tafralian Wilson lives in Oregon.

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