The Unsolved Disappearance Of Nicholas Barclay (1994) - Shreya Sachdev
DISCLAIMER: No disrespect is intended towards anyone that I talk about on this blog post. This blog post is for educational purposes and is being posted on this website in order to raise awareness about this case and to truly hope that the grieving families and friends of these victims find closure and finally find out what happened to their loved one(s). I have gathered all this information on the internet, but unfortunately I do not know how accurate or inaccurate it is. If I have made a mistake somewhere, then I apologize. It is not my intention to spread false information.
Nicholas Barclay disappeared in 1994 when he was just 13 years old. Nicholas was born in 1980 in San Antonio, Texas. He was born to his mother Beverly, where he was the third of three siblings. Nicholas had an older brother named Jason and an older sister named Carrie. Growing up, Nicholas didn’t have an easy childhood and was said to be a problem child. According to Nicholas’s childhood friend Kevin, these problems began when Jason moved back in to their home. Up to this point, Nicholas and his mother actually got along quite well. However, when Jason moved back in, he brought along his drug addiction and his mother soon became a drug addict as well. Nicholas would constantly abuse his mother, and the police would have to show up at least 2-3 times a month. Nicholas had a juvenile criminal record by the age of 13.
The morning of Nicholas’s disappearance, Nicholas went to play basketball with his friends, and the place that he went to was only a mile away from his home. When Nicholas asked to be picked up later that afternoon, his mother could not do so, because she actually worked a night shift and so she was sleeping in the afternoon. When Nicholas called, Jason was the one who picked up. When Nicholas asked Jason if he could wake his mom up, Jason refused, and this was the last time that anyone has ever heard of Nicholas. When Nicholas disappeared, nobody took it too seriously. Everyone knew that Nicholas had run away before, and that he was a troubled kid and so him not being back on time wasn’t anything that was out of the ordinary. However, the next day, Nicholas was actually scheduled to have a court hearing to see if he could stay with the family or if he had to go to a rehabilitative group for juvenile criminals. They assumed that he was avoiding this court hearing, and this is why he didn’t come back. However, when days passed by and Nicholas still hadn’t come back, the police began to get serious about the case.
Three months later, Jason actually called the police and told them that Nicholas was trying to break into their garage. The police came, but they found no trace of Nicholas or any trace of anyone trying to break into their garage. Jason told police that Nicholas had run away when he realized he had been caught. However, police were suspicious of this and did not believe Jason.
Three years and four months later, Nicholas was spotted in Spain. There was a couple in Spain on a holiday there and they saw him and called the police. Nicholas was completely covered from head to toe. At first, this couple didn’t know if he was Nicholas or not. They wouldn’t tell him anything except for the fact that he had been sexually abused, and that he was afraid.
In the mean time, they put him in a children’s orphanage, but didn’t give up on trying to find out who he was. He finally told them that he was Nicholas Barclay, and that he didn’t remember much from his childhood. They flew Carrie out to Spain so that she could identify him and bring him home. As soon as she saw him, she ran up to him and hugged him and couldn’t believe that it was him. She verified right away that this was her brother. Not everyone was as easily convinced, and Nicholas did have to go through some other verifications in order to make sure it was really him. A judge in Spain gave him five photographs of people from his family, and Nicholas was able to name four out of the five, and so the judge let him go. He also had the same tattoos as Nicholas.
When Nicholas arrived in San Antonio, the reunion between Nicholas and his mother was strange. It had been recorded, and many people say that the look on Beverly’s face was more disappointment than happiness. When Nicholas got back, he didn’t recognize a single person or his home. He could not identify anything, but this was attributed to the trauma he had endured and so nobody thought anything of it. Soon, Nicholas started hanging out with his friends again and even met a girl he liked.
Eventually, Jason came and visited Nicholas. The encounter was again extremely strange, because Jason didn’t even look at Nicholas. Jason simply said “Good luck” and walked away. Nicholas’s family didn’t bring up Nicholas’ past or ask him about any of the trauma he had endured because they thought it would be too hard for him to talk about. However, a woman named Nancy from the FBI wanted to find out what had happened to Nicholas and who had kidnapped him. She brought him in for an interview and the first thing she noticed when she interviewed him was that he did not look 16. He was very tall, and it was clear that he had to shave quite often.
Nicholas told Nancy that he had been taken by high rank officials, and that he had no idea where he had taken them, because they had blindfold him and put him on a plane. They then took him to a room in which there were many other children. He said that every single night, the children were raped by American, Mexican, and European military officials, and said that some of these children were raped more than others. He said that these kids were tortured, and that they had broken his hands. He also said that they would feed him and the rest of the children insects, and that the military officials would put headphones on the children and make them listen to a voice that would say “You are not you” for hours and hours. The last thing that Nicholas mentioned was that they would try and change the identities of the children. When Nancy asked him how Nicholas had been able to escape, Nicholas said that there were two doors and that somehow he managed to get out of both the doors and then just ran after that. Everyone believed Nicholas, because he had the scars to prove it and made it seem as if he really was telling the truth.
A TV show producer found Nicholas’ story to be extremely interesting, and so he decided to hire a private investigator named Charlie to track him down. Charlie finds Nicholas and asks him to do the interview, which Nicholas agrees to. Whilst they are doing the interview, Charlie is sitting in the back and is in a position in which he can see a photo of Nicholas from when he is younger and Nicholas right now. Right away, Charlie knew that there was something that wasn’t right. Not only were his eyes different, but his ears were very different. Charlie said that ears are actually very much like fingerprints, and that everyone has different ears. He takes a photo of Nicholas’s ears before he disappeared, and Nicholas’ current ear shape, goes home and puts them next to each other and the ears are completely different. Right away, Charlie phones Nancy and tells her that this man is not Nicholas. Nancy, however, does not believe him and tells him to not intrude on a federal investigation.
Nicholas soon started school again, and Charlie was trying to find evidence that this man wasn’t Nicholas. In the meantime, Nancy was trying to figure out who had kidnapped Nicholas and where they were. Nancy was also arranging for Nicholas to go to the children’s hospital in Houston because he had been in a lot of trauma and wanted him to see an expert. Bruce Perry was the doctor at this hospital, and he said that as soon as Nicholas started speaking, he knew that something was not right. Bruce said that he didn’t see any physiological change in his body posture, or dilation of pupils, that you would normally expect to see in someone who has gone through something so traumatic. He also said that Nicholas couldn’t speak English without an accent and this told him a lot about Nicholas’ brain development and language. He stated that it is impossible for someone to be raised in an English speaking country for the first 10 years of their lives, and then 8-10 years later not be able to speak English without an accent. From this, Bruce was able to conclude that this man was not American. Thus, this man was not Nicholas Barclay.
Bruce immediately called Nancy up and told her that this man was not Nicholas, and Nancy was immediately in shock. She called Carrie to tell her that this wasn’t Nicholas, and that she shouldn’t pick him up from the airport, because at that moment Nancy and Nicholas were actually going back to San Antonio, and Carrie was planning to pick Nicholas up from the airport. When Nancy and Nicholas reached San Antonio, Carrie was still there waiting for Nicholas and acted as if the phone call between her and Nancy hadn’t happened. However, this is understandable since Carrie had been away from her brother for so long that perhaps she just wanted this man to be Nicholas so badly.
Nancy believed that a DNA test would help prove to everyone that this man really was not Nicholas. However, Beverly completely refused to this and said that she was certain that this man was her son, and that she didn’t have to prove it to anybody. She literally got on the floor and straight up told them that she would not give them any of her DNA. All of this, however, would just increase suspicions. The FBI decided to get a warrant for the blood samples, and literally picked Nicholas up and got his blood and fingerprints. They then just had to wait for the results. In the meantime, Nicholas, or the man pretended to be Nicholas, became very agitated and uncomfortable. He wanted to get out of there, and felt a great deal of pressure.
One day, Charlie and Nicholas decided to have lunch together. Charlie told Nicholas that he was angering his mother, and Nicholas responded by telling him “She’s not my mother and you know it.” Charlie then asked him who he was, and the man pretending to be Nicholas told him everything. He said that his name was Frédéric Bourdin and he was 23 years old. This was confirmed by DNA tests as well. He was wanted by Interpol, because he had been impersonating many minors all around Europe. He said that no tourist couple had ever found him, and that it was actually Frédéric himself. He said that he had a very bad childhood, and he wanted to be somebody else which is why he was always impersonating other children. He loved the idea of being somebody he wasn’t. The reason as to why he was always covered wasn’t because he didn’t want to get caught, but was because he wanted to convince himself that he was a 16 year old teenager.
When Frédéric was taken back to the station, he doesn’t say anything except for the fact that he was American and had been sexually abused. They put him in the shelter, and whilst he was there they couldn’t let the fact go that they didn’t know who he was. They told him that either he would go to prison, or that he would tell them who his parents are and who he is. Frédéric tells them to leave him in this office overnight, and that the next morning he would tell them everything. They agree, and Frédéric spends the entire night calling up different police agencies and telling these agencies that he’s a Spanish policeman and that he has found an American child. He describes himself, and asks if they have any missing people matching his description. They give him the name of Nicholas Barclay and send him an image of Nicholas. Frédéric tells them that this is the child that he has once he sees that it won’t be too difficult to impersonate Nicholas since they do look quite alike, and that’s when Frédéric decides to become Nicholas Barclay.
The station called Nicholas’ family, and this is when Carrie decided to fly out to Spain to meet who she thought was her younger brother. Whilst this was happening, Frédéric had received a colored photo Nicholas and was freaking out, because he realized that he didn’t actually look like Nicholas at all. He decides to run away, but then somebody spotted him and took him back. At this point, Frédéric decides to do whatever he can to make himself appear to look like Nicholas. He dyes his hair, and even gets one of the children at the hospital to give him the same tattoos that Nicholas has.
After all of this, Frédéric finally goes to jail. From jail, Frédéric tells authorities that Beverly admitted to him that Nicholas was dead, and that Jason and Beverly killed Nicholas together. He also said that Carrie had nothing to do with this, but that she did know about it. After this, Beverly had to do a polygraph test, and she ended up passing the first two tests, but failed the third, because she was apparently lying about everything. The person conducting the polygraph asked Beverly “You know where you son is, right?” and Beverly became extremely agitated and ran out of the room screaming. This third polygraph led authorities to believe that Beverly was definitely hiding something. Police also tried to track Jason down, and when they did, he did not want to help them at all. He later died from a drug overdose.
Which theory do I believe?
This case is something that I’ve never seen before. It’s absolutely crazy. I think that it’s interesting how Nicholas Barclay disappeared the day before his court hearing was scheduled. I really think that Jason and Beverly did want Nicholas to go off to rehabilitation group for juvenile criminals, but it looked as if Nicholas was going to get to stay with his family. Beverly and Jason were becoming more and more anxious as the days went by, that they decided to take matters into their own hands and kill him. I think that Jason lied about Nicholas making the phone call, and that it was Jason who took Nicholas’ phone Jason killed him to make the phone call and appear as if it was Nicholas making the call. This also explains why Jason would lie about Nicholas breaking into his garage, since Jason didn’t want anyone to suspect him or Beverly. As far as Carrie goes, I’m not sure what to think. I don’t think that she was involved in the murder, or even knows about Jason and Beverly murdering Nicholas. Perhaps Beverly and Jason tried to tell her, but Carrie did not believe this. In short, Beverly and Jason killed Nicholas, because they were worried that Nicholas would continue staying with them.
Bibliography & Credit: Fiori, Bella, director. WHERE IS NICHOLAS BARCLAY!? YouTube, YouTube, 15 Jan. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YGv8r8jX_U.