George Corbett out of my life


Today I packed up all of George Corbett’s papers (including the developed photos) and sent them off to FOUND Magazine. I never heard back from him or his wife about claiming the stuff, and I was sick of having it around my apartment. So maybe the good folks at FOUND will find some use for it. (By the way, if you’re wondering who the hell I’m talking about, click on the link to “George Corbett” in my user tags, and you’ll be able to read all my previous posts about the stuff.)

George Corbett exposed


As with many real-life “adventures” this one seems to be coming to an anti-climactic conclusion. When I wrote about George Corbett in May we all had fun imaging the lurid details behind the stuff I found, especially the photos in the camera. Then when I heard from George’s wife last week, I found that he was fine and his car had simply been broken into. Now I’ve got the photos back from the shop, and as much as I wish there was some juicy stuff to report, that’s anything but the case.

The 15 pix I got back from the unfinished roll seem to be of a family get-together, with various family members in posed and candid shots. Here’s a typical one: (Ignore the date on the pix; according to the camera, today’s date is January 7, 1994 – the damn thing is obviously busted.)

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Nice looking family. Other pix show a young boy, some men in their late teens/early 20s, a woman in her 30s, and an older guy. Nothing that really communicates much about the personality of the shooter, although this one tells me George may be a leg man…!

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There is also a bunch of pictures of a wall of family photos, including some vintage faded wedding pix from what looks like the late 1960s or early 1970s. Finally, there’s a photo of a car on what looks like a New York City street. But no, it’s not the street on which I found the camera and notebook and no, there’s no reflection of an axe murderer in the car window.

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I wish there was more to share, but there just isn’t. The most frustrating thing about all this is none of the pix seem to be of George himself, so I still don’t know what he looks like. He remains an enigma. And he still hasn’t called me to arrange picking up his stuff.

George Corbett update


Back in May I wrote about the mystery of George Corbett. Since I had exhausted all other options, I was encouraged to develop the film in his camera to see if it yielded some clues. I finally got the chance to drop off the film last Friday, but before I got a chance to pick up the developed photos, I got a phone call. From George Corbett’s wife! Seems one of the telephone numbers I found in George’s notebook actually had gotten through, to a decaying answering machine which the Corbetts finally listened to.

Mrs. Corbett was very grateful that I had called them. She told me George’s jeep had been broken into that fateful night on Grand Army Plaza, and I had recovered what the thieves left behind. I felt bad that I had developed the film, but she wasn’t concerned. Now I can return the camera, the notes, and some photos.

The only thing is she told me that George himself would call me back to arrange picking everything up. That was four days ago, and I haven’t heard from him. Does he exist or not? The mystery deepens.

Tonight I’m going to pick up the developed pix…

Where Have You Gone, George Corbett?


About a month ago, on a misty night, Sari & I were taking Plaza Street East on our way back home from Park Slope. As we walked along, I spotted something strange. Lying there on the trunk of a car was a Canon Sure Shot (in a vinyl protective case) and a bunch of papers. Going up to investigate, we discovered the camera contained a partially shot roll of film and, among the miscellaneous papers, newspaper clippings, and bank receipts, a little red notebook. The items obviously hadn’t been there for long, because it being so windy and wet, they were still relatively dry and undisturbed. But there was literally no one else around.

Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued by the mystery. Had someone been mugged, and the contents of their bag dumped there by the thief? Or was there another reason for their abandonment on that particular street, that particular car? We decided to gather everything up and try to return them to the rightful owner. Leafing through the papers and the notebook, we determined that they belong to a guy named George Corbett. Unfortunately, everything in the little collection is almost three years old, with the most recent dates being late 2002. There are a couple of contact numbers in the notebook, but two of them are out of service, and the third has an automated message which has so far not resulted in anyone calling me back. Other papers point to Corbett being a resident of Valley Stream, but none of my Internet searches have revealed any such person.

Besides the mystery angle, I find a certain connection to Corbett because he was such a pack-rat. I mean, he’s got old horoscopes, coupons, notes on napkins, index cards — a guy after my own heart! I wanna do the right thing and reunite George with his stuff. I know if I were him, I would want it back.

But this is were it gets creepy: from what I’ve been able to piece together, back in 2002 George was in school, at Nassau Community College. His major? Mortuary Science! So what’s next? The obvious, right? Develop the pictures in the camera. But you just know they’ll reveal something grisly. I’m not sure I wanna know.

Where’s a good private investigator when you need one?