Island Crime’s ‘Gone Boys’ podcast features five missing Island men

Former CBC producer Laura Palmer now hosts a podcast which focuses on crimes on Vancouver Island. (Submitted)

Former CBC producer Laura Palmer now hosts a podcast which focuses on crimes on Vancouver Island. (Submitted)

When Laura Palmer was working on the first season of her podcast Island Crime, she focused on the disappearance of Lisa Marie Young, a 21-year-old Nanaimo woman last seen leaving a house-party in the summer of 2002.

The result was quantifiable.

“Fresh witnesses came forward about Lisa Marie Young’s case. New searches were done. The RCMP thanked me for drawing new attention to the case,” Palmer said.

SEE RELATED: Case of missing Vancouver Island woman inspires new true crime podcast

The situation left her wanting more from her podcast.

I noticed people asking questions online, ‘Where are the missing men? Why isn’t anyone talking about the missing men?’” she explained. “People were noticing that there were men going missing and staying missing. And they wondered why there wasn’t more attention being paid to the cases. And people were asking if there might be a connection between some of the cases.”

She knew what she had to do.

”The true crime genre is largely focused on women as victims,” Palmer explained. “In my second season I wanted to shift the narrative to a focus on men. More men go missing than women in Canada, and the men are more likely to have their cases unresolved.”

Season two of Island Crime was born with the hope she could help to move these cases forward as well.

Island Crime: Gone Boys features the cases of five Vancouver Island men: two from the Cowichan region, two from Port Alberni, and one from Campbell River.

It was a big chunk to bite off.

Palmer looked at the cases of Duncan’s Desmond Peter and Ian Henry, Port Alberni’s Daniel MacDonnell and Brandon Cairney, and Campbell River’s Kelly McLeod.

“I actually wanted to focus on Everett Jones as well,” Palmer said of a third missing Duncan man. “But at the time I was gathering interviews, his mum was in the hospital and his auntie told me she was the only family member who spoke about Everett, so I wasn’t able to tell his story in the series.”

The Vancouver Island-based podcaster said most missing people cases are resolved quickly.

“I wanted to look at cases where there had been no resolution for more than a year and where there was no obvious answer as to what might have happened to them,” she said, for example, “not a case where someone was last seen on the side of a fast flowing river.”

Palmer’s investigation found some curious trends:

The men were all living with some measure of disability or trauma.

The men were known to spend time alone.

Most of the men walked or rode their bikes on the highway.

Some were involved in the drug scene.

Two of the men worked at Providence Farm.

Three of the men had connections to the Port Alberni fish plant.

Two of the men knew each other.

Two of the men were from Cowichan Tribes, she said noting that there are currently more than two Cowichan Tribes members missing but she could only focus on two.

With the Island Crime: Gone Boys season now downloadable, Palmer will set her sights on another Island mystery.

I’ve been approached by a number of families who would like fresh eyes and more attention to their loved one’s stories,” she said. “I always try to explore social context for the disappearances. I choose stories which enable me to dig into issues as well.”

Season three will be published in the fall of 2021. Meanwhile check out Island Crime: Gone Boys at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

missing personPodcast

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Island Crime is a podcast hosted by former CBC producer Laura Palmer. Season two: ‘Gone Boys’ features five missing Vancouver Island men. (Submitted)

Island Crime is a podcast hosted by former CBC producer Laura Palmer. Season two: ‘Gone Boys’ features five missing Vancouver Island men. (Submitted)

Just Posted

The old Yount school in Youbou has stood empty for years, but now a group has plans to turn it into a mixed-use property with affordable housing and tourist services. (Submitted)
Group sets sights on tranforming old Yount school property in Youbou

School District 79 has already commenced a process to sell the school through a formal proposal call

North Cowicha to extend the time lines of its official community plan update. (File photo)
North Cowichan to extend time line of OCP review

Municipality also adds $55,000 to OCP budget

Cowichan Capitals’ Logan Rands digs for the puck along the boards in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ zone midway through the third period of their BC Hockey League game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Cowichan Capitals pick up first two wins of BCHL season

Brockman, Moffatt both up to four goals on the year

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Police surround building as homeowner held in apartment by adult son

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Eight-year-old Piper and her family were raising money to help Guinevere, the bearded dragon, get a gynecological surgery. Sadly, the reptile didn’t survive the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Lizard fails to survive surgery, GoFundMe dollars help Langley family offset medical bills

Guinevere, a pet bearded dragon, underwent an ovariectomy on Tuesday

A driver stopped by Saanich police following a road rage incident on April 15 was found to be impaired, in violation of a license restriction and in a damaged vehicle. They received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound. (Saanich Police Traffic Safety Unit/Twitter)
Road rager fails breathalyzer on busy B.C. highway in vehicle he shouldn’t be driving

Saanich police say man was operating vehicle without required ignition lock

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)
Family fights killer’s release from Vancouver Island prison

Shortreed serving an indeterminate sentence at William Head Institution

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

Most Read