Harry Weldon Kees
Kees, approximate photo date 1955
Missing since: 07/18/1955
San Francisco, California
Type of missing case: Lost/Injured Missing
Date of Birth: 02/24/1914 (106)
Age at time of disappearance: 41 years old
Height / Weight: Unknown
Other characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair. Kees goes by his middle name, Weldon, and many accounts refer to him by that name. He smokes cigarettes.
Details at time of disappearance: Kees was last seen in San Francisco, California on July 18, 1955. He spoke to some friends on the telephone that afternoon. He has never been heard from again. His 1954 Plymouth Savoy was found on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, with the keys in the ignition, on July 19.
When his apartment was searched, his cat was found left there and there was a pair of red socks in the sink. Kees's wallet, watch, savings account book and sleeping bag were gone. Kees had eight hundred dollars in his savings account at the time of his disappearance and has not withdrawn any money since he went missing.
Prior to his disappearance, Kees was a successful jazz pianist, filmmaker, art critic, and painter he wrote poetry and short stories, and was involved in the Beat scene. He also made experimental short films and wrote the music for short films made by others.
He was born and raised in Beatrice, Nebraska and attended Doane College before transferring to the University of Missouri and then the University of Nebraska. He briefly attended graduate school in Chicago, Illinois in 1935, then moved to California in 1936. At the time of his disappearance, he lived alone in an apartment in the 1900 block of Filbert Street. He was divorced and childless.
Kees had spoken of wanting to take his own life prior to his disappearance. Early in July, he told a friend he had made an attempt, but "I couldn't get my feet over the rail." He had also suggested he might start a new life in Mexico. His disappearance was treated as a presumed suicide, but his body was never found.
Other case information
Agency in charge: San Francisco Police Department
Other information: The Doe Network
The New Yorker
MySpace Page for Harry Weldon Kees
The San Francisco Examiner
The Lincoln Journal Star
The Poetry Foundation
The Dan Wynn Archive
Psychic detective links:
Revised: October 12, 2004. Last updated March 14, 2019 five pictures added, distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.