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10 Weird Disappearances and Deaths of Whistle Blowers

by Steve Etherwood
fact checked by Rachel Jones

Whistleblowers are seen in a variety of ways, depending on your perspective. A whistleblower is a person who gives information about illegal or immoral activities that they may have witnessed or are aware of. Throughout history, there have been many important whistleblowers. Frank Serpico, a New York City police officer, exposed several officers and his department for acts of bribery and corruption. The movie Serpico (1973) is based on his experience as a whistleblower.

While Serpico went down as a hero, other whistleblowers have received very different treatments, and many whistleblowers throughout history have mysteriously disappeared. Below, explore 10 weird disappearances and deaths of whistleblowers.

Related: Top 10 Historical Disappearances With Modern Developments

10 Ross Alderson – B.C. Casino Whistleblower

W5: Investigation of money laundering at B.C. casinos

The first whistleblower on our list is an Australian living in British Columbia, Canada, named Ross Alderson. Alderson was previously a director of anti-money laundering investigations at the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC). He was one of the people responsible for monitoring and stopping money laundering schemes in the Canadian province.

Alderson worked for the BCLC as an investigator for seven years, from 2008 to 2015. He then became the director and worked in that position until he resigned two years later, in October 2017. Documentation shows that Alderson had repeated concerns about laundering in casinos. As Alderson became a more senior member and eventually became the director of the BCLC, he began to experience health issues.

Despite these health issues, Alderson seemed willing to help with a Commission of Inquiry in British Columbia in late 2019, even calling it “necessary” and saying he was “willing to help.” However, Alderson has not responded to a summons to attend the Commission. He spoke with the media in February 2019, was summoned to attend the Commission of Inquiry, and has not responded.

Alderson’s failing health was certainly a concern with such a stressful job. Some colleagues even suspected that he might be suffering through some mental health concerns. The fact remains that Alderson cannot be found. Whether he moved back to Australia, dodged the Commission, or something more sinister happened, we may never know.

9 Alberto Nisman – Argentine Lawyer

Who Killed Alberto Nisman? – In Search of Truth in Argentina

Former lawyer Alberto Nisman is another whistleblower who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Nisman was an Argentine attorney who specialized in international terrorism. He was reported dead in January 2015. He died of a gunshot wound, and authorities ruled his death a murder. However, Nisman was already well known throughout Argentina before his death.

The largest bombing in Argentina’s history, the AMIA bombing, happened in 1994. From the blast, 86 people were reported dead, and more than 300 were injured. The Argentine government investigated the AMIA bombing itself for ten years with no clear conclusion. Then, in 2004, Alberto Nisman was placed in charge as the prosecutor. So began contentious litigation between the attorney and the Argentine government. Nisman was certain that there was a cover-up.

One day before Nisman’s death, he filed a complaint accusing many top Argentine officials of concealing information. The officials included the president and the Minister of Foreign Relations, among other important government employees. According to the complaint, Nisman believed that the president, Cristina Fernandez, had intentionally silenced witnesses and avoided investigating locals who may have been responsible in some way for the attacks. Nisma intoned that the Argentine government had deliberately obstructed the investigation to maintain diplomatic relations with Iran and Syria. The following day, Alberto Nisman was found dead in his home.

8 Fang Bin – COVID-19 Whistleblower

See Inside COVID-19 Hospital, Filmed By Wuhan Resident, Later Confronted By Police | NBC News

Fang Bin is an example of a modern whistleblower. Bin was a reporter and whistleblower based in Wuhan, China, who filmed and broadcast images and videos on social media showing the first stages of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a citizen of Wuhan, Fang Bin saw the early infections and how quickly the virus was spreading. He also saw the number of deaths. Apparently, he also noticed that the Chinese government was not transparent about the situation.

It seems that Bin’s first video upload was in late January 2020. His videos were uploaded and viewed with interest around the globe. About a week later, on February 1, 2020, Fang Bin was arrested for the first time. This was after he shared a new video. This video showed soldiers piling corpses into a van in front of a hospital in Wuhan. Police arrested Bin that same evening.

Bin was later released late on February 1, 2020. However, this was not the end of his troubles with the Wuhan police. Bin released more videos, including one showing the police coming to his door. His final video shows a piece of paper with the words “Resist all citizens, hand the power of the government back to the people,” according to Wikipedia. This was his last public appearance, and he has been missing since then.

7 Serena Shim – ISIS Whistleblower

Mystery over US journalist death in Turkey: Accident or Murder?

The next whistleblower was a Lebanese-American journalist reporting in Turkey near the border with Syria. Serena Shim was working for Press TV at the time. Shim had reported that ISIS agents were being taken across the border into Syria from Turkey.

The political implications of this report were huge for Turkey. This made Turkey look like they were harboring terrorists and secretly supporting ISIS. Following her report, the Turkish government claimed that she was a foreign spy. Shim denied these reports and said, “I am very surprised at this accusation. I’ve even thought of actually approaching Turkish intelligence, and because I have nothing to hide, I’ve never done anything aside from my job, and I’d like to make that apparent to them. However, I am a bit worried because, as you know, and as the viewers know, Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists. So I am a bit frightened about what they might use against me.” According to Wikipedia, she made these comments on October 17, 2014.

Shim was killed in a car crash two days later under suspicious circumstances. Shim was only 29 years old at the time of her death.

6 Val Broeksmit – Deutsche Bank Executive

Inside Deutsche Bank – With Val Broeksmit

Val Broeksmit is the son of a former executive of Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank is an international bank based in Germany. Upon the unexpected death of his stepfather (Bill Broeksmit) via suicide in 2014, Val Broeksmit received documentation and emails from Deutsche Bank.

Broeksmit shared much of this documentation. He was contacted by the federal authorities, including the House Intelligence Committee, to investigate Deutsche Bank, which they suspected of money laundering connected to Russia. Through Broeksmit’s cooperation and investigation, Forensic news reported that Deutsche Bank America received a deposit of $330 million from a bank connected to the Russian intelligence service. That is a bit suspicious.

Broeksmit was last seen in April of 2021. Authorities found his car running with the keys in the ignition in South Los Angeles the next day. While we do not know that his disappearance is due to his whistleblowing activities, it is certainly a weird disappearance.

5 Haywin Strydom – 28s Gang Whistleblower

George “Geweld” Thomas’ sentencing a victory for SAPS

Gangs in Cape Town, South Africa, are extremely dangerous. The 28s Gang is one of the most well-known and lethal in the country and was led by George “Gewald” Thomas.

When authorities arrested Thomas, he was charged fifty-two times, including attempted murder, weapon charges, murder, and more. The trial lasted over four years. Many witnesses in these cases are frightened to speak out, worried that they may face the consequences. One witness, however, Harwin Strydom, was willing to speak.

Unfortunately, before Strydom could come to trial, he was gunned down in November 2008. Before his untimely death, with almost his last breath, Strydom spoke out and identified his killers as “Geweld’s Henchmen.”

Unfortunately, this was not the first time Thomas had silenced potential witnesses. Strydom’s bravery allowed the South African government to convict the gang leader, and Thomas is currently serving seven life sentences and another 175 years in prison, according to

4 Frederick Valentich – UFO Whistleblower?

The abduction of Fred Valentich

The next whistleblower on our list is less traditional. Australian pilot Frederick Valentich was only twenty years old and still learning to fly. On Saturday, October 21, 1978, he was flying over Australia. While flying, Valentich reported to Air Traffic Control several disturbing things. He first said that an unidentified craft was following him. After being told there were no aircraft in the area, he described the aircraft. He reported seeing green lights and thought the other aircraft might have deliberately played with him.

The last thing that Valentich said was, “It’s not an aircraft.” Following this, he and the aircraft disappeared. Search and rescue efforts continued until October 25, when authorities abandoned the search.

Many potential explanations for what happened to the young pilot abound, but none have been proven. Some suspect Valentich lost control of the plane and flew upside down without realizing it. Others suspect that he staged his disappearance for media attention. However, there is little evidence to support either theory. Still, others think that extraterrestrials actually abducted Valentich.

3 Charles Horman – Chilean Coup Whistleblower

Was U.S. Journalist Charles Horman Killed by Chile’s Coup Regime With Aid of His Own Government? 1/2

Charles Horman, an American journalist and documentarian who was reporting on the political climate in Chile. He reported on an attempted coup involving the United States government in the early 1970s.

Eventually, the military coup did occur. Horman was detained and arrested by soldiers from the Chilean army six days later. Many suspect that Horman faced torture and interrogation during this time. Eventually, it came to light that he was executed on September 19, three days after his arrest.

Horman’s case has generated much interest and is still being investigated today. Some people suspect that the United States government knew of his arrest and allowed his execution to occur. is still investigating his mysterious death and seeking justice.

2 Dr. David Kelly – WMD Whistleblower

Blair’s Iraq War and the Death of Dr David Kelly (2003)

Dr. David Kelly was employed as a weapons inspector and expert for the British government in 2003. In the interview with BBC journalist Andrew Gilligan, Kelly revealed that the British government had found no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. According to Gilligan, Dr. Kelly was an anonymous source, and Gilligan never revealed his identity.

Due to pressure, Kelly revealed himself as the source of the leak to his superiors, though he thought he was not the only one. Shortly after, someone leaked Kelly’s name to the media, and he received unwanted media attention. Two days later, on July 17, 2003, Dr. Kelly’s body was found in his home. His left wrist had been cut, and his autopsy revealed that he had taken 29 Coproxamol tablets (a painkiller). Authorities ruled his death a suicide, but the circumstances are certainly suspicious.

1 William Morgan – The Freemason Whistleblower

William Morgan (Part One): The Vanishing of William Morgan

William Morgan was born in Virginia in the 1770s. There is no complete record of his younger life, but Morgan married in 1819. He and his wife moved to Canada with their two children, and Morgan started a brewery. After a fire destroyed the brewery, the family returned to the United States.

Upon returning to the States, Morgan attempted to access the Freemason society. He claimed to have been a part of the secret society in Canada. However, local Freemason lodges were not willing to allow him to join. After many attempts to join up with the Freemasons, William Morgan announced he would publish a book detailing the secrets of the Freemason society, to be named Illustrations of Masonry.

Following this announcement, Morgan faced the consequences. The Freemasons are a secret society that does not want their secrets revealed. Police arrested Morgan on theft charges, and there was an arson attempt on his newspaper business. Eventually, Morgan disappeared.

He was never seen after this disappearance. There are theories, including that he was tossed into the Niagara River, Freemasons paid him to leave the country, or he committed suicide. William Morgan is an early example of a whistleblower who disappeared under weird and mysterious circumstances.

fact checked by Rachel Jones