Lewis Barrett Welch, Jr.
Missing since May 23, 1971 from Nevada City, Nevada County, California
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: August 16, 1926
Age at Time of Disappearance: 44 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 6'0"; thin build.
Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Brown hair.
Medical: Lew had been drinking heavily and was depressed before his disappearance.
AKA: Lew Welch
Circumstances of Disappearance
Welch was last seen around Nevada City, California on May 23, 1971. On that date, he was staying with fellow poet, Gary Snyder, at Gary's house. Welch walked out of Snyder's house in the mountains carrying a revolver. His body was never found.
Snyder found a suicide note from Lew that said: "I never could make anything work out right and now I'm betraying my friends. I can't make anything out of it - never could. I had great visions but never could bring them together with reality. I used it all up. It's all gone.
Don Allen is to be my literary executor- use MSS at Gary's and at Grove Press. I have $2,000 in Nevada City Bank of America - use it to cover my affairs and debts. I don't owe Allen G. anything yet nor my Mother. I went Southwest. Goodbye. Lew Welch."
Welch was part of the "Beat movement" of the 1960's, along with fellow poets, Philip Whalen and Gary Snyder.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Nevada County Sheriff's Office 530-470-2400
NCIC Number: Not Entered
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
Lew Welch - Poems and Biography by AmericanPoems.com
Lew Welch - bio and inks