Identified! FL - Big Cypress Natl Preserve, Male Hiker, Denim & “Mostly Harmless” Jul'18 - Vance Rodriguez #5

Thank you for the heads-up. Maybe it will be worthwhile... I'm still a bit unsure.
I agree. He was a regular dude from Louisiana who of his own choice lived estranged from family in another part of the US. He worked and battled his longterm mental illness and just happened to die on a hiking trip and nobody knew it was him.
A million other UID cases, some way more spectacular than him, and there are no documentaries.
I hope the documentary shows how bad doxxing the family is instead of blaming them (for what?).
 
This Variety article tries to spell out what the documentary is about.

Gillespie: To me, the story was never about him. It was about what his story meant to other people. And it’s a story about finding yourself when you’re looking for somebody else. There are a lot of people, overwhelmingly women, who are finding purpose and identity in (internet detective work). Many of the people you see in the film might not have been afforded the opportunity to lead or feel powerful in other spaces in their lives. This internet sleuthing world and the true crime community is a way for them to reclaim that agency and try to do something good for people.
 
This Variety article tries to spell out what the documentary is about.

Gillespie: To me, the story was never about him. It was about what his story meant to other people. And it’s a story about finding yourself when you’re looking for somebody else. There are a lot of people, overwhelmingly women, who are finding purpose and identity in (internet detective work). Many of the people you see in the film might not have been afforded the opportunity to lead or feel powerful in other spaces in their lives. This internet sleuthing world and the true crime community is a way for them to reclaim that agency and try to do something good for people.
It seems like an oversimplification that internet detectives following MH's trail did so to find purpose and their own identity to reclaim agency. Either that or it's a bit too lofty a premise.

The documentarians kind of gloss over the fact that the reason MH created a connection with internet sleuths the world over, is that he was so different than thousands of other UID's. He had hundreds of interactions with people while hiking, spending the evening with them, eating with them and most importantly, having his picture taken with them or by them. He left a pictural essay of his life as MH.

He never seemed to overtly hide his true identity, especially since there seemed to be a subculture amongst those who hiked the trail often; that the AP allowed them to leave their regular identities behind and claim an alter ego. In that, he wasn't unusual. What was unusual was that he started out a virgin hiker, carrying too heavy a load and as the hike grew longer his load became less. And he became less, too. We see the slow unraveling of his physical health yet no fellow hikers mentioned that.

I think a lot of people, myself included, romanticized MH's persona and his unknown quest. I don't mean in the pedestrian way of romance but more in the way an author can get us into the head of the protagonist. There's an unbelievable sadness to the chronicle of MH because we were able to track his destination to his demise without ever really knowing the Why. The Who became irrelevant and the Why became the focus. His ultimate outing as a disturbed individual who was emotionally and physically abusive yet could play an epic rendition of Nothing Else Matters on the piano without any fanfare keeps him an enigma to me.
 
It seems like an oversimplification that internet detectives following MH's trail did so to find purpose and their own identity to reclaim agency. Either that or it's a bit too lofty a premise.

The documentarians kind of gloss over the fact that the reason MH created a connection with internet sleuths the world over, is that he was so different than thousands of other UID's. He had hundreds of interactions with people while hiking, spending the evening with them, eating with them and most importantly, having his picture taken with them or by them. He left a pictural essay of his life as MH.

He never seemed to overtly hide his true identity, especially since there seemed to be a subculture amongst those who hiked the trail often; that the AP allowed them to leave their regular identities behind and claim an alter ego. In that, he wasn't unusual. What was unusual was that he started out a virgin hiker, carrying too heavy a load and as the hike grew longer his load became less. And he became less, too. We see the slow unraveling of his physical health yet no fellow hikers mentioned that.

I think a lot of people, myself included, romanticized MH's persona and his unknown quest. I don't mean in the pedestrian way of romance but more in the way an author can get us into the head of the protagonist. There's an unbelievable sadness to the chronicle of MH because we were able to track his destination to his demise without ever really knowing the Why. The Who became irrelevant and the Why became the focus. His ultimate outing as a disturbed individual who was emotionally and physically abusive yet could play an epic rendition of Nothing Else Matters on the piano without any fanfare keeps him an enigma to me.
Agreed, as a journalist who's covered lots of homicides, missing persons cases and the occasional unidentified remains case, the plain old facts first drew me in. With all the photos that poured in of him, the case should have been solved in days, not years.
 
The documentary has just been announced in the UK. In the comments on one of the articles, someone made the link that Mostly Harmless was from Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and was a categorisation given to Earth.
Edited to add, having read more, I am not convinced.
 
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New Article


The sinister true story of the 'Mostly Harmless' hiker: Inside wild mystery of man who was found DEAD in the woods with NO ID weighing just 83lbs - and the years-long hunt by internet sleuths to unmask his real identity​

  • The body was discovered in a yellow tent at a National Preserve in Florida in 2018
  • He was found with no wallet, phone or ID and it took two years to crack the case
  • The hiker was later unmasked as Vance Rodriguez - a 44-year-old from Louisiana

 
I realize I'm just yelling in the wind trying to chastise the Daily Mail, but this article lifts whole paragraphs of my work.

I knew something was wrong with that article. It was the first Daily Mail article I've read that was factual. You could always contact her through X and let her know she plagiarized your work.
 

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