[UPDATE: June 10, 2015 — I received a phone call from an old friend of Oscar’s who verified Oscar was having financial trouble in New York City, perhaps with loan sharks, but definitely with credit cards he took out in his wife’s name. Oscar asked his father in Lincoln, Nebraska for a $50,000.00 loan to pay off an “identity theft” debt and was denied. Later, Oscar called his mother the morning he went missing and had her wire $200 to him at a money exchange near Penn Station in Manhattan. The friend believes Oscar used that money to get on a train and disappear — he also believes Oscar is, and has been, dead since that day. Oscar sent three suicide notes, one emailed to a friend, one mailed to his wife and one mailed to his parents. The friend also said there is no way Oscar was Gay or changing sex or is now still alive and playing the role of a woman. The friend is authentic and genuine and caring and provided verifiable facts that no one could know without direct knowledge of this human tragedy. Please use this updated information to color your reading of the rest of this original story published here on May 5, 2014.]
Have you seen this man? His name is Oscar Long. He’s a talented, long-ago, Lincoln, Nebraska friend who went missing in New York City near Penn Station on November 28, 2007. He left behind a wife and child. He has not been seen alive since then.
How is it possible for a 45-year-old man — today, he’d be almost 52 — to disappear into thick air without a human trace or, warrant of being, in the middle of New York City without anyone noticing?
Yes, Oscar had financial problems at the time of his disappearance — some say he owed over $50,000 USD in credit card debt — and yes, he was raised in the Midwest where that sort of trouble can unfairly treble, and scarlet letter you for life, but Oscar lived in NYC where money problems of all imaginations are the basic back-dealing dotage of the day and, frankly, $50k, in the grand scheme of memes, is nothing.
Sexual identity was also scarlet-letter worthy in the Midwest of half-a-century ago, but again, in NYC, nobody really cares about that sort of thing as long as you are able to face the truth of your life and not hide from the reality you create.
I find it hard to grasp that Oscar would harm himself over any sensed indignity of fortune or birth, and he was absolutely too smart, and too tall and tough, to get into a situation from which he could not escape — so my immediate thought, when I first learned of his disappearance years ago — was that Oscar purposefully did not want to be found.
I wondered if his perceived violations of the Midwestern morality that formed him had, perhaps, festered in him — and would not let him rest as he was — so he had to become someone else to survive.
Now, the mind riles with possibilities — and hope! — if Oscar is still alive and not dead.
People go missing every day, but do dead bodies go unfound in the center of New York City for over seven years? My experience tells me, no. Was he kidnapped? Or taken alive for nefarious purposes? Perhaps, but those sorts of abductions are usually youth-centered, or ransomed and, again in my ken, not the fate of middle-aged men.
Oscar was last seen with his wallet and cellphone near Penn Station. Was he hiking a train and running away to Canada or some other wild? Oscar was a man of many faces and talents — he came to NYC as a professional actor. He knows how to disguise himself, mask his intentions, and change his fate.
Is Oscar Long living a new life as someone else and, if so, do those who knew him have a right to know? Do we, who love him, own his life — or does Oscar alone decide his own fate?
Oscar attended Southeast High School in Lincoln. He was great friends with Greg Kubitschek and Mark Renken. I made movies and TV shows with Oscar. Devon Schumacher and Jim Hanna were also friends of Oscar’s and we’re all completely stunned and stumped and mystified by his erasure from the face of our lives.
Here are the vital missing person stats for Oscar Isham Long:
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: November 28, 2007 from New York City, New York
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: July 20, 1962
Weight: 145 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown/Graying
Eye Color: Brown
Distinguishing Characteristics: Light complexion, Scarring on upper chest from severe sunburn shaped in V above shirt collar, sunburn freckles across top of both shoulders, stretch marks from weight loss along sides of abdomen. Bottom teeth slightly crooked.
Clothing: Possibly black T-shirt, gray pull-over fleece sweatshirt, dark blue jeans, brown leather shoes with laces.
Case Number: 8118
Details of Disappearance
On November 28, 2007 at approximately 6:00 AM, Oscar was last known to be in the vicinity of Penn Station in New York City and also was in the area of 181st and Broadway. He was only carrying his wallet and cell (now disconnected). Oscar had been working in real estate and experiencing significant stress due to financial problems. His family members are very concerned he could be a harm to himself.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
New York City PD (34th Precinct)
Oscar, if you’re reading this — we have not forgotten you — and we will not stop searching for evidence of you dead or alive. If you need a rescue, you must float us a clue.
We require proof of life.
If you are alive, but unwilling, or unable, to return to the life you knew that formed you, that’s fine, people change, and the world condemns, but please find a way to get in touch via phone or another form of contact to confirm you are, at least, living, but want to be left alone. Then we’ll stop searching for you, and worrying over your missing corpse, and you may finally rest in peace.
Otherwise, you will never not know being the haunted, because we will hunt you down until we have confirmation of your life or death. It is our moral duty as your friends to do so — because you may be in danger — and you know, in your bones, without a wink of doubt in your sinew, that it is our binding, Midwestern, morality that commands us to never give up on you. That is a blood promise and our death oath.