Joseph Laurence Halpern

Halpern, circa 1933

  • Missing Since 08/15/1933
  • Missing From Aspen, Colorado
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 09/11/1910 (113)
  • Age 22 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'8, 165 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A light blue shirt or a white shirt with blue stripes, light brown pants and heavy shoes or mukluks. He usually doesn't wear a hat.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Halpern's right eye is crossed and he has a slight scar above it. His nickname is Teacher and he may use the alias name Louis Hollenbuck. Halpern is fluent in French and German. He is a non-smoker.

Details of Disappearance

Halpern was last seen hiking near Taylor Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park on August 15, 1933. He had gone camping in the region with a friend. He began hiking up Taylor Peak alone, carrying an Army knapsack. He has never been heard from again.

Halpern's friend notified authorities when he failed to return from his hike. In the days that followed, a snowstorm hit the area. An extensive search of the mountains turned up no sign of him.

Following Halpern's disappearance, there were unconfirmed sightings of him all over the country: in Phoenix, Arizona in December 1933; traveling with the Civilian Conservation Corps near Alliance, Nebraska in May of 1935; and traveling with the Lewis Brothers Circus in Detroit, Michigan in the summer of 1935. None of these reports were ever substantiated.

Halpern was a graduate student at the University of Chicago at the time of his disappearance, and had a summer job at an observatory in Wisconsin. He's talented in mathematics, chemistry, astronomy and chess.

Authorities are no longer actively investigating Halpern's case due to the passage of time, but they have taken DNA from his relatives to identify his body if it is ever located.

Investigating Agency

  • Colorado Bureau of Investigation 303-239-5764
  • Glendale Police Department 303-759-1511

Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 2, 2012; middle name spelling corrected, distinguishing characteristics, clothing/jewelry description and details of disappearance updated.