The first disappearance was in March, 1993: a young American woman from New York, 26 years old, named Annie McCarrick. She was living in Dublin, sharing an apartment with two young women, and trying to learn about her Irish heritage.
The last sighting of her was in a pub called Johnnie Fox’s. Her mother and father flew to Ireland in hopes of finding their daughter. They remained in the country for six months before returning home in despair. No trace of their daughter was found.
It might have remained an isolated tragedy, but four months later another young woman disappeared—Eva Brennan, 36. She too had last been seen in a pub.
Over the next five years, more women disappeared—some media outlets cite eight total disappearances while others connect six names to the case. It became clear that all the vanishings happened within a geographical triangle surrounding Dublin. So was born the name ‘Vanishing Triangle’. Dubliners began to fear they had an active serial killer in their midst.
Then, as abruptly as the disappearances began, they ended. The last was in 1998: Deirdre Jacob, an 18-year-old University student home for the summer. Her disappearance was the most mysterious. She was seen moments before she vanished, in broad daylight, just 200 yards from her parents’ front door as she returned to the house.
Over the years, suspicion has fallen on several known and suspected killers in connection with the rash of disappearances. But without bodies or crime scenes, police had little to work with.
One of the chief suspects in the case was a 36-year-old carpenter named Larry Murphy. At the time of the disappearances, he did not have a criminal record. But in February 2000 he was convicted of a brutal rape. He had been stalking a young office worker. As she walked by his car, he hit her in the face and forced her into his trunk. He drove her to a secluded spot and raped her.
Murphy was apparently startled by two men and he fled. His victim survived. She had been abducted inside the area known as Vanishing Triangle.
But there has been no conclusive evidence that Murphy was responsible for the eight earlier disappearances, and all remain unsolved. Although convicted for the rape and attempted murder of the office worker, Murphy was released in 2010, serving only 10 years. Many Irish citizens were alarmed by this, and due to the uproar, Murphy fled the country. He spent years in Spain, but is reportedly living in Cork today.