Missing Kenley: Acadia student's mysterious disappearance has not been forgotten

Wendy Elliott
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An American filmmaker wants to document the life and disappearance of Acadia University student Kenley Matheson, who hasn't been seen in 21 years. - File

By Wendy Elliott



Kenley Matheson has not been forgotten

Fundraising for a documentary film to look at on the still unsolved mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Acadia University is underway.

“Missing Kenley, first and foremost, will be a documentary on the Kenley Matheson case,” filmmaker Ron Lamothe says. “All of the details surrounding his disappearance—and the subsequent investigation—will be re-examined, and every theory as to what happened to him will be thoroughly explored.”

The film will also delve deep into Kenley’s full life story and the memories of him shared among family members and friends.

Sept. 20, 1992, two weeks into his first semester at Acadia University, Matheson disappeared without a trace. There were no witnesses. There were no suspects and no leads. To this day investigators - from local police and the RCMP to private detectives hired by the family - are stumped by this 21-year-old cold case.

Now Lamothe, a Massachusetts documentary filmmaker, wants to create a documentary on the case. The film will delve into the two “gap years” he took before enrolling at Acadia. Kenley spent time in British Columbia planting trees and traveled into Central America. 

Lamothe is raising production funds through the web site Kickstarter.

Read his pitch for donations here.

He needs to collect $78,000 before Dec. 4. if this mark isn’t raised before December 4, all pledges are cancelled and the film will not be funded.

“There are simply no foundations to approach,” he says. Monies will be used to pay for production personnel and travel expenses.

 “This is a really difficult piece to raise money for, it’s not a humanities project or on a political or social issue, it’s on a 21-year-old cold case that few people outside of Nova Scotia have ever heard of, so that’s a tough one,” he said. “Thankfully, with this new platform, this crowdsourcing site Kickstarter, we can raise money through private donations and that gives us the potential perhaps if we’re successful in entering production and hopefully telling the story and perhaps uncovering some new evidence and new answers that might ultimately solve the mystery as to his disappearance.”


According to Lamothe, Kenley’s family fully support the film. He spent a few days this past spring with Kenley’s mother, Sarah, and his sister, Kayrene.

“Ultimately, in terms of my own commitment, and hope for the film,” Lamothe notes, “it is that in making this documentary new evidence, and new answers, might come to light— evidence and answers that could help finally solve the mystery of missing Kenley.”

This documentary is being sponsored by the Filmmakers Collaborative, a non-profit organization established in 1987. It has been involved in more than 200 media projects.

An independent documentary filmmaker and historian, Lamother revisited the travels and legacy of Chris McCandless in Call of the Wild. In addition to his filmmaking, he is an assistant professor at Lesley University.

With files from the Cape Breton Post.




Name: Kenley Matheson

Age: 20 (when last seen)

Hometown: Glendale, Inverness County

What Happened: Acadia University student disappeared on Sept. 21, 1992.

  Read more about Kings County's cold cases. 



Organizations: Acadia University, RCMP, Lesley University Cape Breton Post

Geographic location: Kenley, Massachusetts, British Columbia Central America Nova Scotia Glendale Inverness County

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Recent comments

  • L K Tucker
    November 25, 2013 - 15:27

    There is a long list of these students. There are currently three Canadian engineering students missing. A fourth was located in Texas with no plausible explanation of why he wandered that far. A small number of them recover and return in altered mental states to suggest what is happening. It's a little known problem engineers found when it caused mental breaks for office workers in 1964. ___ Subliminal Distraction is a normal feature in everyone's physiology of sight But everyone aware of it believes it can only cause a harmless temporary episode of psychotic-like confusion. Students who spend long hours concentrating to study where there is movement in peripheral vision create the "special circumstances" to cause exposure. Because of the way your brain deals with the vision startle reflex subliminally, the movement does not have to be human or alive. Almost any detectable movement will do. Remember the case of 14 Ontario elementary schools with bizarre behavior after Wi-Fi was installed so computers could be used anywhere in classrooms? That was Subliminal Distraction. __ Pictures taken to illustrate the stories in Canadian media show students sitting in each others peripheral vision, using computers, without peripheral vision blocking protection. Low level exposure causes less severe psychiatric symptoms.