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

Wendy Elliott welliott@kingscountynews.ca
Published on November 24, 2013
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.