Talk:Helpline: Do you know this pianist?

Active discussions


It would be especially good to have a picture for this article. The first source cited has a picture, but no information as to whether it may be used. Uncle G 04:59, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

  • I believe the police released a photo yesterday to the media (in general) so I suppose any news media should be allowed use it (althought the one im talking about is not the one in the first source - I think I saw it on BBC or RTE News...) → CGorman (Talk) 19:16, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I've seen the NMPH picture on several articles (which I didn't use as sources, since they all had pretty much the same copy, with slight distortions here and there). The BBC picture (see the second source) is different, but I suspect that that might be the BBC's own. Is there a way for us to get hold of the picture that the police released to the press? Uncle G 20:59, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Aaargh! I was thinking of ABC as the different picture, not BBC. The BBC picture is the NMPH picture, of course. Uncle G 21:38, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

A TV screenshot was uploaded and labelled for deletion soon after.
A swiss news article gives as source "". Whatever this means it is not the internet domain name used by "Scotland Yard". Perhaps someone was just joking. Local british police authority resources don't seem to have that picture. -- Thoken 10:33, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

I think I know himEdit

I've sent in leads today to the UK authorities on this matter as I strongly believe he is an acquaintance of mine. I won't give many details here, but he's in his mid-20's, and has lived in the Dallas area and spent some time in the Louisville area. He's half-British, half-Italian, and when I knew him, he was a budding actor. I hope my leads will help in this case... and I am very saddened and shocked today over this. Stevietheman 17:43, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Wow! If anything is confirmed would you please give us a few quotes or titbits of information - it is a very said case, so I don't wish to be insensitive to you Steve or your friend - but anything you could tell us would be fantastic (as you can see I believe you, your wikipedia user page gave me the impression that your telling the truth). → CGorman (Talk) 19:19, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
As soon as I get any confirmation, I'll bring it here, although I want to keep any info I release within ethical bounds. I don't want to hurt this person. I have to admit I am not yet "100% positive" it's him... it's just a very strong feeling at this time. Stevietheman 19:23, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Since the authorities haven't gotten back with me, and after further examination of the pictures leaving me much more convinced it's who I think it is, I'm debating whether I should go ahead and give Wikinews the scoop, if only to help this person get identified more quickly. I'd rather trust Wikinews than the national news media. Any thoughts? Stevietheman 20:08, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
I will go ahead and release info as coming from one source, a Wikinews contributor. I will back up my news with what I believe is good visual evidence. Stevietheman 20:46, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
Thank you very much, i've gotta go at the moment, but if you need any assistance regarding our wikinews ways just give User:Amgine a shout, he'll help you at the drop of a hat. → CGorman (Talk) 20:49, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

I released the info, as I am now fully convinced this person is Mr. Betts, and it has been several hours since I reported the information to authorities. I reviewed the pics from the news stories, and the resemblance is too similar to not be Mr. Betts. One feature that is unmistakable is the shape of his chin. And for me, that nailed it.

My reporting the story here is only an attempt to help Mr. Betts become identified and get back with his loved ones. I do not trust the regular U.S. media to handle this appropriately, so I posted it here. Stevietheman 20:57, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

I also need to say that I provided some additional more personal information to the authorities, but I do not feel it is appropriate to release it to any news source. Stevietheman 20:59, 17 May 2005 (UTC)


I've just started adding all the corroborating information I can think of to back up my ID of Mr. Betts. It's on the Notes page.

  • I've just remembered that the person I knew was roughly 5'10" but the person found in England was reported to be 6'. Either that means I'm mistaken in my belief, or the person's height was measured with his dress shoes on. Recall that he was found wearing a suit and tie, and I assume, dress shoes to go with them. Stevietheman 22:07, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
    • One of the things about the "cite your sources" policy is that it allows readers to trace information. By comparing sources it can be seen who has quoted AP, who has quoted The Telegraph, who has quoted others; and how the facts have varied from report to report. (The exact length and content of the first piano playing session varies, for example. "several hours" per the BBC; "two hours" per Associated Press and The Telegraph; "hours" per FOX News. I'm trying to find where it was yesterday that I read "exactly two hours".) We aim to tell our readers where we got our information from, but it's worth being a reader from time to time. Only one source even mentions the man's height, and it isn't the NMPH. As a reader, do you therefore trust that piece of information? Uncle G 00:47, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
      • That's funny. I also noticed the difference in the accounts over how long the subject played the piano. That's another reason why I think the single account about his height could well be inaccurate. I think it was just somebody's guess. And from being a tall person myself at 6'3", I often get people thinking I'm even taller than that, esp. when my shoes add an inch or more to it. But I have to admit: My eyesight could well be deceiving me, and I could be wrong, but there's so many features in common with the guy I know, it's haunting. Stevietheman 01:02, 18 May 2005 (UTC)


If anyone doesn't agree that the man in the article photos doesn't resemble those of Mr. Betts on his website, please say so. I'll be happy to retract if a lot of people don't agree with my assessment. Stevietheman 22:10, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

Hollywood story as a sourceEdit

Does the Hollywood story really belong as a source for this article? It doesn't really say anything except that Hollywood people are talking about making a movie about it. I don't see how that contributes to the facts of the article. Stevietheman 00:57, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Nevermind. This article provided information about the subject pointing to the Swedish flag. Stevietheman 15:33, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Swedish flagEdit

According to the guardian article (linked to from this article) he didn't draw the swedish flag, he pointed to it. Where's the drawing idea from? -- Joolz 12:50, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

You're right. I corrected this in the article. Stevietheman 15:32, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

"French street musician" reports keep coming inEdit

I'm finding it hilarious how all kinds of new stories are being released (see Google News) saying that the man is a French street musician, despite this already being disproven by two articles we have sourced here. This alone is making me see the light (more than ever before) on why Wikinews is a valuable resource. Stevietheman 16:11, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

More coverage Steve?Edit

Steve, firstly I wish again to thank you for your help thus far - this sad tragedy is offering wikinews an excellent oppertunity to prove itself - and hopefully a chance for due respect, use of the correct facts and a NPOV reporting style to be used in media coverage of the event; not to mention a happy ending to the case. Having compared your picture with the released one I must admit that there are striking similarities - in particular I noticed the eyes.

The reason for this post is that I want to make you aware that we don't just publish one story on events - we encourage multiple ones from various angles (obviously maintaining NPOV of course). For example the Wendys chili finger story has spawned quite literally dozens of stories for wikinews. So I suggest to keep this story in the public limelight that we create another more up to date article. My suggestions include:

  • Exclusive Interview: Piano Man is possibly a British actor - detailing (althought making it clear that this is only speculation) that he may be Geoffrey Betts (include much of the content already used in the Identification section). This article should perhaps include an interview with Steve, or at least quote him (if he does'nt mind).

If you are interested in either including an interview or quotes please answer the following questions - by the way the article we incorporate our new Wikinews Exclusive logo:

Q: Who do you think the pianist is?
A: Geoffrey "Geoff" Betts, an actor and British citizen, who I last knew to be living in Euless, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), and who, the last time I saw him was living temporarily months at a time in Louisville, Kentucky.

Q: Why do you think it is him? (include physical resemblences, your knowledge of his location, age etc.,)
A: The person I knew should be 26, perhaps almost 27 now. The personal resemblances are the eyes, facial shape, asymmetric jawline, ears, nose and short hair. The person I knew had colored his hair blonde at least one time when I knew him. His mother is Italian, and his father is British, and the "Piano Man" has the appearance of such an ethnic combination. I also knew that he composed music, but frankly, I did not know he could play the piano, although I don't find that to be out of the question, as I knew he could play other instruments. Both the man found and Geoff are thin and physically fit. I also knew Geoff to be a smart dresser.

Q: What is your relationship with Mr. Betts; were your good friends?
A: He is a former business associate of an ex-partner of mine in an upstart film production company that has since gone out of business. Geoff actually lived with us for periods of time in 2003. I would call him a friendly acquaintance, if not a friend, during that time.

Q: Has Mr. Betts any previous history of such behaviour?
A: Without getting too personal, I know that the relationship between Geoff and my ex-partner did lead to a lot of financial, legal and emotional issues for Geoff. There were also issues between Geoff and his mother, but again, I cannot get too personal here. I will say that Geoff, based on my knowledge, could indeed be emotionally scarred from various events, and that could further link him to this man.

Q: What is your knowledge of Mr. Betts' musical ability?
A: I knew Geoff to compose his own music, but I cannot remember offhand what kind of music.

Q: When was the last time you met Mr. Betts - was it long before the man turned up in England?
A: Early 2004, when Geoff last moved out of the residence where I and my ex-partner were living. I had heard various stories for months after that point regarding him continuing to live in Texas and occasionally visit Louisville, but I had no firsthand knowledge of that.

Q: What was Mr. Betts involved in in the weeks before the appearance of the man in England? Was he working on a film, on a break etc?
A: According to IMDB, Geoff was working on a film recently, but I am not sure of the timing of that with respect to the time the man appeared in England. I have no information on where he might have been in the weeks before the man's appearance.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how sure are you that the man is actually Mr. Betts?
A: 8. I admit I am not as confident as the Polish man living in Italy was (with his 99% certainty that it was his friend Massone), and it turned out he was incorrect. I have to say, however, that I am haunted by how much the "Piano Man" resembles Geoff. Further, the reports indicate the man is 6' while Geoff is 5'10"--I don't know whether the man found was measured with his shoes on or not. Last, my attempts to contact Geoff by a direct email address I found has failed to get any response. I am almost tossing and turning with cognitive dissonance about whether the man found could be Geoff or not.

Q: I know you have already contacted the relevent authorities, but if there was one thing about Mr. Betts that you believe could help furture in verification of the pianists idenity; what would it be?
A: Geoff's website at for physical comparison. Also, his mother may still be living in Euless, TX. Last, strangely enough, he also had a wish list at, and one of the last two items he added on April 4 (apparently just before the appearance of the man in England) is an audio CD titled "Silence."

CGorman (Talk) 18:42, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Thank you and I appreciate the opportunity. I think I would be more comfortable with considering this after today. I would like to see how things develop before I stick my neck out further. After all, I could be wrong (like the Polish man was) and I really don't want the publicity associated with being wrong. I feel I have offered striking comparative photo evidence, and also offered comparative information points between IMDB and the news accounts, along with experiential information that doesn't get too personal. I think the clincher with respect to the pictures is that if the jawline of the "Piano Man" is asymmetric in the same way my acquaintance's is, that might clinch it--the image of the Piano Man suggests an asymmetric jawline, to me anyway. Stevietheman 18:57, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
Tomorrow I may decide to go forward with answering the interview questions. Please feel free to modify or expand the questions between now and noon thursday, eastern time. By then, I'll know whether I'm pushing forward or retracting. Stevietheman 03:23, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Just to let you know, I live in Ireland so my time zone means its difficult to reply to you quickly; so if you choose to answer the questions feel free to publish the article or ask someone else to do so. Anyone how wishes to add questions, feel free to. → CGorman (Talk) 20:05, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Not sure how to publish an interview articleEdit

Would anyone like to take a stab on publishing an article based on the questions I answered? I really don't know how to go about doing this. Thanks! Stevietheman 20:15, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Im on it. → CGorman (Talk) 20:23, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Piano man identifiedEdit

This article is now outdated since the piano man has been identified and sent home. Refer to here if you haven't heard about this

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