The blog of author Dennis Cooper

The whereabouts of Declan Crouch


Missing teenager, Machans Beach, Cairns

QLD Police are seeking assistance from members of the public in the search for a missing 13-year-old boy from Machans Beach. Initial investigations indicate the youth left school on Wednesday afternoon on a bus bound for home. Declan Crouch caught the bus from Hoare Street, Manunda around 3pm. Declan’s school bag and uniform were later located at home. Police and the boy’s family have conducted numerous checks with friends and are seeking information from the public. Police hold serious concerns for the 13-year-old as it is out of character for him not to contact his family. He is described as around 170cm tall with a slim build and collar length brown hair usually worn over his eyes. He may be wearing black or maroon basketball shorts and a black t-shirt.


Search continues for missing boy, 13
March 14, 2011 8:57AM

POLICE and SES volunteers are continuing their desperate search for a missing 13-year-old boy from Cairns who hasn’t been seen since Wednesday night. About 17 SES volunteers searched through thick bushland and paddocks near the boy’s home yesterday but failed to find any clues to his whereabouts. A ground search and door knocks will continue today and possibly an aerial search by helicopter. Declan was last seen catching the bus home from school on Hoare St, Manunda on Wednesday about 3pm. His school bag and uniform were found at home. It’s understood he may have been upset after an argument with a family member.


Police hold fears for missing Machans Beach teen, 13
March 14, 2011 12:46PM

THE desperate search for a missing 13-year-old schoolboy continues, after a sweep through dense bushland yesterday failed to find any clues to his whereabouts. Now missing for five days, Cairns Police Child Protection Det Sgt Mick Gooiker said police held serious concerns for the young boy. “We’re very concerned about his disappearance,” Sgt Gooiker said. “He has been upset with things at home and left, but none of his friends have heard from him since. If he is staying with friends, that’s fine, we just need them to contact police to let everyone know that he is all right. He hasn’t popped his head up on any of the social network sites and according to his friends he hasn’t been in touch with them either, which is out of character for any 13-year-old.” Insp Ellis said Declan’s mother mentioned he “goes for a run” when he gets angry and was checking the area to make sure he hadn’t come into harm. Police also confirmed Declan may have dyed his hair with a purple tinge about two weeks ago.


Mother hopeful missing son will be found
Mar 14, 2011 6:50pm

The mother of a 13-year-old north Cairns boy who went missing five days ago says she remains positive he will be found safe. “By this stage I’m wondering how the hell he’s managing because he’s only 13,” she said. “He’s very inexperienced. He’s very young. He’s not street-wise. I just want him to come home and just to know that everything is fine… or if he can just ring us and let us know.” Cairns Police Child Protection officer-in-charge Glenn Horan said it appeared Declan went home, changed out of his school uniform and left the house without any personal possessions. “He certainly doesn’t have access to many funds and he had no phone with him and it does appear that he hasn’t accessed any of his computer accounts,” Sen Sgt Horan said.


Search for missing Cairns teenager continues
March 16 2011

Police are hoping that a mannequin dressed in clothing similar to that of missing boy Declan Crouch placed at his last known location will prompt any witnesses to come forward. The mannequin will be placed in the vicinity of Machan’s Beach and police and detectives hope to speak with pedestrians and locals in the area to garner any further information about the missing 13-year-old boy.


Missing Cairns teen Declan Crouch may be in Victoria, police say
March 17, 2011 8:49AM

Friends of 13-year-old only Declan Crouch said he had been talking about heading to Victoria before disappearing suddenly more than a week ago. The Trinity Bay High School teen – popular with the girls and into music, books, and computers – got off the bus from school, got changed at home, and vanished, taking nothing with him. “He was well-liked, had a tight-knit circle of friends, loves reading adventure and fantasy books, listens to music on his iPod touch and burns off energy by jogging in nearby bushland, his bewildered mother said. “We are in the dark as to what made him leave.”


Police hope video helps find missing boy
Mar 22, 2011 10:13am

Police in far north Queensland have released home video of missing 13-year-old boy Declan Crouch to help people identify him. Police have used a mannequin dressed in similar clothing at the place he was last seen to try to draw more information from the public. The teenager has also not used his bank account, his social networking sites or contacted friends since his disappearance. Senior Constable Russell Parker says a search of local bushland, creeks and rivers is continuing.


Mum still believes Declan Crouch is in hiding
March 31, 2011 11:57AM

Thirteen-year-old Declan Crouch has been missing since leaving his family’s home at Machans Beach, near Cairns, after school on March 9. His mother, Ruth, today said she believed her son was in hiding somewhere but realised he may have met with harm. “In my heart, I really think he’s hiding, but in my head I appreciate that there are certain other options police need to consider,” she told ABC Radio today. “But at this point I’m not even going there.” Ms Crouch said the only reason she could think of for he son’s disappearance was that Declan, who she described as “extremely intelligent”, was not very engaged with his schooling. She also said Declan had expressed a desire to go to Canada as she drove him to school on the morning he disappeared. “He wanted to go now, of course. But I said you can’t go now but maybe down the track you can do an exchange program or when you are older you can do a gap year.” However, she said, he’d left his passport at home and wouldn’t have been able to book a flight. She otherwise painted a picture of a typical teenage boy who loved heavy music, dark clothes, soft drink and computer games. Ms Crouch said her son had a “vivid imagination” and would think he could get by on his own. “That’s my real concern – that he thinks he can manage but may get himself into situations he thinks he can handle.”


Suicide suspicions in case of missing Cairns teenager Declan Crouch
June 03, 20117:21AM

After nearly three months of intense searching and a nationwide appeal, police believe they may have discovered the 13-year-old’s body just 300m from his family home. Police divers found skeletal remains in a hard-to-reach pocket of tidal wetlands behind his Machans Beach home, in the northern beaches of Cairns. When asked directly about the possibility of suicide, Detective Senior Sergeant Glen Horan said there were “signs” found with the remains that indicated the death was not suspicious, but would not elaborate. DNA samples, clothing and other, undisclosed, items found at the scene have been sent to the John Tonge centre in Brisbane. However, it was likely to take days for confirmation of the identity of the remains. Declan Crouch was known by his school friends as an “Emo”, an emotional goth, a sometime loner who dyed his hair, played computer games and preferred to listen to music rather than play team sport. Mrs Crouch told The Courier-Mail in an earlier interview he was bored with school and they had argued over his internet use.


Missing Cairns teen took his own life
June 11, 2011

Family and friends of Cairns teenager Declan Crouch are struggling to cope with news the 13-year-old took his own life. Police divers found Declan’s body in a mangrove swamp area near his Machans Beach home on June 1 but his grieving family have had to wait over a week for DNA confirmation that it was the 13-year-old. Cairns Police Detective Senior Sergeant Glenn Horan said the death was not suspicious and it appeared the teenager had taken his own life. “There is some evidence that Declan has taken his own life,” he said, adding that the boy’s family had asked him not to disclose further details.


Mourners say farewell to Declan Crouch
Jun 22 2011 17:45

He was a sensitive, kind-hearted 13-year-old boy who bore a resemblance to North American pop idols Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas. Since the discovery of his body in a mangrove swamp just 300 metres from his family’s Machans Beach home earlier this month, family and friends have been at a loss to understand why Declan would have taken his own life. A picture emerged of a decent young man with a sensitivity not often found among boys his age. He was a vegetarian who would rescue bugs from inside his family’s home before his sister had a chance to squish them and a supportive ear for his many friends as they endured the joys and tribulations of growing up. “He was like a philosopher at age 13,” his uncle Brian Crouch told mourners. Yet in many ways he was a typical teenager: one obsessed with emo music and who, as a friend told the service, once headbanged so hard his mother Ruth had to take him to see a chiropractor. Performance arts teacher Chris Mckenna, who hosted a holiday program Declan took part in, urged his friends to remember him as a fun, cheeky young man. “He was a bunch of fun, a cheeky little rat and I loved that about him,” he said.


Ruth Crouch confronting the suicide taboo
July 14th, 2012

It’s been more than a year since Declan Crouch’s body was found in dense scrub behind the family’s Machans Beach home. “I knew, I knew that there was a chance that he had suicided, but none of it made sense – he’s got a loving family, he’s got heaps of friends, he’s not being bullied, so why would he?” Declan’s mother Ruth asks herself. Looking back, there were telltale signs of Declan’s deep despair, but Ruth didn’t pick up on them. The tragic irony for the 56-year-old social worker is that her daily work involves assessing the suicide risk in her distressed clients. “I’ve been angry with myself for having knowledge in that area and still not being able to pick it or prevent it in my own family.” Only in retrospect is Ruth able to see what seems so obvious to her now. Her son Declan, who was enthusiastic and social during his pre‑teens, had become withdrawn and disinterested in the friendships he used to treasure. “I was actively encouraging him by asking ‘Who are you going to see this weekend’, or whose house do you want me to drop you at or do you want to invite somebody over?’ but he would just say ‘no’,” Ruth remembers. She could have had no idea about the private Facebook conversations Declan had with his mates about suicide or the sketches scrunched up in the back of his drawer depicting suicide. Ruth doesn’t hear much from the other school mums nowadays. But she doesn’t blame anyone for keeping their distance, especially the mothers of other young boys around Declan’s age. “If it was you, wouldn’t you be thinking ‘Oh my God, I wonder if it’s contagious? I miss those relationships, I really miss them, but it’s not their fault. They’re just responding to the stigma as well.”





p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. He likes all kinds of crazy stuff. ** Dominick, Hi, pal! Yeah, the LA trip was pretty maxed out. The teens who do Twisted Minds are great. Super amateurish but super ambitious, a great combo. The 17th Door was a total blast. Very participatory and non-stop. They executed us in a firing squad, had us execute others in a firing squad, smothered us, put us in coffins with breakaway backs that dropped us ten feet onto a bouncy floor, etc., all without displeasure. Great about the psych evaluation. That was fast, no? Wow. I hope the blood test goes smoothly and unpainfnully today. My jet lag is hanging in there, and I’m still sans enough sleep, and I’m very over feeling like this. Tomorrow our producer submits the application for Zac’s and my new film’s first possible funding grant. I’ve been scrambling to finish all the documents. The TV project is in the most hellish state ever, and I don’t even know anymore what’s going to happen. Those tasks are what I came home to. What’s happening this week for you? You managing to find time and space to exercise that great imagination/talent of yours? Big love in return. ** Misanthrope, Well, hey there, George. Yeah, I don’t miss being an obsessive baseball follower. Or not too much. And I’ve managed not to get very engaged in the obsessive soccer tracking that grips most people here. Dude, sleep should be top priority. I say that as someone who’s deprived and suffering at the moment. KIX? Like … that 80s hair metal band? How weird. And fun probably. Aces on the new contract! That’s great, man! Celebrate? ** Steve Erickson, Thanks a lot for the link to that channel. I should … Everyone, Hark, Mr. Erickson has a hot, steamy tip for you. Steve: ‘I’ve found the page of a guy from Florida who has posted close to 9,000 films to a Russian equivalent of YouTube. Many of them are readily accessible in the US, but he’s also, for instance, put up hundreds of Argentine films and, so far this month, posted loads of Japanese films, including titles by Shunji Iwai, Takashi Miike, Koji Wakamatsu and Shohei Imamura. Also, there’s the TALES FROM THE CRYPT TV series!’ Ah, hm, I see about your concerns re: your film. I hope your editor has ideas about how to get rid of that resemblance. There must be a way. ** Bill, Hi. Oh, I don’t think I’ll actually end up seeing ‘Dr. Sleep’, especially since airlines seem to have a policy against having horror films in their in-flight entertainment menus since that’s where I would see it, I reckon. Oh, right, you guys have a long weekend. I don’t think we do. Float gently down its stream. (Sorry, jet lag talking). ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, B. Really glad you dug it. How was the zine fair? ** Armando, Hi, man. Oh, my pleasure. Always thrilled to share the haunted house attraction love. The Rob Zombie maze at Universal was very good. He always does one there, and they’re hit or miss, but this one was tops. No, I don’t I even know what El Bordello Alexandra is, unless my jet lag is failing me. I’ll find out. So sorry to hear about the issues you’re dealing with. Hugs if they help whatsoever. Today, me: finalise some grant application docs re: Zac’s and my new film which are due tomorrow. Coffee with a friend. Figure out what I need to do for my trip to London on Friday. This and that. What did your day make for you? ** Corey Heiferman, Hey, Corey, good to see you! I figured you were very busied by school and making stuff and so on. Man, you do sound very busy. In, obviously, the best possible way. Prodigiousness is the key. Getting that head of steam and then focusing and organising it. Works for me, and you sound ultra-productive and subdivided by solidly excellent different things. I like all of those film ideas. Wow. I’d love to be at The Temenos, but it seems like a pretty unlikely occurrence, although … I don’t know why. Maybe. Would be something else. Excellent day to you, bud. ** Okay. Today I have a sad story for you. Sorry and/or you’re welcome. See you tomorrow.


  1. “Temenos” is without question the most bizarre monument anyone ever created for himself and his boyfriend. Gregory sent me posters and manifestos over the years. I wrote a tribute to hm in “Film Comment” that greatly annoyed Robert. No surprise as he has always hated me. I do wish he would allow wide distribution of “The Illiac Passion” — which is Gregory’s masterpiece IMo, and reconfigures the entire process of filme editing. Godard always said the problem with film is that it presented on thing ateranother. Gregory found a way to break that relentless forward motion and create images that hang in space and time.

    Declan’s last days would make a great film subject for you and Zac, Dennis.

  2. I took a look at 17th Door’s website, and the concept seems really thought out. How exactly did they have the visitors execute others in a firing squad safely?

    Have you heard 100 gecs? They’re soaring in popularity, having just signed to Diplo’s Mad Decent label with a remix album on the way very soon. I don’t really see what the fuss is about. They get called a pop group, but to me, they sound as grating as one of their biggest influences, Skrillex. There’s something conceptually interesting about the number of genres – almost all uncool ones, like pop-punk, brostep and happy hardcore – they can combine on one short song. I don’t actively dislike them, but in an excellent year for indie pop, I rarely have the urge to listen to them.

    My top 10 film and music top 10 lists for Gay City News are due in about a month, so I put together preliminary lists yesterday and started writing copy for the top 5 selections on each. No matter what I see and hear in the remaining month, those are unlikely to change.

  3. Hi Dennis,

    Sad to hear about Stephen Dixon. I don’t know if you’ve ever talked about him. Did you read him? Like?

    I went to New York last week for a few days. Looked at lots of galleries, ate tons of pizza and got to see John Zorn at the Village Vanguard. The New Yorkiest things I could do. He was incredible, of course, and it’s as close to a spiritual experience as I can get. Back in the real world now.

    Hope you are good.

  4. A sombre tale today, Dennis.

    Hope your grant applications go smoothly, and the jet lag is on its way out. The Metropolis screening with live robots/music was sold out, that’s San Francisco for you. I ended up watching Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, not bad for Del Toro lite.


  5. “A hard-to-reach pocket of tidal wetlands”, seems as though poor Declan really did want to disappear.

    Saturday’s Dundee Zine Fest was very busy and my friends Becca and Kirsty played a blinder in putting it on, with zine-makers coming through from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Sold a few copies of The Call too, I’m happy to say.

  6. Very, Very, Very Happy Birthday To The One, The Only, The Legend, The Great, The Gorgeous, The Hero, My BELOVED Leonardo DiCaprio Himself!!! I LOVE You So, So So Much!!! Thank You so Much for Existing, LEE!!!

  7. Dennis, I’m pretty sure I’ve got a downloaded photo of Declan on my hard drive somewhere. Wanted to use it for a story or something that I must’ve abandoned. Sad story, though. :'(

    Thanks about the new contract. Took a little while to get approved because some other agency approved a $20 million contract last year with a company…that went bankrupt 4 months later. I think I may have told you about that earlier. Anyway, yeah, they do more due diligence now because of it.

    Yes, hahaha, that KIX. They’re my friends favorite band…why, I don’t know. I think it’s all to do with nostalgia. They’re a MD band and she grew up with them. (Then again, I did too, and I can’t stand the fuckers.) But it was a’ight. It’s live music, so I can find things to enjoy there. I like their guitar players. Dudes can shred when they want to. Otherwise…yeah, hahaha.

    I came across an interesting article about sleep a few weeks ago. It was a meta-analysis of all the sleep studies, as well as a few new ones. As cliche as 8 hours seems, it really is the real deal as far as needed sleep goes. An hour or two less, and your motor functions suffer greatly, even though you think they don’t. Even in cultures without electricity, where they go to bed when it gets dark, they all sleep 8 hours naturally. It’s just a thing. I’m trying. Been getting 7 to 7 1/2 a night recently and feel much better. I’m on my A game!

    It’s also why I’m hardly on the interwebs much anymore. I just can’t do the 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night anymore.

  8. Today is Stubby Kaye’s Birthday. Back in 1951 my parents took me to my first Broadway musical “Guys and Dolls.’ I was four years old . When Stubby Kaye stood up and sang this — the greatest “11 O’Clock Number” of them all until “Rose’s Turn” in “Gypsy’, MY LIFE BEGAN!

  9. Dear Dennis,
    Your short story “David,” appearing in the literary journal Forehead, was one of my favorite stories. The copy I had was destroyed in a fire a year ago. Could you please upload this story so that I could share it with others? That would be wonderful. Thanks.

  10. Hey,

    Oh, to me Anything and Everything The Great Mr. Zombie does and makes is a “hit”. In varying degrees, of course, but nevertheless only “hits”. Wow, I would love so much to have been there.

    Of course hugs help a whole lot. Thank you so very much. I just wish I could be out of bed more and be able to read and work and watch Films so much, much, much more than I can.

    Oh, you’re off to London this Friday. Not my kind of city at all. Definitely. To put it very, very lightly and nicely. How long will you be there?

    Uh, I kept trying to sort some things out regarding work, I had an appointment with my psychiatrist (I’ve been seeing her only for like a month and a half now; she’s my third psychiatrist; my first female psychiatrist and by very far the youngest of the three. She’s also the best of the three by fucking light years. I’m so glad I got rid of the previous one; just wish so bad I’d done it much, much sooner; but well, she’s just great and brilliant at her work and actually fucking cares about and listens to me!!! I’m not used to that at all. I’ve actually made some very small, very little, teeny-tiny progress in some areas since I’ve been seeing her!!!). And that was pretty much it. Wasn’t really a good day today. The morning was absolutely horrible due to some issues with someone, but, whatever.

    How did it all go for you? Will be doing anything specific today?

    Take good care, please, my friend,


    Good day, good luck;


  11. Very, very good post today; thank you; but, yes, very, very sad. Just terrible. An absolute tragedy. Rest In Peace Declan.

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