On Friday May 8, 1998, the news made the front page of every major newspaper:
The celebrated American mathematician Norton Thorp, internationally acclaimed for his ground-breaking work in mathematics and artificial intelligence, is missing. He was last seen yesterday around noon by Mr. Frank Martino, the doorman of his apartment building. Following what appeared to be a heated discussion with two men in front of the building, Mr. Thorp was forced into a car by the two individuals, Mr. Martino said. He gave a description of the car and the men to the police.
Mr. Thorp didn’t show up for his scheduled talk at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, in the afternoon, and as we go to press he has not been back at his Manhattan residence or communicated with his family.
The police are treating the incident as a kidnapping, even though no ransom note or call has been received by Mr. Thorp’s family so far.