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Reliving the Night Christian Irwin Went Missing

Topanga, California

I certainly didn’t start my morning thinking I’d be spending much of the day at a crime scene in Topanga Canyon trying to figure out what had happened to missing music producer Christia Irwin. I went for a training ride on my road bike up Topanga Canyon. As I was coming up into the little village of Fernwood in Topanga, I noticed several helicopters circling above. I also saw Los Angeles Sheriff’s Search and Rescue vehicles along the side of the road. Finally I noticed that every telephone pole had a missing person’s bulletin. It was then that I remembered reading that morning in the Los Angeles Times about a music producer that had disappeared in the area and the involvement of a Nigerian Internet scam. This must be the search for for that person. I rode a few more a few miles and on on my return I saw a KCBS News remote truck prepping for a shoot and even more helicopters were now circling.

I finished my ride and then wrote and published  our first posting on the story which was largely an amalgamation of stories from the news media. Even then there were unsettling questions about what had happened. I got my digital camera and drove back to Topanga. I spent the next few hours talking to people in the shops in the area and snapping photos. This time the KABC crew was there and more and different search and rescue workers were on scene. Now that I had a chance to see things first hand, even more questions arose. 

I think it is worth noting at this point why Independent Sources is writing about this case in such detail. First, it is an enormous story. A noted music producer who has worked with name acts disappears suddenly after placing a series of bizarre and frightening cell phone calls. Second, we have the possible involvement of Nigerian Internet scam artists. Due to my somewhat lousy spam filter on my home computer, I seem to get one or two such scam letters a week. Scam letters are urban legends and hoaxes aren’t they? No one is really gets hurt, do they? Third, there is the possibility that there is more to this story than what has been released so far. Right now there are more questions than answers but some of the questions lead to conclusions that are quite unsettling. As important as this story is, barring a Natalee Holloway-like focus, the story is unlikely to be covered as fully in traditional news outlets as we will cover it here.

The purpose of this posting is to give you visuals of the scenes described in our earlier posting and the news reports that we’ve read thus far. It should be noted that this is a very fluid situation and the comments below are based on information that has been publicly released at the time of this writing.


This is Christian Irwin’s house in the 19000 block of Grand View Drive in Topanga. This is where it is believed to have all started late Saturday night or early Sunday morning (8/21).

Christian is likely to have gone down this ravine toward 525 South Topanga Canyon Blvd. When he was hiding he reportedly called his friend on a cell phone and told him that he had been chased from his house down a ravine in back by people and possibly dogs.

Sheriff Department dogs were able to track Christian’s scent to this propane shop where he then crossed Topanga Canyon Blvd. (The address of the shop is 525 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd.) Christian’s house is located directly up the hill from this structure.

This is directly across the street from 525 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd. Christian either jumped over this rail or went down the driveway just to the right side of the photograph. His friend reported that “(Christian) was on the run, in the woods and very afraid.”

Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue preparing to walk into the Topanga creek which is just off camera and where Christian reported that he was “running downstream” to get away from his pursuers. This is across the street and below 525 S. Topanga. This was the point of the last known contact and the Sheriff’s department dogs lost Christian’s scent not far from here.

The different media outlets have all been here covering a story that simply makes no sense. As LA Sheriff Capt. Rayh Peavy said “We’re considering the worst.” “The circumstances are extremely suspicous to say the least.”

Check back for updates and new posts on this story. Bloggers who are also covering this story should leave trackbacks. You can also email us tips or leave the in the comments section.

Click here to access all of Independent Sources postings on the disappearance of Christian Irwin.

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7 Responses to “Reliving the Night Christian Irwin Went Missing”

  1. 1
    L.A. Observed Says:

    First thing Friday, 8/26

    •  Jill Murphy, the Getty’s 33-year-old chief of staff with no art background, is leaving and apparently won’t be missed. Her mentor since college at Cal State Sacramento, Barry Munitz, concedes to the Times: “No one ever said to me, …

  2. 2
    Bob Says:

    please post transcripts of the bizarre and frightening phone calls.

  3. 3
    Insider Says:

    I don’t believe that they have been made public. Nor did they ever say if the 911 call at that time was from Christian or whether it was unrelated to his disappearance.

  4. 4
    mediabistro: FishBowlLA Says:

    blogs would link to it, and, who knows, maybe some of those conservative-blog-readers would become New Yorker subscribers. Or am I just crazy? – Turns out that guy probably wasn’t killed by Nigerian internet scammers, but Independent Sources has photos from the scene . – Great, the Huffington Post has entered the lingua franca of popular culture criticism (scroll down). Have a good weekend! If you go to the Silver Lake Street Fair, please don’t throw any litter on Micheltorena Street! And please consider

  5. 5
    Jossip Says:

    [IMG Andy Roddick] • Not only has Grammy winning record producer Christian Julian Irwin gone missing, but as luck would have it, his disappearance might be tied to that Nigerian email scheme . Thank god we’ve got a spam filter. • While tennis ace Maria Sharapova isn’t fighting rumors she’s seeing Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, her wranglers were in a tizzy when another rumored flame, Andy Roddick

  6. 6
    Calblog Says:

    is usually the correct one–this is especially true in missing persons cases. Think of it as a Occam’s Razor for solving crimes. The day the story broke big, I drove up to Topanga to where Christian was last seen, talked to people who knew him, and took and published extensive photos of his path into the night from whoever was chasing him. I studied up on the the Nigerian scam that he was caught up in, I went to his personal website, I even combed eBay looking for things he might be selling that might have attracted the Nigerians

  7. 7
    hexod.us: Record Producer Killed By Nigerian Scammers?!? Says:

    [...] hoto retracing of Christian’s last night plus a detailed rundown of Nigerian scam artists. http://independentsources.com/2005/08/26/christian-irwin-photos/ [...]