After 300 tips, U.K.'s 'Piano Man' still an enigma

Public help floods in, but leads don't yield answers.

LONDON — Clues have been offered by the hundreds, but authorities have yet to crack the mystery of the "Piano Man," the hospital patient who won't talk and feels most comfortable at the keyboard or writing music.

Some 300 possible identities have been suggested for the tall, blond man who was found wandering distressed and dripping wet in southeastern England on April 7, health officials said Thursday.

"We have had an overwhelming response from the public, both in the U.K. and abroad," said Adrian Lowther, spokesman for the West Kent National Health Trust, which is caring for the man.

He said authorities have had more than 700 calls and 150 e-mails offering information, "and this will take time to work through. We are unable to confirm reports about his identity at this time."

Social workers said a tip from a Polish mime living in Italy, who said the man is a French street musician, proved false. Dariusz Dydymski had said he was "99 percent certain' the pianist was named Steven Villa Massone, but Massone was found living in Nice, France.

"I found out this morning when I saw in the Italian papers that he had said that man was me," The Independent newspaper quoted Massone as saying. "I didn't understand what had happened and suddenly I had lots of calls asking if I was the pianist."

Reports that surfaced in British newspapers Thursday speculating that the man could be a Canadian eccentric have also not been verified.

Social worker Michael Camp said such speculation was pointless.

"Names are being bandied about. It's not very helpful," Camp said. "It's a long process and I understand why, in the absence of any information from us, people in the media are coming up with things."

The man, who remains in a psychiatric unit in Dartford, is still drawing pictures and writing music of his own, Camp said.

"I don't think this is somebody who was living a normal life until April 7 and suffered a trauma," he said. "I think it's somebody who has been tipped over the edge."

Hospital officials on Monday released a photograph of the man, who is tall and thin with blond hair possibly dyed and believed to be in his 20s or early 30s.

When he was found, he was taken first to Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, where he drew intricate pictures of pianos for staff and performed parts of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake' and the music of John Lennon on the chapel piano.

Because he won't speak, he is not receiving counseling, but he is allowed to use a piano provided by a tabloid newspaper.

Agencias: Associated Press
Autor: Sue Leeman
Fecha: Domingo 19 de junio de 2005
Notas: Information Copyright © 2005 Los Angeles Newspaper Group
ID: 1516 Editar

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