He was a fireman during World War II but worked in retail in 1953. He was supposed to finalise a deal in Dublin on 19 December, the day after he disappeared.
By 2007, his wife was long dead. After arriving, John saw his by then elderly son Alan, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease and failed to recognise him. Alan had married a woman named Sally but they had no children. John saw no purpose in his life now that his family was gone.