Soul Asylum’s smash hit Runaway Train was popularly known for featuring images of 36 missing children. Soul Asylum lead singer Dave Pirner stated that the song was not composed with missing children in mind. They created the piece while suffering from a deep, dark depression. But despite this, the music video helped locate 26 of the 36 missing children.
26 of the 36 missing children in Soul Asylum’s original music video for “Runaway Train” have been found. Aundria Bowman’s remains were most recently identified in 2020. Around 31 years after, she was reported missing.
The Resolved Cases from the “Runaway Train” Music Video
According to music videos’ director Tony Kaye, twenty-six missing children were located after appearing in the video. Guitarist Dan Murphy claimed in a Pasadena Weekly interview from 2006 that some of the cases depicted in the video had tragic outcomes.
Some weren’t the best scenarios. I met a fireman on the East Coast whose daughter was at the end of the video, and he’d been in a bitter custody battle with his wife over her.Dan Murphy, Guitarist, Soul Asylum
Turns out, the girl had not left home; her mother killed her and buried her in the backyard.
Vicky Hamilton and Dinah McNicol, who both vanished in 1991, appeared in the UK. version of the video. At a Margate residence, their bodies were discovered in 2007. Since then, Peter Tobin has been found guilty of both murders.
Mark Bartley, a runaway who vanished in 1992, was also depicted in the UK version. A man who knew Bartley was residing in the tenant’s house below them but was unaware of his missing status recognized him in the film. Bartley and the man he shared an apartment with had left when the police showed up.
The US video’s featured actor, Curtis Huntzinger, was discovered dead in 2008. Aundria Bowman was also featured in the US film. His murderer, Stephen Daniel Hash, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received an 11-year term at Folsom State Prison in 2009.
Christopher M. Kerze, Martha W. Dunn, Andrea D. Durham, Wilda M. Benoit, Byron E. Page, Kimberly S. Doss, Duane E. Fochtman, John F. Lango, and Patrick S. Betz were also in the video but were still unaccounted for as of February 2021. (Source: People Magazine)
The Runaway Train Music Video
Tony Kaye was the director of the song’s music video, which gained a lot of airtime on MTV and VH1. In February 2010, it appeared on YouTube. As of January 2022, the video had received over 171 million views.
The video was produced in various versions. In contrast to the UK version, which opens with 100,000 youth are lost on the streets of Britain, the American version of the video fades to a black screen with extensive, white-blocked text reading: There are over one million youth lost on the streets of America.
Various shots of kids running or appearing to have been abused are presented throughout the song video. Pictures of missing kids would show up on the screen throughout the choruses. Their full name and the year they had been lost since… would appear on the screen in bold capital letters after each image was displayed.
The children displayed varied depending on the location of the broadcast, employing missing children from that region. There were three original versions of the video in the United States, with 36 missing children exhibited. (Source: Soul Asylum’s YouTube)