Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
O n March 15, 1969, University of Colorado associate Russian professor Thomas Riha vanished without a trace. Thomas Riha was last seen at a dinner party in Boulder, CO.
His passport and other personal effects were later found in the home of a person of interest, Galya Tannenbaum, who committed suicide in 1971, by swallowing cyanide pills in the state mental hospital in Pueblo. Several months after Riha's disappearance, Tannenbaum was arrested by Boulder police for allegedly forging Riha's name on a check. Tannenbaum had also sold Riha's car and Boulder home using allegedly forged documents.
In addition, Tannenbaum was arrested in Denver for forging the will of a former male friend who mysteriously died of cyanide poisoning. Riha's wedding ring was found in the deceased man's apartment. As in the check fraud case, Tannenbaum pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Riha, a native of Czechoslovakia, had come to the U.S. in 1947, received a masters degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate from Harvard University. He also served in an intelligence capacity in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. From 1960 to 1967, he taught at the University of Chicago, then moved to Boulder. In Boulder, Riha married a young Czechoslovakian woman.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation had been compiling reports on Riha for nine years, beginning in 1960.
The Denver Probate Court declared Riha legally dead in 1978. Neither Riha, nor his remains, have ever been found.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Boulder Police Department