Varndell was shocked when he saw the video. “His whole appearance, the way he spoke, was wrong. He talked about how this is a government and police conspiracy, and it was – wow, you’re really throwing out some big accusations, mate. Why should the government and police care about Levi?”
Was he suffering from some kind of psychosis? “I’m having a hard time because the person I was supposed to meet… wasn’t delusional. He was quite healthy in mind and body. But when I look at the video, he doesn’t look like the same Levi I’d seen a month or two before.”
Another old friend, concerned, called him the day the video went online. Davis, he recalls, seemed “a little lost.” The friend offered to put him up when he returned to England and Davis replied with a voice note to say he would like to come “and sort things out.” He never mentioned Barcelona.’
What happened in Ibiza
On October 3, before leaving England for Ibiza, Levi had opened an account on the subscription site OnlyFans. His profile, under the name ManDavis, featured a photo of him reclining on a couch, naked except for a strategically placed pair of boxing gloves. The day before he disappeared, he posted, “My first nudes,” with the tagline, “Everybody knows the bio is where things get sticky, take a look and see what else you can find.”
Posting to OnlyFans, Squire would later explain to a British newspaper, was something Davis was “inspired (to do) by other famous people who have gone down the same path.”
But to those close to Davis, the move seemed “desperate and out of character,” not least given that the release of his next single was imminent. “He was intelligent enough to understand that this would affect his music success, which meant a lot to him,” says a friend. “Levi had a strong sense of right and wrong, and while he didn’t always make the right choices, he didn’t want to hurt those he cared about in any way. However, he could be influenced by people around him, which didn’t always lead to the best results.’
Davis had also joined the gay dating app Grindr. On the day he posted his first nude photos on OnlyFans, he told Squire that he had met someone that night at a restaurant in Ibiza Town. Squire later told the BBC that he drove Davis to the restaurant. It was the last time he would see him.
Squire refused to speak to The Telegraph.
Who Davis met, or if he met anyone at all, is not known. But at 3 am he contacted a friend in England. The friend tried to call him back, but later that morning Davis called to say he was on the ferry to Barcelona.
He left Ibiza with only a small backpack and about €40, leaving behind his suitcase, clothes and laptop. “That’s not Levi,” says a friend. “He was a bad packer, but he always carried loads.” For Davis, says Varndell, his laptop was “like a priest’s bible. He would take it with him everywhere. I remember one time when he left it in London and asked me to pick it up and take it back to Birmingham. He had everything there – there are so many things here that don’t make sense.’
Had Davis arranged an assignment in Barcelona, it seems unlikely it would have been purely for fun; Ibiza would have offered an abundance of choice. More likely, he was lured there by a promise of something else.
But the fact that he apparently left Ibiza in a hurry, leaving his belongings behind, raises another question. Was Davis running towards or away from something?
A ferry to Barcelona
Squire told the BBC that when Davis failed to return from Ibiza that morning, he sent a message asking where he was. Davis replied that he had left the island and was heading to Barcelona “to see some friends.”
The ferry journey from Ibiza to Barcelona takes about eight and a half hours. Davis sent a short video to his mother, smiling and pointing to the view from the deck. ‘Look mom,’ he says, ‘it’s beautiful’… the rest of his words blew away in the stiff breeze.
Arriving in Barcelona, he made his way to La Rambla, the tourist and entertainment center of the city, lined with bars and restaurants, stopping at The Old Irish Pub. According to the barman who served him, he was sitting at a table near the front door, drinking a pint of Heinken and watching a game between Liverpool and Leeds. He posted a video for his mother of a band playing on stage.