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Monday, January 7, 2013

55

Up in Smoke

No, seriously, what the hell happened to the Sodder children in 1945? Do we have to page David Grann again?

In 1968, more than 20 years after the fire, Jennie went to get the mail and found an envelope addressed only to her. It was postmarked in Kentucky but had no return address. Inside was a photo of a man in his mid-20s. On its flip side a cryptic handwritten note read: “Louis Sodder. I love brother Frankie. Ilil Boys. A90132 or 35.” She and George couldn’t deny the resemblance to their Louis, who was 9 at the time of the fire. Beyond the obvious similarities—dark curly hair, dark brown eyes—they had the same straight, strong nose, the same upward tilt of the left eyebrow.

Isn't this why we have ninety forensic procedurals on primetime? Also, what happened to the Beaumont Children?



55 Comments / Post A Comment

Carrie Murphy@twitter

i've had a thing about the beaumont children for years. i even wrote a poem about them, back in like....2007 (it wasn't good). but it's something i've been fascinated by, something that haunts me. those children.

stavros

more! much better @m

lizard

wow what a fascinating mystery. ive never heard of it before but i got goosebumps reading that. real life is often more crazy than anyone can imagine

questingbeast

Oh dear, Wikipedia has a 'List of people who disappeared mysteriously'. I don't think much of my chances of getting any work done today.

questingbeast

@questingbeast Oh my Christ, this one http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Dunbar

quimby

@questingbeast http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/352/the-ghost-of-bobby-dunbar

Also there's this... so fascinating.

theotherginger

@quimby a while back one of the NPR shows I like had a feature on him. let me find out. ETA: I have now read the link above. You should all listen to it. It is amazing.

She was a retail whore

@questingbeast Bad things happen when I let you people set me on the road to Wikipedia. Many, many articles on missing people? That's me sorted for the day.

Ialdagorth

@questingbeast Seriously, I think you need to add "Ialdagorth's Productivity" to that list because it's suddenly gone missing, never to be seen again.

Mariah Mantis@twitter

@questingbeast Here is a completely fascinating unsolved mysterious *appearance*: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2011/08/the-body-on-somerton-beach/

Lisa Frank

@Mariah Mantis@twitter Between the Tamam Shud mystery and the Beaumont children, am I wrong in thinking Adelaide must be hell of creepy?

She was a retail whore

@Mariah Mantis@twitter The Hairpin included that in this wickedly named list: http://thehairpin.com/2012/10/wikipedia-entries-to-read-in-the-dark

Don't read those in the dark, people. Ask the bags under my eyes how I know this.

warriorworrierwoman

@questingbeast Oh, y'all, now i'm reading through that wikipedia list and getting so creeped out! The Barbara Newhall Follett one FASCINATES me for some reason. why the mention of $30?!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Newhall_Follett

JessicaLovejoy

@questingbeast There should be a list of people who have fallen down that endless k-hole.

catfoodandhairnets

@questingbeast @JessicaLovejoy Add me to the list. Tara Calico wtf.

DandelionTacy

@questingbeast This American Life has an excellent episode in their archives about Bobby Dunbar!
ETA Quimby (hope that is either a Ramona or Mayor reference!) beat me to it! There's also a fascinating episode called Switched at Birth that is worth a listen, mainly because the parents suspected their babies were not the correct ones, but didn't do anything.

Jen@twitter

Hmm, I was at some biscuit place in West Virginia that had that first picture hanging on the wall and my coworkers and I (who are not from the area) were wondering what the story was about it but there was no label on the picture so we didn't know where to start. Now I'm even more intrigued by the whole thing!

Guess I know how I'll be procrastinating at work today.

Megasus

Great minds Nicole! I literally posted this in the HFC a couple weeks ago!

chevyvan

I'm so glad that someone at The Hairpin is as obsessed with this stuff as I am.

Blushingflwr

Oh, gods, why did I read those articles? I fear I will not sleep well tonight...

warriorworrierwoman

@Blushingflwr me neither. it's bright and sunny and 12:30in the afternoon here and i'm all creeped out

lora.bee

@Blushingflwr So creeped out, but can't...stop...reading...

polka dots vs stripes

Is someone at The Hairpin as obssessed with Longreads as I am??

She was a retail whore

@polka dots vs stripes Isn't everybody?? That site is my jam. When I'm knitting and I need something to keep my brain occupied, I find an article on longform and make my computer's robotic voice read it to me (oh Alex, how I love you).

polka dots vs stripes

@She was a retail whore UHHH well now I know what I'm using for background noise the next time I sew and I'm tired of Friday Night Lights on Netflix (okay let's be real, I'll never tire of FNL, but I do tire of Mr Polka Dots vs Stripes making fun of me for it....)

She was a retail whore

@polka dots vs stripes I love Friday Night Lights, but 1) it's too interesting and I stop knitting and 2) it makes me cry, which also impedes my ability to knit.

She was a retail whore

Re Bobby Dunbar: I'm glad it seems that the rest of Julia Anderson's life after her son's kidnapping seemed happy, but it's pretty terrible that he was taken from her, first by Walters, and then by the Dunbars. I can't imagine what it must feel like to know that your child has been kidnapped, and then to have a court side with the kidnappers based on a very little bit of evidence and a whole lot of judgement against unwed mothers.

LMac

2013 was going to be different. I was going to actually get work done, instead of spending hours upon hours on Wikipedia and Past Imperfect.

Thanks a lot, Hairpin. (I actually mean that, thank you. Who wants to work???)

KatnotCat

The Beaumont Children article, especially the section on the individual suspects, is terrifying. I'm building a bunker for my nephew to live in, and never having children.

teaandcakeordeath

@KatnotCat
reading that was like falling down a rabbit hole of horror. I actually feel slightly traumatized.

RK Fire

@KatnotCat Reading the individual suspects section led me to the family murders, which was really bizarre and horrifying.

beams!

@KatnotCat i'm going to need a bunker too, jesus christ

iceberg

Stupid real life where you never find out the ending. Be more like TV!!! (It's always the special guest star whose character has an existing relationship with a main character #svu)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

I read this on Longform a little while ago, and “Louis Sodder. I love brother Frankie. Ilil Boys. A90132 or 35” stuck out to me because doesn't that seem like an inmate number? At the Illinois Boys facility (or whatever it would have been called)? It can't be that easy, right?

Vera Knoop

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose
It does seem that way! It's also possible that Louis died incarcerated and someone promised to send this for him after getting out; that would explain a) why it was addressed to only one parent, b) why it mentions only one sibling, c) the "32 or 35" and d) why Louis never made another attempt to contact them. Still leaves a lot of things unanswered, though. And the PI they sent after this lead disappeared, too.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Vera Knoop Exactly. Someone has to have checked up on that, I'm hoping.

selenalynn

@Vera Knoop But Frankie is not the name of any of his siblings..?

Vera Knoop

@selenalynn Ok, that's bizarre and I don't know how I missed it the first (and second) time. So how about this: Jennie's name was on the envelope, but not on the back of the photo, right? So maybe Frankie was the friend/"brother," and Louis gave him the photo, but after something happened to Louis, Frankie sent it to the only member of Louis's family whose name he knew.

MoxyCrimeFighter

Am I weird for thinking poor possibly-kdnapped/incarcerated/murdered/not-even-Louis Louis is kind of a hottie?

Allie J

@MoxyCrimeFighter

You are not weird. He is most definitely hot. He reminds me of a young Matt LeBlanc.

Re: brother Frankie, is it possible that the son who was away in the Army at the time of the fire was named Frankie? I can't seem to find his name. Oh, this story will haunt me.

sandwiches

Never ever having children, and am putting my sister and her eventual children under strict, well-paid, 24 hour supervision forever. That's a feasible solution, right? Right?

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