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View Full Version : CT CT - Little Miss 1565 & the circus fire, 1944 *merged*


smile22
02-27-2005, 01:55 PM
does anyone remember this i was having a discusion with my dad on some of the cases that were solved through doe and such one of them being the tent girl he got confused beacuse he had never heard of the tent girl but of little miss 1565 who was parished in a fire at a circus in hartford ct. anyone know anything about it i read that some people thought she was to be of ellenor cook but cook family members from then had said that they didnt belive that it was her
Little Miss 1565 & her true identity
The most well-known victim of the circus fire was a young blonde girl wearing a white dress. She is known only as Little Miss 1565, named after the number assigned to her body at the city's makeshift morgue. Oddly well preserved even after her death in the fire, her face has become arguably the most well-known image of the fire.

kylie
02-27-2005, 02:23 PM
Yes, they did discover her true identity. I read it a few years back. I don't know who it was though

smile22
02-27-2005, 02:55 PM
i know i found a website after i had posted that said they did, but that dental reccords didnt match the body thus her not being who she really was according to the mother of the girl. i duno but its worth looking into to see if she really wasnt who they said she was

Dark Knight
02-27-2005, 03:15 PM
The full story of little miss 1565 with a current update is found part-way down the page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartford_Circus_Fire

In a nutshell, they are now doubting her "true identity" and have reopened the investigation.

Maybe So
02-28-2005, 11:53 PM
wouldn't exuming the unidentified bodies and little miss 1565 and doing DNA testing solve this once and for all?

PFF
10-27-2008, 10:14 AM
Not to be morbud-but of the five unknown victiums of the Hartford CT Circus Fire 1944-2 women;2 children; 1 man "burned beyond recognition" -could this mean "body parts" that couldn't be matched to known victiums?

palmerk
10-27-2008, 10:40 AM
Considering the tent was "fireproofed" with parafin and gasoline, and the whole tent was gone in about 6 minutes (see http://www.historybuff.com/library/reffire.html)
I suspect that the bodies were just too badly burned, rather than anything else. This was a hot, fast fire.

Also, one of the 2 children was later identified and buried next to her family (many years after the fact)

asylum00
10-28-2008, 08:29 AM
I believe several things contributed to there being some unidentified victims, including but not limited to:

1. As previously mentioned, bodies were burned beyond recognition. They were laid out in the armory, covered with sheets, and labelled "girl, 8 to 10 yrs old" and so on. Because of these vague descriptions and the reluctance of the identifying parties to take a closer look, I am sure many bodies were incorrectly ID'd. Then it comes down to the last few remaining bodies that don't match up with the remaining victim descriptions, and you end up with unclaimed bodies.

2. Many families suffered numerous losses, including the mother and children, some fathers and mothers and children, and in these cases perhaps a not-so-close relative was doing the identifying. This could have resulted in misidentifying.

The case of Little Miss 1565 is a classic example - a Hartford detective has claimed to have uncovered her identity but he conveniently disregards the facts that the body size and features and age of 1565 do not match up with the girl who he claims it to be. I'm sure a lot of this happened in the days after the fire - find something close to what you are looking for, claim it and go on with the services.

rpipergirl
11-08-2008, 05:00 PM
Considering the tent was "fireproofed" with parafin and gasoline, and the whole tent was gone in about 6 minutes (see http://www.historybuff.com/library/reffire.html)
I suspect that the bodies were just too badly burned, rather than anything else. This was a hot, fast fire.

Also, one of the 2 children was later identified and buried next to her family (many years after the fact)

Palmerk it was not "fireproofing" it was actually water proofing. In doing genealogy we discovered we had an ancestor on my dads side who as a little girl died in that fire. My dad lived in Hartford then. He was 3 months old at the time. If you all want to know more I recomend reading The Circus Fire by Stewart O'nan. I listened to it on audio book.

Kimster
01-08-2012, 01:20 AM
It turns out that evidence has emerged that strongly indicated that Eleanor Cook and Little Miss 1565 are not one and the same child. First, Mrs. Cook had been shown a picture of Little Miss near the time of the fire and had stated emphatically that this was not her daughter. Second Eleanor cook was a brunette not a blonde and pictures of the young Eleanor show that their faces were shaped quite differently. It is also believed that Eleanor and this young girl buried in her grave were different heights and that their dental records do not match.http://factoidz.com/the-face-that-haunts-me-little-miss-1565-who-is-she/

Article written Feb. 2010

CarlK90245
01-08-2012, 02:13 AM
There are no links to the photo of Miss 1565 on this thread, so I am posting a link.

WARNING - POSTMORTEM PHOTO AT LINK:

http://i1354.photobucket.com/albums/q697/Carlkopp90245/Postmortem%20Photos/2913566280045078242S600x600Q851.jpg

HeartOfGranite
01-08-2012, 02:44 PM
Stewart O'Nan wrote a fascinating book called "Circus Fire" about the events surrounding the fire, including a lot of time talking about the unidentified fire victims. It's an excellent read and faces some of the doubts about this victim. It was a while ago that I read it, but there was some speculation that another family had misidentified the Cook girl as theirs instead of this little girl, which seems plausible considering the way they had the makeshift morgue set up; families might have been hasty wanting to get out of there.

PFF
02-16-2012, 06:59 PM
http://www.circusfire1944.com/

STANDREID
02-16-2012, 09:36 PM
I remember one theory about the unidentifieds was that they were all from one family and no one knew they were at the circus thus never came looking for them.

One unidentified was believed to be a black woman so at least she would not likely fit that explanation.

The baby was cremated right away because they said no identification was possible. With DNA, that view proved to be shortsighted.

gitana1
05-31-2012, 01:50 AM
I just read about this child and the fire. I just knew websleuths would have a thread on it!

Apparently, someone put notes on her grave and the graves of several unidentified people buried near her, in the mid-80's, indicating they were all part of a family including a mom, step-father, step-grandma and twin brother, Michael:

Police Lt. James Looby said the notes were found on all six graves but that the largest note was on the little girl's grave. It said: ''Sarah Graham is her Name! 7-6-38 DOB, 6 years, Twin.''
A note to the left identified the grave as that of her twin brother Michael, and notes on the four other graves list a mother, stepfather, stepgrandmother and ''a friend, related somehow.''
http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1987-07-25/news/0180350043_1_unidentified-victims-graves-notes

Apparently, investigators could not find anyone by her or Micheal's name born in Connecticut. They speculated that they could have come from Massachusetts and were going to investigate further but I can find nothing about further investigation.

I think it would be easy to find a record of twins, Michael and Sarah Graham, born around 1938 in neighboring states.

I also read that the spouse of one of two investigators who worked for decades trying to ID this little girl, told his wife that they did ID the child but the parents or family members did not want to be public. They did not want publicity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartford_circus_fire#Little_Miss_1565

Some children burned beyond recognition were ID'd at the time of the fire, but it is possible that this little girl was incorrectly ID'd as one of those victims and then when her face was published all over the news, they were too traumatized to read those reports and never saw her photo or were so traumatized that they failed to recognize her - some form of denial and wanting to bury the incident.

To this day, people carry on the decades-long tradition of the two investigators and put flowers on her grave every year on Christmas and the date of the fire.

I agree, for the reasons listed above, that she was not Eleanor Cook.

necco
06-02-2012, 10:46 AM
Keep in mind, this was WWII. It is possible the father was at war (or KIA) and the mother died in the fire. There were a number of military bases in the area and there was also a trend of women going home to live with their parents while their husbands were away. All of these factors, as well as someone misidentifying their own child (or possibly a series of misidentifications given the hell that the armory must have been as time wore on) all lead to the perfect storm of Little Miss 1565.

southsleuth
06-02-2012, 10:57 AM
Keep in mind, this was WWII. It is possible the father was at war (or KIA) and the mother died in the fire. There were a number of military bases in the area and there was also a trend of women going home to live with their parents while their husbands were away. All of these factors, as well as someone misidentifying their own child (or possibly a series of misidentifications given the hell that the armory must have been as time wore on) all lead to the perfect storm of Little Miss 1565.

Very good post. The WWII scenario is plausable. Lots of family upheaval.

buffetoflies
06-04-2012, 10:27 PM
I don't understand. Little Miss 1565 isn't/wasn't 'burned beyond recognition'. The girl in the pic Carl posted has a little burn on her cheek. All the parts that make a face a face are still there.