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Marilynilpa
10-03-2005, 12:57 PM
Ruth Baumgardner was a 21 year old senior at Ohio Wesleyan College in Delaware, Ohio. By all accounts she was a good student, popular on campus, and was in the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She was engaged to a boy (Bud Moore) from her home town of Lakewood, Ohio. Her father was a wealthy manufacturer. She received a red convertible for her graduation gift, and had once remarked that if she ever wanted to disappear, she'd leave her car behind because the fiery red vehicle would be easy to spot. The last time she was seen was the evening of May 4, 1937, when she went to the sorority house for choir practice. She was described as being "jovial" that evening, but had seemed "nervous" for the past few weeks. She was last seen hurrying to her room, and seemed "excited" about something. She had received three calls from an unidentified male that day.

The next day, Ruth did not show up for class, missing a test that she had been studying for the previous day. Finally, when she missed dinner, some classmates went to her room (she roomed alone) to look for her. The room was tidy, the robe and pajamas she had worn the night before were hanging in the closet. Either she had not slept in her bed that night, or she made the bed before she left. Her watch, sorority pin and change purse were on the dresser. Her room keys and her ID were found in the stair railing near her room. A brown suit, hat and shoes, and a small overnight case (recently purchased) were missing from her room. Her new car was left in the garage. Her car keys were on the front steps of her dorm. A woman reported hearing a scream around 2 a.m. near the Olentangy River, but an investigation of that area revealed no clues to Ruth's disappearance.

After the disappearance, there were a lot of "sightings" of Ruth, none of which panned out. A mentally ill woman was arrested by the police in Boston, claiming she was Ruth Baumgardner. However, it turned out she was not.

In 1938, four men were arrested for killing a police officer. One of those men confessed to the kidnapping of Ruth Baumgardner, and for a while there was hope the case would be solved. It was later proven these men could not have been the kidnappers.

I have searched newspaper archives and have not found anything relating to this case since 1951, when a newspaper ran an article on the 14th anniversary of Ruth Baumgardner's disappearance.

If anyone out there knows about this case, I'd love to hear from you regarding your thoughts about it. I continue to research this, and will attempt to locate anyone who was connected to Ruth Baumgardner. As this case is so old, it may be hard to locate anyone who knew Ruth personally.

I'd appreciate any help.

Richard
10-03-2005, 02:15 PM
Try contacting or visiting the Ohio Wesleyan University Library to see if there are Yearbooks containing her picture. Also, check to see if there might be bound copies of the college newspaper for stories about her disappearance.

Also, try to find out when her parents died, and look for an obituary or funeral notice, or cemetery records. What you will be looking for are other relatives mentioned, so that you can try to locate any surviving siblings or their descendants today.

It is an intriguing tale. I would draw that conclusion from what you present that she left intentionally and purposefully, and that she did not plan to return.

Strange of her to leave her car keys on the porch, but perhaps she thought of them after going outside and closing/locking house door. Not wanting to wake the housemother, but wanting to leave her keys behind, she may have placed them on the porch. Were there other keys on the ring as well? Cars back then did have keys, but they were not like ignition keys today. A 1936/37 era car with an electric starter was actually started by pushing a button on the instrument panel/ dashboard.

Marilynilpa
10-03-2005, 02:40 PM
I agree that it seems Ruth Baumgardner disappeared on purpose. One article I read mentioned that she was intrigued by a movie she had seen in which a woman stages her own disappearance.

Some articles mentioned that Ruth had missed chapel seven weeks in a row, which was a very unusual thing for a student to do. She appeared nervous in the weeks prior to her disappearance, but on the night of her disappearance, she seemed excited about something. She had received phone calls from a man on the day she vanished. She had written to her mother that she was feeling very tired. I believe she may have been pregnant, which accounts for the nervousness and the tired feeling, and that the baby's father arranged to meet with her, which accounts for her being excited. Who knows what happened after that - maybe they eloped, maybe the father of her child killed her, maybe she went somewhere to have the baby. There are a lot of possibilities.

It is interesting to note that this case was closed in 1939 at the request of Ruth's parents. They had hired a private investigator who followed up on every lead, and there were a lot of leads. It's my opinion that this investigator did locate Ruth, but so far I have found nothing to substantiate that.

Thanks for your suggestions of where to search further.

Marilynilpa
10-03-2005, 04:48 PM
I just located obituaries for Carl Baumgardner and Emma Baumgardner, Ruth's parents. Her father died in 1957, and her mother died in 1969. Both obituaries refer to "the late Ruth E. Baumgardner".

This would mean that Ruth Baumgardner died sometime between when she disappeared in 1937 and the date of her father's obit, which was 8/5/57. However, I am wondering if they refer to her as "the late Ruth Baumgardner" simply because she was missing and presumed dead? I was unable to find an obituary for Ruth Baumgardner.

I was also able to get the names of a male and female who would be Ruth's niece and nephew, and will try to contact them to see what they have to say about Ruth Baumgardner.
If anyone out there knows this family, I'd love to hear from you.

Richard
10-04-2005, 09:11 AM
I just located obituaries for Carl Baumgardner and Emma Baumgardner, Ruth's parents. Her father died in 1957, and her mother died in 1969. Both obituaries refer to "the late Ruth E. Baumgardner".

This would mean that Ruth Baumgardner died sometime between when she disappeared in 1937 and the date of her father's obit, which was 8/5/57. However, I am wondering if they refer to her as "the late Ruth Baumgardner" simply because she was missing and presumed dead? I was unable to find an obituary for Ruth Baumgardner.

I was also able to get the names of a male and female who would be Ruth's niece and nephew, and will try to contact them to see what they have to say about Ruth Baumgardner.
If anyone out there knows this family, I'd love to hear from you.
It could simply mean that Ruth was declared dead after a period of time missing - usually after 7 years.

You might check with the courts where the family lived to see if there are wills on file following the deaths of her parents. If the family was wealthy, they likely had wills. Such a document would identify other family members.

Also, try to get access to the census records for their home town to see if the family is listed. The names, ages, and relationships of family members will be there.

There could be a number of reasons for why Ruth left. Without other information, however, it would be hard to tell. Maybe some of her sorority sisters are still living. You could find out who they are by checking College yearbooks. I wonder if she might have confided her reasons to a close friend, but asked that she tell no one - even police. It would be interesting to see what statements those girls told police. Do police files still exist on this case?

Marilynilpa
10-04-2005, 09:28 AM
The Delaware, Ohio police department says the files for this case have been destroyed. I was able to get the names of a couple of officers who worked this case, one is deceased and the other I am still trying to get in touch with.

Ruth's parents hired a private detective to find her. Although he is most likely deceased, it's possible I can track down a family member who might know if the detective kept any files on this case.

I have the address where Ruth's family lived at the time of her disappearance. From the obituaries for her parents, I was able to get the names of her brother, sister, nephew and niece. Today I'll see if I can get in touch with any of them.

I will look into obtaining a college yearbook, and the names of her sorority sisters. I imagine most of them got married, so it may be difficult tracking them down without knowing their last name. Maybe the sorority can help me out with that.

It is possible that she confided in someone, but I tend to doubt that. With the passage of time, it seems someone would have said something.

Thanks again for your comments, you are very helpful.

shadowangel
10-04-2005, 09:59 AM
I've dug into the archives, and have found basically the same info that you have. One question-I can't find any further mention of her fiance...Any idea what became of him?
Pregnancy was the first thing that came to my mind. Possibly she had arranged for an abortion which went wrong? I was just researching an angle in the Sharon Marshall case which brought this scenario to mind.

Marilynilpa
10-04-2005, 11:11 AM
I've dug into the archives, and have found basically the same info that you have. One question-I can't find any further mention of her fiance...Any idea what became of him?
Pregnancy was the first thing that came to my mind. Possibly she had arranged for an abortion which went wrong? I was just researching an angle in the Sharon Marshall case which brought this scenario to mind.
I have no idea of what became of the fiance, but plan to track him down.

Pregnancy is the first thing that came to my mind. First, she skipped chapel for seven weeks, which makes me think she might have been meeting someone during that time. Second, she was described as being nervous during that time period, and in letters to her mother, she complained about being tired. Third, on the day of her disappearance, she received three phone calls from a local number from a man, and she was described as being "jovial" and "excited" that evening.

I am wondering if she was excited because the father of her baby agreed to meet with her to discuss marriage. I don't know if she would have been excited if she were going to leave to have an abortion. Anyway, maybe the man wasn't as eager as Ruth to get married, they had a fight, and she was killed. There is a report from a woman who claimed to hear screams around 2:00 a.m. near the river.

Of course, there are other scenarios as well, but like you, pregnancy was the first thing that came to mind.

One curious aspect of this case is that her parents always refused to comment on Ruth's disappearance, and eventually asked the police to close the case. That makes me think that somehow they found out what happened to Ruth.

I became interested in this case while researching the missing Zanesville, Ohio girls. I searched "Zanesville" and "missing", and one hit was a Zanesville, Ohio newspaper mentioned that two women in Zanesville claimed to have seen Ruth Baumgardner walking down the street.

Isn't it funny how researching one thing can lead to another??

I'll post again when I have any new info.

shadowangel
10-04-2005, 11:25 AM
quoting, I became interested in this case while researching the missing Zanesville, Ohio girls. I searched "Zanesville" and "missing", and one hit was a Zanesville, Ohio newspaper mentioned that two women in Zanesville claimed to have seen Ruth Baumgardner walking down the street.

Isn't it funny how researching one thing can lead to another??

I know. I've gotten leads on other cases while looking into things posted which have nothing to do with the original case. That's one of the reasons I like it here so much.
I agree, she wouldn't be giddy over an abortion, but possibly relieved? Happier than before because she believed the pressure would soon be off?
There probably weren't many OB/GYNs around at that time, maybe theres's something in the records that could be researched?
I only bring this up because, as you said about how one case leads to another, I came across reports of an abortion/adoption clinic in GA which operated in the '50s and '60s. I found it while looking up info from the Akron area for Upallnite's sister's case from the early '80s.

Marilynilpa
10-04-2005, 12:23 PM
relieved[/i]? Happier than before because she believed the pressure would soon be off?
There probably weren't many OB/GYNs around at that time, maybe theres's something in the records that could be researched?
I only bring this up because, as you said about how one case leads to another, I came across reports of an abortion/adoption clinic in GA which operated in the '50s and '60s. I found it while looking up info from the Akron area for Upallnite's sister's case from the early '80s.
I had thought about that possibility, haven't really delved into it yet. This happened in the late 1930s, and I don't know how easy it would have been to find someone to perform an abortion. I've heard horror stories about "backstreet butchers" who performed abortions using coathangers, among other things. Obviously these were not doctors and they probably lost a few "patients" due to bleeding, infection, etc. Just another possible reason for Ruth's disappearance.

Richard
10-04-2005, 04:40 PM
You mention her fiance as being Bud Moore. What other information do you have on him at this time? Bud was probably a nickname. If he was in his early 20's in 1937, it is a good possibility that he served in the Armed Forces during World War II (1941-45 for US involvement). There are a lot of paths to search if he was in the service.

Marilynilpa
10-04-2005, 05:21 PM
You mention her fiance as being Bud Moore. What other information do you have on him at this time? Bud was probably a nickname. If he was in his early 20's in 1937, it is a good possibility that he served in the Armed Forces during World War II (1941-45 for US involvement). There are a lot of paths to search if he was in the service.
His full name is/was Harry B. Moore. Unfortunately his name is not all that uncommon, so I'm having to go through a lot of information to see if any of it pertains to him.

I'm still plodding along and following each trail.

Thanks again for your comments.

meggilyweggily
10-05-2005, 06:37 AM
I have a book with a chapter on Ruth's disappearance which has two pictures of her. I have no clue what happened to her though. It doesn't seem likely that a girl would go off to start a new life with only $5 in her pocket.

Richard
10-05-2005, 09:14 AM
I have a book with a chapter on Ruth's disappearance which has two pictures of her. I have no clue what happened to her though. It doesn't seem likely that a girl would go off to start a new life with only $5 in her pocket.
What book is that? And when was it published? Any other good stories in it?

Marilynilpa
10-05-2005, 09:16 AM
I have a book with a chapter on Ruth's disappearance which has two pictures of her. I have no clue what happened to her though. It doesn't seem likely that a girl would go off to start a new life with only $5 in her pocket.
I don't know about that. If she were meeting a man she probably felt she didn't need any money. But if she was actually staging her own disappearance, I agree with you, she certainly would have taken more money.

There are numerous newspaper articles about Ruth's disappearance, and some of them contradict each other, so it is hard to tell what is true and what isn't. She carried a newly purchased overnight bag with her when she left, but her mother said the only clothing missing was a brown suit, low-heeled brown shoes, and a brown hat. She did not take her pajamas and robe, they were hanging up in her room. She did take her hair rollers. What I have not been able to determine is whether or not she left behind the engagement ring her fiance had recently given her.

It is truly a puzzle.

docwho3
10-05-2005, 12:22 PM
http://www.booksmatter.com/b188622885X.htm
I found a book that claims to have a chapter about the story.

In other web searches (google) I also found a Ruth Baumgardner that was married before the alleged date of disappearance. So I wonder (I have no way of knowing if its the same person since many people have similar names.) if she didn't want rich family to know of her secret marriage to someone else but when they expected a marriage to someone else other than her secret hubby she finally had to leave.

It would seem that if a young woman had acquired a secret married name she could easily drop out of site by going to live with her hubby under her new name.-just a thought.

Marilynilpa
10-05-2005, 12:39 PM
http://www.booksmatter.com/b188622885X.htm
I found a book that claims to have a chapter about the story.

In other web searches (google) I also found a Ruth Baumgardner that was married before the alleged date of disappearance. So I wonder (I have no way of knowing if its the same person since many people have similar names.) if she didn't want rich family to know of her secret marriage to someone else but when they expected a marriage to someone else other than her secret hubby she finally had to leave.

It would seem that if a young woman had acquired a secret married name she could easily drop out of site by going to live with her hubby under her new name.-just a thought.
Thanks for your thoughts on this cold case.

Unfortunately, I've learned that Ruth Baumgardner is not an extremely unusual name.

Ruth's parents hired a private investigator to run down every clue that came along, no matter how far-fetched it seemed, all to no avail. I would imagine that would have included checking out marriage licenses, etc., although I don't know that for sure.

You're right that if Ruth did want to disappear, she could certainly have done that by getting married. If no one knew the man she married, she would be virtually untraceable.

Is the book you are referring to "Death Ride at Euclid Beach"? I am trying to locate a copy of that book to read what is written about Ruth.

Thanks for your input, and hopefully you'll come up with some other good suggestions for me in my "quest".

joellegirl
10-05-2005, 02:15 PM
"Death Ride at Euclid Beach" is available right now on Amazon.com. Hope this helps.

Marilynilpa
10-05-2005, 02:37 PM
"Death Ride at Euclid Beach" is available right now on Amazon.com. Hope this helps.
Thanks, I hadn't gotten around to looking there yet. I'll order a copy just to see what that book has to say about Ruth Baumgardner.

Auggie21
10-05-2005, 03:09 PM
In other web searches (google) I also found a Ruth Baumgardner that was married before the alleged date of disappearance. So I wonder (I have no way of knowing if its the same person since many people have similar names.) if she didn't want rich family to know of her secret marriage to someone else but when they expected a marriage to someone else other than her secret hubby she finally had to leave.

It would seem that if a young woman had acquired a secret married name she could easily drop out of site by going to live with her hubby under her new name.-just a thought.
This senario makes a lot of sense. I would also explain why she took one suit, but left her other belongings. I can see someone who is leaving for a new life with her new husband leaving her "old" pajamas behind. It could also explain why her parents stopped looking for her if they found out she eloped.

Major problem. If she was in her twenties in '37 she's very likely deceased by now. Unless she told someone who she really was, her secret may have gone with her.

camracrazy
10-05-2005, 03:13 PM
It looks like Delaware, Ohio is in Delaware County. Here is a link to the Delaware County, Ohio Historical and Genealogical Society:

http://www.midohio.net/dchsdcgs/


The address for the Delaware County Courthouse is:

Delaware County Courthouse
91 N. Sandusky
Delaware, OH 43015-1703
(740) 369-8761


The Delaware Gazette has been published since 1920. It's website is:
http://www.delgazette.com/

I would think that all of these places would be useful in your research, especially in finding a marriage license if she was married in that county.

meggilyweggily
10-06-2005, 11:04 AM
Two pictures of Ruth Baumgardner:

http://www.charleyproject.org/images/b/baumgardner_ruth.jpg
http://www.charleyproject.org/images/b/baumgardner_ruth2.jpg

Pretty girl. I'll post her case on the Charley Project tomorrow.

meggilyweggily
10-06-2005, 11:06 AM
It's called "Death Ride at Euclid Beach" by John Stark Bellamy II. It's part of a series on historical true crime and disasters in the Cleveland area. I have three or four of the series' books and they have some interesting stories in them, including at least three on disappearances: Ruth Baumgardner, Melvin Horst and Beverly Potts.

meggilyweggily
10-06-2005, 11:07 AM
I'm pretty sure Ruth wasn't married before her disappearance, from what I read in "Death Ride." She was engaged to a guy back home, and her friends swore she wasn't seeing anyone else. Besides, wouldn't her parents' detective had figured out about the marriage pretty fast?

camracrazy
10-06-2005, 11:36 AM
I'm pretty sure Ruth wasn't married before her disappearance, from what I read in "Death Ride." She was engaged to a guy back home, and her friends swore she wasn't seeing anyone else. Besides, wouldn't her parents' detective had figured out about the marriage pretty fast?
I guess that would depend on what kind of ID, if any, you had to show to get a marriage license back then. She could have applied for a marriage license under a different last name. If she roomed alone, I don't see how her friends could be 100% certain she wasn't seeing anyone else. Her comings and goings wouldn't be noted as closely as they would be with someone who had a roomate.

meggilyweggily
10-06-2005, 11:53 AM
She lived in a girls' dormitory. It's pretty hard not to miss people's activities when you live in a girl's dorm. I have never spoken to the girl across the hall from me, but I know what she does with her boyfriend every night (and I wish I didn't know).

smile22
10-06-2005, 12:43 PM
i know her fokes hired a private investigator what if he found her alive and the fokes were so discusted with her that they just let it go. also did they have any other children besides ruth

Marilynilpa
10-06-2005, 12:59 PM
It looks like Delaware, Ohio is in Delaware County. Here is a link to the Delaware County, Ohio Historical and Genealogical Society:

http://www.midohio.net/dchsdcgs/


The address for the Delaware County Courthouse is:

Delaware County Courthouse
91 N. Sandusky
Delaware, OH 43015-1703
(740) 369-8761


The Delaware Gazette has been published since 1920. It's website is:
http://www.delgazette.com/

I would think that all of these places would be useful in your research, especially in finding a marriage license if she was married in that county.
Thanks for your post, I appreciate you taking the time to look up this information.

I have contacted several possible sources of information in Delaware, Ohio including the police department, Ohio Wesleyan, and the historical society. A search for a marriage license turned up nothing.

I have several articles from the Delaware Gazette about this disappearance, it was a fairly important story at the time. Shortly after Ruth's disappearance, however, the Hindenburg crashed and burned, and that story took over front page news for a while. It seems most of the local Ohio papers carried stories, off and on, about the progress of the investigation into Ruth's disappearance.

The police department destroyed the records relating to this case many years ago when they moved to a new building. For a while it was retained on microfilm, but that has also been destroyed and was not put into computerized form. I was directed to a gentleman who wrote a book about the Delaware, Ohio police department, and I have written to him asking if he has any information about this case. Hopefully he will have something to tell me.

The historical society may have some information for me, but I am not sure. I've contacted them, and was told a researcher would call me back to discuss this.

I had some good news from Ohio Wesleyan, it is possible that they have some records pertaining to this. I am waiting to hear from someone about this, she is supposed to contact me soon.

Thanks for your interest in this case.

Marilynilpa
10-06-2005, 01:02 PM
i know her fokes hired a private investigator what if he found her alive and the fokes were so discusted with her that they just let it go. also did they have any other children besides ruth
The Baumgardners had a married daughter named Ora Hardwick. No other siblings.

I have wondered if the private investigator ever found Ruth. Of interest to me is the fact that the Baumgardners eventually asked the police department to close their investigation. Of course, several years had passed, but I wonder if maybe they DID find out what happened and that is why they asked for this case to be closed. I would think most parents would want a case kept alive forever if their child disappeared.

In Ruth's parents' obituaries, she is referred to as the LATE Ruth Baumgardner. But most likely this is because she had been declared legally dead.

Marilynilpa
10-06-2005, 01:06 PM
She lived in a girls' dormitory. It's pretty hard not to miss people's activities when you live in a girl's dorm. I have never spoken to the girl across the hall from me, but I know what she does with her boyfriend every night (and I wish I didn't know).You make a good point. Ruth did not have a roommate, but obviously there were other girls in the dorm. Since she was last seen around 11 p.m., it's pretty likely everyone was asleep when she left. None of her sorority sisters came forward to say they had seen or heard anything out of the ordinary that evening. They did notice, however, that Ruth seemed excited about something. In the prior weeks, she had appeared nervous.

Obviously in 1937 the dorms were not co-ed, so no one would have seen/heard anything coming from her dorm room involving a man. She was engaged to a fellow in Cleveland, Ohio, but I don't know if he ever visited her at college or not. She did receive three phone calls on the day of her disappearance from a man calling from a local number (according to a newspaper article I read). Whoever answered the phone at the dorm was unable to locate Ruth, and the caller left no message.

Marilynilpa
10-06-2005, 01:21 PM
Two pictures of Ruth Baumgardner:

http://www.charleyproject.org/images/b/baumgardner_ruth.jpg
http://www.charleyproject.org/images/b/baumgardner_ruth2.jpg

Pretty girl. I'll post her case on the Charley Project tomorrow.
Thanks, that would be great.

Yes, Ruth was very pretty, and from all accounts she was a nice young lady and a good student.

Her father described her was having light brown hair, with two lighter streaks in front, and having blue-gray eyes. She was five feet four inches tall and weighed 111 lbs. She combed back her hair usually with two rows of curls in the back. She walked with a "long stride".

Marilynilpa
10-06-2005, 01:24 PM
This senario makes a lot of sense. I would also explain why she took one suit, but left her other belongings. I can see someone who is leaving for a new life with her new husband leaving her "old" pajamas behind. It could also explain why her parents stopped looking for her if they found out she eloped.

Major problem. If she was in her twenties in '37 she's very likely deceased by now. Unless she told someone who she really was, her secret may have gone with her.
I agree that her secret might have gone to her grave, but I am hopeful I can find out something. Although her parents and her sister are deceased, her sister had a son and a daughter, and I plan on contacting them to see if the family ever discussed Ruth with them.

Marilynilpa
10-06-2005, 01:30 PM
I'm pretty sure Ruth wasn't married before her disappearance, from what I read in "Death Ride." She was engaged to a guy back home, and her friends swore she wasn't seeing anyone else. Besides, wouldn't her parents' detective had figured out about the marriage pretty fast?
Right, Ruth was engaged to Harry "Bud" Moore, in fact they had gotten engaged shortly before her disappearance.

The reason I feel there might be another man involved is that Ruth's sorority sisters said that on the day she disappeared, a man called for her three times, but she was available to take the call. Apparently the call came from a local number, and the caller left no message.

As for her friends swearing that Ruth was seeing anyone else, I have a feeling that if Ruth did have another man in her life, she was very secretive about it. Plus, as I've posted a couple of times before, Ruth skipped chapel several times (which was out of character for her), and no one knew where she went on those occasions. She was nervous for several weeks before her disappearance, but was described as "jovial" and "excited" on the day she vanished.

This case really has me hooked!

meggilyweggily
10-06-2005, 01:49 PM
Her father described her was having light brown hair, with two lighter streaks in front, and having blue-gray eyes. She was five feet four inches tall and weighed 111 lbs. She combed back her hair usually with two rows of curls in the back. She walked with a "long stride".
My book has her as blonde, 5'5 and 110 pounds, with just one irregular streak.

I have wondered if the private investigator ever found Ruth. Of interest to me is the fact that the Baumgardners eventually asked the police department to close their investigation. Of course, several years had passed, but I wonder if maybe they DID find out what happened and that is why they asked for this case to be closed. I would think most parents would want a case kept alive forever if their child disappeared.
You'd think, but I write about a lot of missing people and I've seen several cases where the parents finally asked the police to close the case. I'm guessing that they can't take the pain anymore and just want to lay the thing to rest. I have another case where the parents have consistently refused to get an age-progression done for their missing child; I have a feeling they just want to forget the whole experience.

I wish I still had my NewspaperArchive subscription.

Marilynilpa
10-06-2005, 02:03 PM
My book has her as blonde, 5'5 and 110 pounds, with just one irregular streak.


You'd think, but I write about a lot of missing people and I've seen several cases where the parents finally asked the police to close the case. I'm guessing that they can't take the pain anymore and just want to lay the thing to rest. I have another case where the parents have consistently refused to get an age-progression done for their missing child; I have a feeling the just want to forget the whole experience.

I wish I still had my NewspaperArchive subscription.
I have a NewspaperArchive subscription, which is how I've been able to locate numerous articles about Ruth Baumgardner. What is frustrating me is that often an article appears in a newspaper, but there is no follow up. For instance, I have an article saying a thank you note written by a female hitch-hiker (matching Ruth's description) was being studied by a handwriting expert. The private detective hired by her family said there was some similarity in the handwriting on the note to samples of Ruth's handwriting. But there is NO follow up to that story. I assume the expert determined that the writing wasn't Ruth's but it would be nice if there had been a follow up in the paper.

I have ordered, but not yet received, the book you refer to. I'm looking forward to reading it just to see if there is any information I haven't found yet.

There is a discrepancy between her father's description and what was reported in some newspaper articles. Many of the articles refer to Ruth as being blonde, while others refer to her as having brown hair. I figure her father's description is probably the most accurate one.

shadowangel
10-06-2005, 02:13 PM
Don't know if it means anything at all, but I did find something while looking into a completely different subject (baseball-go figure). In 1941-42, Zanesville OH had a team, part of the Middle Atlantic League (a farm league for the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians). In 1942, they recruited a rookie by the name of Harold "Bud" Moore.

Marilynilpa
10-06-2005, 02:36 PM
Don't know if it means anything at all, but I did find something while looking into a completely different subject (baseball-go figure). In 1941-42, Zanesville OH had a team, part of the Middle Atlantic League (a farm league for the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians). In 1942, they recruited a rookie by the name of Harold "Bud" Moore.
That's interesting, I'll definitely look into that. In 1941, Bud Moore would have been about 27 years old, assuming he and Ruth were about the same age.

Funny you should mention Zanesville, Ohio, as doing some research on that city is how I got interested in Ruth's disappearance. I was researching some young girls who were reported missing in the 1950's, and one newspaper I pulled up had the story about Ruth Baumgardner.

Thanks for the info!

camracrazy
10-06-2005, 02:57 PM
Marilyn,

Did you try looking for an obit on Harold Moore? Probably nothing of interest, but you never know.

Marilynilpa
10-06-2005, 03:06 PM
Marilyn,

Did you try looking for an obit on Harold Moore? Probably nothing of interest, but you never know.
I searched the Ohio obituary databases and found nothing pertinent. He may have moved away from Ohio and, since his name is not that unusual, it would be hard to figure out which obituary pertained to the right Harold Moore.

However, since he was in his very early 20's when the U.S. entered WWII, it is possible he enlisted in the military. I have not yet checked out military records, but plan to do that soon. That might give me a lead on him, who knows.

shadowangel
10-06-2005, 03:44 PM
I did just a quickie search, found a 1996 NYobit for a Harold B.Moore, age 89. This would have made him 30 at the time of the disappearance...Doesn't seem to fit the story, but 70-some years later, who knows? Maybe the folks were unhappy about an engagement to an older man and they eloped?

**slight edit, I couldn't read my own notes!

meggilyweggily
10-06-2005, 03:49 PM
There is a discrepancy between her father's description and what was reported in some newspaper articles. Many of the articles refer to Ruth as being blonde, while others refer to her as having brown hair. I figure her father's description is probably the most accurate one.
Well, there is a very fine line between blonde and light brown hair. I myself am not sure whether my hair is one or the other. Of course, I haven't seen its natural color in ten years, but still. Before I started coloring my hair I considered myself a blonde, but several people referred to my "light brown" hair. It's all in the eye of the beholder I suppose.

Marilynilpa
10-06-2005, 04:03 PM
Well, there is a very fine line between blonde and light brown hair. I myself am not sure whether my hair is one or the other. Of course, I haven't seen its natural color in ten years, but still. Before I started coloring my hair I considered myself a blonde, but several people referred to my "light brown" hair. It's all in the eye of the beholder I suppose.
I know what you mean. I don't know if my hair is blondish red or reddish blond.

As you said, there is a fine line between blonde and light brown hair. Dark blonde and light brown are pretty much the same thing.

meggilyweggily
10-07-2005, 06:58 AM
I've posted Ruth Baumgardner's case on my site, with all the relevant information I could get from the book, though I didn't talk about the guy that tried to call her.

http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/b/baumgardner_ruth.html

Marilynilpa
10-07-2005, 09:55 AM
I've posted Ruth Baumgardner's case on my site, with all the relevant information I could get from the book, though I didn't talk about the guy that tried to call her.

http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/b/baumgardner_ruth.html
Thanks much, I hope other people read about this and post their thoughts and suggestions.

Those phone calls Ruth received on the day of her disappearance may be the reason she went from "nervous" to "excited", but since there is no way of knowing who called her, I can understand why you would leave that out.

Thanks again for posting Ruth's story on your site.

Marilynilpa
10-07-2005, 09:56 AM
I did just a quickie search, found a 1996 NYobit for a Harold B.Moore, age 89. This would have made him 30 at the time of the disappearance...Doesn't seem to fit the story, but 70-some years later, who knows? Maybe the folks were unhappy about an engagement to an older man and they eloped?

**slight edit, I couldn't read my own notes!
Thanks for that info. I think Bud Moore was about Ruth's age (early 20's), but I don't know if that's just a guess on my part or if I read that somewhere. I'll take a look at that obit, and go back through my notes and newspaper clippings to see if I can determine Bud's age. I'll let you know what I find out.

Marilynilpa
10-07-2005, 10:07 AM
I've posted Ruth Baumgardner's case on my site, with all the relevant information I could get from the book, though I didn't talk about the guy that tried to call her.

http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/b/baumgardner_ruth.html
I just finished reading what you put about Ruth on your website. Most of it is accurate, but I believe Mr. Bellamy wrote a couple of inaccurate statements about Ruth. I am basing this on newspaper articles that were written at the time of her disappearance.

(1) Ruth left not with an old handbag, but with an overnight case she had recently purchased.

(2) The keys to Ruth's car were not found in the ignition, they were found on the steps of the dormitory.

These are not key elements in her disappearance, but thought I'd point them out to you. Mr. Bellamy may have taken a little "creative license", but most of what he wrote is supported by newspaper articles written at the time of Ruth's disappearance.

I am so glad to have Ruth's story on your website, who knows, maybe someone reading it might be related to one of Ruth's sorority sisters, and might remember something dear old granny told them about Ruth's disappearance that will solve the whole thing! (Yeah, I know, just wishful thinking on my part!!)

meggilyweggily
10-07-2005, 11:25 AM
I seriously doubt John Bellamy took "creative license," everything else he's written I've found to be accurate, in particular all the details of his story on Beverly Potts corresponded exactly with the later (excellent) book on the subject. Perhaps the news articles got Ruth's car key mixed up with her dorm key, which was left on the step.

I'm inclined to take newspaper articles, contemporary or otherwise, with a grain of salt. Even nowadays, when we are supposed to hold journalistic integrity to a high standard, the two articles that were written about my own website both had what I would term inexcusable errors (they messed up things that a cursory reading of the relevant pages should have made clear). And I've been trying to find more information on a cold case, Taj Narbonne, but every article I find contradicts the last one, and on MAJOR issues in his case. I'm tempted to call the investigating agency and ask them to clarify. I've never done that before but I'm so frustrated.

Marilynilpa
10-07-2005, 12:36 PM
I seriously doubt John Bellamy took "creative license," everything else he's written I've found to be accurate, in particular all the details of his story on Beverly Potts corresponded exactly with the later (excellent) book on the subject. Perhaps the news articles got Ruth's car key mixed up with her dorm key, which was left on the step.

I'm inclined to take newspaper articles, contemporary or otherwise, with a grain of salt. Even nowadays, when we are supposed to hold journalistic integrity to a high standard, the two articles that were written about my own website both had what I would term inexcusable errors (they messed up things that a cursory reading of the relevant pages should have made clear). And I've been trying to find more information on a cold case, Taj Narbonne, but every article I find contradicts the last one, and on MAJOR issues in his case. I'm tempted to call the investigating agency and ask them to clarify. I've never done that before but I'm so frustrated.You may be right about that. I have noticed that there were discrepancies in the articles written about Ruth at the time of her disappearance. But when two or more articles relay the same information, I tend to believe that information is accurate.

The reason I am even mentioning this is that if Ruth's car keys were in the ignition of her car, rather than on the steps leading up to the dorm as reported in various newspaper articles, that would make me more inclined to believe she had been abducted (i.e., she was in her car, getting ready to leave, puts the key in the ignition, something happens to make her get out of the car, and then she vanishes), as opposed to her leaving willingly.

I am supposed to be getting some documents from Ohio Wesleyan, and maybe those will shed some light on this issue.

Your post has made me realize I need to be a little more objective when reading newspaper articles!

By the way, we have something in common - I, too, am a professional insomniac!

meggilyweggily
10-07-2005, 01:48 PM
Let me know what, if anything, the Wesleyan documents tell you. I'd be interested to know. Those old, forgotten cases fascinate me.

Contradictory information is the bane of my line of work -- that is, my work on my website. I had one case years ago, resolved now, where I didn't even know for sure what the girl's name was. It was given as Angie, Angeline or Angelina, and no two accounts gave the same name. There's a similar problem with the Warner child -- her name is spelled Leanna, Leeanna, LeeAnna, Leanne, etc. I use LeeAnna Susan Marie Warner, which I believe is from her official website, but I really don't know. The NCMEC gives it as Leeanna Marie Warner, but I know they have at least one name wrong -- every other account I saw spelled Shemaeah Gunnell's last name with two L's, but the NCMEC poster for her has one L. Sometimes family members will email me and give the correct information, but they have to take the initiative for that. In any case, Shamaeah has no family for me to contact even if I chose to.

God only know how much info on my website is correct, given that I have to take it all from mostly untrustworthy sources. Even police websites give false information, the NYPD has a missing persons case where they have the guy's height, his weight, and the address where he disappeared all wrong! That's why I post a disclaimer saying that nothing on my site should be taken as gospel truth.

Marilynilpa
10-07-2005, 02:02 PM
Let me know what, if anything, the Wesleyan documents tell you. I'd be interested to know. Those old, forgotten cases fascinate me.

Contradictory information is the bane of my line of work -- that is, my work on my website. I had one case years ago, resolved now, where I didn't even know for sure what the girl's name was. It was given as Angie, Angeline or Angelina, and no two accounts gave the same name. There's a similar problem with the Warner child -- her name is spelled Leanna, Leeanna, LeeAnna, Leanne, etc. I use LeeAnna Susan Marie Warner, which I believe is from her official website, but I really don't know. The NCMEC gives it as Leeanna Marie Warner, but I know they have at least one name wrong -- every other account I saw spelled Shemaeah Gunnell's last name with two L's, but the NCMEC poster for her has one L. Sometimes family members will email me and give the correct information, but they have to take the initiative for that. In any case, Shamaeah has no family for me to contact even if I chose to.

God only know how much info on my website is correct, given that I have to take it all from mostly untrustworthy sources. Even police websites give false information, the NYPD has a missing persons case where they have the guy's height, his weight, and the address where he disappeared all wrong! That's why I post a disclaimer saying that nothing on my site should be taken as gospel truth.
That has to be a real headache for you.

In this particular case, since this happened so long ago there really isn't anyone to go to for clarification. As mentioned before, some newspaper articles say Ruth Baumgardner was blonde, but most say she had brown hair. One article claimed she was 19 when, in fact, she was 22. Those aren't terribly important details, I guess, but it's just annoying that those inconsistencies are there!

Someone from Ohio Wesleyan is supposed to be sending me some documents, and another person from Ohio Wesleyan is supposed to call me to discuss Ruth's disappearance. If I learn anything meaningful, I'll certainly post it here!

Richard
10-07-2005, 03:12 PM
... The reason I am even mentioning this is that if Ruth's car keys were in the ignition of her car, rather than on the steps leading up to the dorm as reported in various newspaper articles, that would make me more inclined to believe she had been abducted (i.e., she was in her car, getting ready to leave, puts the key in the ignition, something happens to make her get out of the car, and then she vanishes), as opposed to her leaving willingly.
You can't necessarily draw a conclusion of abduction based on keys being in the ignition. Car keys were a relatively new thing in 1937 in an era where most folks didn't even lock their houses. She may have simply left them in the ignition all the time so that she always knew where they were.

Back then, the key didn't actually start the car like it does today. Inserting the key and turning the ignition lock (if the car had one) simply allowed the car to then be started by pressing an ignition button on the dash. Some cars had ignition locks which could be locked in the "on" position, and the key removed - allowing the car to be started simply by pushing the button the next time around.

Tractors of that era never had ignition locks or keys.

Marilynilpa
10-07-2005, 03:28 PM
You can't necessarily draw a conclusion of abduction based on keys being in the ignition. Car keys were a relatively new thing in 1937 in an era where most folks didn't even lock their houses. She may have simply left them in the ignition all the time so that she always knew where they were.

Back then, the key didn't actually start the car like it does today. Inserting the key and turning the ignition lock (if the car had one) simply allowed the car to then be started by pressing an ignition button on the dash. Some cars had ignition locks which could be locked in the "on" position, and the key removed - allowing the car to be started simply by pushing the button the next time around.

Tractors of that era never had ignition locks or keys.
You know, that's a very good point. A car key in 1937 was not like a car key today. So any conclusion based on whether or not the key was in the ignition would be erroneous. As you stated, it could be that she ALWAYS left her key in the ignition, so there is no significance to it being there.

Thanks for setting me straight on that. Sometimes I find myself spending too much time worrying about small matters that really don't amount too much!

Marilynilpa
10-20-2005, 10:24 AM
A representative from Ohia Wesleyan e-mailed me yesterday to say she has some newspaper clippings the University kept relating to Ruth's disappearance. She is going to send me copies of them. It will be interesting to see if there are any articles that didn't appear on my NewspaperArchive.com search.

Unfortunately, she told me that she doesn't have any documents such as statements, police reports, that type of thing. I still have a couple of people I have contacted and not heard from, so there is still a slight chance they may have more info.

I am attempting to track down the children of the man who was chief of police when this disappearance took place. I'd like to know if they recall their father discussing the case, what his guesses might have been about what took place.

I'll post more information if I get anything important.

Marilynilpa
10-27-2005, 12:35 PM
The articles I received from the Ohio Wesleyan newspaper were interesting. While some of them were just a rehash of what the mainstream press reported, there were a few items of interest to me.

The school newspaper ran a notice asking anyone who called Ruth prior to her disappearance to call the police. There were apparently five calls which were taken by Ruth's sorority sisters during the two days prior to her disappearance. Two of them occurred on the day she disappeared, from a man described as having a "high" voice. He was calling from a local number, as no operater was involved in the call. He left no messages. I don't know if anyone ever came forward in response to the notice.

There is reference to a "friend" in Cleveland, Ohio, whom the police felt would be able to shed some light on Ruth's disappearance. While the police stated this friend was not Ruth's fiancee, they never disclosed the name or sex of the friend. I have not been able to find any other reference to this friend, or what he/she might have told the police.

Ruth's family, the private investigator they hired, and the police all treated this as a missing persons case. Three days after she disappeared, Ruth's parents took all of her belongings out of her dorm room and returned them to Cleveland. They felt that when she finally came back, she would return to her home in Cleveland rather than Ohio Wesleyan.

Two women in Zanesville, Ohio reported seeing Ruth the day after she vanished from Ohio Wesleyan. She was walking with a young man, and the two were later spotted hitchhiking. The police and the private investigator thought these two witnesses were credible and treated this as a confirmed sighting.

A trucker claimed he picked up the two outside of Zanesville, Ohio, and gave them a ride to Tennessee. The trucker said they appeared tired. The young man called the woman "Bumbie", which was a nickname of Ruth's that few people knew about. The police and the private investigator followed up on this but came to a dead end.

Ruth's mother thought Ruth might have gone to New York City, although she gave no explanation for thinking that.

From everything I have been able to find about this disappearance, I believe it was staged by Ruth (possibly with the help of the male caller with the hgh voice). I also believe that Ruth's family eventually learned the reason for her disappearance. The Burns Detective Agency, hired by the Baumgardners to find Ruth, had a very good reputation for locating people. From the articles I read, it appears the private detective followed up every lead. That, coupled with the fact that the Baumgardners eventually asked the police to close their case on Ruth, leads me to believe they knew what happened to her.

However, I don't think her family ever learned Ruth's whereabouts. In their obituaries, Ruth is described as "the late Ruth Baumgardner". I belive that Ruth was legally declared dead after all efforts to locate her had been exhausted.

As to why Ruth ran away, I don't know - maybe she was pregnant, maybe she fell in love with someone other than her fiancee and eloped with him, or maybe she just wanted to get away from her family for reasons we know nothing about. Whatever the reason, she did a great job of disappearing off the face of the earth!

Marilynilpa
11-24-2006, 10:48 AM
It's been over a year since I've posted anything on this thread, but I do still keep this case in the back of my mind.

I had one possible lead about Ruth in late 2005. I had spoken to someone within the police force who put me in contact with the grandson of one of the policemen who investigated this case. The grandson said his grandfather had some old files stuck in boxes in the attic, and he believed at least one of the files contained information on the investigation into Ruth's disappearance. He promised to locate the file(s) and arrange a time for me to drive to Zanesville, Ohio, to pick them up. I had one more telephone contact with this man, then went a couple of months without hearing from him. When I tried calling him, his phone number was disconnected. All I had was a cell phone number for him, and I can't locate a listing for him in any phone directories.

From one of his statements, I got the impression that he read this and other "web sleuthing" sites, so if he reads this, I implore him to please contact me again!

LisainWV
11-24-2006, 04:47 PM
marilyn...any chances of running down someone with the Burns Det Agency who might be able to shed some light on things?

I too think Ruth disappeared willingly, and even if her parents did uncover some inkling of what was going on with her (I too think that is possible) she obviously never returned home or someone would have seen her.

Stella
11-24-2006, 10:51 PM
Does anyone know if Ruth was political during her last college year? I know this is way out in left field, (excuse pun) but if she were, maybe she ran off to civil war Spain. Communism and the Republican cause were pretty big deals at some universities at the time. Just a thought.

Marilynilpa
12-01-2006, 12:17 PM
I'm glad I generated a little new interest in this case.

I have tried tracking down the detective from Burns who was involved in this case. I don't recall his name off hand, but he's mentioned in some of the newspaper coverage of Ruth's disappearance. Anyway, I was told by an officer of Burns Detective Agency that they would not have retained any records of this investigation since so much time has passed. That's a roadblock I often face when looking into these really old cases. But I'm still following a few leads in that area and will post when/if I learn anything.

As to whether or not Ruth was political, from all indications she was not. It appears she was predominantly involved with school and sorority life. However, there's always the possibility that she was involved in activities unknown to her sorority sisters and her family. I'll do a little more research into the types of political activities going on at her university during the time leading up to her disappearance to see what was taking place.

Keep up the suggestions, it's good to get new ideas!!

LisainWV
12-02-2006, 03:32 PM
Feeling lazy this evening and don't want to go back and research.... Did Ruth have any siblings?

Gina_M
12-02-2006, 03:47 PM
I just found this thread now...what an interesting case. I definitely agree that it seems Ruth disappeared willingly, and many signs point to a boyfriend and possibly a pregnancy. I can't think of anything new to add right now - I was going to post about how it was probably common at that time to leave one's car key in the ignition...but I see someone has already done that :)

Also...my hair falls into the "dark blonde/light brown" category that was talked about here. I consider it to be dark blonde, and so does almost everyone I know...but occasionally someone refers to it as brown. So a discrepancy between various descriptions of her hair color is definitely understandable.

I did find some websites with pictures of old cars, in case anyone is interested in what her car may have looked like. I know it probably has nothing to do with her disappearance, since she left her car behind, but I was just curious :angel:

Here's a picture of a 1937 Dodge convertible. I remember reading that hers was red but I haven't been able to find a red one so far. I'm guessing it was either a 1937 or even a 1938 - since her father was wealthy, it was mentioned that her car was "new", and if things worked back then the way they do now, the 1938s would have already been out in 1937 in time for her to receive it as a graduation gift. Anyway, here's the pic :D

http://www.dodgebrothersclub.org/gallery1/show.php?start=9&file=37_gatordon.jpg&album=4

Gina_M
12-02-2006, 03:51 PM
Feeling lazy this evening and don't want to go back and research.... Did Ruth have any siblings?
From post 29:

The Baumgardners had a married daughter named Ora Hardwick. No other siblings.

LisainWV
12-02-2006, 04:08 PM
Thanks Gina. I find it surprising that Ruth was willing to leave behind a family, her sorority sisters, a new car (which would have been a very valuable asset in those days) and never returned. she had to have done it for true love.

I think this man was someone her parents would not have approved of:

not wealthy and/or educated
much older (most cases this didn't seem to be a problem with most families)
wrong skin color perhaps
wrong ethnicity??

who knows..... the possibities seem to be endless

maybe her parents were just domineering and she decided to have the final say in her life...

BTW, nice car!!! I enjoyed the link Gina. Thanks again.

Mischa
12-02-2006, 04:45 PM
I think this man was someone her parents would not have approved of:

not wealthy and/or educated
much older (most cases this didn't seem to be a problem with most families)
wrong skin color perhaps
wrong ethnicity??

who knows..... the possibities seem to be endless

maybe her parents were just domineering and she decided to have the final say in her life...
How did the truck-driver in Zanesville, Ohio describe the young man who was hitchhiking with "Bumbie"? Is that mentioned anywhere?

Gina_M
12-02-2006, 06:12 PM
Has anyone thought of creating a MySpace page for Ruth? There are tons of "Missing Persons" related profiles on MySpace. I happen to run a couple of them and am "friends" with many others. This could generate more interest in Ruth's case.

Marilynilpa
12-04-2006, 04:07 PM
How did the truck-driver in Zanesville, Ohio describe the young man who was hitchhiking with "Bumbie"? Is that mentioned anywhere?
I've just re-read my previous postings and can't find his description mentioned. I recall that he appeared to be about Ruth's age. I'll go through my newspaper clippings and see what I can find.

Marilynilpa
12-04-2006, 04:15 PM
Has anyone thought of creating a MySpace page for Ruth? There are tons of "Missing Persons" related profiles on MySpace. I happen to run a couple of them and am "friends" with many others. This could generate more interest in Ruth's case.
Given the age of this case, I haven't really considered posting anything about it on MySpace or similar sites. I have posted a great deal about this on websites such as Websleuth.

Marilynilpa
12-04-2006, 04:22 PM
I have so much information about Ruth, and I've had to go through my old postings to refresh my memory about what I've posted on this website.

There are several references to (1) the fact that Ruth appeared "nervous" in the days leading up to her disappearance and (2) that she seemed excited about something on the day of her disappearance.

If the sighting of Ruth in Zanesville, Ohio was legit, then I don't think she ran off with someone of the "wrong" color or ethnicity, since her companion was described as being white and of college age. I'll get his description from my files and post that within the next day or so.

I keep thinking that this case hinges on Ruth's mystery man on the phone. He called and left messages for Ruth the day of her disappearance. The man was not her fiance, and none of Ruth's sorority sisters remembered her talking about any other man in her life. Obviously she must have met this guy somewhere, but as far as I can tell this person was never identified.

I'll go through all of the research material I have and see if I can gather more info about this caller to post here, just to get some suggestions.

Thanks, guys, for all of the new input. It's fun to toss new ideas around.
Thanks Gina. I find it surprising that Ruth was willing to leave behind a family, her sorority sisters, a new car (which would have been a very valuable asset in those days) and never returned. she had to have done it for true love.

I think this man was someone her parents would not have approved of:

not wealthy and/or educated
much older (most cases this didn't seem to be a problem with most families)
wrong skin color perhaps
wrong ethnicity??

who knows..... the possibities seem to be endless

maybe her parents were just domineering and she decided to have the final say in her life...

BTW, nice car!!! I enjoyed the link Gina. Thanks again.

Trino
12-04-2006, 06:38 PM
I've been following comments on Ruth, and the one thing that strikes me is no mention of high school and hometown friends, although she probably returned home over summers. Although people change, would it have been like Ruth, an otherwise studious and an engaged girl, to have left everything behind? Did any hometown friend have anything to say about her relationship with her parents and sister?

Then, too, what about her parents and sister all these years? Would she, especially knowing they had money, never have contacted them? If she was declared dead, was there a memorial service for her?

Re: the car
Why not take the car for a distance, then abandon it, especially if she disappeared at night?

Marilynilpa
12-05-2006, 08:18 AM
Here's a description of the man Ruth was allegedly seen with in Zanesville, Ohio the day after she disappeared. He was described as a white man wearing an "award" sweater, which I presume is like a letterman's sweater. He did not wear a hat.

Another possible sighting occurred when a trucker gave two people a ride. One was a woman matching Ruth's description, and the other was a white male about her age, of "Nordic" descent.

I know I have a more complete description of the Zanesville, Ohio man, and when I find it I'll post it.

Regarding the mysterious telephone calls to Ruth's sorority house, here is what I can remember. There were five calls received a few hours preceding her disappearance. At least two of them were from a man with a high voice asking for Ruth. The same man called twice the previous night. Although we can't be certain, at the time her sorority sisters said Ruth did not talk to this caller.

Agent Stickeler of the Burns Detective Agency tried to locate this caller. He placed a notice in the University newspaper asking anyone with information about the caller to come forward, but it doesn't appear anyone responded with useful information.

I'll keep going through my research and will add more info as I run across it, for those of you who are new to this very interesting case!

Marilynilpa
12-05-2006, 08:26 AM
I was also curious about why there was no mention of friends outside of Ruth's college. But she was a senior in college and very active in the sorority's social life, so she may not have had the time to keep in touch with old friends.

From all appearances, Ruth's relationship with her family was good. But as we all know, appearance can be deceiving, so there may be more here than meets the eye. I've been unable to locate anything to suggest Ruth ever contacted her family after her disappearance.

Regarding any type of memorial service for Ruth, I've not read anything about whether one was held or not. My guess is that there was not one. She is referred to in her parents' obituaries as "the late Ruth Baumgardner", but I don't believe this means her family ever knew what happened to her.

There is one nagging item that I've tried to follow up on, and have gotten nowhere. The Burns agent, fairly early into the investigation, seemed to have a hot lead regarding a friend of Ruth's in Cleveland who apparently had information that would explain Ruth's disappearance. I have been unable to find any other references to this person, and don't know if we're talking about a man or a woman. If anyone happens to come across anything about this, please post the info.

Thanks!


I've been following comments on Ruth, and the one thing that strikes me is no mention of high school and hometown friends, although she probably returned home over summers. Although people change, would it have been like Ruth, an otherwise studious and an engaged girl, to have left everything behind? Did any hometown friend have anything to say about her relationship with her parents and sister?

Then, too, what about her parents and sister all these years? Would she, especially knowing they had money, never have contacted them? If she was declared dead, was there a memorial service for her?

Re: the car
Why not take the car for a distance, then abandon it, especially if she disappeared at night?

Stella
12-05-2006, 10:19 PM
Here's some more food for thought. According to "Witness" author Whittaker Chambers, agents for Soviet Russia were recruiting American college students throughout the 1930's to become spies. They always went after students who DID NOT belong to the American Communist Party. Once recruited, they were sent to the USSR for training. Some came back to America as working agents. Others were never seen again, possibly murdered because of a show of weakness by their Soviet handlers.I don't know if anyone else has googled Ruth's name, but there is a Ruth Baumgardner in Tennessee. Maybe a descendant of the missing girl? I bring this up because someone posted that a driver gave a ride to Tennessee to a couple that may have been Ruth and her unknown companion.

Stella
12-05-2006, 10:43 PM
Marilynpa, you mention a friend of Ruth's from Cleveland who may have known something. If you believe in the abortion angle, Cleveland had a hospital, opened in 1935, called Cleveland Osteopathic Hospital. It was run by the father of the infamous Dr. Sam Sheppard, and much of it's business was allegedly performing abortions.

Stella
12-05-2006, 10:48 PM
Marilynilpa, sorry I misspelled your name. These dang bi-focals....:eek:

reportertype
12-05-2006, 11:19 PM
I had the same question as Trino regarding the car. The only reasoning I can think of is that the car was pretty fancy and would have stood out. Perhaps she was afraid if she was seen motoring along, it would have left clues to where she was going. Whoever she left with, assuming she didn't leave alone, may have decided not to take her car because it might have been noticeable.
I am toying with the idea that Ruth left willingly, but then something went wrong later on. Such as: She left with a man who later killed her after a fight or for some other reason. Or she died after an abortion went wrong. This scenario seems to fit what we know also.

Gina_M
12-06-2006, 05:27 AM
I had the same question as Trino regarding the car. The only reasoning I can think of is that the car was pretty fancy and would have stood out. Perhaps she was afraid if she was seen motoring along, it would have left clues to where she was going. Whoever she left with, assuming she didn't leave alone, may have decided not to take her car because it might have been noticeable.
I am toying with the idea that Ruth left willingly, but then something went wrong later on. Such as: She left with a man who later killed her after a fight or for some other reason. Or she died after an abortion went wrong. This scenario seems to fit what we know also.
I agree about the car standing out...as it says in post #1: "She received a red convertible for her graduation gift, and had once remarked that if she ever wanted to disappear, she'd leave her car behind because the fiery red vehicle would be easy to spot."

I think she disappeared willingly, probably running off with her "mystery man".
An outfit and an overnight case were missing from her room, but she left everything else behind.

Again quoting from post #1:
"She was described as being 'jovial' that evening, but had seemed 'nervous' for the past few weeks. She was last seen hurrying to her room, and seemed 'excited' about something. She had received three calls from an unidentified male that day."

I think she ran off to be with this man, and possibly she was pregnant. I don't think she was planning to have an abortion, since she was described as "jovial" and "excited". What happened afterward is anyone's guess. She could have lived happily ever after with this man, never contacting her family again, or maybe something went wrong.

If Ruth were alive today, she'd be 90 years old, according to my calculations. If she did have a child with this mystery man, it's possible she has grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They might regard their grandmother/great-grandmother as a mysterious woman, who never had any family that she spoke of. The chances may be slim but maybe one of her descendents would read about Ruth's case and put two and two together.

Gina_M
12-06-2006, 05:42 AM
Thanks Gina. I find it surprising that Ruth was willing to leave behind a family, her sorority sisters, a new car (which would have been a very valuable asset in those days) and never returned. she had to have done it for true love.

I think this man was someone her parents would not have approved of:

not wealthy and/or educated
much older (most cases this didn't seem to be a problem with most families)
wrong skin color perhaps
wrong ethnicity??

who knows..... the possibities seem to be endless

maybe her parents were just domineering and she decided to have the final say in her life...

BTW, nice car!!! I enjoyed the link Gina. Thanks again.
Glad you enjoyed the link :D

As Marilyn replied, the man was described by the trucker as being a white male around the same age. I would guess either he was not wealthy and/or educated, or maybe, if she was pregnant, she knew her parents would not approve of her being unmarried and pregnant. That was very taboo back then...most girls were sent away in secret to either have an abortion, or to have the baby and put it up for adoption. Maybe she really wanted to have the baby, and/or really loved this mystery guy. It could be that her engagement to Bud was arranged by her parents, and she really did not love him. She wanted to take control of her life, and she did that by running off and starting over.

At first I was thinking she could have initially planned to just go on an overnight trip and come back (since she only brought an overnight case and one outfit), and that something went wrong (i.e., the guy was a psycho and killed her). But no, I think she didn't intend to come back. She missed a test, and she had missed chapel for several weeks prior. Clearly her mind was on something else.

Shane's Sister
12-06-2006, 06:19 PM
Hi All, this is my first post, and I've found a little info that may not be incredibly pertinent to the case, but I think is kind of interesting. I looked up the census for 1910, 1920, and 1930 in Lakewood, Cuyahoga, Ohio and found the Baumgardner family.

In 1910 Carl, Emma E., and Ora F., are residing at 1462 Newman Ave. in Lakewood. It states their home is owned but mortgaged, and Carl works as a manager of a manufacturing business. It says the birthplace of Emma's father is Ohio.

In the 1920 census, Ruth is now born, and is living with Carl, Emma, and Ora. They are still resisding at the same address on Newman Avenue, and Carl's employment is the same, but now the birthplace of Emma's father is Massachusetts.

In the 1930 census I found Carl, Emma, And Ruth (Ora must be married and moved out by now) living at 2093 Arthur Avenue, which is still in the same neighborhood where they resided previously. It states Carl now owns the manufacturing business, but Emma's fathers' place of birth is now Rhode Island.

Also, I found Carl's WWI draft registration card where it states he is employed at Baumgardener Manufacturing Co. Family business maybe?

It struck me that possibly, if Carl was a well known up-and-coming businessman that this could be a kidnap for ransom gone wrong?

I also found it quite strange how Emma's father's place of birth seems to change every 10 years. I understand that mistakes can and were made by the census takers back then, but the way it changes strikes me as a little shady. Maybe this family had some skeletons in the closet, which might explain why they wanted their daughter's case closed.

Also in the 1930 census, I found a Harry Bruehler Moore, 16 at the time, residing at 1527 Elbur Avenue in Lakewood with a John B. and May B. Moore. In the 'relation to head of household' catagory, Harry is listed as 'adopted son'. Nothing really of note here, just thought it interesting that I found them in the same neighborhood.

I think it would be interesting if we could figure out more about the business that Carl Baumgardner owned. I googled it and found a Baumgardner and Sons, in Cleveland, but it says the business was started (I think) in 1937 (which wouldn't work, Carl owned his by 1930) by a George Baumgardner. Also that site makes no mention of a Carl.

Well guys, I hope I haven't bored you to death. :) This case surely is an interesting one.

docwho3
12-06-2006, 06:42 PM
. . .Well guys, I hope I haven't bored you to death. :) This case surely is an interesting one. Nice first post. I found the info quite interesting.

reportertype
12-06-2006, 11:01 PM
Probably it's just a case of me being shallow, but it's hard to imagine someone from a comfortable family running off with nothing during the Depression. I wonder if she had a stash of money someplace or whoever she left with did. I saw the car ref, Gina, I'd forgotten about Ruth's statement.

GraceBlue
01-30-2007, 01:09 PM
Ruth Baumgardner was 21 in 1937 which would have made her born on or around 1916.
What is/was Ruth's middle name?
I found a listing on zabasearch.com for Ruth E Baumgardner who was born in 1916 and she lives in Florida. I know its a long shot but...could this be her?

iNTERESTEDWOMAN
02-01-2007, 12:56 PM
GraceBlue, I saw that same information on Ancestry.com. It says the Florida's Ruth's Birth date is November 1, 1916, and yes this Ruth middle initial is E as well...Though if you look on the 1920 census (as mentioned above) It was Dated January 2, 1920. It has Ruth listed as 4 10/12. (4yrs 10 mo.) In my old census experience, that would mean that the missing Ruth's birthday would be approx. March of 1915.

Have to admit, when I saw that I got a little excited too.

GraceBlue
02-01-2007, 04:24 PM
GraceBlue, I saw that same information on Ancestry.com. It says the Florida's Ruth's Birth date is November 1, 1916, and yes this Ruth middle initial is E as well...Though if you look on the 1920 census (as mentioned above) It was Dated January 2, 1920. It has Ruth listed as 4 10/12. (4yrs 10 mo.) In my old census experience, that would mean that the missing Ruth's birthday would be approx. March of 1915.

Have to admit, when I saw that I got a little excited too.

You want to call this woman up to find out if she indeed is THE Ruth Baumgardner? ;)
"Hello...Ummm...are you the Ruth that ran away from college some 70 years ago?" How awkward that conversation would be but it will be so interesting to hear what she has to say (if it indeed was her.)

LisainWV
02-01-2007, 10:59 PM
If you're gonna call, better do it soon. this woman isn't young by anyone's standards. But, hey, you never know. this is one case that I feel she just walked way. Probably had a "normal" life somewhere, has grandkids....

GraceBlue
02-03-2007, 11:09 AM
If you're gonna call, better do it soon. this woman isn't young by anyone's standards. But, hey, you never know. this is one case that I feel she just walked way. Probably had a "normal" life somewhere, has grandkids....

You are welcome to call if you want. You can look her up at zabasearch.com ;)

Marilynilpa
02-16-2007, 03:16 PM
Just thought I'd look in on my favorite "case". For those who are interested, the Ruth Baumgardner in Florida is unrelated to the missing Ruth. You may also run across a Ruth Baumgardner in New Jersey, who also is not the missing Ruth. If Ruth did just "walk away" from her life, my thoughts are that she would have changed her name because she had to know her parents would search high and low for her. In her parents' obituaries, she is referred to as "the late Ruth Baumgardner", which I interpret to mean that with the passage of time she was eventually presumed dead.

Next month I will begin spending much more time researching this case, with the hopes of gathering enough info to write a book about Ruth and some other "missing" women, including Dorothy Arnold. I hope everyone continues posting their ideas, hunches, wild speculations, etc.!!

AmandaBrown23
10-18-2007, 09:29 PM
Hey I came accross this and just wondered if there is any chance she is a victim of The Cleveland Torso Murderer. The timeline fits and she was in Ohio. Just a thought, I am an amateur so I dont really know.

Marilynilpa
10-30-2007, 05:58 PM
Hey I came accross this and just wondered if there is any chance she is a victim of The Cleveland Torso Murderer. The timeline fits and she was in Ohio. Just a thought, I am an amateur so I dont really know.

Believe me, Amanda, I thought about that when I first started researching this case. Although nothing can be ruled out, after a couple of years of research I tend to think it unlikely that Ruth was a victim of the torso killer. However, I still keep that thought in mind as I continue researching this and if I find anything to even hint at a connection, I'll be sure to post it here.

Thanks for your interest!

Marilyn

Stella
05-30-2008, 10:41 PM
Bump for Ruth. Marilynilpa, how is the book coming along?

Stella
05-31-2008, 02:19 AM
Just re-read all and post #69 caught my attention for the first time. Don't know how I overlooked it before. The driver said the young man with Ruth (if it was Ruth) was wearing an award or letterman sweater. Someone from Wesleyan or maybe OSU in (not far away) Columbus? Wonder if a male student active in a sport dropped out or went missing around the time of Ruth's disappearance? That could be THE GUY.

Marilynilpa
06-02-2008, 05:30 PM
Thanks for bumping this up. I've been busy researching another case and have let this one sit on the back burner for a while. I'll resume actively working on this one in the next month or so.

The letterman sweater is a good lead, and I don't recall ever looking into that aspect. Thanks for pointing it out - I've gone over this info so many times that I can't keep it all straight!

Trino
06-05-2008, 07:29 AM
Just a quick reply...

I've followed the case a bit, and while I have nothing to contribute about the case itself, I just wanted to mention how awful the census records are, since I spent months tracking my family ancestry. Just as an example, on one census record my grandfather is married to his daughter but living in the same household as my grandmother!!! My own mother's name was recorded as Mazzie and Marcel, neither of which are a correct spelling of her name.

Part of this can be attributed to data entry errors. In fact, I found data on the Social Security Death Index for ancestors born after they died, i.e., born in the 1900's, died in the 1800's. Another factor was the census takers themselves who wrote what they thought they heard. Then, too, not everyone was literate; names were spelled differently by different people in the family. Finally, I, too, have encountered the same ancestor being born in different states on different census records. Just don't take the census records as gospel.

BostonSu
09-03-2008, 02:45 PM
Bumping for my pet case.

gaia227
09-03-2008, 04:22 PM
Wow, thanks for bumping. The name sounded familar but I don't think I have ever read anything about this case before. It reminds me of Dorthy Arnold a little bit.

If she did run away on purpose then I think the key lies with finding out as much as possible about her family. Why would she want to abandon her family? HOW could she? Did she have issues with her parents? Were they wealthy? Expected her to marry and become someone she didn't feel she was? Put a lot of pressure on her to be perfect? If she did get herself in trouble with something like pregnancy and IF her family was that way then it is very likely instead of shaming them and dealing with the rejection she simply disappeared resigned to deal with it herself. Although with only five dollars she would have had to have help.

When the truck driver stated the man he picked up called the fellow hitchhiker 'Bumby' was that info given without prompting? It would be highly coincidental that Ruth is missing, a truck driver picks a woman up who just happen's to have the same nick-name or pet name as Ruth.

This one has the potential to drive me NUTS!

BostonSu
09-04-2008, 06:43 PM
If she did get herself in trouble with something like pregnancy and IF her family was that way then it is very likely instead of shaming them and dealing with the rejection she simply disappeared resigned to deal with it herself. Although with only five dollars she would have had to have help.

When the truck driver stated the man he picked up called the fellow hitchhiker 'Bumby' was that info given without prompting? It would be highly coincidental that Ruth is missing, a truck driver picks a woman up who just happen's to have the same nick-name or pet name as Ruth.

This one has the potential to drive me NUTS!

It's driven me nuts for a while now. :)

Because of the truck driver, as well as two women who seemed to have been reputible sightings, plus the purchase of a suitcase, I believe she left willingly.

Why she never returned, is where I go crazy. An accident? Possibly the young man was someone her family would have disapproved of?

It was an era where you only mixed with your own kind. Perhaps he was a different faith, and her parents would not have accepted him.

I do wonder about possible pregnancy, but I think, if that's the case, she was more likely running away to be married, than to have an abortion. The description of her as "excited" leads me to that conclusion.
I wish she'd left more clues!

Trino
09-08-2008, 03:31 PM
I believe it's rare that people run away and never return, but it does happen. It would be interesting to know more about her inside relationship with her family.

Marilynilpa
09-10-2008, 09:41 AM
I believe it's rare that people run away and never return, but it does happen. It would be interesting to know more about her inside relationship with her family.
As you can see from all of my posts on this thread that this is one of my "pet" cases. I spent several months researching Ruth's disappearance, and I've posted a lot of info on this thread regarding this case. If you will read through all of them, you might find answers to some of your questions.

Ruth's relationship with her family from all accounts was very good. She came from an upper-middle-class family, lived in suburb outside of Cleveland, Ohio, was a good student, and had gotten engaged shortly before her disappearance. She appeared to be a "normal" college student, very involved in her sorority. She had been studying for a test just before her disappearance. She had complained to her family about being under stress to get good grades, but what college student hasn't felt that way before?!?

I'm not sure where the info from regarding the purchase of a suitcase, as this is not something I've uncovered in my lengthy research. From what I've learned, she did not take much anything with her, and there was no suitcase purchased by her any time close to her disappearance.

The remaining big mystery to me is who called Ruth prior to her disappearance. Her sorority sisters claimed a man called for Ruth on at least one occasion, and that the voice was not that of Ruth's fiance.

My first thoughts were (1) Ruth was pregnant or (2) she became involved with someone her family would not approve of (or both).

Throughout all of my research over many months, I've started to think that perhaps Ruth HAD become involved with someone other than her fiance, maybe the "mystery man" who had been phoning her. Was this a married man, perhaps?

I'll post more later with my reasons for suspecting that.

StealthTheory
09-11-2008, 10:51 AM
I hate to suggest this, but if she were pregnant and getting an abortion, she may have died as a result. I imagine it was a taboo and hard to get operation back then, so she would have had to go to a shady doctor that had no over sight. If she had been seeing another man and he took her for the operation, he and the doc may have panicked and gotten rid of her body.

Stella
09-11-2008, 09:18 PM
Just read the Bellamy book on Ruth and something weird stands out. It says the alarm clock in her room was set for 6 a.m. and had run down, indicating she had arisen at that time. Who lets their alarm clock run down? As soon as it goes off, I can't reach the shut off button fast enough, just to stop the noise! To me, it indicates that she set the alarm, but left before 6 a.m. She wasn't there to shut it off and it just ran down. What are your thoughts on this, Marilynilpa?

OilPainter
09-12-2008, 04:47 PM
It's been over a year since I've posted anything on this thread, but I do still keep this case in the back of my mind.

I had one possible lead about Ruth in late 2005. I had spoken to someone within the police force who put me in contact with the grandson of one of the policemen who investigated this case. The grandson said his grandfather had some old files stuck in boxes in the attic, and he believed at least one of the files contained information on the investigation into Ruth's disappearance. He promised to locate the file(s) and arrange a time for me to drive to Zanesville, Ohio, to pick them up. I had one more telephone contact with this man, then went a couple of months without hearing from him. When I tried calling him, his phone number was disconnected. All I had was a cell phone number for him, and I can't locate a listing for him in any phone directories.

From one of his statements, I got the impression that he read this and other "web sleuthing" sites, so if he reads this, I implore him to please contact me again!


This is what's most puzzling to me. Why would this man just "disappear"? At best he could have informed you that he couldn't find the files or maybe just too busy to dedicate the time looking for them but to suddenly drop all contact with you seems odd.

Maybe he found the file and read something disturbing? Then again, maybe I'm reading more into this.

This one sure is a head-scratcher.

BostonSu
09-13-2008, 01:36 PM
[QUOTE=Marilynilpa;2655716
I'm not sure where the info from regarding the purchase of a suitcase, as this is not something I've uncovered in my lengthy research. From what I've learned, she did not take much anything with her, and there was no suitcase purchased by her any time close to her disappearance.
[/QUOTE]

Sorry, probably just a misunderstanding by me of the term "overnight case". In New England, that's what we call a small suitcase. :)

I'm VERY curious about the phone calls as well, and looking forward to hearing more of your theory about the married man.

Ruth has fascinated me for a long time now!

Stella
02-18-2009, 01:18 AM
Bump.

Dysthymia
05-17-2009, 01:59 AM
I have been fascinated by this missing person case since I read about her in one of Mr. Bellamy's books about Cleveland. So I've been lurking here for a long time in the hopes that someone will be able to post the truth about what happened to Ruth Baumgardner on that May day in 1937. I wish that I had something to contribute but I know only what I've read in the Bellamy book and what is printed here.

I've always suspected that she may have been pregnant and either ran away with her lover to get married or traveled with someone that night to obtain an abortion which were illegal and dangerous in those days. She seemed to be one of those girls who had everything but that couldn't have been true, or she wouldn't have run away forever. Then again, she may have been killed by someone or died during an abortion. It is so frustrating to not know. I don't quite know why Ruth Baumgardner fascinates me so but she does and I remember her story ever so often and come here to read and see if any of the brilliant people who post information that they've uncovered will finally solve this very old mystery.

I didn't want anyone to let the thread die out and be forgotten.

Marilynilpa
05-22-2009, 02:40 PM
I have quite a fascination with this case, as you can probably tell from the amount of posts I have made to this thread. In fact, I think I'm the one who originally posted it here on Websleuths.

Ruth got along well with her family and had recently become engaged to a young man who lived in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She seemed to be doing well in school, although she had told her mother that she was worried about one of her classes, and that she was feeling very tired. Other than that, everything seemed to be okay with Ruth, except for the telephone calls she received from an unknown man with a "high" voice.

I believe that when Ruth snuck out of her sorority house, she was planning to meet someone. I think she walked to wherever the meeting was to take place, since she left her car behind. Either she wasn't going far, or the person she was meeting had a vehicle to take them wherever they were going. It is possible Ruth was pregnant, and your comments are accurate about abortions being very unsafe in those days. It is certainly feasible that Ruth went for an abortion, died during the procedure or shortly thereafter, and her body was disposed of.

There were alleged sightings of Ruth and a young man wearing a collegiate jacket, in Zanesville, Ohio, but I have never believed these sightings were actually Ruth.

Like you, I hope someday this mystery will be solved.

If you enjoy cases like this, two other favorites of mine are the disappearance of Alice Parsons from Long Island, New York, and the disappearance of Lola Celli in Columbus, Ohio. There are threads for both of these here on Websleuths.

Stella
08-22-2009, 03:24 AM
I was doing some more checking on this case and ran across another forum, discussing Ruth's disappearance. In it, someone mentions that "I know alot went on at the Loss place", but didn't elaborate. I've checked everywhere I can think of and I can't find anything about a "Loss place". Does anyone know what this is/was and what connection it might have to Ruth's disappearance?

The Green Hornet
08-22-2009, 05:15 PM
The rumor that seems to be consistent is that Ruth staged her disappearance because she was pregnant and unmarried.

Doesn't seem like such a big thing now a days, but back then it was almost the scarlett letter to be pregnant and unmarried.

I'd envision she's likely deceased by now agewise, and this rumor like any other is hardly fool-proof. However, it seems to be the most likely scenario I've heard yet.

Marilynilpa
08-27-2009, 03:18 PM
The rumor that seems to be consistent is that Ruth staged her disappearance because she was pregnant and unmarried.

Doesn't seem like such a big thing now a days, but back then it was almost the scarlett letter to be pregnant and unmarried.

I'd envision she's likely deceased by now agewise, and this rumor like any other is hardly fool-proof. However, it seems to be the most likely scenario I've heard yet.

I've been researching this case since I posted this thread in 2005, and it is still puzzling to me. I've come to the conclusion that Ruth was pregnant, but I'm not so sure she staged her own disappearance. I am more inclined to think that she died either while undergoing an abortion or as a result of the abortion, and her body was disposed of in some manner. What's more, I am of the opinion that at some point, her family discovered what happened to her. My reason for thinking this is: the family hired the Pinkerton Detective Agency to look for her, in addition to the intense police search. However, several months after Ruth's disappearance, her family asked the police and the detective agency to discontinue their search.

Ruth had recently become engaged, and I believe her fiance eventully told Ruth's family about the pregnancy and the abortion. That would explain why her family quit searching for her.

JulieR
08-27-2009, 06:45 PM
Wow what a case, I was wondering if anyone ever looked at the parents wills? Looked if they left money to someone other then close family. It could be that the PI found Ruth alive and well living in another state, with child. She may have had a hush relationship with her parents over the years and they never told anyone about Ruth out of shame and embarrassment. I can't get over the parents telling the police to close the investigation, the only reason I can see them doing that is to make it go away. I also find it strange that after two days the parents pack up her items and take them home like they know she is now coming back. I wonder if Ruth's sister has any children still living that would have information?

Stella
08-27-2009, 08:07 PM
Having the parents request that the police and private detectives stop looking for Ruth reminds me of the Mary Shotwell case. Mary's parents asked that any search for their daughter be stopped after a year or two. Makes you wonder........

Marilynilpa
08-28-2009, 03:44 PM
I wonder if Ruth's sister has any children still living that would have information?

I have contacted Ruth's nieces/nephews and they are not willing to discuss this. That is certainly their business, but it's unusual in my experience. In most cases when I contact the family, they are more than willing to help out. But then, families are all different, so that may not mean anything.

Stella
05-08-2010, 01:10 AM
Remembering Ruth, who disappeared this month of May, back in 1937. Sure wish we had some definite answers.

Kat
05-09-2010, 10:23 PM
This young woman turned out not to be Ruth but I thought it was an interesting read:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1144&dat=19370521&id=JyEbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8UsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2554,1994339

The Pittsburg Press 21 May 1937

Another from the same news source:

19 May 1937

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=JiEbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8UsEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2870,1267225&dq=ruth-baumgardner&hl=en

Not Ruth but her sister is mentioned.

Marilynilpa
05-10-2010, 12:57 PM
There were women claiming to be Alice Parsons after she disappeared also.

I think about Ruth fairly often, but have hit a dead-end more or less with regards to researching her disappearance. No police files exist any more, and no viable suspects were ever located.:banghead:

I'll stick with my theory that she underwent an abortion and died as a result. Who knows where the poor woman's remains were disposed of.

milopedes
07-30-2010, 04:55 PM
I have contacted Ruth's nieces/nephews and they are not willing to discuss this. That is certainly their business, but it's unusual in my experience. In most cases when I contact the family, they are more than willing to help out. But then, families are all different, so that may not mean anything.

What a shame! I guess for selfish reasons I simply don't understand, but depending on what they know, it could be to protect the family name. That seems to make sense. But "protect" it from what?

If it was indeed an abortion gone wrong, or even the fact Ruth eloped, that may have been looked upon in a negative light then but certainly not these days. Or, at least not as much so as back then (is what I meant to write).

I'd be interested to know if someone from a local school disappeared around the same time. If a male student vanished, or dropped out of school mysteriously, you might connect the dots. Of course that would be based upon the assumption the truck driver actually saw Ruth with some guy.

Marilynilpa
08-02-2010, 08:29 AM
I'd be interested to know if someone from a local school disappeared around the same time. If a male student vanished, or dropped out of school mysteriously, you might connect the dots. Of course that would be based upon the assumption the truck driver actually saw Ruth with some guy.

I thought the same thing, and have searched for the past couple of years, off and on, and have not found anything about the disappearance of a young man coinciding with Ruth's disappearance. Of course, the man may not have been a student, could have been living on his own and no one paid much attention if he left.

mom-a-licious
11-13-2010, 04:03 AM
Hi, if Ruth did leave to elope, her last name would have changed when she married, but she may have simply kept her first name Ruth. When she received a social security card later in life, it would have been under the name Ruth "_________" (whatever her married last name was at the time). Does anyone have Ruth's actual birthdate, not just year & month but the full date?

I once found information on the Social Security Death Index, about a very distant relative, with just her first name (and it was an extremely common first name), and I only knew her maiden name, not the married last name she had when she died. I did have her exact birthdate however, and this enabled me to narrow the field down amazingly despite just having the first name, so I was able to eventually find info on that distant relative I was looking for.

So...maybe if you looked on the SSDI, for for first name Ruth, with her exact birthdate, you of course might get several Ruth's with that same BD but one of them might be "the" Ruth. It's a long shot I know, but Ruth may be on the SSDI as she would have to be 95 now if she was still alive and may have died years ago under her eloped/married last name but with the same first name and her real birthdate on her social security card.

fact-n-detail-finder
03-07-2011, 08:33 AM
She was found by a Pinkerton Agent.
Finding her was a result of info from the Ohio State Highway Patrolman Conn murder trial in 1938.

momtolil
03-07-2011, 12:36 PM
She was found by a Pinkerton Agent.
Finding her was a result of info from the Ohio State Highway Patrolman Conn murder trial in 1938.

The comments above were very vague.... Sorry, I may be off and not know whats going on. I used to follow this case, but I haven't read up on it in quite awhile.

Are you saying she has been found? Alive or deceased? What were the circumstances?
I often think of this case and wonder what became of her.
If it happened it 1938, how come it was never released?

Again I'm probably just lost. (It wouldn't be the first time. hehe)

fact-n-detail-finder
03-07-2011, 01:30 PM
You would need to read what was said by the star witness of the trial as to what they did with her, but she was found and placed in a mental institution in PA. The detectives would not answer any more questions about it and said that the family asked that the authorities close the case and let it go. She was not needed as a witness so they abided by the family's wishes. Sounded like she was found after the 2nd trail (Massula's). Info comes from "On Eagle's Wings The Story Of My Life Earnest Paul Webb" (He was one of the main State Patrol Investigators in the Conn Murder.)

momtolil
03-07-2011, 02:16 PM
You would need to read what was said by the star witness of the trial as to what they did with her, but she was found and placed in a mental institution in PA. The detectives would not answer any more questions about it and said that the family asked that the authorities close the case and let it go. She was not needed as a witness so they abided by the family's wishes. Sounded like she was found after the 2nd trail (Massula's). Info comes from "On Eagle's Wings The Story Of My Life Earnest Paul Webb" (He was one of the main State Patrol Investigators in the Conn Murder.)

Thanks for the info.
The family always seemed a little strange to me. Why would anyone stop looking for their missing child???

I wouldn't be surprised at all if this is the answer to her where abouts. It's terrible but not surprising that a family in those days would have felt embarrassment and shame over a family member being institutionalized. From what I read they seemed like the kind of family that would want to sweep something like that under the rug. JMO

This is so intriguing, I have so many questions now.... What did she witness? Did she spend her entire life in an institution? Where was she for the time in between when she went missing and possibly found? So many questions, that I guess were not meant to be answered.

I guess I'll just have to read up on the Conn Murder and Paul Webb.

I would love to hear what Marilynilpa has to say about this, as this poster seemed to know so much about this case.

fact-n-detail-finder
03-07-2011, 02:35 PM
The gang that took her was involved in the white slave trade. She reportedly had been taken to Steubenville, Ohio from Delaware, then she was taken to Pittsburgh, Pa, then????

Amy74
03-07-2011, 06:01 PM
You would need to read what was said by the star witness of the trial as to what they did with her, but she was found and placed in a mental institution in PA. The detectives would not answer any more questions about it and said that the family asked that the authorities close the case and let it go. She was not needed as a witness so they abided by the family's wishes. Sounded like she was found after the 2nd trail (Massula's). Info comes from "On Eagle's Wings The Story Of My Life Earnest Paul Webb" (He was one of the main State Patrol Investigators in the Conn Murder.)

Is "On Eagle's Wings The Story Of My Life Earnest Paul Webb" a book? Any idea where it can be found? I have had no luck searching for it online.

fact-n-detail-finder
03-07-2011, 07:38 PM
Is "On Eagle's Wings The Story Of My Life Earnest Paul Webb" a book? Any idea where it can be found? I have had no luck searching for it online.

The only place I can find it so far is on typed sheets in the Patrol's investigation. The only pages there are 58-66. Unknown when it was typed.

Claudette
03-08-2011, 12:25 AM
This sounds really weird to me. I'll need to see hard proof of this before I write it off in my mind. Please, do you have anything scanned and can you send it to someone here? :)

If she ended up in an institution I feel bad for her. Do we know anything about her being deceased, and when it happened if it did yet? It wouldn't surprise me if she had died from one of many pointless procedures they did during that time.

I've mentioned this on other threads before but there are many, many documented cases of women being institutionalized because they weren't obedient enough to their husbands, or their parents couldn't deal with them anymore (ie one girl was kind of a free-spirit and her parents didn't like it and institutionalized her and I think she lived out the rest of her life there).

Horrible existence. Much better now, thank god.

Claudette
03-08-2011, 12:30 AM
The gang that took her was involved in the white slave trade. She reportedly had been taken to Steubenville, Ohio from Delaware, then she was taken to Pittsburgh, Pa, then????

MOO of course but - slave trade, as in prostitution? This could also explain why the family put her in an asylum. They were too ashamed of what she was, even though she had no choice in the matter and was probably really screwed up from it too. Shame on them if this is the case. What a horrible life.

Claudette
03-08-2011, 12:34 AM
Doing a quick search, I could only find one reference to the book and it is from the Ohio State Highway Patrol (PDF link)

http://statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/1930s.pdf

pdxmama
03-08-2011, 01:45 AM
The only place I can find it so far is on typed sheets in the Patrol's investigation. The only pages there are 58-66. Unknown when it was typed.

Hi fact-n-detail,

The information you have provided is very intriguing but I have to admit I'm still a little confused. Could you tell us how you came to see the typed sheets and how we may be able to see them as well?

I have been searching through pages and pages on Google trying to find any mention of Ernest Webb's book and haven't found anything other than what was mentioned above. I am very curious as to how Ruth's story fits into his memoir.

Also, does anyone know if the facility where Ruth was said to be institutionalized still operating. I suppose their records would be confidential but it might be a place to start.

Thanks for the new info, this case is fascinating!

momtolil
03-08-2011, 02:50 AM
This scenario does seem plausible to me. It could explain many of the questions regarding the family and the authorities and how they handled the case.

Possibly she got caught up with the wrong crowd after receiving an illegal abortion and was unable to get away until it was too late. Maybe her family couldn't handle the shame involved.

Having said that.....the whole white slavery thing seems a little odd to me. If there really was a slavery ring and a trial going on back then, it seems that someone would know something about it after all these years…. Even if it were just rumors.

MaryLiz
03-08-2011, 03:29 AM
Today I would find the white slavery thing more believable than in 1937. But who knows what all went on in secret back then. It still seems a little strange to me for that time period.

momtolil
03-08-2011, 11:47 AM
Today I would find the white slavery thing more believable than in 1937. But who knows what all went on in secret back then. It still seems a little strange to me for that time period.


Thanks, MaryLiz. That's what I was trying to say. The words weren't coming to me at that late at night. That darn insomnia!

I could be wrong but people in those days seemed more innocent.

momtolil
03-08-2011, 12:04 PM
You would need to read what was said by the star witness of the trial as to what they did with her, but she was found and placed in a mental institution in PA. The detectives would not answer any more questions about it and said that the family asked that the authorities close the case and let it go. She was not needed as a witness so they abided by the family's wishes. Sounded like she was found after the 2nd trail (Massula's). Info comes from "On Eagle's Wings The Story Of My Life Earnest Paul Webb" (He was one of the main State Patrol Investigators in the Conn Murder.)

I'm not the best researcher out there, but I can't find any thing mentioned above, not even the state patrolman who wrote the story.

What trial are you speaking of?
What is the Conn Murder and the Massula trial?

Has anyone else found any information?

Amy74
03-08-2011, 03:19 PM
I emailed the OSHP to see if they have a copy in archives or can direct me to who wrote the "1930s" section of the OSHP history referenced above, which in turn references Webb's book. Waiting for reply.

Claudette
03-08-2011, 09:52 PM
Thanks, MaryLiz. That's what I was trying to say. The words weren't coming to me at that late at night. That darn insomnia!

I could be wrong but people in those days seemed more innocent.

They weren't, trust me lol (history and art buff....the 20s for example were a very raunchy era, it would put us to shame today if they had the internet and 24 hour news - think prohibition for example) society as a whole was just really big on internalizing everything and "minding ones business". If what we are all theorizing here, the family's public face and actions is how many families would have probably acted.

Claudette
03-08-2011, 09:53 PM
Also his book probably was discontinued decades ago, my guess would be by the 60s if not way earlier. It might be hidden in some library in Ohio somewhere, most likely a university.

Amy74
03-09-2011, 03:36 AM
Also his book probably was discontinued decades ago, my guess would be by the 60s if not way earlier. It might be hidden in some library in Ohio somewhere, most likely a university.

Probably so, but I thought since they quoted it in the 2008 article, the OSHP may have a copy or know where to find one.

fact-n-detail-finder
03-09-2011, 11:40 AM
Probably so, but I thought since they quoted it in the 2008 article, the OSHP may have a copy or know where to find one.

I checked with OSHP about the book. They said Webb self published it. It sounds like they only have 1 copy and the typed transcript. Later I will type word for word what I found on pages 61 &62 about Ruth Baumgardner. I only have the section pertaining to the Conn Murder Case.

fact-n-detail-finder
03-09-2011, 04:33 PM
The following had to be written years later from his memory. Some of his facts are off, such as Ruth Baumgardner was taken about May 4th and Patrolman Conn was shot & killed 9/27/37.

The following paragraphs are taken from pages 61& 62 of the typed transcripts of “ON EAGLE’S WINGS” The Story Of My Life Ernest Paul Webb:

"About two weeks prior to Conn’s murder a college coed by the name of Ruth Bumgardner had mysteriously disappeared from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio. We questioned Ford later on this, but the name he gave was different. After showing him her picture, he readily identified her as Ruth Bumgardner. He also stated that Serino knew her very well. Ford said that she had been drugged and left at a house in Steubenville. This group left Pittsburgh to go to Huntington and she had been picked up when they came through Steubenville.
There were so many angles by this time that it is impossible to keep them in chronological order. Though many hours of police work, these five were identified through mug shots and pictures as having been seen in St. Clairsville, Huntington, and were definitely identified by a gas station attendant in Freeport. They had purchased gas there and left approximately 10 to 15 minutes before Conn stopped in. In Huntington they stayed over night a house of prostitution and were all identified together with the blanket that was on Conn’s body, s having been taken from this place.
The girl was suppose to have been dropped off at a house of prostitution in Pittsburgh. With this information the Pittsburgh detectives raided this place and took into custody, Ma Brown (Black) and two white or mulatto girls. I went with them on this raid along with 5 detectives. One detective and myself were assigned to the rear of this place which was along an alley. It was dark there, but a car entered the alley and the lights momentarily hit us. A second later they cut lose on us with an automatic weapon. I can only remember the brick dust and splinters. I took a dive into the dark spot which turned out to be about a truck load of tin cans and garbage. This car passed the front of the house and another detective emptied his gun into it but they got away. Ma Brown and her girls were taken to the detective bureau were they were questioned. Ruth Bumgardner had been there but her photo was identified as another name. Shortly there after, a Pinkerton Agent approached me in the hotel where I stayed and asked us to lay off the case at the request of the Bumgardner family, stating that she had been returned home and had been placed in a metal institution. Before I gave him a n answer, I conferred with Inspector Monyhan and Col. Black and they both agreed. This is one story the press never got as we told them she had just disappeared."

momtolil
03-09-2011, 07:24 PM
Thank you, fact-n-detail-finder.

Thanks for taking the time to type this out. It makes everything a lot clearer. I'd love to know how she could have gotten mixed up with a group like that. It could have been simply by chance or a case of the wrong place at the wrong time.

I wonder what became of her? Did she stay in an instatution for the rest of her life? That would be such a shame for her life to be wasted like that.
I'm sure the family was mortified of the thought of her being involved (even unwillingly) with prostitution. I'm sure that was motivation for instatutionalizing her.

Scary... A few years later (in the 40's) is when they started performing labotamies on patients, thinking it was in their best interest.
(happened to a great uncle of mine after terrible case of shell shock after WWII)
That could be why she never was able to come forward to tell her story.

I wonder if a search of mental instatutions in the surrounding area would bring about some clues?

I'm hoping she was released at some point and was able to reume a normal life under another name.

momtolil
03-09-2011, 08:11 PM
Patrolman George A. Conn memorial page.
It does match the story written by Officer Ernest Paul Webb.


http://www.odmp.org/officer/3338-patrolman-george-a.-conn

Claudette
03-09-2011, 08:57 PM
Momtolil - I think you hit the nail on the head with the lobotomy idea.

This is amazing. I can't believe we (well, fact and detail finder!) found out what happened to this case. I never thought I would EVER find out anything.


Can you please stick around and maybe even take a visit over to the Evelyn Hartley case? Pretty please? :innocent:

Marilynilpa
03-16-2011, 08:03 PM
First of all, thanks to all of you who have e-mailed me regarding this new information about Ruth Baumgardner. I appreciate it.

I have done a great deal of research about Ruth, and never uncovered anything about her being found and placed in an asylum. However, I certainly can't say that isn't true.

The whole "white slavery" thing doesn't feel right to me. How did Ruth wind up in the hands of white slavers? She snuck out of her dorm room late at night most likely to meet up with someone she knew. Unless she had been seriously duped, it seems unlikely that she would have arranged to meet up with someone intending her harm.

We have speculated regarding a possible pregnancy, but nothing has ever actually been proven about that. It's just a likely scenario.

One thing I have learned from years of researching these old cases it that mistakes, misstatements and outright lies often make it into newspaper accounts and even official records. You have to take the totality of the information from all sources, weed out what you know to be completely inaccurate, and what you have left is as close to the truth as you can achieve.:banghead:

Again, while I doubt the whole white slavery, mental asylum scenario, it could be possible. I'd feel more comfortable if there was more than one official source of the information.

I look forward to reading any further info about this, because I'd love to put Ruth to rest in my mind!

fact-n-detail-finder
03-16-2011, 10:24 PM
First of all, thanks to all of you who have e-mailed me regarding this new information about Ruth Baumgardner. I appreciate it.

I have done a great deal of research about Ruth, and never uncovered anything about her being found and placed in an asylum. However, I certainly can't say that isn't true.

The whole "white slavery" thing doesn't feel right to me. How did Ruth wind up in the hands of white slavers? She snuck out of her dorm room late at night most likely to meet up with someone she knew. Unless she had been seriously duped, it seems unlikely that she would have arranged to meet up with someone intending her harm.

We have speculated regarding a possible pregnancy, but nothing has ever actually been proven about that. It's just a likely scenario.

One thing I have learned from years of researching these old cases it that mistakes, misstatements and outright lies often make it into newspaper accounts and even official records. You have to take the totality of the information from all sources, weed out what you know to be completely inaccurate, and what you have left is as close to the truth as you can achieve.:banghead:

Again, while I doubt the whole white slavery, mental asylum scenario, it could be possible. I'd feel more comfortable if there was more than one official source of the information.

I look forward to reading any further info about this, because I'd love to put Ruth to rest in my mind!

Later I will type word for word part of the court testimony of the star witness in the Conn Murder case that tells how they took her. Yes she was meeting someone and yes she was doped.

BostonSu
03-17-2011, 02:23 PM
Now that we're learning all this, look what I found online.


http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=gbFQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=BiIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2130,4607278&dq=ruth+baumgardner&hl=en

lieber32
03-17-2011, 08:07 PM
Now that we're learning all this, look what I found online

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=gbFQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=BiIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2130,4607278&dq=ruth+baumgardner&hl=en

I read the article and it was very interesting. Good find, it does however raise a lot of questions as I don't think she would be the type of girl to run away with a bunch of criminals. Glad to see this case has been getting some attention and new things are being discovered.

fact-n-detail-finder
03-17-2011, 09:32 PM
The following is word for word from a section of the testimony given by the state's star witness, Charles Dryer, one of the defendants. The Harrison Prosecutor, Fed Orum, was asking the questions. This occurred on before noon on Wednesday September 19, 1938 in the Harrison County Court room Cadiz, Ohio during the Sereno trail. The 1st of the 3 trials. The defendants were Peter Sereno, Bernard Massulla, Booker Johnson, and Charles Dryer (also known as Ford)

"Q. After you have met these men as you testified to, what if anything did you do -- the four of you? A. We got in a car; we went towards Steubenville.
Q. When you got in the car was anything said by any other occupants as to where you were going? A. Not at the time until after we got to Steubenville.
Q. Did you come to Steubenville? A. Yes.
Q. Did you stop at Steubenville? A. Yes.
Q. Where did you stop in Steubenville? A. We stopped at a house on Wells Street.: the fellow that was supposed to run the hose was named "Steubenville Skip".
Q. That name "Steubenville Skip", is that a nick name? A. That is the name I have know him by -- I don't know.
Q. Did you stop at this place in Steubenville -- the car load of you? A. We stopped and Massulla and Book Johnson got out and went inside.
Q. Who remained in the car? A. Sereno and myself.
Q. How long did you sit there in the car, you and Sereno? A. We sat there approximately 15 minutes.
Q. What if anything then happened , after you sat there 15 minutes? A. After we had been there 15 minute Johnson and Massulla came out again.
Q. Then what did they do? A. They said we were going to Delaware, Ohio.
Q. Where did they say they were going? A. They said they were going to Delaware, Ohio.
Q. Who said this? A. Johnson and Massulla said that when they came out.
Q. Did they say why they were going to Delaware, Ohio? A. Massulla had an appointment with a girl there.
Q. Who told you that? A. He said so himself.
Q. Sir? A. He said so himself.
Q. How long did you remain at "Skip's" in Steubenville before leaving for another part of Ohio? A. About 15 minutes.
Q. Where did you go from Steubenville? A. We left Steubenville for Delaware.
Q. Taking what road if you know? A. So far as I know, Route 22 up to Zanesville. We turned off there.
Q. Prior to this trip you are speaking of, how many times had you been in Ohio, Charley, before that time? A. I had been in Ohio twice before that.
Q. To what place? A. Steubenville.
Q. Was you to "Steubenville Skips" those two times? A. No I have never been there before.
Q. Where did you go to Steubenville before this day? A. I went with a cousin of mine to visit a friend of his.
Q. How long prior to last spring or spring before last, was that you had been there? A. About a year.
Q. Is Steubenville as far west in Ohio as you had ever been before this time you speak of? A. Yes.
Q. Now Charley, did you arrive at Delaware on this trip? Did you go to Delaware? A. Yes
Q. Who told you it was Delaware? A. When we got to where we were at, Massulla said this was Delaware.
Q. After you arrived at Delaware or this place Massulla said was Delaware, what if anything happened then, Charlie-- what did you immediately after arriving at this town? A. When we arrived there we met the girl after we arrived there.
Q. How did you meet this girl? A. We was going along a street there--there is a girl standing about the middle of the block; Massulla said stop the car and he got out and went over and talked to the girl.
Q. about how long a time did he talk to this girl? A. Well, it was about two or three minutes.
Q. Then what if anything, happened next? A. He brought her over to the car and she saw the three of us in there-- the other three, and said she didn't want to go with him then.
Q. Then what reply was given to that? A. He said "You are going anyway".
Q. What did the girl say? A. She said she didn't want to go so he slapped her.
Q. Who did? A. Massulla slapped her. Held her arms and put her in the car.
Q. Did anyone else assist in putting her in the car? A. After the girl was in the car Johnson held her hands: she kicked me and I held her legs.
Q. What happened after that-- what seat was this girl in? A. In the rear seat.
Q. Who was in the rear seat with the girl? A. Myself, Massulla and Johnson.
Q. What kind of car were you driving on that trip? A. A Buick '35 or '35.
Q. What kind of body did it have? A. Sedan.
Q. Four door car? A. Yes, sir.
Q. Do you know who claimed to own this car? A. Johnson claimed to own it.
Q. After the girl was in the back seat of the car with as you say, Massulla, Johnson and yourself, what next happened? A. Well, she was struggling trying to get loose and Massulla took a hypo and gave her a shot in the arm with it.
Q. What do you mean by "hypo", Charles? What is a hypo? A. It is an instrument you administer shots to a person with.
Q. What kind of shots-- what kind of material? A. Narcotics. Or different intoxicants.
Q. What if any reaction did this shot have on this girl? A. It quieted her and she stopped struggling.
Q. Now, where was the car and where was the crowd when this hypo was administered? Did you do that while it was standing along the curb? A. The car was still standing there.
Q. Then did the car afterwards move out of there? A. Yes; Johnson got out-- she had a overnight bag with her; he got out put the bag in the car and got in the front seat.
Q. Whit whom? A. Sereno.
Q. Where did the car go to with this crowd? A. We went back towards Steubenville.
Q. Did you ever arrive at Steubenville on this trip? A. Yes, we went back to Steubenville.
Q. Did you stop at Steubenville on your way back? A. Yes, we did.
Q. Where did you stop? A. The same house were Johnson and Massulla stopped before we went to Delaware.
Q. Did anybody get out of the car at this place? A. Johnson and Massulla got out with the girl.
Q. What if anything did Jonson, Massulla and the girl do? A. The girl was taken into the house.
Q. Can you describe to the jury how she was taken into the house? A. There was one on each side of her that helped her out of the car and took her in the house that way.
Q. Did you make any observation of the condition of the girl when she was taken out of the car at Steubenville? A. She acted as if she was under the influence of a narcotic.
Q. How long did your crowd remain in Steubenville at that time? A. We were there about ten minutes.
Q. Did you get out of the car? A. I got out and started to take the overnight bag in and Johnson taken it from me and told me to stay there.
Q. Who did go into the house if anybody? A. Jonson and Massulla.
Q. Did anybody but Johnson and Massulla go into the house? A. And the girl.
Q. Who remained outside with you? A. Sereno.
Q. Was he still driving the car? A. Yes.
Q. How long was it before Johnson and Massulla returned to the car? A. About ten minutes.
Q. Then what if anything was done next by the four of you? A. When they came out we went back to Pittsburgh."

momtolil
03-17-2011, 11:49 PM
Thank you Marilynilpafor postingabout these new posible findings. I have been waiting to hear your opinion on all of this.

I tend to believe this scenario more and more after reading all of the recent posts.

Good find, BostonSu!! that article was great and really seemed to tie all of these ideas together.

And lastly thank you to fact-n-detail-finder for breathing new life into this case. I really think you are nost likely correct. I really would like to know how you came across all of this new informationn??

It really all makes me want to know more about Ruth's fate. I wonder if there is any way we can ever know where she ended up. I hope she was able to have a decent life.

fact-n-detail-finder
03-18-2011, 05:39 AM
I have been doing an in-depth study on the Murder of Patrolman Conn. He was the first Ohio Highway Patrolman shot and killed. The Patrol was only 4 years old at the time of the shooting. Patrolman Conn was only on the force about 2 years when he was killed. I have been trying to nail down every fact I come across on this. The 75 year anniversary is coming up September 27, 2012 and it is also tie with Freeport's, Ohio Bicentennial. I have seen the Court records, the Patrol investigation reports, Old Newspapers, and even talked with a person who heard the shoots fired that killed George Conn (He was 8yrs old at the time and lived on the farm along the road where George was killed).

Amy74
03-18-2011, 07:46 AM
@fact-n-detail-finder> thanks so much for sharing your research with us and taking the time to type out the testimony

@BostonSu> Great find on the article! Seems pretty convincing along with fact-n-detail-finder's research.

I hope that Ruth was able to put the incident behind her and have a happy life.

Amy74
03-18-2011, 07:58 AM
Just to add further confusion... Follow up articles seem to indicate she was NOT found as the police speculated she would be.

Jan, 22, 1938- coincides with arrest- Ruth's mother doubts story
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=chVBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=GqgMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6086,4673977&dq=ruth-baumgardner&hl=en

Sept. 1938- Ruth still not found, "confessor" claims he knows her whereabouts
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Ah1BAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UqgMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6670,825272&dq=ruth-baumgardner&hl=en

This article is dated 1941- still not found?

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=E8pQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kNAMAAAAIBAJ&pg=1615,3378501&dq=ruth-baumgardner&hl=en

August 16, 1941- still an open case
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=LiBKAAAAIBAJ&sjid=zoUMAAAAIBAJ&pg=2684,8446&dq=ruth-baumgardner&hl=en

BostonSu
03-18-2011, 02:34 PM
I read the article and it was very interesting. Good find, it does however raise a lot of questions as I don't think she would be the type of girl to run away with a bunch of criminals. Glad to see this case has been getting some attention and new things are being discovered.

I keep thinking, (much like kids today who meet someone online), she met & talked to someone a few times, and trusted him. She may have thought she was going with him to somewhere like Niagra Falls for an adventure, never guessing he was a predator.

momtolil
03-19-2011, 05:20 PM
Amy74:
Thanks for posting the follow up articles. They were a little confusing, but they make me wonder if the later ones were part of a cover up? If the family and the police department didn't want it to be known that she was found and the case just dropped, they could posted statements in newspaper articles to cover things up.

I'm sure things like that were done all the time in those days. People just didn't have access to facts like they do today. People usually just bought whatever story they read in the newspapers without question.

I'm sure there weren't as many conspiracy theorists as there are today.

Claudette
03-27-2011, 06:04 PM
This information should be sent to Charley Project and anyone else that features her. Does anyone want to do this? I've never before, and haven't been that close with the case either.

Claudette
03-28-2011, 08:24 PM
Fact-n-deal-finder:

Is there a way you can scan that transcript and any other identifying information for that transcript (book cover, title page, etc) if available? If no one else has, I am going to send that and the news articles to Doe Network & Charley Project and wherever else to have back-up on both theories. <modsnip>

Claudette
04-05-2011, 10:04 PM
I sent all of the files (transcripts of the book and PDFs of the news articles) and a summary of events to Doe Network. The below is the summary I sent, I had to send files in a separate email and kind of rehashed the story.

Oh, FactnDetail found the transcripts at the courthouse that Conn's murder trial took place.

Hello - I was given information regarding the Ruth Baumgardner case and offered to pass the information on. I have no relation to her or to Law Enforcement, just a regular citizen. I will send all documents to ***.

The rundown of what happened to Ruth is that she was kidnapped by a man she knew (how she knew him isn't known) and was drugged. Somehow these men were involved in "white slavery" and prostitution and were involved in the first murder of a Ohio State Patrol officer (the person that gave me this information is doing research on him - his name was George Conn) in which it is believed Ruth was a witness.

What happened after this is what the mystery is - news articles (which I will send) indicate that all of the above was true, however she was never located. According to Ernest Paul Webb, another Ohio State Patrolman that knew Conn, she was returned to her family and put into a mental institution. Her family and their Pinkerton Agency PI asked law enforcement to tell the press that she was never found BECAUSE they sent her to an institution. (Personally I think they did this because she was "prostituted" and women were frequently sent to institutions during that time for reasons outside of what we consider mental illness today, but I have no backup on that.)

Webb published a book and the person that gave me the information found transcripts with this information in the courthouse in which the Conn trial took place. Somewhere in Ohio, I don't have that information readily available but it could probably easily be found. Anyway, due to this I believe that Ruth was found alive. Please note that in the transcript pages I send, Ruth is not mentioned immediately but I believe the first few pages are important to understand what she was involved in. Please confirm you received this information, and if you have any questions please contact me.

I want to thank Fact for bringing all of us this information. It is much easier to do nothing. So THANK YOU Fact!

:tyou::yourock::jumping:

I'm excited to see movement in a cold case. My heart is in the Evelyn Hartley case but it makes me thrilled to know that this one might have been figured out. It truly was a team effort, not only to keep it on the front page of the forums, but I know some of the members here have been here for a long time hunting information, dedicating lots of their time to Ruth. All of your hard work paid off!

I will keep everyone updated if I hear anything back from Doe Network.

Now if only we could figure out something in Evelyn's case...

Claudette
04-18-2011, 10:25 PM
I never heard back from Charley Project and her page has not been updated. I provided PDF copies of all court documents and his transcript (basically, a "sloppy copy" of his book that was probably used for proofing as there are corrections on it and whatnot) as well as a summary. Is this normal? Do I need to do anything else? It has been a few weeks...

MaryLiz
04-18-2011, 11:33 PM
I never heard back from Charley Project and her page has not been updated. I provided PDF copies of all court documents and his transcript (basically, a "sloppy copy" of his book that was probably used for proofing as there are corrections on it and whatnot) as well as a summary. Is this normal? Do I need to do anything else? It has been a few weeks...

The person who runs Charley Project has had some health problems recently and sometimes there is a long period between updates. But she usually writes on her blog about what is going on with her health and when to expect updates. I notice she hasn't blogged anything since April 15, which was only 3 days ago. But I know she has also had some computer problems, which she has blogged about in the recent past. Between her health issues and her computer problems, she is pretty far behind on updates and correspondence. I would give it a little more time and then maybe submit the info to her again. Thanks for submitting the info to The Doe Network and Charley Project.

Claudette
04-18-2011, 11:45 PM
The person who runs Charley Project has had some health problems recently and sometimes there is a long period between updates. But she usually writes on her blog about what is going on with her health and when to expect updates. I notice she hasn't blogged anything since April 15, which was only 3 days ago. But I know she has also had some computer problems, which she has blogged about in the recent past. Between her health issues and her computer problems, she is pretty far behind on updates and correspondence. I would give it a little more time and then maybe submit the info to her again. Thanks for submitting the info to The Doe Network and Charley Project.

Thanks :)

If I don't hear anything by June I'll send again.

If someone is reading this and it is June and I haven't updated, remind me lol!

Stella
05-02-2011, 12:32 AM
:woohoo:Thank goodness! It looks like all the pieces are starting to fall into place. Ruth was probably pregnant and had put out feelers for finding an abortionist. This Massula character let it be known in certain places, among certain people, that he could obtain one for a girl in need. A college campus would be a perfect place to "put the word out". He probably made it sound very safe and respectable, as if he were the middleman for a doctor, nurse or midwife who did this sort of thing on the side. Naturally, when Ruth sees all these men in the car, she panics and wants out of the deal. She had no idea she would be taken to a house of prostitution, where madams often performed "scrapings" (underworld slang for abortions) on girls who worked in the house. Or on kidnapped victims of white slavery, who would soon be working in the house. They often controlled these girls with narcotics (like the hypo Ruth got in the car) to keep them quiet and to get them addicted so they would work tricks in order to get their next "fix". In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned "The Loss Place" in connection with Ruth's disappearance, wondering what it was. I think its safe to assume now that the Loss place was probably a brothel.

Stella
05-02-2011, 12:39 AM
IF Ruth was found, by Pinkertons or police, she may have already been made into a "dope fiend" as they called them back in those days. She also quite possibly was half insane from the treatment she underwent as a victim of forced prostitution. This would explain her going into a mental institution. Certainly all of this is something her family would've wanted to keep quiet, even to this day. As for the 1941 articles on a sheriff re-opening the case, perhaps it was nothing more than self promotion to get some free publicity; perhaps an election for sheriff was coming up and he wanted to keep his job?

momtolil
05-02-2011, 03:22 PM
:woohoo:Thank goodness! It looks like all the pieces are starting to fall into place. Ruth was probably pregnant and had put out feelers for finding an abortionist. This Massula character let it be known in certain places, among certain people, that he could obtain one for a girl in need. A college campus would be a perfect place to "put the word out". He probably made it sound very safe and respectable, as if he were the middleman for a doctor, nurse or midwife who did this sort of thing on the side. Naturally, when Ruth sees all these men in the car, she panics and wants out of the deal. She had no idea she would be taken to a house of prostitution, where madams often performed "scrapings" (underworld slang for abortions) on girls who worked in the house. Or on kidnapped victims of white slavery, who would soon be working in the house. They often controlled these girls with narcotics (like the hypo Ruth got in the car) to keep them quiet and to get them addicted so they would work tricks in order to get their next "fix". In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned "The Loss Place" in connection with Ruth's disappearance, wondering what it was. I think its safe to assume now that the Loss place was probably a brothel.


That's such interesting information Stella! Thank you. Where did you find all of this?

Though it would be intrusive, I would love to know more about how the rest of her life turned out. I sure hope she was able pick up some of the pieces and have somewhat of a fulfilling life. I guess there is no way of knowing though.

Stella
05-02-2011, 10:31 PM
Hi Momtolil, I hope everything turned out for Ruth okay myself; she has been my pet cause, so to speak. I've been looking into her case since late 2006; everything I've found has been over the internet. Just lots of digging and researching and swapping ideas with fellow Websleuthers. I'm anxiously waiting to see what everyone thinks!

Kimster
05-15-2011, 08:26 PM
Ruth is our featured Cold Case for 5/15 - 5/22/2011

:rose:

Princess of Oz
05-15-2011, 10:03 PM
Could this be where she ended up, if the story is true?

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~asylums/southeast_oh/index.html (Hubby says this one is now part of Ohio State University but the hospital is still there (still used for the same thing).)

or here..

http://ech.cwru.edu/ech-cgi/article.pl?id=CSH (destroyed in 1977)

These are the only 2 that I can find, and know anything about (husbands family is from OH), that were in operation in the time frame she would have been there.



ETA: Going by the story she would have been in a ward in PA, not OH.

momtolil
05-16-2011, 01:35 PM
Regarding the facility:

I would think that she would have been sent to the one in PA or possibly one in a close by state such as Illinois, Kentucky or Indiana. I tend to think that the family would not want her in a local facility due to trying to save the family reputation.

Having spent alot of my time in Cincinnati, I know that the states listed above are not all that far away. But just far enough that you wouldn't have all the gossipy neighbors talking.

Although I know it is intrusive, I would still love to know where she ended up.

KariKae
05-17-2011, 03:18 PM
At this point, I think the parent's will is the key to what happened to Ruth.

If she lived, I assume her parent's will would have provided for her care.

There is also the possiblity she is deceased as a result of what she endured.

Claudette
05-17-2011, 06:46 PM
Does anyone have a way to compile multiple PDF pages into one? I don't have the ability to, and I would like to share the documents of the court transcript and the book transcript but there are like, 20 or so individual PDF pages. They are numbered.

Laura_Bean
05-20-2011, 05:49 PM
I dount it was an abortion. 99.999% of women who are going to have one are not jovial or excited right before getting an abortion done.

wallflower67
05-21-2011, 05:41 PM
If the parents were ashamed of her, whether for pregnancy, prostitution, insanity, she may have been "dead to them." Therefore, she may not have really been deceased at the time her parents' obituaries refered to her as "the late Ruth Baumgardner."

People back then were ashamed of insanity, or even suicide. My grandfather committed suicide and my grandmother was hell-bent on making sure no one but immediate family found out. We later found out that there were more suicides and mental illnesses in our family.

nannymo
05-22-2011, 01:57 AM
The following had to be written years later from his memory. Some of his facts are off, such as Ruth Baumgardner was taken about May 4th and Patrolman Conn was shot & killed 9/27/37.

The following paragraphs are taken from pages 61& 62 of the typed transcripts of “ON EAGLE’S WINGS” The Story Of My Life Ernest Paul Webb:

"snipped"
The girl was suppose to have been dropped off at a house of prostitution in Pittsburgh. With this information the Pittsburgh detectives raided this place and took into custody, Ma Brown (Black) and two white or mulatto girls. I went with them on this raid along with 5 detectives. One detective and myself were assigned to the rear of this place which was along an alley. It was dark there, but a car entered the alley and the lights momentarily hit us. A second later they cut lose on us with an automatic weapon. I can only remember the brick dust and splinters. I took a dive into the dark spot which turned out to be about a truck load of tin cans and garbage. This car passed the front of the house and another detective emptied his gun into it but they got away. Ma Brown and her girls were taken to the detective bureau were they were questioned. Ruth Bumgardner had been there but her photo was identified as another name. Shortly there after, a Pinkerton Agent approached me in the hotel where I stayed and asked us to lay off the case at the request of the Bumgardner family, stating that she had been returned home and had been placed in a metal institution. Before I gave him a n answer, I conferred with Inspector Monyhan and Col. Black and they both agreed. This is one story the press never got as we told them she had just disappeared."

(Bold print entered by me)

Could it be that her parents took her to an assylum and registered her under this false name that obviously she was given to keep from finding her?

If there is mention in one of these documents what that name was, maybe a search of records would find her.

I am more inclined to think she never came out of the institution. If she did come out, maybe she used a different name to keep anyone from finding out the "family secret" or her identity.

You might also check public records of some of the institutions you think she may have been taken to and see if there were any "contributions" to them from the Bumgardner's or his business? I am not sure how that could be found, but I am sure someone on here might have the expertise.

Another angle would be to look at his will to see if he left anything to an "institution". Just another angle to look into. This is quite interesting.

savannahanna
05-22-2011, 02:36 AM
I just found out about this case today-very fascinating! Just putting dates together. If her BD was around 3-15-16, that would be her 21st! Was prohabition still enforced in '37, can't remember. I was thinking along the line that she might have met someone at a party, club, etc. maybe not what parents would approved of. Maybe she did fall in love with someone and/or by the time 6 or 7 wks passed realized or suspected she was pg. That would put date around the May date of 2nd or 4th that she left. Pure speculation on my part!
Savannahanna

marie-chantal
05-23-2011, 02:31 PM
I've also just discovered this case. It's tragic and fascinating. Did any of the scumbags who kidnapped her and forced her into prosecution get punished? I certainly hope so. I wonder if any of them are alive. I also wonder if Ruth is still alive. I can't imagine what she must have gone through. Simply horrible.

marie-chantal
05-23-2011, 04:32 PM
I googled one of the suspects' names and found this:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=369CAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UasMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6917,6292256&dq=pete-serino&hl=en

It has pics of the suspects and a pic of Ruth. I have to say that the pic of Ruth doesn't look like the picture we've seen of her in this thread.

JoeFromLB
05-23-2011, 04:33 PM
I found a record of a marriage license application from Union City, IN dated shortly before her disappearance.

Different Ruth Baumgardner? The age is close. The Charley Project page lists her age as 22.

4/26/1937 Riegle, Leonard 26 mechanic OH, Ansonia
Baumgardner, Ruth 22 housekeeper OH, Greenville

http://www.dcoweb.org/randolph/UCmarlic7.htm

Scroll about 2/3rds down the page.

marie-chantal
05-23-2011, 06:17 PM
Very interesting! I know that she was engaged to another man (can't remember his name, but it wasn't Riegle). Is Greenville anywhere near her college campus? I'm not all that familiar with OH.

Reality Orlando
05-23-2011, 06:48 PM
There are several references to "Ruth Baumgardner" on Ancestry.com.
There are at least 3 from Ohio born between abt 1899 and 1928.
The one born in 1928 is also Ruth E.
There's also a Ruth V. from Ohio born in 1901.

Our Ruth's listing on the 1930 census says on April 30, 1930 she was 15 years old and her birth date was listed "about 1915."

There was another Ruth E. Baumgardner from the same area in Ohio, birthdate 1919 but Baumgardner was her married name.

Reality Orlando
05-23-2011, 06:53 PM
The 1920 census has her listed as age 4 10/12. That was dated 1/2/1920 which would put her birthdate March of 1915, right? I do see that there are two different birth years listed for her...1915 and 1916.

marie-chantal
05-23-2011, 08:38 PM
At least those are two consecutive years. It makes searching a little bit easier than if her DOB were listed as four or five years apart. Is E her middle initial or is it V?

JeannieC
05-23-2011, 11:05 PM
Hi. This is my first time on this site and I found this very interesting. Just a thought if you don't mind me adding my two cents worth. Massillon State Hospital is close to her family and it was the first state hospital in the US. If her family wanted her close enough to visit this might be a place to look. I don't know if they will give you any information but check this out:
http://www.massillonmuseum.org/research_aboutarchiveslibrary.html

There are several older ones in Pa also.

momtolil
05-24-2011, 11:58 PM
I googled one of the suspects' names and found this:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=369CAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UasMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6917,6292256&dq=pete-serino&hl=en

It has pics of the suspects and a pic of Ruth. I have to say that the pic of Ruth doesn't look like the picture we've seen of her in this thread.

Thanks for the article. I liked seeing the pictures of the suspects. Pictures always make these cases seem to come to life for me.

I still can't believe all of us here on this site (especially the really experianced sleuthers) missed all of this during the early stages of the search.

marie-chantal
05-25-2011, 02:40 PM
Thanks for the article. I liked seeing the pictures of the suspects. Pictures always make these cases seem to come to life for me.

I still can't believe all of us here on this site (especially the really experianced sleuthers) missed all of this during the early stages of the search.

You're welcome! Pictures are also helpful to me too. I am now very curious about the fate of the suspects. It sounds like Massula ended up going to prison for the shooting of the highway patrol officer, but I wonder if he served a life sentence? I also wonder about the other suspects. It sounds to me like they had evidence of their trafficking of Ruth (ugh...it sickens me to think about the horrors she must have endured), so charges could have been pressed. I wonder if her family told them not to go forward with pressing charges? In today's day and age, I think the state would ignore a family's request if something like this happened (and thank God for that).

JeannieC
05-25-2011, 04:43 PM
While Ford and the others waited at the car, Conn
pulled up and asked to see the “papers” for the vehicle.
Ford said Masulla shot Conn after sneaking up behind him
outside of the parked car.
Among the most convincing evidence was Ford’s
ability to guide officers to different areas involved in the
crime. He led a group to the murder scene, where the car
was abandoned, places along the way they had robbed, and
landmarks in Steubenville.
In the end, Sereno and Johnson were acquitted; Ford
pleaded guilty to manslaughter; and Masulla was convicted
and sentenced to life at hard labor at the Ohio Penitentiary.
Bernice Bradley was never located

You can read the entire article on this web site:
http://statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/1930s.pdf

This has been previously posted.

Here is another article concerning Ruth. It was in the New York Post.

Missing Ohio Co-Ed Found Killing Solved in Arrest of 4

Here is the link:

http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%2011/New%20York%20Evening%20Post/New%20York%20NY%20Evening%20Post%201938%20Grayscal e/New%20York%20NY%20Evening%20Post%201938%20Grayscal e%20-%200151.pdf

I wonder if Ruth was using the name Bernice?

Claudette
05-25-2011, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the article. I liked seeing the pictures of the suspects. Pictures always make these cases seem to come to life for me.

I still can't believe all of us here on this site (especially the really experianced sleuthers) missed all of this during the early stages of the search.

I know right, and how many people have come through this thread? I can only attribute it to timing (the right articles not up). Makes you wonder how many of these cases can be solved (or at least jump forward significantly) just be waiting a few years for the right articles to be uploaded. Or, just waiting for someone to take the time to google it! So many cases hit dead ends after the first few posts *le sigh*

JeannieC
05-25-2011, 10:36 PM
The 1940 census records will be available next year...That 72 year delay... It might give her family and brothers and sisters. Possibly there will be genealogy records somewhere. Those could show when and where she died.

momtolil
05-26-2011, 01:45 PM
I know right, and how many people have come through this thread? I can only attribute it to timing (the right articles not up). Makes you wonder how many of these cases can be solved (or at least jump forward significantly) just be waiting a few years for the right articles to be uploaded. Or, just waiting for someone to take the time to google it! So many cases hit dead ends after the first few posts *le sigh*

It's like fact-n-detail dropped by and gave us all the missing pieces we needed to move ahead with this case. I dont think he/she has been back since. Where did they go? We could really use resources like that.

I wish the Doe Network and Charley would add these new findings to their pages, if only as an idea or possible clue. This way if they were't comfortable posting them as facts people could come to their own conclusions about the case with all of the information provided.

Though it seems the numerous newspaper articles back up fact-n-detail's
conclusions.

JeannieC
05-26-2011, 03:04 PM
Bud Moore was Harry B. Moore of Cleveland, OH.
He was 22 years old and attended Fenn College in Cleveland, Oh. Ruth and Bud met at her family's cottage in Vermilion, OH. They planned to get married in the summer after graduation.

Ruth's father's company manufactured funeral goods.
I found information that the Baumgardner family originated in Pittsburgh, Oh but I haven't confirmed that it was this family.

It would be nice to locate members of Bud's family to see if they know the whole story...................

JeannieC
05-26-2011, 03:14 PM
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=4qVhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=_IQDAAAAIBAJ&dq=carl%20baumgardner%20delaware%20oh&pg=4835%2C246054

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - May 8, 1937



http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=TA1BAAAAIBAJ&sjid=VagMAAAAIBAJ&dq=carl%20baumgardner%20delaware%20oh&pg=6192%2C4775848

The Portsmouth Times - May 7, 1937

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=27FQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=ByIEAAAAIBAJ&dq=carl%20baumgardner%20delaware%20oh&pg=5131%2C741762

The Milwaukee Journal - May 9, 1937

marie-chantal
05-26-2011, 06:09 PM
Bud Moore was Harry B. Moore of Cleveland, OH.
He was 22 years old and attended Fenn College in Cleveland, Oh. Ruth and Bud met at her family's cottage in Vermilion, OH. They planned to get married in the summer after graduation.

Ruth's father's company manufactured funeral goods.
I found information that the Baumgardner family originated in Pittsburgh, Oh but I haven't confirmed that it was this family.

It would be nice to locate members of Bud's family to see if they know the whole story...................

I would love to hear from his family members if they do know something about this. I'm curious about whether Ruth and the suspects are still alive. It is possible, even though they would all be very old.

JeannieC
05-26-2011, 08:30 PM
I'm sure Ruth's family kept quiet about all that had happened but Bud might have talked. Some of his family might know the truth. Fenn College was for engineering and is now a part of Cleveland College. I haven't been able to find an alumni page for either. Of course an email or a letter might help. I'd like to see his picture.

I'd also like to find out who he married and where they lived. Could be some leads there.

His name had to be "Moore". So common and this might be tough! Not impossible though............

JeannieC
05-26-2011, 09:06 PM
1920 census record including Ruth and her sister



Emma E Baumgardner
United States Census, 1920

birth: 1888 —Ohio
residence: 1920 —, Cuyahoga, Ohio
spouse: Carl Baumgardner
children: Ora F Baumgardner, Ruth E Baumgardner

record title: United States Census, 1920
name: Emma E Baumgardner
residence: , Cuyahoga, Ohio
estimated birth year: 1888
age: 32
birthplace: Ohio
relationship to head of household: Wife
gender: Female
race: White
marital status: Married
father's birthplace: Massachusetts
mother's birthplace: Ohio
digital folder number: 4383745
sheet number: 1

JeannieC
05-26-2011, 09:10 PM
Looks like they took him on the Census in the town of Delaware Oh and his wife by county............


Carl Baumgardner
United States Census, 1920


birth:
1892 —Ohio
residence:
1920 —, Delaware, Ohio

*
*
record title:
United States Census, 1920
name:
Carl Baumgardner
residence:
, Delaware, Ohio
estimated birth year:
1892
age:
28
birthplace:
Ohio
gender:
Male
race:
White
marital status:
Married
father's birthplace:
United States
mother's birthplace:
United States
digital folder number:
4384861
sheet number:
1


1.

JeannieC
05-26-2011, 09:31 PM
Ruth E Baumgardner
United States Census, 1920

birth: 1916 —Ohio
residence: 1920 —, Cuyahoga, Ohio
parents: Carl Baumgardner, Emma E Baumgardner

record title: United States Census, 1920
name: Ruth E Baumgardner
residence: , Cuyahoga, Ohio
estimated birth year: 1916
age: 4
birthplace: Ohio
relationship to head of household: Daughter
gender: Female
race: White
marital status: Single
father's birthplace: Ohio
mother's birthplace: Ohio
digital folder number: 4383745
sheet number: 1

JeannieC
05-26-2011, 09:35 PM
Ora F Baumgardner
United States Census, 1920

birth: 1909 —Ohio
residence: 1920 —, Cuyahoga, Ohio
parents: Carl Baumgardner, Emma E Baumgardner

record title: United States Census, 1920
name: Ora F Baumgardner
residence: , Cuyahoga, Ohio
estimated birth year: 1909
age: 11
birthplace: Ohio
relationship to head of household: Daughter
gender: Female
race: White
marital status: Single
father's birthplace: Ohio
mother's birthplace: Ohio
digital folder number: 4383745
sheet number: 1

JeannieC
05-26-2011, 10:08 PM
A girl in Boston claimed to be Ruth. The police called her sister Mrs Ora Hardwick and she said it could not be Ruth because the girl didn't have the dental work that Ruth had.

Her father went to Boston to see if that was Ruth.

The girl was said to be very familiar with the case and the police said Ruth's picture "tallied with Miss X in all respects"

This was around May 20, 1937. Here is the link.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=-95BAAAAIBAJ&sjid=-6kMAAAAIBAJ&dq=ora%20baumgardner&pg=3152%2C6569463

JeannieC
05-26-2011, 10:13 PM
This girl came from a mental institute:

See Article

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=JyEbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8UsEAAAAIBAJ&dq=ora%20hardwick&pg=2554%2C1994339

marie-chantal
05-27-2011, 11:43 AM
I might be able to buy that she was Ruth if the dates were different. If Ruth was in a mental institution, it most likely wouldn't have been that soon after her disappearance. I think the highway patrol officer was killed in September of that year, and Ruth was reported to have been a witness to that murder.

This article states that the four were accused BY Ruth, which is interesting to me. It's the first time I've noticed that (even though I have looked at the article a few times). It's the title of the article. It's confusing though, because it states that she accused them, but that police were hoping to locate her later that day.

http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%2011/New%20York%20Evening%20Post/New%20York%20NY%20Evening%20Post%201938%20Grayscal e/New%20York%20NY%20Evening%20Post%201938%20Grayscal e%20-%200151.pdf

momtolil
05-27-2011, 01:01 PM
I might be able to buy that she was Ruth if the dates were different. If Ruth was in a mental institution, it most likely wouldn't have been that soon after her disappearance. I think the highway patrol officer was killed in September of that year, and Ruth was reported to have been a witness to that murder.

This article states that the four were accused BY Ruth, which is interesting to me. It's the first time I've noticed that (even though I have looked at the article a few times). It's the title of the article. It's confusing though, because it states that she accused them, but that police were hoping to locate her later that day.

http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%2011/New%20York%20Evening%20Post/New%20York%20NY%20Evening%20Post%201938%20Grayscal e/New%20York%20NY%20Evening%20Post%201938%20Grayscal e%20-%200151.pdf

Thanks for the article... It's still amazes me everything that is coming out of the woodwork!

Wow that picture included in the article doesn't even look like all of the photos of Ruth. This paticular picture looks like Ruth at about the age of 40 or possibly her mother? I wonder if that is really her?

I always have a hard time getting information from these old articles. Everything is so vague without ever including a conclusion to the story. I guess it's just a different kind of journalism than we are used to today.

Having said that, I still love looking through the other articles and advertisements in the the newspapers. It really allows you to connect to the times and the world these people lived in, I love history stuff like this.

marie-chantal
05-27-2011, 01:30 PM
Thanks for the article... It's still amazes me everything that is coming out of the woodwork!

Wow that picture included in the article doesn't even look like all of the photos of Ruth. This paticular picture looks like Ruth at about the age of 40 or possibly her mother? I wonder if that is really her?

I always have a hard time getting information from these old articles. Everything is so vague without ever including a conclusion to the story. I guess it's just a different kind of journalism than we are used to today.

Having said that, I still love looking through the other articles and advertisements in the the newspapers. It really allows you to connect to the times and the world these people lived in, I love history stuff like this.

I like the ads too. I loved the one for dresses that were on sale for 3 dollars. I know that 3 dollars then is probably equivalent to 50 dollars now, but it still caught my attention.

The writing of these articles is very odd. It's very unclear about how exactly she was found, and that title in particular is misleading. I don't know much about the history of journalistic standards, but even for that time, the article contradicts itself with the headline and the police statement. I think it's great that we're starting to get more access to these old articles. They definitely help provide a better picture of this case.

I completely agree with you about the picture. IMO, it doesn't look like Ruth at all.

marie-chantal
05-27-2011, 01:31 PM
I do believe the court records where the suspects talk about picking up Ruth and Ruth's location during the murder are probably very accurate, though.

JeannieC
05-27-2011, 03:40 PM
I think the Sub-Title of the article is deceptive and they left out one detail in the article. Bernice was in the car when the officer was murdered. She was the witness and the link. She might have been the one to tell on them. Maybe she got caught doing something or just had a quilty conscience and told. I don't think it meant Ruth told.

I love the ads too. I saw a wedding dress on an old ad recently that looked like Kate's dress............

If you want another old case to look at I put one on for Thomas Sumerix, Ruth Guthrie, and Joseph Kulesza in Ohio 1963. Tommy and Ruth were murdered and both cases are still unsolved. I'm still trying to find out about Joseph. His body was never found..or at least I haven't found information that he was found.

JeannieC
05-27-2011, 03:45 PM
I might be able to buy that she was Ruth if the dates were different. If Ruth was in a mental institution, it most likely wouldn't have been that soon after her disappearance. I think the highway patrol officer was killed in September of that year, and Ruth was reported to have been a witness to that murder.

This article states that the four were accused BY Ruth, which is interesting to me. It's the first time I've noticed that (even though I have looked at the article a few times). It's the title of the article. It's confusing though, because it states that she accused them, but that police were hoping to locate her later that day.

http://fultonhistory.com/newspaper%2011/New%20York%20Evening%20Post/New%20York%20NY%20Evening%20Post%201938%20Grayscal e/New%20York%20NY%20Evening%20Post%201938%20Grayscal e%20-%200151.pdf


I agree that wasn't Ruth. I should have noted that those were excerpts from the article. Sorry.........

JeannieC
05-27-2011, 06:12 PM
This is a article from the Youngstown Vindicator saying that Ruth was seen in Campbell (?) and a girl was questioned about it. Good article but no Ruth. I wonder if she was ever found?

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=LiBKAAAAIBAJ&sjid=zoUMAAAAIBAJ&dq=ruth%20baumgardner%20found%201937&pg=2684%2C8446

JeannieC
05-27-2011, 06:20 PM
The Jefferson County sheriff said he had information from underworld circles that Ruth was in Steubenville and he believes he has seen her too.

Article Link:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=E8pQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kNAMAAAAIBAJ&dq=ruth%20baumgardner%20found&pg=1615%2C3378501

JeannieC
05-27-2011, 10:49 PM
This is an article concerning the Peter Sereno trial. He was the shooter of Highway Patrolman George Conn. In the article they said Bernice Bradley had not been apprended. She would have been indicted in the murder too.

marie-chantal
05-28-2011, 11:31 AM
I'd love to know what that waitress was saying to LE before she stopped cooperating with them. It sounds like they knew where she was, or were very close to finding her more than once. I hate to think it, but I wonder if she was helping these men to "recruit" other women for sex trafficking. I sincerely hope not, but I know that situations like this are sadly not uncommon. Another scenario is that maybe she formed a relationship with one of the men and was living with him and/or possibly married to him (although, unless she changed her name, a marriage certificate would be available). If she was found, would it have been possible for her family to have her committed to a mental hospital against her will? I'm not too familiar with the laws regarding having someone committed (especially back then). She was over 21, but I guess it could have been possible for her family to have her committed. They may have found her, realized what had happened, and decided that she needed to be institutionalized. It's a shame that her sister's family members aren't willing to share what they know. I'm sure that they know what her fate was.

It is possible that she is still alive. She could have changed her name if she got out of the hospital (or never went into a hospital at all). She'd be very, very old, but it is possible. I hope that she got to live her life in a happier way after this horrible crime.

JeannieC
05-28-2011, 01:00 PM
I wonder if Ruth went to meet Bernice that fateful morning and the 4 men abducted her as you say for sexual purposes.

Someone in either Ruth's family, her fiancee's family, or Bernice's family know the truth. Maybe it is just too shamefull for the family to tell.

marie-chantal
05-28-2011, 04:19 PM
I wonder if Ruth went to meet Bernice that fateful morning and the 4 men abducted her as you say for sexual purposes.

Someone in either Ruth's family, her fiancee's family, or Bernice's family know the truth. Maybe it is just too shamefull for the family to tell.

That's kind of what I think too, regarding the family not speaking. IMO, it's not shameful, but I can understand why they might feel the need for privacy regarding this.

What I can't figure out is Ruth's connection to Sereno (or was it Masulla that she knew?). They obviously seem to have run in two very different worlds. At that time, was there a lot of mingling of young people from obviously different social classes? Sereno and Masulla seem to have come from a lower class background. Ruth seemed to be from an upper-middle class background. She was studying at a university (something not terribly common for women at that time unless they were from a higher social class), engaged to be married and living in a sorority house. How would she have met these guys? I doubt they were all attending the same parties. I wonder if one of these guys worked in a business she shopped in, or on campus? What was Bernice's background? Where was she from? I tried to find some info, but there doesn't appear to be very much. Figuring out Ruth's connection to these people (other than their abduction/imprisonment of her) might help solve this mystery.

Claudette
05-28-2011, 08:56 PM
The Jefferson County sheriff said he had information from underworld circles that Ruth was in Steubenville and he believes he has seen her too.

Article Link:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=E8pQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=kNAMAAAAIBAJ&dq=ruth%20baumgardner%20found&pg=1615%2C3378501

Nice work!!

Claudette
05-28-2011, 08:59 PM
I wonder if Ruth went to meet Bernice that fateful morning and the 4 men abducted her as you say for sexual purposes.

Someone in either Ruth's family, her fiancee's family, or Bernice's family know the truth. Maybe it is just too shamefull for the family to tell.

I thought it was stated on here but according to court documents from the trial, Ruth knew her kidnapper (one of the guys, can't remember which one) and they planned to meet, and then they kidnapped her. She struggled and one of the guys in the back of the car injected her with something to calm her down.

JeannieC
05-28-2011, 11:32 PM
I thought it was stated on here but according to court documents from the trial, Ruth knew her kidnapper (one of the guys, can't remember which one) and they planned to meet, and then they kidnapped her. She struggled and one of the guys in the back of the car injected her with something to calm her down.

That makes sense. I had thought she might have gone to meet one of the guys too. At that time upper and middle class white people didn't mingle with Italians. I have an older Italian friend and she said they were looked down on. She is 80. She came from New York and her parents came over from Italy. I know different cultures were divided in locations in New York (Italians in one area, Puerto Ricans another, etc. So I feel like she would have been condemned for seeing an Italian man. Especially one who wasn't rich and upper class!

I'll go back and read Claudette's quotes. Thanks. I thought I had read all of them but I must have missed that. I wonder is there is a way to find out if Ruth was declared dead by the courts. If her body had been found I would think we would be able to locate a newspaper article about it.

What do you think?

marie-chantal
05-30-2011, 06:47 PM
That makes sense. I had thought she might have gone to meet one of the guys too. At that time upper and middle class white people didn't mingle with Italians. I have an older Italian friend and she said they were looked down on. She is 80. She came from New York and her parents came over from Italy. I know different cultures were divided in locations in New York (Italians in one area, Puerto Ricans another, etc. So I feel like she would have been condemned for seeing an Italian man. Especially one who wasn't rich and upper class!

I'll go back and read Claudette's quotes. Thanks. I thought I had read all of them but I must have missed that. I wonder is there is a way to find out if Ruth was declared dead by the courts. If her body had been found I would think we would be able to locate a newspaper article about it.

What do you think?

I agree. I am half-Italian, and I know for a fact that Italians were looked down upon during that time. My father's family moved to California after they lived in Boston for a few years. When they moved, they decided to change their last name to something that they thought was more American and definitely not Italian-sounding. My father and his siblings were encouraged to speak only English. There was no Italian community in the town where they lived, so I think this was done so they wouldn't be ostracized. It's actually pretty sad because my father was never able to communicate with his grandmother, who came to live with them a few years later.

I think that Ruth must have somehow met (I think it was Sereno) and perhaps was considering running off with him. It would definitely have been a scandal for her. Based on what I've read, they seemed to live in two completely different worlds. I'm sure her parents would not have approved at all. I'm curious about where and how they met initially. I'd also like to know what happened to Sereno. It sounds like he did not serve a life sentence in prison like Masulla. I also recall reading that Ruth's parents just called off the investigation. I don't remember ever seeing anything about a body.

momtolil
05-30-2011, 11:47 PM
I agree. I am half-Italian, and I know for a fact that Italians were looked down upon during that time. My father's family moved to California after they lived in Boston for a few years. When they moved, they decided to change their last name to something that they thought was more American and definitely not Italian-sounding. My father and his siblings were encouraged to speak only English. There was no Italian community in the town where they lived, so I think this was done so they wouldn't be ostracized. It's actually pretty sad because my father was never able to communicate with his grandmother, who came to live with them a few years later.

I think that Ruth must have somehow met (I think it was Sereno) and perhaps was considering running off with him. It would definitely have been a scandal for her. Based on what I've read, they seemed to live in two completely different worlds. I'm sure her parents would not have approved at all. I'm curious about where and how they met initially. I'd also like to know what happened to Sereno. It sounds like he did not serve a life sentence in prison like Masulla. I also recall reading that Ruth's parents just called off the investigation. I don't remember ever seeing anything about a body.

I wonder if Sereno was the high voiced man who called Ruth at the sorority house right before she disapeared.

JeannieC
05-31-2011, 01:20 AM
It probably was Sereno. I've tried to locate something on him after the trial but haven't been successful. He was acquitted so he didn't go to prison then.
A real mystery............

momtolil
05-31-2011, 12:04 PM
It probably was Sereno. I've tried to locate something on him after the trial but haven't been successful. He was acquitted so he didn't go to prison then.
A real mystery............

Thanks JeannieC for all your research.... I am so bad at that kind of thing...

It seems to me someone like him would have been in and out of trouble his whole life, which should make it easier to track his where abouts.
Unless, like Ruth he got himself mixed up with the wrong type of crowd and was in over his head as well. Maybe like Ruth, he tried to move on from this without anyone knowing. Although, I tend to believe he probably fit right into that crowd.

JeannieC
05-31-2011, 02:06 PM
Thanks, but I just got lucky. I'm still learning. I think he might have gone to prison for something else or stayed under the radar...........

marie-chantal
05-31-2011, 05:25 PM
I agree with you both that Sereno was probably the one who called the sorority house looking for Ruth. Even though he didn't get a life sentence like Masulla, it seems like he wouldn't have been able to get far from the world of crime. I would have also guessed that he'd end up in and out of jail. The only thing I can think of is that he may have gotten killed at some point. I don't imagine he got far from the Pittsburgh/OH area, and I doubt he ended up just getting a job and settling down with a wife and kids. Maybe one of these days another news article will come up in our searches that will provide answers.

marie-chantal
05-31-2011, 05:29 PM
Maybe I spoke too soon. Here's an obituary for a man who was the son of a Pete Sereno of Pittsburgh. The son was born in 1948, which could have been possible for our suspect. If he was in his early 20s in the late 1930s, he could have easily married and later had a child by the late 40s. I'll see what else I can find.


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/obituaries/?mode=view&obit_id=201835

marie-chantal
05-31-2011, 06:13 PM
Here's an article I found when searching for Sereno (sometimes spelled Serino by some of the papers):

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZuJJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5YQMAAAAIBAJ&pg=3014,2865370&dq=peter-serino&hl=en

A woman was found who matched the description of a woman that was wanted in this case. They never gave her name. I wonder if it was Bernice. Or maybe even Ruth?

JeannieC
05-31-2011, 09:33 PM
I bet it was Bernice. Maybe they took Ruth to Wheeling, W Va instead of Pittsburgh.............

Nice going!

JeannieC
05-31-2011, 10:01 PM
http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=mykbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=JUwEAAAAIBAJ&dq=bernice-bradley&pg=2230%2C2461231

Article October 22, 1937
Assault and Robbery
Bernard (Penny) Masulla, Sereno age 22, Bradley age 22.

JeannieC
05-31-2011, 10:09 PM
This article (Nov 21, 1938) tells what happened after the trial to the rest of the gang.

They are still looking for Bernice and intend to arrest and try her in the Conn murder.

Sereno is going to prison 3 to 6 yr term in Alleghany for a workhouse robbery. What is a workhouse?

Johnson is doing 1 to 20 in the Ohio Penn for a hold up at Martin's Ferry.

Ford in under sentence to a Penn reformatory for auto theft.

LOOKS LIKE BERNICE WAS SERENO'S GIRLFRIEND.









http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=UkdBAAAAIBAJ&sjid=U6gMAAAAIBAJ&dq=bernice-bradley&pg=6798%2C222362

JeannieC
05-31-2011, 10:35 PM
June 17, 1938
Looks like Peter Sereno is in a Alleghany county Pa.workhouse and it is a jail.
He fought extradiction for the murder trial in Ohio.

JeannieC
05-31-2011, 11:01 PM
New News.

Evaline Polland AKA Bernice BradleyRead this:

Detective says it is ridiculous that Ruth Baumgardner was in the car when Conn was killed.............Something really strange about this. .........

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZvYaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Dk0EAAAAIBAJ&dq=peter%20sereno&pg=5691%2C2677902

The article begins on page 1 and ends on page 3 but you can't link to page 1........sorry

Claudette
05-31-2011, 11:33 PM
If anyone would like to read the trial transcripts or book transcripts let me know and I can email them to you. Each page is an individual PDF so unfortunately I cannot upload them here for all to see as there would be 30+ pages.

Claudette
05-31-2011, 11:37 PM
New News.

Evaline Polland AKA Bernice BradleyRead this:

Detective says it is ridiculous that Ruth Baumgardner was in the car when Conn was killed.............Something really strange about this. .........

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ZvYaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Dk0EAAAAIBAJ&dq=peter%20sereno&pg=5691%2C2677902

The article begins on page 1 and ends on page 3 but you can't link to page 1........sorry

What makes all of this so hard, though, is that one of the detectives wrote a book about his career, touching on the Conn/Baumgardner case in it. He states that the family asked LE to act to the press like Ruth was not found and they obliged. He then states that she was put in an institution.

JeannieC
06-01-2011, 07:39 AM
That makes sense since one detective denied that she was in the car and everyone else said she was.

I'd love to read those transcripts.

marie-chantal
06-01-2011, 10:15 AM
I would too! I wonder what happened to Evaline/Bernice after this? I'm guessing that she ended up in prison, an institution or dead. I've tried googling her name (both her real and alias) and haven't found anything. It sounds to me like Ruth was found and her parents just wanted to make all of this go away. I'm just curious about whether or not she made it out of the institution. It is really, really sad.

marie-chantal
06-01-2011, 10:18 AM
I was really curious about the neighborhood that Sereno lived in. They gave his address in a couple of the articles. I google mapped it, and here's the house. It is still there today:

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=3319+Juliet+Street+Pittsburgh,+PA&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1280&bih=634&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x8834f18444549c51:0x3e4cb07488fb9b37,3319+J uliet+St,+Pittsburgh,+PA+15213&gl=us&ei=lEnmTZjiNqfg0QHvn9WBCw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ8gEwAA

Masulla's house is now a street corner and what looks like an on-ramp for a freeway:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=3319+Juliet+Street+Pittsburgh,+PA&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&biw=1280&bih=634&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x8834f18444549c51:0x3e4cb07488fb9b37,3319+J uliet+St,+Pittsburgh,+PA+15213&gl=us&ei=lEnmTZjiNqfg0QHvn9WBCw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ8gEwAA

JeannieC
06-01-2011, 06:37 PM
The lead detective in her case was named G. Stickeler. The agency was the William J. Burns Detective Agency. This site has all the articles we have already read and 2 mentioning the agency.

http://fultonhistory.com/Fulton.html

momtolil
06-01-2011, 08:13 PM
I wonder if someone could contacts some of these local papers to run a follow up story in their paper today? It could be kind of a local history piece or a where are they now kind of story. It may get some response from people that might remember the case or maybe a family member that would not afraid to talk at this point.

I have seen these types of stories in the LA Times (my local paper).

marie-chantal
06-01-2011, 08:27 PM
I'm reading the court documents now, and Charles Ford testified that Masulla, not Sereno was the one who knew Ruth. He "had an appointment to see a girl in Delaware", so the four men drove to Delaware.

Claudette
06-01-2011, 09:16 PM
I'm reading the court documents now, and Charles Ford testified that Masulla, not Sereno was the one who knew Ruth. He "had an appointment to see a girl in Delaware", so the four men drove to Delaware.

Yeah I re-read the files today and the two documents mix that up. I think the guy that sent me those files mentions that in the thread, I'll go back and check. The book says Sereno, but I tend to believe the court docs as they are court docs.

Claudette
06-01-2011, 09:19 PM
The following had to be written years later from his memory. Some of his facts are off, such as Ruth Baumgardner was taken about May 4th and Patrolman Conn was shot & killed 9/27/37.


Bumping this up - so the court docs are more accurate with some details

marie-chantal
06-02-2011, 09:40 AM
I also believe the court docs, Claudette. What I find interesting is that the Pinkerton agent was able to find her before the police. It would seem to me that the agent would have notified the police that she'd been located. It didn't appear that the police were notified until after just before the trial (MOO). I wonder if the police went to the institution to verify that she was there. In today's age, they would have done this and they would have interviewed her extensively. It saddens me that her parents wanted everything to be dropped and covered up.

JeannieC
06-03-2011, 02:17 AM
This article about Ruth will really make you think.............

According to this article Sereno, Masulla, and Ford were all in jail May 5th when Ruth was taken and could not have abducted her.

Her case was still unsolved and she hitched to Ashville, NC but was headed for Texas. This goes with the story of the truck driver who claimed to have given her and a guy named Frenchie a ride.

I wonder if this is true, I mean as far as Sereno etc being in jail.

http://access.newspaperarchive.com/Viewer.aspx?img=7543426&firstvisit=true&src=search&currentResult=0&currentPage=0&fpo=False

marie-chantal
06-03-2011, 10:40 AM
This article about Ruth will really make you think.............

According to this article Sereno, Masulla, and Ford were all in jail May 5th when Ruth was taken and could not have abducted her.

Her case was still unsolved and she hitched to Ashville, NC but was headed for Texas. This goes with the story of the truck driver who claimed to have given her and a guy named Frenchie a ride.

I wonder if this is true, I mean as far as Sereno etc being in jail.

http://access.newspaperarchive.com/Viewer.aspx?img=7543426&firstvisit=true&src=search&currentResult=0&currentPage=0&fpo=False


I wasn't able to access the article, but based on what you're saying and based on the date that this article appeared (14 years later), I wonder if this means that those who testified in court lied?

Ashville and Texas? Does the truck driver state that she gave him her name? Did he ever say where he picked her up? This is very strange to me. Either the witness lied in court (Ford was his name, I think) or someone else was saying she was Ruth (remember the escaped mental patient in Boston?). Very odd.

momtolil
06-03-2011, 12:10 PM
Unable to read the article. :(

It just seems strange to me that it took them 14 years to figure out that the dates didn't match? It should have been the first thing they noticed.
does that mean she never knew these people and really was missing? They must have found her if they knew where she was headed.

With so many conflicting articles, I don't know what to believe. I find it hard to believe that so many people lied about Ruth being associated with the crime in one way or another. This would mean that everyone lied, including the officer that wrote the book that first brought all of this to our attention.

I wonder if it could be part of the cover up to not have Ruth associated with the murder and those types of people. But 14 years later?? Why?? Could the family had that much pull in the community to continue to cover things up?

I wish I could read the article.

marie-chantal
06-03-2011, 01:36 PM
Unable to read the article. :(

It just seems strange to me that it took them 14 years to figure out that the dates didn't match? It should have been the first thing they noticed.
does that mean she never knew these people and really was missing? They must have found her if they knew where she was headed.

With so many conflicting articles, I don't know what to believe. I find it hard to believe that so many people lied about Ruth being associated with the crime in one way or another. This would mean that everyone lied, including the officer that wrote the book that first brought all of this to our attention.

I wonder if it could be part of the cover up to not have Ruth associated with the murder and those types of people. But 14 years later?? Why?? Could the family had that much pull in the community to continue to cover things up?

I wish I could read the article.

I'd like to know the date of the alleged hitch-hiking incident. If it was several years later, it could have been possible that Ruth got out of the institution (or ran away from the institution) and was leaving the area for a new life. Otherwise, I tend to believe the court reports.

JeannieC
06-03-2011, 02:58 PM
I can't get back into the article either. Now they want you to join.......

The article stated the same things stated earlier about the truck driver picking up a couple who claimed to be married. She didn't have a wedding ring on. His name was Frenchie and he called her Ruth and Baumie. They were headed to Tex and he dropped them off in Ashville, NC.

The only thing I had not seen before was the part where the writer stated that it could not have been an abduction because Sereno, Masulla, and Ford were in jail on May 5, 1937.

I have my doubts about them being in jail on May 5, 1937 because they were arrested after the abduction in 1938 and if I'm correct they had been out on parole when they attached the politician and were returned to jail.

The article also stated that she was engaged to Bud Moore and he was having the diamond setting from his grandmother's ring put into a ring for Ruth.

Claudette
06-03-2011, 08:43 PM
I don't know how May 5th relates to the Conn murder but Ford, according to the court docs, had met Sereno and the other guy just before the murder.

JeannieC
06-04-2011, 05:35 PM
Ford said in the court docs that he met the others toward the end of April or the first of May. Ruth was abducted on May 5th, 1937.

I think the article is incorrect and possibly the writer hadn't done enough research.

I guess it is possible that Ford read all the papers, saw her picture, and made it all up to get out of a murder charge but it seems improbable to me. He seemed to know a lot of facts about where they went and what they did. Not to mention names.

Conn was killed on Sept 27, 1937.

JeannieC
06-04-2011, 05:54 PM
According to People Search Ora F Hardwick of Cleveland, Medina, Oh is alive and 102 years old. Her husband Richard J Hardwick is 110 years old.

Ruth's sister was Ora F Baumgardner Hardwick. She lived in Medina Ohio at the time Ruth was abducted.

Could this be Ruth's sister? Anyone live near Cleveland, OH?

marie-chantal
06-04-2011, 05:58 PM
According to People Search Ora F Hardwick of Cleveland, Medina, Oh is alive and 102 years old. Her husband Richard J Hardwick is 110 years old.

Ruth's sister was Ora F Baumgardner Hardwick. She lived in Medina Ohio at the time Ruth was abducted.

Could this be Ruth's sister? Anyone live near Cleveland, OH?

I wish that I did live near Cleveland. I'd try to meet with her (if she'd be able and willing to meet). This is a great find. Maybe we could find relatives of hers. I remember reading earlier in this thread (posted several years ago) that her relatives did know what happened, but they weren't willing to talk about it. Maybe they've changed their minds?

JeannieC
06-04-2011, 09:30 PM
I'm new to this so I hope I didn't make a mistake by posting something about a living person or persons. I grew up in Akron but have lost touch with most of my friends from there. Wish I could take a road trip though.

They are probably in a nursing home.

girlinblue
06-05-2011, 02:19 AM
I just spent the last 45 minutes reading this thread. Wow. Talk about a mind-garbler. Right around the middle I got an adrenaline rush, then it just sort of splattered out towards the end because it feels like it went right back 'round to no-clue-in-the-world again.

It's interesting that the family wanted it put to rest then, but even now, years later when most of that branch should be dead and new generations would only know it in a family lore kind of way, descendents are still tight lipped.

One thing I'm confused on, and forgive me if it's something I just glossed over from not thoroughly reading -- it's 2 AM here, "Ruth" was an accuser/witness...did she testify somewhere? Or the Conn murderers just all collabed and said she was there? I plan on taking some time to click through a lot of the links I skipped when I've got more of a mindset for it, although I think it will probably make even less sense after.

We all know truth can be stranger than fiction. It seems pretty fair that there was some sort of cop-to barter made. Conn was a blue, and officers and law officials were fiercely loyal to each other back then.

Shades of Walter and Christine Collins, anyone?

marie-chantal
06-05-2011, 11:19 AM
Hi girlinblue. I'm not familiar with Walter and Christine Collins (I'll have to look them up) but what I do believe is that during the time of the shooting of Conn, Ruth was nearby. I don't know if she specifically saw anything, but what it sounds like to me is that she was inside the house when Conn was shot (I think he was shot outside). These four guys (Masulla, Sereno, Ford and Johnson) were involved in trafficking women to brothels. Conn was either planning to bust this brothel, or he was tailing these guys for a traffic violation. He confronted them outside of this house and Masulla shot him. Ruth was most likely kidnapped by these guys and forcibly drugged and taken to this brothel. My guess is that she was working in this brothel. Her family hired a private investigator to figure out what happened to her. It sounds to me like the PI located her. I don't know if she was found after this shooting when the women were most likely taken in. This part of the case is where we don't seem to have any answers. It is believed that after she was found, she was taken to a mental institution. We are all wondering what happened to her after that.

We're also wondering what happened to the woman who was supposedly in the car when Masulla shot Conn. Her name was Bernice Bradley and she supposedly disappeared after the shooting. Based on the news articles we have been able to read about this case, she was never located. It's a really intriguing case, and I'm glad you're here with us. I only discovered this case about a month ago, but I'm hooked. Several of the others have been researching this case for years. I'm so glad they've kept this case in the spotlight.

girlinblue
06-05-2011, 07:18 PM
Thank you so much, marie-chantel, for taking the time to sum it up for. Much appreciated.

I'm not very familiar with the Conn case. I think that's where I was getting confused. At some point I started thinking that Bernice and Ruth were being referenced as the same person. Sometimes it's hard to follow the train of thought if you haven't been with the thread the whole time, and I always appreciate it when some kind user can enlighten me. :)

JeannieC
06-06-2011, 12:51 AM
Evaline Polland AKA Bernice Bradley

Read this:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...5691%2C2677902

The article begins on page 1 and ends on page 3 but you can't link to page 1........sorry

They located and questioned Bernice Bradley and she said she left Masulla in Aug before the Conn Killing. They let her go. I quess she was Masulla's girlfriend. I think I said previously she was Sereno's.

marie-chantal
06-06-2011, 02:49 PM
Evaline Polland AKA Bernice Bradley

Read this:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...5691%2C2677902

The article begins on page 1 and ends on page 3 but you can't link to page 1........sorry

They located and questioned Bernice Bradley and she said she left Masulla in Aug before the Conn Killing. They let her go. I quess she was Masulla's girlfriend. I think I said previously she was Sereno's.

I wasn't able to open the link, but thank you for the info! I was under the impression that she was in the car during the killing. I wonder what happened to her.

JeannieC
06-06-2011, 10:15 PM
We all thought she was in the car. I believe the transcripts from the trial stated that Bernice was in the car when Officer Conn was murdered, or at least according to Ford she was.......

I might be wrong but I think this article contradicts the trial records. I'll go back and check it out.

Claudette
06-06-2011, 10:29 PM
Evaline Polland AKA Bernice Bradley

Read this:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...5691%2C2677902

The article begins on page 1 and ends on page 3 but you can't link to page 1........sorry

They located and questioned Bernice Bradley and she said she left Masulla in Aug before the Conn Killing. They let her go. I quess she was Masulla's girlfriend. I think I said previously she was Sereno's.

You're an excellent researcher. You need to go to the Evelyn Hartley case now LOL! (everyone seems to have that *one* case that they can't forget, Evelyn is mine)

JeannieC
06-06-2011, 11:47 PM
You're an excellent researcher. You need to go to the Evelyn Hartley case now LOL! (everyone seems to have that *one* case that they can't forget, Evelyn is mine)

Thank you. I can relate to that ONE case. Check out Thomas Sumerix, Ruth Guthrie, and Marion Joyce Brubaker 1960's. I remember these from my childhood and they have never been solved. I'm at dead ends on all of these. Very few articles in the papers. I contacted the Sheriff's office and they are open and unsolved.....

I'll check out Evelyn Hartley but I promise there are a lot of people on here better at this than I am...........