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  1. #1
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    Cool IL - Fay Rawley, Summum, Fulton County farmer and land owner, 8 Nov 1953

    On November 8 of 1953, Fay Rawley vanished from his home near Summum Illinois. Mr. Rawley was a well-to-do farmer as well as local politician and, although he was rather elderly and somewhat handicapped, he was rumored to be quite the ladies man. He was last seen earlier that evening as he left his girlfriend's house in Macomb. There were signs of a struggle at Rawley's residence. In addition to him, his new Cadillac had also vanished from the face of the Earth. At the time, a disused strip mine was being filled in across the road from Rawley's place and the theory was that he had been murdered, put inside the Cadillac and buried some 300 feet down. A local sheriff spent much time and money drilling and digging into the old mine but neither Rawley nor the car was ever found. Both Life and Look Magazine as well as The Saturday Evening Post reportedly covered the case. Nine years later and two years after Fay Rawley had been declared legally dead, his son died in a mysterious traffic accident. When the vehicle was inspected, it was determined that its brakes had been tampered with. No arrests have been made in either case.
    Last edited by Kimster; 12-18-2011 at 01:42 AM. Reason: featured cold case from 12/11/2011 to 12/18/2011
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  2. #2
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    Fulton County Sheriff Virgil Ball made assertions that he "knew" who killed Rawley but never gave up the name as far as I know.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  3. #3
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    Rawley's Cadillac was green and in one of the mine borings metal with green paint was found on the magnetic drill. When the area was dug out, all that was found was an old oil drum. Some thought that the drill had actually bent off line and hit the car but it was never proven.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  4. #4
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    There were theories regarding motive in the presumed murder and they fell into two basic categories.

    The first was that he was killed by some relative or associate who hoped to gain from Rawley's demise. This is somewhat doubtful because they would have had to wait seven years for Rawley to be declared legally dead when he may well not have lived that much longer if it had been left to nature.

    In the second, the theory related to his rumored womanizing. It was posited that the supposed murder was an act of revenge by some cuckold or jealous former girlfriend. Earlier that year, his car had been vandalized when it was splashed with acid.

    Whatever the cause, it was almost certainly the act of more than one person.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  5. #5
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    At the time of the evanishment, Rawley was on the Fulton County Board of Supervisors as the Woodland Township Supervisor. It's always possible that he could have made someone angry in that capacity.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  6. #6
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    I remember reading about this man a long time ago. Thanks for starting a thread for him Standreid. Interesting.

    Heres an article that has what Standreid posted above

    http://www.thezephyr.com/archives/rawley.htm

  7. #7
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    Thanks Kat. I remember when this case was receiving nightly coverage on local television news with all the drilling and digging decades a go. The case is revived on occasion when one of these news programs wants to do a local version similar to "unsolved mysteries".
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  8. #8
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    I have seen a report that Rawley was 50 when he disappeared. This may or may not be accurate. I've only seen one picture of Mr. Rawley and he looked more like he was in his 70s when the photo was taken.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  9. #9
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    Summum was nearly a 40 mile drive from Macomb, all on two lane roads, so it should have been about a one hour drive for Rawley to make from his girlfriend's house to his own residence on the fateful night. A total of about two hours travel time for a Sunday night date - it must have been something pretty important.

    That said, between 1935 and 1957, Illinois had no speed limit other than "reasonable and proper" so maybe Fay dialed the Caddy up to 100+.
    Last edited by STANDREID; 08-04-2011 at 08:45 AM.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    Thanks PFF, that isn't the picture I'd seen before.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  12. #12
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    In the only picture I'd seen before, he looked older, heavier and was wearing glasses.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by STANDREID View Post
    Summum was nearly a 40 mile drive from Macomb, all on two lane roads, so it should have been about a one hour drive for Rawley to make from his girlfriend's house to his own residence on the fateful night. A total of about two hours travel time for a Sunday night date - it must have been something pretty important.
    That said, I live about 60 miles from Macomb and, 10-12 years ago, I had a girlfriend who lived there. Of course, I wasn't driving home until about noon the next day.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  14. #14
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    I was seven years old when Rawley disappeared and then driving a new Cadillac was much more a symbol of affluence than it is now. When you saw someone drive by in a new Cadillac back then, it was nearly like seeing a person cruise by in a new Bentley today.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

  15. #15
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    Summum was a very small unincorporated community. I doubt that it even had 100 inhabitants.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid

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