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  1. #16
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    Jackie Theel was born February 15, 1938. So he would be 66 years old if living today. He was one of 15 children in his family. Michael Jacobson, author of the quoted 22 September 2004 article, recently interviewed Jackie's brother Fay and sister Annabelle. So, yes there are immediate relatives still living.
    It would be interesting to contact Mr. Jacobson to see if his article has generated any new information, tips, or comments.
    The map in his article is an interesting one in that it shows the school, Jackie's house, the point of the alleged sighting at Highway 23, and a point where the blood hounds picked up his scent some days after the disappearance.
    That point would have meant that Jackie was within a very short distance from home - assuming the scent was left on the day he disappeared. Note that it is in the area of a river and a railroad - the Soo line. A theory not mentioned in the article might be that Jackie could have been abducted by migrants or tramps who rode the rails, rather than by someone driving a car on the highway. September would have been the time that migrant workers would have been around to assist with the farm harvests.

    New Link to the article with map
    http://www.paynesvillearea.com/News/...0922theel.html

  2. #17
    The map is interesting................One of the most obvious possibilites would be that Jackie fell into the river. But he would more than likely have been found by now. Although not defientley........It would seem that he just wandered around in a town where most children, if not most people knew each other by sight,for hours and nobody questioned why he wasnt at school or if he was lost. Wasn't Jackie distressed about being lost, did no-one spot him? Or maybe, as it was mentioned before, someone did spot him in this vulnerable state and that lead to his disappearance.

    The article says that the lead with the 2 boys was checked and that this was a man travelling with his brother............Although it IS possible that this was Jackie, as no-one from the family identified the "brother", I feel like this lead is a real red herring. It just doesnt make any sense. I wonder
    if the boys identified the man and his brother- i agree with you Richard, how were these people traced? Did they give a licence number?

    The real lead is the man on the boat who said he was adopted and signed his name Jackie Theel. This would be reasonably easy to trace......I wonder if anyone has simply checked the records of this boat and found out who this person was? Why didnt the teacher ask where jackie had been? Why didnt she alert someone? Was she actually Jackies teacher? Maybe she had the conversation about him being adopted in passing and then realised afterwards that he had signed Jackie Theel. Then again, if Jackie really had some kind of learning disability, would he really be in the navy?

    It is SO frustrating that theres no information on the net!!!

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by emma l
    The map is interesting................One of the most obvious possibilites would be that Jackie fell into the river. But he would more than likely have been found by now. Although not defientley........It would seem that he just wandered around in a town where most children, if not most people knew each other by sight,for hours and nobody questioned why he wasnt at school or if he was lost. Wasn't Jackie distressed about being lost, did no-one spot him? Or maybe, as it was mentioned before, someone did spot him in this vulnerable state and that lead to his disappearance.

    The article says that the lead with the 2 boys was checked and that this was a man travelling with his brother............Although it IS possible that this was Jackie, as no-one from the family identified the "brother", I feel like this lead is a real red herring. It just doesnt make any sense. I wonder
    if the boys identified the man and his brother- i agree with you Richard, how were these people traced? Did they give a licence number?

    The real lead is the man on the boat who said he was adopted and signed his name Jackie Theel. This would be reasonably easy to trace......I wonder if anyone has simply checked the records of this boat and found out who this person was? Why didnt the teacher ask where jackie had been? Why didnt she alert someone? Was she actually Jackies teacher? Maybe she had the conversation about him being adopted in passing and then realised afterwards that he had signed Jackie Theel. Then again, if Jackie really had some kind of learning disability, would he really be in the navy?

    It is SO frustrating that theres no information on the net!!!
    All of your questions are good ones. Because of the long time interval, unfortunately most of these "clues" or reported sightings have become legends associated with the story. Like second hand or third hand information repeated so often that they become intermixed with the actual facts of the case.
    Looking at the map and reading the story, my gut feeling is that Jackie started out in the wrong direction, moving west instead of north. After walking for four to six blocks in the wrong direction, and seeing nothing familiar, he came to the highway - which he probably had been told not to cross. And at this point; hungry, confused, and frightened - one of two possible scenarios occurred.
    First, someone in a passing car may have indeed picked him up - more likely between 1 and 2PM. Had the car been traveling generally NORTH on Hwy 23 (the side Jackie was probably on), then that car would have proceeded down "main street" and past Jackie's house on the way through town. This would have been a big risk by a would be kidnapper.
    Secondly, Jackie might have realized his navigational error when reaching the Highway, and then turned north toward the Creamery. Certainly he would have known his way home from there. But perhaps he was seen by someone there and taken toward the river, and then to a train car? Knowing what the train schedule was for September 1944 might provide valuable clues. Jackie could have been thrown from the train somewhere between Paynesville and the next stop on the line, or might have been taken to a camp of migrant workers.
    The problem here is with the sequence of clues. Most likely the reports of sightings of Jackie by the Highway at 1PM and 4:45PM came first, and police focussed on them in tracking down the men in the gray car.
    As is so often the case, the scenting dogs were not called in until a few days later, and AFTER rainy, cold weather had set in. The dogs did not track Jackie all the way from the school, as implied by the story, but rather PICKED UP his scent by the Creamery and tracked him moving West toward the River rhere the scent ended (but note that the railroad was also right there).
    Scenting/Tracking dogs are absolutely unbelievable in their abilities. A well trained dog knows immediately upon discovering the scent which direction to move - even days after the track has been laid. They would have ignored the "back track" (that is where Jackie had been) and gone in the direction that he moved. Some dogs can be trained to back track, but this would be an exception because their instinct tells them to go forward.
    It should be asked also if Jackie had been near that side of the Creamery or near the river at any time in the days prior to his disappearance. That might have tended to rule out the dog scent evidence if he had been there in recent days before he went missing.
    The way that the map is numbered, would indicate that Jackie passed within a block of his house, then went to the river and then proceeded down the highway. That does not make much sense. I feel that it was more likely the other way around and that the 4:45 sighting was a case of mistaken memory, mistaken identity, or simply not true. Again, perhaps locating either or both of the boys who reported this might yield a different story today.
    Concerning people with learning disabilities serving in the Navy or other branches of the service... The story did not indicate that Jackie was in any way severely retarded, only that he might have been "a little slow". There are many men and women serving in our armed forces today and in the past who have various learning disabilities. I do not mean at all any disrespect by that, only that it might be quite possible for Jackie to have served in the Navy if he had passed the entrance exams with acceptable scores.
    I have no idea who the teacher in question was or why he or she did not ask the obvious questions. I wonder if it might be just more of the legends generated by the mystery of the story. With some specifics as to where the home port was, or what the name of the ship was, the Naval Historical Center at the Washington (DC) Navy Yard, or the National Archives at Suitland, MD, or the National Personnel Records Center at St. Louis, MO might be able to confirm the existence of a sailor named Jackie Theel in 1960.
    It would certainly be good literary writing to have this lost little boy dressed in a sailor suit, later become a world traveled sailor. By the way, sailors were often referred to in olden days as "Jack Tars" or simply as "Jackies". In the early 20th Century, boys bands were often outfitted in sailor suits and referred to as "Jackie Bands". And even today, the sailor uniform with bell bottom, button fly trousers, jumper top, and square knot tie are referred to as "Cracker Jacks".

  4. #19
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    Cases not on the internet....

    >>It is SO frustrating that theres no information on the net!!!<<

    I meant to comment on this. There are many many cases such as Jackie's that are not on the internet. Not yet, anyway.
    On-Line Newspaper archives usually only go back as far as 1999 or so, with some exceptions. The place to go for some good articles and interesting cases is to a library which has microfilm files from newspapers. That is where some of these cases came from before they were written up and posted.
    It is strange how it works. I have written a few articles and submitted them to a website or two. Then in a matter of a few years, when you do a google search on one of the names, numerous websites pop up. A case that was completely cold and unknown is suddenly well known and available to people around the world.
    Of course, there are also many police files waiting to be profiled as well, but often those files are kept confidential by the investigating agency.
    Last edited by Richard; 10-21-2004 at 05:35 PM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2sisters
    I wonder if it is him. Does anyone have contact info for the family to give that to them?
    I imagine this is his brother, since it is in the same state as where they grew up:

    Fay & Eileen Theel
    21593 Finley Cir
    Richmond, MN 56368-8339
    (320) 597-2614


    Follow me on the Twitter! @EricDiesel1972

    Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (KJV)

    10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord. (KJV)

    Follow me at my Biblical Blog: http://scripture-demystified.blogspot.com

    Baruch ha Shem Adonai.

  6. #21
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    Railroad name

    The map in the story refers to the railroad north of Paynesville as the "Soo Line". While this is now the official name of that railroad, back in 1940 it was the line's popular nickname. The official name in 1940 was "Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and Sault (pronounced Soo) Saint Marie". It would be interesting to see what the train schedule was like for that line back on 5 September, 1940. Quite possibly it had regular stops that were published in the newspapers.
    Even though the local police claim to have no files going back to 1940, it is most likely that the FBI was involved in the case because this was likely a kidnapping, and the FBI was automatically involved in ANY kidnapping case after the Lindbergh baby had been abducted. This would mean that files should be available from the FBI with a proper Freedom of Information Act request.
    Regarding the address of Mr. Fay Theel, that is probably an accurate one, since the story relates that he still lives near Highway 23 and Paynesville. Richmond, MN is only a few miles up Hwy 23 from Paynesville.

  7. #22
    Richard! I am overwhelmed by all your theories- my brain just doesnt work that quickly! I hate to think of him being thrown from a train, but of course it may have happened. The cross referencing of missing people/bodies found is not even at its best today, so it is a distinct possibility that he may have turned up somewhere else, in another state even. He also may have turned up alive somewhere else- which is a much nicer thought................

    I wonder if Jackies family have considered putting up a website- although it mind not yeild Jackie himself (although, as we don't know what happened to him, it obviously might) it might well jog someones memory about something they saw or someone they knew............

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    Regarding the address of Mr. Fay Theel, that is probably an accurate one, since the story relates that he still lives near Highway 23 and Paynesville. Richmond, MN is only a few miles up Hwy 23 from Paynesville.
    Perhaps we should send one Theel's contact info to the other?


    Follow me on the Twitter! @EricDiesel1972

    Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (KJV)

    10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord. (KJV)

    Follow me at my Biblical Blog: http://scripture-demystified.blogspot.com

    Baruch ha Shem Adonai.

  9. #24
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    An interesting book about 21 Prisoner of War Camps located in Minnesota
    during World War II is "Our War Effort: Swords into Plowshares" by Dean Simmons. The book mentions the extreme manpower shortage in Minnesota in 1944, and how enemy Prisoners of War worked alongside Migrant Workers to assist in the fall harvest.
    Besides the local populace, there were many temporary residents throughout the state.

    Link
    http://www.stthomas.edu/magazine/sho...ID=-1611985779

  10. #25
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    Gary L. Theel

    Jackie Theel is/ was my uncle. My father, Tom D. Theel, was the brother that was to walk him home for lunch the day he went missing, and while growing up we would travel to MN. from Florida to visit with my grand-parents. Each time we neared Paynesville he (my father) would talk about the day uncle Jackie disappeared and the "cloud" that hung over the family and the mystery around the disappearance. When he would speak his voice would sometimes break, and you could hear the sadness in his tone. He would occasionally talk of some of the rumors that followed the story too. I guess, looking back in retrospect, this could be why we were so guarded as children. If anyone can help me find more information and history on this case it would be greatly appreciated. It would give me some peace of mind maybe get answers to some of the questions that 1) were never pursued or 2) were never asked. My f ather passed away March 22, 2004, so I canít get more info from him, but I have spoken with my mother, and she too agrees that my search for answers "is what daddy would want".

    I look forward to hearing from you soon,

    SPC Gary L. Theel, IAARNG

    1900 Cedar St. Apt. E-104

    Norwalk, IA 50211

    515-865-1199

    gary.l.theel@us.army.mil

    gltheel@hotmail.com


  11. #26
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    Thumbs up Help....

    Gary -

    I only live about 1/2 hour away from Paynesville, so if you'd like me to see if I can get into the archives from back then, please let me know. I'll help in any way I can.

    Paula

  12. #27
    tennessee is offline Blew out my flipflop. Stepped on a pop top . . .
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    Gary,

    I wish you all the best in your search for what happened with your uncle. His story is heartbreaking. Please keep us updated as you continue your search.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by englishleigh
    ...and came up with this:

    Theel, Jackie
    1829 Harvard Ave
    Independence, MO 64052-3823
    (816) 833-0061

    Hmmm....
    Thank You For the lead. Much to my regret it was yet another dead-end. This Jackie Theel is a 28 y/o female. However, I'm pretty she she is curious about this case now too.
    Again THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!!
    SGT Gary L. Theel
    RRNCO IAARNG

  14. #29
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    Feb 2005
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    I did a search for Jackie's name on NewspaperArchive and came up with nada. Nothing for Jackie Theel, Victor Theel, or Victor John Theel. Same with NewsLibrary. It seems that the Doe Network casefile, the Charley Project casefile, that one news article, and web boards like these are the only traces Jackie has on the internet. Sigh...maybe his family should make a web site.

  15. #30
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    serch for answers...

    Gary,
    You might start by sending a "Freedom of Information Act Request" to the FBI to see what kind of files they might have on your uncle Jackie's case. I do not know for certain that they were involved, but it is quite possible since the Lindburgh kidnapping preceeded it, and it led to legislation which made the FBI involved in any kidnapping case.
    Also, try contacting Michael Jacobson of the Paynesville newspaper. He researched and wrote the article quoted in this thread, and it is quite possible that he has more information and copies of the origional news stories in his files.
    Best of luck to you in your search.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary L. Theel
    Jackie Theel is/ was my uncle. My father, Tom D. Theel, was the brother that was to walk him home for lunch the day he went missing, and while growing up we would travel to MN. from Florida to visit with my grand-parents. Each time we neared Paynesville he (my father) would talk about the day uncle Jackie disappeared and the "cloud" that hung over the family and the mystery around the disappearance. When he would speak his voice would sometimes break, and you could hear the sadness in his tone. He would occasionally talk of some of the rumors that followed the story too. I guess, looking back in retrospect, this could be why we were so guarded as children. If anyone can help me find more information and history on this case it would be greatly appreciated. It would give me some peace of mind maybe get answers to some of the questions that 1) were never pursued or 2) were never asked. My f ather passed away March 22, 2004, so I canít get more info from him, but I have spoken with my mother, and she too agrees that my search for answers "is what daddy would want".

    I look forward to hearing from you soon,

    SPC Gary L. Theel, IAARNG

    1900 Cedar St. Apt. E-104

    Norwalk, IA 50211

    515-865-1199

    gary.l.theel@us.army.mil

    gltheel@hotmail.com

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