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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Norwalk, IA
    Posts
    8

    Exclamation Still Searching For Answers

    I appologize for having not posted in such a long time. A few things have changed in my life, so I have not had a lot of free time to do as much research as I'd like to. I've taken a full time position with the National Guard as a Recruiting and Retention NCO, been promoted to Sargent, and my wife and I have purchased a new home. The job takes up alot of my time; however, the search for answers continues. My new address and information follows. Please keep the tips and suggetions coming !!!!!!
    I look forward to hearing from you soon,

    SGT Gary L. Theel,

    RRNCO, IAARNG

    1801 Merle Huff Ave.
    Norwalk, IA 50211

    641.521.3608

    gary.l.theel@us.army.mil

    gltheel@hotmail.com
    SGT Gary L. Theel
    RRNCO IAARNG

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    7,450
    Minnesotan here... I'm just thinking about theories mentioned here - don't really have a solution.

    Life was quite different in MN during the 1940's than today. The chance of a hobo riding the rails with a child, passing through hobo camps with a child, and throwing a child off a train without the body ever being seen by either an engineer or another hobo, although possible, seems a reach. Trains had a lot more manpower running them than today and were more open. If people on one train didn't see a body, surely someone on another train would. Then, too, unless a train was stopped, it would be a bit of a maneuver to get a kidnapped child plus yourself on a moving train.

    Servicemen rode passenger trains, most didn't hop a freight, and most had a focus of getting home ASAP. It seems to me that a soldier would have had to take Jackie from a depot, since trains just don't stop in the middle of nowhere. Anyone know how far the depot was from where Jackie may have wandered?

    MN, during WWII, definitely had a big migrant population, since many men were off fighting. German captured soldiers were even used to harvest crops; most, however, were under guard - seems they could not have abducted Jackie during daylight hours.

    One thing I find strange is that Jackie disappeared in the middle of the day. During the war, it was nearly impossible to get gas/tires for a car, and most people didn't drive very far, so a car abduction probably would have been local.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,077

    Train Depot...

    Quote Originally Posted by Trino
    Minnesotan here... I'm just thinking about theories mentioned here - don't really have a solution..... Anyone know how far the depot was from where Jackie may have wandered? ...
    One thing I find strange is that Jackie disappeared in the middle of the day. During the war, it was nearly impossible to get gas/tires for a car, and most people didn't drive very far, so a car abduction probably would have been local.
    Good observations. Yes, the train depot was located in the northwest corner of town, and not far from Jackie's home (only about a block west of it).

    Dogs were called in (days later) and it was reported that they picked up his scent near the Creamery and train tracks. However, being so close to his home, that scent could have been left at a time prior to the first day of school.

    Some boys reported seeing Jackie (or a small boy) walking near the main North/South Road. As a young 6-year-old boy, he had probably been told not to cross such a busy road. He may have seen the trains to the north, and got his bearings, heading north toward the depot.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,077

    Any Railroad Buffs?

    Bumping for little Jackie Theel.

    I wonder if there are any railroad enthusiasts who might know where to locate an old Sault Saint Marie, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul Railroad (aka the Soo Line) timetable for 1944.

    Knowing what trains went through the town at what times and what other stops were on the line, might provide some clues.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    140
    As a native MN, this captured my attention. I have no additional theories to add but want to lend my support.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,077

    Anniversary approaching

    Sept 5th will mark the 63 year anniversary of Jackie's disappearance on his first day of school.

    School is starting up again across the country. Keep an eye out for kids going to and from school, and be especially careful when driving.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,077
    bumping case up...

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    602
    Bumping for Jackie. I'm a new member here, and this case has intrigued me for years.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    1,584
    This is the first I've heard of this case...thanks for bumping it up. I tried searching for the railroad timetable on ebay...didn't find that specific one, but I found a user who sells a lot of different transportation memorabilia including railroad timetables. They have a website as well:
    http://www.locomobilia.com/index.html
    Perhaps Gary or someone would like to contact the owner and see if he can find a copy of this timetable.

    A theory I had about the "2 boys" who supposedly saw Jackie later in the day - maybe they actually saw him earlier in the day, but were ditching school and didn't want to get in trouble so they said they saw him after school let out. Just a theory that crossed my mind as I was catching up on this thread.

    I hope we can find out more about what happened to Jackie.

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Limbo, Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    712


  11. #71
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Bumping for little Jackie Theel.

    I wonder if there are any railroad enthusiasts who might know where to locate an old Sault Saint Marie, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul Railroad (aka the Soo Line) timetable for 1944.

    Knowing what trains went through the town at what times and what other stops were on the line, might provide some clues.
    There are some timetables for the Soo line available on eBay, right now. Though none are for 1944, there are some for 1945 and 1947, so that is encouraging. I'll check back from time to time and see if any 1944 ones turn up, they aren't very expensive, about five bucks or less. I wouldn't mind springing for one if I find it.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,077
    Quote Originally Posted by Shecky View Post
    There are some timetables for the Soo line available on eBay, right now. Though none are for 1944, there are some for 1945 and 1947, so that is encouraging. I'll check back from time to time and see if any 1944 ones turn up, they aren't very expensive, about five bucks or less. I wouldn't mind springing for one if I find it.

    That is encouraging information. I do not know if Little Jackie will ever be found at this late date, but knowing if an abduction by rail riders is a possibility would be very valuable. Also, knowing what the stops along the way were would give a possible time and direction to consider.

    I had relatives who lived in a small "railroad town" and have heard many times of the bums, hobos, and riffraff that hung around the tracks back in those times.

    My uncle told me about how the kids would get to know certain bums by name (usually a nickname) and that these decent bums would warn kids to stay away from other bums whom they knew to be preditors.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    That is encouraging information. I do not know if Little Jackie will ever be found at this late date, but knowing if an abduction by rail riders is a possibility would be very valuable. Also, knowing what the stops along the way were would give a possible time and direction to consider.

    I had relatives who lived in a small "railroad town" and have heard many times of the bums, hobos, and riffraff that hung around the tracks back in those times.

    My uncle told me about how the kids would get to know certain bums by name (usually a nickname) and that these decent bums would warn kids to stay away from other bums whom they knew to be preditors.
    It seems logical that Jackie was spirited away by train or car, and I wonder if authorities at the time pursued the train theory at all. In 1944, would they have given much thought to sexual predators or the fact that some -perhaps seemingly harmless- bums might have such perversions?

    I wasn't born until 1984 (forty years after this happened!) so I really have no idea of the mindset back then, especially the mindset and awareness in small towns.

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,077

    65 years ago...

    This September 5th will mark the 65 year anniversary of the disappearance of Little Jackie Theel.

  15. #75
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    4,112
    Several years ago Sgt. Theel said he'd found out one of the "boys" was still alive and was planning to try and interview him. I wonder if that happened.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.---Patrick Moynihan
    Living in the

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