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  1. #1
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    MA - Winsola Goodell, 22, Belchertown, 6 July 1906 - solved but seems fishy

    Ok so TECHNICALLY it isn't a cold case because they "solved" it at the time but in my opinion it's worth revisiting. It's nagging at my brain enough that I need to know what someone else thinks.

    This girl went missing July 6th while rowing in the pond on her family's property. She went missing, they combed through the pond and didn't find her. As the article quotes "had been dragged so many times fruitlessly". Eventually she turns up in the pond, sometime around July 27th when the article was published.

    They determine it was an accident because her hand was still clutching a handkerchief. Um...so she falls in the water and doesn't release it to try to swim? Does that make any sense to you? Why would it make sense to them?

    According to a railroad brakeman his train passed by and she stood up in the boat and waved her handkerchief.

    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...DF405B868CF1D3


    So two questions I have:

    - how long would it take for her to surface if she did in fact drown
    - how realistic is it that she fell in and held onto the handkerchief

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  2. #2
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    This article has more info. Apparently the pond was dragged daily, blown up with dynamite and men and boys poked and prodded it.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...+goodell&hl=en

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  3. #3
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    Before she was found there was a young man that lived 3 miles from her that aroused suspicion and was being watched 24/7. There was a clearing that showed signs of a struggle that had a white ribbon in it and the theory was that she was dragged there and assaulted. Her father from the beginning thought she drowned but admitted there was no evidence she actually went to the pond other than saying she was going to. We later find out about a witness that saw her.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=7079,3908143

    One of her combs was found in the boat. Unless she took it out I don't know why it would be there if she just plopped right out of the boat.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...+goodell&hl=en

    ME said no evidence of foul play so I guess maybe not but I still think it's weird.
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...+goodell&hl=en

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  4. #4
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    This article goes into detail about how she surfaces which may give more insights.

    "the body was in an upright position with the right arm extended holding the handkerchief, and moving up and down in the water. At times the entire upper half of the body to the waistline was visible and again only the head showed above the surface"
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...+goodell&hl=en

    So if someone drowns how does rigor mortis work, does it happen? Does it seem likely that a drowning person would be upright or have the right arm extended in front, or if they're horizontal the right arm would be up? I guess these are really more questions for a professional I don't know.

    Everything is MOO and I am always willing to be wrong!


    October 2013 marked 60 years since Evelyn Hartley's violent kidnapping while babysitting.

    We need fresh eyes in the case - please visit us in
    Evelyn's thread!

  5. #5
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    It does sound like a fishy case. There must've been some reason why the young man was suspected. What about that hair ribbon, was it hers? No one who is consciously drowning will hold onto an object; they will flatten out their hands in an attempt to swim or stay afloat. Perhaps she clenched the hankie as she was being assaulted. Her assailant perhaps knocked her out as she still gripped the hankie, tied a heavy weight to her body and then pushed her into the water, where she drowned. A few weeks later, whatever was tying her to the weight turned loose and she rose to the top of the water, still clutching the hankie. Just speculating, but it could've happened that way or in some similar fashion.

  6. #6
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    Just came across this. How bizarre. I think chances are close to impossible that she held onto the handkerchief as she was drowning AND then held on to it in death AND they did not find her despite numerous searches of the pond until much later.

    From what I remember, rigor mortis is temporary. Body is flexible, then in rigor, then back to flexible. The rigor part only lasts 72 hours (about).

    Perhaps the handkerchief was woven around her fingers??

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    It does sound like a fishy case. There must've been some reason why the young man was suspected. What about that hair ribbon, was it hers? No one who is consciously drowning will hold onto an object; they will flatten out their hands in an attempt to swim or stay afloat. Perhaps she clenched the hankie as she was being assaulted. Her assailant perhaps knocked her out as she still gripped the hankie, tied a heavy weight to her body and then pushed her into the water, where she drowned. A few weeks later, whatever was tying her to the weight turned loose and she rose to the top of the water, still clutching the hankie. Just speculating, but it could've happened that way or in some similar fashion.
    To be a bit too graphic... when a person dies, it is typical for them to release bowel and bladder contents when their muscles relax. I would imagine a hand "clutching" something would ALSO relax, unless they were left in situ until rigor set in and the grip "resolidified". Even so, when rigor ended, the hanky should probably have floated away. Very weird. And the description of her (by the railroadman) as standing and waving her hanky sounds like what they describe her corpse as doing... sometimes as much as halfway up out of the water (only in the water to the waist) waving the hanky in an outstretched hand. Is it possible the railroadman saw her AFTER she died? This doesn't sound a lot like an accident to me.
    WE DID IT! Convicted pedophile Donald Scott Brunstetter (details in the CAPER - Citizens Against Pedophile's Early Release Forum http://www.websleuths.com/forums/for...ht-on-Children) will remain behind bars for the duration of his sentence. Thanks to WS members, and Tricia's True Crime Radio listeners, at least 100 letters were received by the Parole Board prior to his July 30th, 2015 Parole Hearing, opposing his release, and they listened.
    Visit http://noparole4pedophile.weebly.com/ for background on the case.

    My posts are strictly MY opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error, or who may be offended because I do not see eye to eye with them on all matters related to this case. I hope our differences can be set aside as we unite in the search for this victim or the perpetrator of this crime. Your opinions and insights are just as valuable as mine.

  8. #8
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    It also seems as if the "physician" who claimed her body was floating upright because of the gasses produced by decomposition is off his rocker. At times, only her head was above water.... Is he suggesting that the gasses accumulated between her scalp and skull forming a bubble around her head? Generally speaking, bloating and accumulation of gasses occurs in the torso, which I'd think would cause the body to float up HORIZONTALLY, and likely "belly up."
    WE DID IT! Convicted pedophile Donald Scott Brunstetter (details in the CAPER - Citizens Against Pedophile's Early Release Forum http://www.websleuths.com/forums/for...ht-on-Children) will remain behind bars for the duration of his sentence. Thanks to WS members, and Tricia's True Crime Radio listeners, at least 100 letters were received by the Parole Board prior to his July 30th, 2015 Parole Hearing, opposing his release, and they listened.
    Visit http://noparole4pedophile.weebly.com/ for background on the case.

    My posts are strictly MY opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error, or who may be offended because I do not see eye to eye with them on all matters related to this case. I hope our differences can be set aside as we unite in the search for this victim or the perpetrator of this crime. Your opinions and insights are just as valuable as mine.

  9. #9
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    I would like to add that I had a friend that was hurrying down a boat ramp to a houseboat to pay her rent to her landlord that lived there. She was clutching the money in her hand and she slipped, fell into the river and drowned. When they discovered her, just hours later, she still had the money clutched in her hand. This might be the case of someone who cannot swim and does not have the instant response to flatten out their hands and start flapping their arms, but instead panics right away and drowns pretty fast.

  10. #10
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    So this is by no means an expert opinion, but from what limited knowledge I have on the subject, corpses just don't do that. They don't stand up when the water goes down to their waist, they don't keep their arm outstretched and waving against gravity. I'm guessing they know it was her corpse but it sounds like a mannequin, or like she was tied up to some sort of log? That sounds weird.. But then again this entire thing sounds weird.


  11. #11
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    Drowning victims will "clutch"... Not in every case, but in some... Cadaveric spasms, or instantanious rigor mortis, don't always happen but are far more common in drownings than in cases of other accidental death.

    ...and it can take a few weeks for a body to come to the surface. A lot just depends on the circumstanses. Water temp will effect it, but some bodies don't ever come back up.

    She may have stayed down longer if she was weighed down by her clothes. I tried looking up popular fashions of the early 190s and it seems as if multiple long skirts were still the practice. Once saturated they would have been really heavy, which may have also been dragging her down at the point she fell out of her boat.

    Although, I am sure they did search the lake for her it is more than possible that they just missed her. Look at the technology we have today and still we aren't always able to locate drowning victims, even in some small waterways...

    MOO, playing devil's advocate...

  12. #12
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    is it possible that someone killed her and then took her by that area to make it seems like a drowning?



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