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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    8

    MD - Mary Frances Plewacki, manual strangulation in Baltimore, 1970

    My name's Maryann and just as a little background I'm the last remaining member of my family besides my daughter who was not born before they were all gone. I am searching for information on my mother, Mary Frances Plewacki who was alledgedly murdered when I was 18 months old. My grandmother raised me until I was 14 and then I was put in foster care right before she died. My grandmother was basically my only source of family background/information. I've searched all over the net and can't find any corraberating information so ...this is my story.

    Mary Frances Plewacki, 27 years old, lived in Baltimore, Maryland. Born November 21, 1942 found dead October (no date) 1970. She had gone to her new apartment with her boyfriend whose name was George Dollinger/Dolinger/Dolenger and was hanging curtains, as they were moving in together. I was an infant and stayed with my grandmother Anna while they worked on the apartment they were going to share together. The next morning my grandmother got a call stating that my mom was dead. George was supposedly arrested but only spent one night in jail. The autopsy reported that she was killed by "manual strangulation with hand prints around her throat and foot prints on her back, as well as alcohol and barbiturates" in her system. George supposedly went to trial and was found not guilty because his "people had money and bought his way out of it". Before my grandmother collapsed in court she screamed "you've faced man's law but you haven't faced God's law, yet".

    She was supposedly laid out at Lily & Zeller Funeral Home and buried at Oaklawn Cemetary in Baltimore. I've contacted both places several times, both by email and phone and have gotten no response back in over a year.

    I have no idea if any of this is true. Nothing in the Baltimore Sun. Can't find an obituary on my mother anywhere. No one alive left to ask. I should have paid better attention when my grandmother was telling me all the stories.

    Can't figure out if it was a "murder" why there's nothing online about it. Even in 1970 I'm guessing a relatively pretty young woman getting supposedly strangled by her love interest would make some sort of news, locally. I live in Louisiana since I was 9 years old so have no resources back up north.

    I'd appreciate any help. I like to think I'm good at this type thing. I do it all the time for friends, missing family members, tracking people down. Just like a mechanic with a car though, when I try to do it for myself...it just never seems to work out.

    Thanks for listening to me babble. I'm just really interested in finding out what, if anything, about my past life is true as I know it.


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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,568
    Hi MA-First I am very sorry to hear about your mother & grandmother.
    I am not good at sleuthing-but my first thought was=she should go back to the town
    your M & GM lived and go to the library to see if any old newspapers did a story on her death
    if there is-look at the name of the police dept that did the invesagating & start contacting those people.
    hope you find your answers!!!


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8

    Thanks Syra

    Syra, I would if I could but I'm half way across the country now. Louisiana is a long way from Maryland but I use what resources I have such as the web and phone to try and contact people. I've sent a request to the Pratt Free Library in Baltimore but they want you to come in and research preferably and that's part of the problem.


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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Western, MA
    Posts
    161
    Well there is both a George Dollinger and a George Dollenger still living in MD, I checked Veromi.com.

    Baltimore Sun archives don't go back very far but I did check newspaperarchive.com to no avail.

    It has been my experience that the best source for information in a case like this is former friends and classmates of your Mom. With as many years as have gone by and with your loss at such a young age many of her friends may be willing to share things with you that they wouldn't share with authorities. If you don't know what school she went to it should be do-able to figure it out. At that point Facebook and Classmates.com can be VERY valuable assets. Even if you find out nothing about the actual crime, you may find out a lot about your Mom.


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  8. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    4,568
    I looked through all the unsolved murders in Baltimore from 1970 & up & found it strange that Mary is not listed anywhere- there were 2 other murders-Sister Cathy Cesnik & Joyce Malecki- both of these are still unsolved-but Joyce's name does not appear on any Baltimore Police unsolved websites or cold cases either!Just Sister Cathy!
    Last edited by SyraKelly; 06-26-2012 at 11:24 PM.


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  10. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    275
    Two suggestions for more info regarding your mom's death and burial site:

    1) Request your mother's death certificate. You can access the form and the instructions online. I think the fee is $14.00. I don't have the exact site addy, so google Maryland Department of Vital Records and it will give you the link.

    Not only will the DC give you basic info on your mom, but it will list the cemetery where she's buried. It's possible that it's a different cemetery.

    I don't know if funeral homes keep records, but, having worked at another Baltimore cemetery, I know that cemeteries keep very detailed records.

    2) Look into accessing Baltimore Sun and Baltimore News American archives. The Sun is still in business and there is a fee for the service. The News American folded years ago, but the Baltimore County Public Library's main branch in Towson may have archives of their dailies.

    Also look into the Dundalk Eagle (Oaklawn Cemetery on Eastern Avenue is in Dundalk). If your mom or her family had any connection to the area, her obit might be in their archives.

    I wish you the best of luck in your search. You deserve to know what happened to your mom.
    pet me, feed me, pet me, feed me, pet me, feed me


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  12. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8

    Thank you all so much.

    I've also decided to try and contact the "crime beat" bloggers for the Sun, also. Neither of them were there way back then but it's worth a try. I appreciate everyone's help!

    It's just frustrating that I can help everyone else and there's nothing for me to find on myself.

    I'll keep you all updated if I get any info.

    Thanks again,
    Maryann Black


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  14. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    5,096
    CatMama3's suggestion about contacting local libraries would be my suggestion also. I find that most libraries have very obliging librarians who will be able to search old records, including newspapers, that are not available online.

    Once you explain your situation, see if they are able to look into their records and photocopy them for you. I have had libraries do this for free, others charge minimal fees if it isn't an enormous request.

    A librarian could come up with other avenues of searching that you haven't thought of, or might even know someone personally with info (I've had that happen twice!)

    Best of luck, and if your trail leads to Pittsburgh and you need a local amateur sleuth, I'd be glad to assist you!


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  16. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    1
    I found Mary F. Plewacki's obituary in the Baltimore Sun as well as her mother and grandmother. I sent those to Maryann.

    Chris


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  18. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8

    Thank you Mr. Chris

    CTSmithson has been amazing in helping me find things in the Baltimore Sun that are not online. What a wonderful person and an amazing resource.


  19. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
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    1,744
    I think the crime beat email is an excellent idea! Also maybe try going to the Facebook page for the town in which your mother passed and relay a bit of the story. Maybe someone will go to the library and help research since you're so far away? I am so so sorry that you lost not only your mother but also grand mother at such an early age. God bless and good luck!

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  21. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    8

    My biggest frustration...

    is that besides the folks on here and Mr. Chris I can't get a soul to write me back. As I've said I've contacted the funeral home, the cemetary, the two crime bloggers and even an old lead on my mom's old school in Baltimore. I have yet (it's been over a year with the cemetary and funeral home, several times) to hear back from anyone. Even a "sorry, can't help" or a "we don't keep files from that far back" or anything. It's frustrating because I KNOW someone's getting the emails because they're not bouncing back. It makes me wonder what happened to the common courtesy that people use to have...speak when spoken to, answer when asked a question, yes ma'am, no ma'am, please and thank you.

    I apologize for venting it's just annoying to know that even a "no" would be a definitive answer...not knowing is what makes it rough.



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  23. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1

    Finding more info

    I live in Maryland, but not near Baltimore. However, there are some sources of information available to you via snail mail.

    You quote the the autopsy report, and if you have a copy, excellent. Otherwise, you can obtain one directly from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. There is a $30 fee, and the information you'll need is located here: http://dhmh.maryland.gov/ocme/SitePa...utopsy_report_

    Your mother's death certificate is on file with the State, and instructions on how to obtain it are at http://dhmh.maryland.gov/vsa/SitePages/death.aspx

    Finally, you may be able to obtain a copy of the police report from the Baltimore City Police. Instructions are here: http://www.baltimorepolice.org/conta...-police-report

    Oaklawn Cemetery is huge, and you would probably need to go there in person to locate your mother's grave.

    Wish I could be more help. Best of luck finding the information you seek.


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  25. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    86
    Mary Frances Plewacki is not listed as being reported dead in the Social Security Death Index. That does not mean that she did not die. It means that she either did not have a social security number or a family member did not report her as deceased.

    Mary Frances Plewacki is listed in a newspaper article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Sept 6, 1970. About what? I don't know because its a subscription site.


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  27. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Dimondale, Michigan
    Posts
    138
    I found this complete with her Soc #. PLEWACKI, MARY was born 21 November 1942; received Social Security number 217-40-7219, which corresponds to Maryland; and died October 1970.

    http://sortedbyname.com/pages/p106288.html


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