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  1. #31
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    Apr 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Shock
    Interesting theory. I think I would have liked Dorothy myself. I think that's why I want to write this book. She was an appealing person. And being a writer myself I can sympathethize with her.
    One thing I like about Dorothy is her determination to be a writer. In spite of her submitted work being rejected, she continued to forge ahead. I like that spirit, and I will certainly enjoy reading all about her in your book.

  2. #32
    I can't help but think of the VC Andrews book Flowers In The Attic.

    Interesting theories... I would only add, I think the mother knew what happened to her daughter but was under the thumb of a tyrant husband. I think she kept quiet like most women of that era did. She probably suffered more from guilt than from not knowing what happened to her daughter.

  3. #33
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    Feb 2006
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    IMO, Griscom probably arranged for Dorothy to have an abortion at Dr. Meredith's clinic. It being in Pittsburgh where he lived gives the impression he may have used the doctor's services before, with another young lady, or at least knew the clinic's reputation as an abortion mill. When she died from the botched operation, he beat a hasty retreat to Europe with Mama. She was probably cremated, that's why they never found any evidence. By the way, how's the book coming, I'd love to read it!

  4. #34
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    Another article:

    http://www.americanheritage.com/arti...960_5_24.shtml

    Wonder if the burned papers in her bedroom grate were burned by her, or her parents? Perhaps they knew all along...

  5. #35
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    Apr 2005
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    Thanks much!

    It's been about a year since I last posted anything on this website. Thank you for posting the link for that article, hopefully it will generate some new interest in this case.

    I won't recap my various postings, but will reiterate my theory that Dorothy Arnold was not killed, but rather left of her own accord for some unknown reason (pregnancy, depression over a writing career that failed to take off, desire to be with someone her family would disapprove of????). I don't think much of the suicide theory, but that's because from what I can learn of Dorothy's personality prior to her disappearance, she was as free as spirit as she could be given the social climate at the time. She seemed to have a strong personality, and didn't let things such as rejected manuscripts, bring her down. Unless there was another side to her personality that has not been mentioned, I'd like to think suicide would not have been an option for Dorothy.

    As to the burned papers, they could have been another rejected manuscript. However, they just was well could have been old love letters, a "farewell" note she decided against leaving, or a lot of other things. It's too bad the papers were burned so completely, because they might well have held a clue as to what was on Dorothy's mind at the time of her disappearance.

    If you are intrigued by this type of cold case, my particular favorite involves the disappearance of college student Ruth Baumgardner. There is a thread for her on this Websleuths site. This is another case of a supposedly happy, healthy young woman vanishing. Although at first there were some possible sightings of her, she was never found. In her parents' obituaries, Ruth is listed as "the late Ruth Baumgardner", but I believe this is not because Ruth was ever found, but because Ruth was never heard from by her family, and eventually presumed dead.
    Last edited by Marilynilpa; 11-24-2006 at 11:53 AM. Reason: Addition

  6. #36
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    Dec 2006
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    1
    Hi all. My name's Scott, I'm from the UK, and I've just registered with Websleuths solely to share with you my thoughts on this case.

    I wonder if anybody else's noticed that although Dorothy claimed the purpose of her trip was to buy a dress for her sister's party there are apparently no reports of anybody seeing her in any of the fashion stores that, then as now, must have thronged Fifth Ave.? It seems to me inconceivable that a prominent Manhattan socialite such as Dorothy should have been able to roam these shops completely unrecognised, searching against the clock for that elusive party "number". One might well ask; did she actually go into any of these shops on that fateful day? And if she in fact didn't, why might that have been?

    It's here that a couple of things from the American Heritage article strike me particularly. Assuming all its details are true, 11 or 12 weeks would already have elapsed since her dalliance with Mr Griscom in Boston on the 16-24 Sept. This is almost exactly the point at which an unborn baby starts making itself visible in the course of a typical pregnancy. Could this be why Dorothy dissuaded her mother from joining her on her trip? Some quick research on Google suggests a tight-fitting dress (particularly at the waist) was still the fashion for young ladies in 1910, which would obviously have presented some difficulty to a pregnant Dorothy. Also, she would in all probability have required another woman's help in the changing-room and thus be at risk at giving her secret away. Even if this had been a shop assistant rather than her mother or a close friend, she (Dorothy) surely was not unknown enough that tongues would not start wagging around the town.

    I imagine it would almost have been out of the question for Dorothy to choose something from her own wardrobe instead that would still fit her comfortably; this was after all her own sister's coming-out party, and her friends would not fail to notice if she was wearing "some old thing" and, accordingly, move her a few rungs down the social ranking for showing her sister up. It's hard not to think that such thoughts must have been playing on her mind endlessly as she attempted to keep a brave face on things, whilst time was steadily slipping away; it must almost have felt like the final straw when that friend of hers handed Dorothy her note of acceptance to the party during their chance encounter at the bookshop.

    What do I think happened after that "final" sighting, given the foregoing? If the American Heritage article is correct in all particulars, then I can think of at least two possibilities; a) that Dorothy did return home, perhaps with a real or feigned headache (hence her mother's enigmatic telephone reply), and at some point blurted out her secret, possibly in answer to why she still hadn't found a dress etc. when the party was only five days away, or b) she fled to a friend's and only got in touch with her family some time afterwards as has already been suggested in this thread. What next after that? I think it very unlikely (though of course I can't discount it totally) that Dorothy died on the abortionist's table: such news would have destroyed her mother utterly, yet she lived on for another 18 years. It could well be she refused to undergo the procedure and so her father saw no option but to banish her from the family home permanently (to Europe? Recall that he was a perfume importer and so would have been in a position to quickly spirit Dorothy away to a new life overseas with the help of some trusted business contacts) and maintain the "missing daughter search" pretence to keep scandal at bay.

    I've found a weblink http://coloradoclues.com/Vital%20Statistics%20S-U.htm which, if the info in it is to be believed - see the entry under "Seeley, Dorothy" - suggests another, perhaps additional, reason why her family might have sent Dorothy away; i.e. she refused to go through a shotgun marriage. Something which I have to say seems to be very much in keeping with Dorothy, from what little we know of her.

    That's all I have for now. A happy Christmas to you all!
    Last edited by srosser; 12-23-2006 at 06:44 AM.

  7. #37
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    Interesting find there, Scott. From the context, it's obvious that Dorothy Seeley was not Dorothy Arnold; however, the little remark about Dorothy's reasons for vanishing could be accurate. Of course, we have to remember that American newspapers of that time, often embellished or fabricated information to make a story more juicy. A little Googling on the "Airship" scare of 1896 should prove amusing.

    I got interested in the case while writing a screenplay based on Jack Finney's story, "Of Missing Persons." Dorothy gets a passing mention in my script. Like her, I'm a failed writer

    Happy holidays and cheers from across the pond!

  8. #38
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    I enjoyed reading your post, in particular your comment about the dress fashions of Dorothy's time. This thought had not occurred to me, but does bolster the pregnancy theory a bit.

    You say that you registered with Websleuths solely to share your thoughts about this case, but I hope you will reconsider and take a look at some of the other topics.

    Happy holidays to all!
    Quote Originally Posted by srosser
    Hi all. My name's Scott, I'm from the UK, and I've just registered with Websleuths solely to share with you my thoughts on this case.


    I wonder if anybody else's noticed that although Dorothy claimed the purpose of her trip was to buy a dress for her sister's party there are apparently no reports of anybody seeing her in any of the fashion stores that, then as now, must have thronged Fifth Ave.? It seems to me inconceivable that a prominent Manhattan socialite such as Dorothy should have been able to roam these shops completely unrecognised, searching against the clock for that elusive party "number". One might well ask; did she actually go into any of these shops on that fateful day? And if she in fact didn't, why might that have been?

    It's here that a couple of things from the American Heritage article strike me particularly. Assuming all its details are true, 11 or 12 weeks would already have elapsed since her dalliance with Mr Griscom in Boston on the 16-24 Sept. This is almost exactly the point at which an unborn baby starts making itself visible in the course of a typical pregnancy. Could this be why Dorothy dissuaded her mother from joining her on her trip? Some quick research on Google suggests a tight-fitting dress (particularly at the waist) was still the fashion for young ladies in 1910, which would obviously have presented some difficulty to a pregnant Dorothy. Also, she would in all probability have required another woman's help in the changing-room and thus be at risk at giving her secret away. Even if this had been a shop assistant rather than her mother or a close friend, she (Dorothy) surely was not unknown enough that tongues would not start wagging around the town.

    I imagine it would almost have been out of the question for Dorothy to choose something from her own wardrobe instead that would still fit her comfortably; this was after all her own sister's coming-out party, and her friends would not fail to notice if she was wearing "some old thing" and, accordingly, move her a few rungs down the social ranking for showing her sister up. It's hard not to think that such thoughts must have been playing on her mind endlessly as she attempted to keep a brave face on things, whilst time was steadily slipping away; it must almost have felt like the final straw when that friend of hers handed Dorothy her note of acceptance to the party during their chance encounter at the bookshop.

    What do I think happened after that "final" sighting, given the foregoing? If the American Heritage article is correct in all particulars, then I can think of at least two possibilities; a) that Dorothy did return home, perhaps with a real or feigned headache (hence her mother's enigmatic telephone reply), and at some point blurted out her secret, possibly in answer to why she still hadn't found a dress etc. when the party was only five days away, or b) she fled to a friend's and only got in touch with her family some time afterwards as has already been suggested in this thread. What next after that? I think it very unlikely (though of course I can't discount it totally) that Dorothy died on the abortionist's table: such news would have destroyed her mother utterly, yet she lived on for another 18 years. It could well be she refused to undergo the procedure and so her father saw no option but to banish her from the family home permanently (to Europe? Recall that he was a perfume importer and so would have been in a position to quickly spirit Dorothy away to a new life overseas with the help of some trusted business contacts) and maintain the "missing daughter search" pretence to keep scandal at bay.

    I've found a weblink http://coloradoclues.com/Vital%20Statistics%20S-U.htm which, if the info in it is to be believed - see the entry under "Seeley, Dorothy" - suggests another, perhaps additional, reason why her family might have sent Dorothy away; i.e. she refused to go through a shotgun marriage. Something which I have to say seems to be very much in keeping with Dorothy, from what little we know of her.

    That's all I have for now. A happy Christmas to you all!

  9. #39
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    Sep 2004
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    5,076
    Bumping case up. It has been just over a year since anyone posted on it...

  10. #40
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    Thanks for bumping this, Richard. I still find this an intriguing matter. I believe the family learned what happened to Dorothy at some point, and that she was not dead. I think perhaps the morality of the day kept the truth of Dorothy's "disappearance" from being revealed.


  11. #41
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    Dec 2005
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    Bump Bump

  12. #42
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    Jun 2010
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    4

    fixated

    It has always seemed signifcant to me that on the afternoon of her dissappearance,Dorothy bought two things:A box of candy and a book of short stories. these are exactly the kinds of things onewould buy if they were planning a convalescance. Perhaps Dofothy was planning to spend afew days in bed,recovering? Sadly,I think Dorothy died on the abortionist"s table...

  13. #43
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    Jun 2010
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    4

    fixated

    It has always seemed signifcant to me that on the afternoon of her dissappearance,Dorothy bought two things:A box of candy and a book of short stories. these are exactly the kinds of things onewould buy if they were planning a convalescance. Perhaps Dofothy was planning to spend afew days in bed,recovering? Sadly,I think Dorothy died on the abortionist"s table...

  14. #44
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    Jun 2010
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    4

    fixated

    I have done a very superficial search for both PONTSETTIA FLAMES andLOTUS LEAVES at the Library of Congress website .Beginning authors often feel it is important to copyright thier work,as this lends a sense of validity to thier efforts.....If Dorothy did so,the stories might offer further clues into her character.(From it's title LOTUS LEAVES sounds as if it might be a rewrite of the first story) If any one has any particular skill at negotiating this kind of search ,it might prove a profitable avenue !

  15. #45
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    Jun 2010
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    4

    fixated

    It has always seemed signifcant to me that on the afternoon of her dissappearance,Dorothy bought two things:A box of candy and a book of short stories. these are exactly the kinds of things onewould buy if they were planning a convalescance. Perhaps Dofothy was planning to spend afew days in bed,recovering? Sadly,I think Dorothy died on the abortionist"s table...

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