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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marilynilpa View Post
    You've mentioned a couple of times that Dorothy had stolen family jewelry to pawn. I haven't read anything about that, what I've always thought was that Dorothy pawned her own jewelry and personal items. Can you remember where you read that she'd actually stolen family stuff? I'd like to learn more about that. If it's true, that changes my image of Dorothy a little, makes her more calculating that I've thought. It's one thing to pawn your own stuff, but something else altogether to steal from your family.
    Thank you!

    Just to help with a timeline Im going to go over some facts that others may know, but that I think are vital in figuring out what really happened.

    The week of September 23, 1910 is when she was in Boston with George - She booked into the Hotel Lenox (Now known as the The Lenox Hotel) Not only was this hotel VERY expensive it would have been filled with the 'whos who' of rich people - between that and her signing her REAL name and address to the pawn slip it seems more like this was Dorothy TRYING to get attention. Had she actually wanted to make sure nobody would find out she wouldnt have gone to a very hip luxury hotel where there was a huge chance someone in their 'circle' would see them. That hotel was considered the "most luxurious hotel in New England" and was owned by the same man that owns the New York's Waldorf - Astoria. The room rate for that hotel now is anywhere from $500-$1900 a NIGHT. George was booked into Hotel Essex, which is also a very expensive hotel - cheaper than the Lenox, but still quite costly. Who paid the bills?

    It was at the end of this week that she went to the Collateral Loan Company (on Boyslton street) and pawned the following items: Her gold watch and chain, two diamond rings and two bracelets.

    The watch and chain and one of the diamond rings were 'family' jewels, though they "hers" they were items that had been in her family for some time. She signed her real name and address to the slip when pawning these items.

    At that time and pawnbroker had to turn in all 'loan' slips to the police as a matter of record, in case they had any sort of stolen items - After she went missing a police inspector saw Dorothy's name on the slip and contacted her father. A representative of her family was sent to Boston, he paid the amount due for the items and left with them.

    I cant find the exact article that talked about this - but here is one that goes into it a little

    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...649C946096D6CF

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marilynilpa View Post
    I never thought about Dorothy taking her girlfriends to dinner/theater as a goodbye to them, but it does make sense! I wonder if Dorothy was usually so extravagant with her friends.
    It apparently wasnt all that unusual for Dorothy to take her friends out and treat them before the scandal of her being found out to have been with George in Boston - the gossip spread like mad and people werent being all that kind to Dorothy, so the things that she did were quite limited.

    The hotel thing happened in the end of September, her family found out around the middle of October - Thanksgiving would have been the first 'event' that she would have gone to after the hotel issue - which is why I think she ended up not going, though I dont know if her not being there means that she was embarrased and decided not to go or that her parents were embarrased and asked/told her to go away over thanksgiving to spare everyone the shame.

    The second event would have been her sisters coming out party - the event that she was shopping for a dress of the day she went missing.

    Within the period of about 40 days Dorothy was got caught with a man in a hotel, was told that they would never allow her to marry him, was told no when she asked her father if she could get an apartment, went out on a limb and told her family about her writing - allowed them to read it only to be mocked endlessly, to be futher humiliated when they saw she was rejected by the company she sent her writing to.

    Why wouldnt she want to run away?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marilynilpa View Post
    Although it appears Dorothy was not a particularly good writer, it was something she enjoyed doing (until the family began ridiculing her!) I agree that some evidence of her writing should have been found in her room unless she knew she would not be coming back that day and took everything with her. I think that a girl like Dorothy would have kept a diary or journal of some type. Obviously that would be something she'd take with her if she were leaving for good.
    I really think that she must have felt so rejected by them for making fun of her stories that the only redemption she felt would to have her works published, and when that turns out to have not happened AND that her family saw the rejection that it was unbearable. Though not fact, it almost seems that someone opened her mail and they learned about the rejection before she did, this rejection was what caused her to open a post office box.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marilynilpa View Post
    Regarding her mother's offer to shop with Dorothy, I don't know if it was that unusual. It may be something she did regularly. The claims that Dorothy's mother was a semi-invalid were not entirely true - she was capable of doing things when she wanted to, such as traveling by boat to Europe with her son to confront Griscom. It could have been "mother's intuition" behind her offer to go shopping with Dorothy, or it could have been the family's suspicions that Dorothy might be up to something. Given her recent behavior, shocking in the eyes of her family, it could be they were keeping a close watch over her whenever she went out on her own.
    Its purely sepucation on my part but I think that the mother being reported as 'ill' or 'semi-invalid' were just a way of sugar coating some sort of substance abuse problem - we know the family was very caught up in what other people thought and it was quite common in 1910 for women to be addicted to morphine, opium or other similar drugs and it wasnt hard to get them - the use of such drugs wasnt even illegal. Opiates and cocaine were mostly unregulated drugs that anyone could go into a drug store and by, for any reason.

    The use of these types of drugs was so widespread at that time (the study they did noted that 0.25% of the entire population at that time was addicted to form of opium. In 1914 The Harrison Act was put into place to attempt to control the use of such drugs.

    Her last words to her mother ďNo, Mother, donít bother. You donít feel just right and itís no use going to the trouble. I mightnít see a thine I want, but if I do, Iíll phone you.Ē

    People go back and forth with that statment, trying to see if they think its sarcastic or not, or put meaning into it, but its plausible that the 'you dont feel just right' comment is related to drug use.

  3. #63
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    In regards to the thanksgiving package:

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

    Dorothy arrived at Theodora’s home at 1820 Mintwood Place late Wednesday night. On Thanksgiving morning she expressed a desire to remain in bed. That same morning a bulky envelope was delivered for Dorothy. Here indeed is a riddle deep within a riddle; this was Thanksgiving Day, when businesses closed down and no daily mail was delivered. Dorothy may have requested the General Post Office in New York to forward her mail over the weekend, but it is unlikely that this would have been done with such exceptional dispatch even if she had left postage for special delivery.

    Nor did Dorothy ever speak of knowing anyone in Washington who might have brought the package to Theodora’s door. Yet the package did arrive, and Theodora always maintained that it came by regular United States mail. On accepting the package at the door, Theodora jumped to a fast conclusion. She decided that it contained the rejected manuscript of Dorothy’s second short story, “Lotus Leaves.” Yet there is nothing to support this assumption. Dorothy, still lolling in bed, did not open the envelope or even comment on it, but tossed it aside indifferently. Theodora, although her curiosity was fully aroused, asked no questions for fear of hurting her friend’s feelings.

    On Friday, Dorothy further astounded Theodora. She came downstairs for breakfast fully dressed for travel, and carrying her bag. “Why, Dorothy,” Theodora exclaimed, “it’s only Friday and you were to stay until Monday.” Dorothy shook her head. “Oh, no,” she said, “I always planned to leave today.”

    At the Arnold home in New York, Dorothy’s mother was equally astonished when her daughter reappeared. “Why, what’s happened?” Mrs. Arnold demanded as Dorothy stepped through the door. “We didn’t expect you back until Monday.” Again Dorothy answered firmly, “I always intended to come home today.”

    She spent the rest of the Thanksgiving weekend at home, reading and sewing.
    Its difficult to understand why Dorothy would have gone (by train? does anyone know how she got from new york to washington and back?) 250 miles to get to washington dc weds night stay less than a day?

    She got to her friends on weds night, and left friday morning - 500 miles or so round trip.. it just seems strange. Add to that the 'mystery envelope' and it makes things seem even more perplexing.

    Considering they say that it her mail could not have been forwarded that quickly to washington one can only assume that she used her friends address to have that delivered, and Id assume that whatever was in that envelope was the reason for the 500 mile trip.

    Another thing that confuses me - her friend said that there was a 'bulky envelope' that was delivered but she didnt ask Dorothy about what was actually in the envelope because she thought it was another rejection letter for one of her stories.. Since when would a rejection letter be in an 'bulky envelope'?

    Another another point: (arent I wordy!!)

    “She disappeared from one of the busiest streets on earth"

    I just had a thought - is it possible that she picked a day where the weather was awful (so less people would be out and about) and decided to walk 50 blocks in order to 'disappear' just not in the way we first assume?

    In nearly everything Ive read about her, the talk is more about how she looked the day she went missing (details of what she was wearing at below) - after a 50 block walk to make sure you were far enough away from where you live, she could have easily changed into clothes that 'normal' women would have worn at the time, in theory 'disappearing'.

    " Dorothy Arnold was expensively and modishly clad, a fact that would make her highly conspicuous at a time when class distinctions in female dress were sharp. That day she wore a well-tailored suit, with a blue serge coat and a tight hobble skirt in a matching color; she carried both a huge silver-fox mutt and a satin handbag. But by far the most conspicuous feature of her attire was her hat. It was made of black velvet, with two blue roses for decoration—a type then called a “Baker,” which resembles nothing so much as an overturned dishpan. The lining of this oversized chapeau was Alice blue, the maker’s name was “Genevieve,” and along its edge, rimming Dorothy’s pleasant, open face, ran a fetching bit of scalloped lace."
    Last edited by punklove; 07-23-2010 at 10:19 PM.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    RE: the missing papers

    I think it sounds very plausible that Dorothy treated her friends for a day out as a kind of goodbye, and that she cleared out her writing papers before she left home.

    But remember that the family didn't call LE for six weeks. Maybe they cleared out the papers out of embarrassment or anger or something. They apparently left her diary, though, so who knows.

    When I was a kid, I would hide what I guess you'd call today "fan fiction stories" because I was so embarrassed by them. This was back in the late 70s/early 80s. They're probably still behind the wall in my grandparents' mountain home, which is largely unoccupied now, except when someone in the family wants to spend some time in the mountains. Maybe Dorothy, upset by her family teasing her, decided to hide what she wrote, and it's still hidden today. Or it's long since been nibbled up by mice or otherwise destroyed.

    I do like the idea that Dorothy packed everything up, treated her friends to a last goodbye, and walked away from her unhappy life to something better. Maybe she changed her name and became a successful writer!
    The biggest thing that people use as a reason that she wouldnt have just gone is the money issue - which I think is just silly, its apparent that she had access to money or funds from somewhere, or at the very least had the ability to get money (we already know she had no issue pawning things) and we cant trust anything her parents say, so whos to say she didnt clean them out before leaving and thats why they kept quiet so long?

    I have to think that had she left anything in the home that gave away where she was that they would have found her to spare the family more shame.

    Her father being so certain she was killed when there was nothing pointing that way confuses me. And really.. if someone killed her why has none of ther personal belongings ever been found? Not one single thing? She had many expensive things on her person and nobody ever tried to sell them? Its been 100 years, no body.. no bones.. no jewerly.. nothing. Its confusing.

  5. #65
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    Ill shut up after this!

    In order to see what sort of shame (and how far some families would go in order to stop that shame) was brought upon affluent families of that time if they had a daughter that was caught doing something similar to Dorothy's weekend in Boston - Its worth looking up Rosemary Kennedy.

    Though the Kennedy family at the time said that Rosemary Kennedy was given a lobotomy due to a slight mental retardation it later came out that her father forced her to get a lobotomy because he wanted to 'cure' her her 'mood swings' 'discontrol' and 'sexually promiscuous' behavior.

    He did not tell anyone in the family (including Rosemary's MOTHER) or even let Rosemary have a say in the issue (she was 23) he simply took her to a neurosurgeon and demanded a prefrontal lobotomy be performed so that she would no longer 'act out'. This lobotomy left her totally incapable of living a normal life.

    "Born slightly retarded, Rosemary Kennedy learned to read and write, and through her early 20s friends described her as bubbly and personable. Her famous father, however, feared that Rosemary might get pregnant, catch a venereal disease, or otherwise embarrass the Kennedys. To prevent this, she became one of the first Americans to undergo a prefrontal lobotomy, having the frontal lobes of her brain surgically blasted in 1942, resulting in Ms. Kennedy's paralysis, incoherence, and incontinence. She was institutionalized for the rest of her life, rarely mentioned by the Kennedys or by those who consider the family American royalty."

    The doctors notes during the lobotomy:

    "We went through the top of the head, I think she was awake. She had a mild tranquilizer. I made a surgical incision in the brain through the skull. It was near the front. It was on both sides. We just made a small incision, no more than an inch... We put an instrument inside... We made an estimate on how far to cut based on how she responded.” James Watts

    These words describe the lobotomy that was carried out in 1941 on Rosemary Kennedy, sister of the then future US President. Said to have been intended to cure her mood swings, the procedure left Rosemary with urinary incontinence and the mental age of a child – staring blankly at walls for hours, her speech unintelligible.

    Just in case anyone isnt sure what he forced his daughter to have done:

    "Walter Freeman performed the first transorbital or ‘ice-pick’ lobotomy in Washington, DC. First, the patient was rendered unconscious by electroshock. Then Freeman took a sharp ice instrument which he placed under the patient's eyelid against the top of the eye socket. A mallet was used to drive the instrument on into the frontal lobes of the brain and the sharp tip moved back and forth. The process was then repeated on the other side of the face."

    Yeah.. thats a good way to cure your daughter from having premartial sex. My point is that this happened in 1941 and it shows what some families are capable of doing in order to save the family from shame.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/...y_secrets.html
    Last edited by punklove; 07-23-2010 at 11:12 PM.

  6. #66
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    Just read this:

    http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive...679C946096D6CF

    Apparently she bought the candy around noon, two of the women working there thought it was odd that she was in so early as she apparently always came in at the same time to buy the candy, which was much later in the day. The girls remembered her because they thought it was strange, and their story was later verified by the reciept for the chocolates.

    That story actually points out something else I hadnt thought of - apparently police are saying there is NO way she fell or was tossed in the lake - it was so cold that day that the lake was frozen solid and there were people skating on it, no way she ended up there..

    Photo of her ive never seen before.
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...y+arnold&hl=en
    Last edited by punklove; 07-24-2010 at 12:48 AM.

  7. #67
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    Wow, punklove, thanks for the posts. I enjoy reading your take on the situation.

    I agree that Dorothy's visit to Theodora over Thanksgiving was probably arranged in order for the "mystery" package to be delivered. Now if we could only go back in time and open it up! It's a shame her friend Theodora wasn't a bit nosier - I can guarantee you that if a friend came to spend the weekend with me and my family and received a strange package, I'd be pretty darned curious!!

    I had never thought of the possibility that Dorothy's mom might have had a substance abuse problem. I always thought the "semi-invalid" description referred to an on-again, off-again medical condition that kept her from being 100% healthy.

    Thanks for the clarification about the jewelry Dorothy pawned.

    It certain doesn't appear Dorothy made any effort whatsoever to hide her identity on her visit to the Hotel Lenox. This appears to have been Dorothy's first stab at independence, knowing her family would find out sooner or later and not caring.

    I wonder if this rendezvous was her idea, or Griscom's?

  8. #68
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    So...theories on what was in the mysterious package? It was bulky, and having received my share of rejection letters, I can tell you that they are just that: a letter. No bulkiness, unless, I suppose, they are returning a manuscript.

    Money, maybe? From someone (Griscom?) for Dorothy to maybe get an abortion? Or to get a train ticket? Maybe even money to get a ticket on a ship to go overseas? Maybe she met Griscom over there -- he was found in Italy several weeks later, right? Maybe Griscom (or whoever) sent it to her friend's house because he knew her parents would see it and possibly intervene.

    I have a hard time believing she ran off with Griscom, though. He seemed like such a dough-head.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    So...theories on what was in the mysterious package? It was bulky, and having received my share of rejection letters, I can tell you that they are just that: a letter. No bulkiness, unless, I suppose, they are returning a manuscript.

    Money, maybe? From someone (Griscom?) for Dorothy to maybe get an abortion? Or to get a train ticket? Maybe even money to get a ticket on a ship to go overseas? Maybe she met Griscom over there -- he was found in Italy several weeks later, right? Maybe Griscom (or whoever) sent it to her friend's house because he knew her parents would see it and possibly intervene.

    I have a hard time believing she ran off with Griscom, though. He seemed like such a dough-head.
    Mr. E, I share your pain - I've received a couple of rejection letters over the years myself, and that's all you get - a letter. Dorothy got a post office box for herself was so her mail would be sent there without her family knowing about it. So why have it delivered to a friend's family's home?

    I think the package contained money and perhaps even train or ship tickets. Her friend Theodora said that Dorothy didn't seem interested in the package, tossing it to one side. But I think that was just to avoid letting Theodora know what was going on.

    I love your description of Griscom - dough head! That seems pretty apt.

    I certainly hope if Dorothy did run off with someone, it was someone other than Griscom, who was way too old for her anyway!!

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    So...theories on what was in the mysterious package? It was bulky, and having received my share of rejection letters, I can tell you that they are just that: a letter. No bulkiness, unless, I suppose, they are returning a manuscript.

    Money, maybe? From someone (Griscom?) for Dorothy to maybe get an abortion? Or to get a train ticket? Maybe even money to get a ticket on a ship to go overseas? Maybe she met Griscom over there -- he was found in Italy several weeks later, right? Maybe Griscom (or whoever) sent it to her friend's house because he knew her parents would see it and possibly intervene.

    I have a hard time believing she ran off with Griscom, though. He seemed like such a dough-head.
    I was unsure about the package too, when first reading that the friend described it as bulky - I thought there was a chance that it could be a rejection letter and returned manuscript - below are the reasons that make me feel certain it wasnt:

    1) Her stories were considered 'short' stories, if it were a rejection it wouldnt be 'bulky'.

    2) The post office (and other postal services) said that even had someone paid extra that it was very unlikely that the package would have made it to DC so quickly.

    The main reason I think its 100% unlikely that she it was a rejection letter is this - when people were shocked that she left/came home so early she said that it was ALWAYS her plan to come home on friday. If she KNEW thats she was going to be gone those three days it doesnt make sense she would have forwarded her mail - she left in the late afternoon on wednesday so she could have checked her mail before leaving - she only planned to stay all day Thursday and that was a postal holiday so she would have known no mail would be delivered to her that day - and she left for home very early friday morning - so she wouldnt have been at her friends home when the mail would have been delivered.

    Also, I really feel she would have reacted differently to the package if she werent hiding something - between her knowing that the mail wouldnt have run on thanksgiving and the package being thick I would assume that she would have opened it right away had she thought it was a letting about one of her stories - she had to be used to getting rejection letters that were 1 sheet so why would she not assume that the thick package was finally an acceptance package?

    Its possible but it doesnt really make sense to me that she would go all the way to DC to be able to pick up money that George sent her for several reasons - she had a post office box so it seems more likely she would have it mailed there if she were worried about her parents finding out and she could have the package mailed to friends home that was closer..

    Its also unlikely that if George was overseas that either of them would have been able to know exactly when a package would be delivered, so just staying one day would have been a big risk - what happened if the package was there a day early or a day late? There would be a risk of her friend having a look in the package because she was so curious. Also, the post office says that they didnt make any deliveries that day, though the friend said she was certain it was a postal delivery man that delivered it.

    Per the mother being invalid "Dorothy’s emphasis on her mother, the supposed semi-invalid overwhelmed by a domineering husband, was partially explained in the six silent weeks following Dorothy’s disappearance. Mrs. Arnold, it turned out, was not only capable of doing things on her own, but also had a remarkable reserve of energy."
    Last edited by punklove; 07-27-2010 at 02:50 AM.


  11. #71
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    I also feel quite certain that had she met with foul play that something would have been found by now. We now know that the lake was frozen solid - enough for people to be skating and that central park had extra police in the area to account for the skaters.

    If she were killed then why was her body not found? Why wasnt a bit of her clothing or her purse (or the contents) found? Nobody took anything of hers and tried to sell it? Her items and clothing was very very very expensive, even if someone that murdered her didnt take anything off of her, someone would have stumbled onto something that she owned and attempted to sell it sooner or later. It could have happened but It just doesnt fit.

  12. #72
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    Sorry to keep on!! Haha, Im just thinking out loud.

    According to the charley project:

    "She was supposed to meet her mother for lunch at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel that day but never kept the appointment. Arnold's parents did not initially worry when she did not return home that evening; they assumed she was spending the night with a friend. When she did not come home on the second night, her parents became concerned."

    So, the mother knew dorothy was out shopping and was supposed to meet her for lunch. Dorothy doesnt show up for that lunch, then doesnt show up for dinner that night.. why wouldnt the mother be worried at all? If you made plans with your loved one to have lunch and they didnt show and then didnt come home that day wouldnt you be a little concerned?

    It also says that she had *never* missed a meal without telling her parents before.

    Charley project also says that George had refused to marry her, as he was George was "Dorothy's half-hearted suitor, preferred bachelorhood to matrimony".
    Last edited by punklove; 07-27-2010 at 02:43 AM.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by punklove View Post
    "She was supposed to meet her mother for lunch at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel that day but never kept the appointment. Arnold's parents did not initially worry when she did not return home that evening; they assumed she was spending the night with a friend. When she did not come home on the second night, her parents became concerned."
    The Charley Project is a terrific site, but the info they post is only as accurate as the people providing it. In this case, I believe the info about Dorothy planning to meet her mother for lunch is not correct. This info may have been in the newspaper, but in the 1910s, especially in New York, most papers were more like tabloids than respectible newspapers, and reporters never let the facts stand in the way of a good story!

    Everything I've read about Dorothy is consistent - Dorothy told her mother not to come shopping with her, and that she'd call home if she found a dress she liked. No mention of meeting her mom for lunch.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by punklove View Post
    Charley project also says that George had refused to marry her, as he was George was "Dorothy's half-hearted suitor, preferred bachelorhood to matrimony".
    A "half-hearted suitor" in his 40's living with his family - what a catch!

  15. #75
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    Yeah, it sounds like George was kind of a mama's-boy. I wonder what Dorothy saw in him? Probably just the fact that her father hated him made him more attractive to Dorothy.

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