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In a disappearance like this one - where no body, clothing, etc. has ever been found - you really have to look for a time when it would have been most likely for Beverly to have been taken with no one seeing it. Almost all of the circumstances point to when she would have been on her way home on Linnet Avenue. It had grown dark by the time she would have started home and the lighting on that street in 1951 was hampered by the trees that grew very close to the street.
Could someone have summoned her to their house? It must be remembered that Beverly was very shy so for her stop in her walk and go to a house, it had to be someone she knew. The question does arise, since it was so dark and hard to see on Linnet Avenue, how could this person know it was Beverly walking there? The answer would almost have to be that this person had been watching her movements and perhaps for a time other than that night. What took place after that is as puzzling as it it is chilling. What would posess a person - especially a neighbor - to harm or kill a ten-year old and then conceal her body? Did the person then take the body elsewhere or keep it somewhere in their house or on their property? If such a scenario took place, you might tend to question how thorough of a search was done on Linnet Avenue by police authorities? Remember, police came to that area with-in a few hours of Beverly being reported missing and they kept a strong presence there for many days afterward.
For those of you wondering about the houses in the area:
Beverly's house was built in 1928. It does have a basement. It is a 3 bedroom colonial, 1232 square feet. I grew up a few miles from here and we're in this neighborhood pretty often as my husband's church is there. Most of the houses in the neighborhood are about this age...built in the boom times in Cleveland when the city was really happening, before the crash of '29. The basements are usually concrete and unfinished. Also, the houses in this neighborhood are really really close together with front porches sitting on postage stamp lawns.
One thing...it can get very hot and humid here in the summers on the shores of Lake Erie. There would have been no central air. Almost definitely some of the residents of Linnett Avenue would have been out on their porches that night, or walking home from the fair themselves. ALL of the residents likely had their windows open, unless it was unseasonably cold. Can we look up historical temp data for that day? I just don't see her being grabbed on Linnet and no one hearing it.
According to the James Badal's book on this matter, "Twilight of Innocence", the weather that evening was basically cool. He further noted that many Cleveland residents spent that evening indoors watching or listening to the Indians-Yankees game that was taking place at Municipal Stadium. Beverly, herself, has been described as wearing a light jacket when she went to the showwagon event at Holloran Park.
TY Cinci Kid, unseasonably cold makes more sense....and I did remember reading that the Yankees were in town that night....that puts things in a different light then.
I think it might be repeated how dark Linnet Avenue was back then after sunset. According to the book, the trees there at the time blocked quite a bit of light coming from the the streetlights. As such, you had poor lighting coupled with cooler (or unseasonably cold) weather making it hard to see and (with windows closed and the game on inside) harder to hear street sounds.
Regarding the underwear: In 1951 most people had 5 to 7 pairs, same with the sox. All it would take is a quick inventory by Mom to see which pair was missing. JMO
Also, it was mentioned in the book "Twilight of Innocence", that the garages in that neighborhood had dirt floor. I wonder if that is still the case today.
Another thought concerning Beverly's disappearance.
If you have trees blocking the streetlights in the neighborhood, is it possible that in a dark spot, a child molester could have lured Beverly to a car and snatched her without being seen?
Based on the reports of Beverly's shyness, I don't think she would have gone to a car. She more than likely would have run from such a situation. My feeling is she was met by someone she knew from Linnet Avenue and went to a house there. What took place then is obviously additional conjecture, but it's possible she (or should I say her body) never left there. It's kind of a chilling possibility, but so are many things in this case.
Maybe a neighbor had their eye on her & saw their chance when she came down the street alone. The person may not have originally set out to kill her, maybe thought they could spend time with her without acting on the impulse to molest, but then ended up sexually assaulting her and then killing her to cover it up. I too think her remains are somewhere in that neighborhood. Wonder if anybody who was a neighbor at that time was ever convicted later in life of molesting children?
It seems to be a common belief that Beverly would only have gone with someone that she knew and trusted. Various suggestions have been that she came into contact with someone who harmed her. There is also the chance that during a contact with someone she knew on the way back from Halloran Park, some kind of fatal accident took place. The person may have panicked and hidden her body. Afterward, as police were seen in the ensuing search and investigation, the person may have been overcome with fear and guilt and kept the body hidden and said nothing.
I think my mom would have known exactly every item I was wearing, even the color hairbows I had on, because she was a very involved stay-at-home mom just as Beverly's mom probably was in those days. As for the shoe size, I have always had to wear several different sizes according to how the shoes were made, so maybe that was the case. For example, I can wear a 6 in open sandals, a 6 1/2 in dress shoes, but I like a 7 in tennis shoes because I will be wearing socks with them. I did the same as a child, so I had up to a whole size difference between some of my shoes. My mom might not have been able to recall which pair was which size either. Just a thought.
I've spent the past few days reading "Twilight of Innocence" for my second or third time.
While a stranger abduction cannot be discounted, I lean towards the theory that someone in her neighborhood is the perpetrator. As mentioned before in this thread, by all accounts Beverly was extremely shy. She was timid even when she was tasked with going to the door and paying the neighborhood paperboy (who was just a kid himself). I can't picture a girl with that kind of personality agreeing to jump into a stranger's car and go for a ride, even back in an era where kids were more "innocent" to the dangers of the outside world. So for me, that pretty much rules out the chance that she was lured into a car or went with a stranger willingly under any circumstances.
So, if it was a stranger abduction, she would have had to be violently grabbed. Sure, a grown man could easily overpower her, but there would have to have been SOME commotion. No one came forward to even report so much as witnessing a fight between (what they could have assumed to be) a parent and child. Did an abductor find a moment of time where Beverly was completely alone and make his grab them? It's possible, but there was a narrow window of time that this could have happened, and he would have been taking a decent risk here.
However, if someone in the neighborhood approached her, she probably would have let her guard down. Sure, she was shy and probably wouldn't have initiated a conversation, but she probably wouldn't have bolted down the street screaming just because a neighbor walked up to her. Maybe the neighbor asked her to come inside because he had something for her to take to her father. "Oh, hey Beverly! Listen, your dad lent me his car jack the other day, would you take it back to him?". Once the perp had her alone, he had time to attack her and begin to cover up his crime before word even spread through the neighborhood that she was missing. Then he wanders out amongst the crowd, John Q. Citizen, ready to help look for her.
Seems like a very likely possibility to me.
But in what reason should a women kill a little girl? If so..it could not be a sex-crime? Or..maybe it could?
Just to review-if we accept that it was not a stranger crime and if we believe Beverly was very leery of men, then we could conclude that this was a disappearance which could have been caused by a woman in the neighborhood.
What about her own mother?
Long Lost Love: The Bob Harrod Story Disappeared/ID Network
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“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
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I am leaning more towards a male neighbor. She may have stopped by a friend's home and ended up being alone with a crazy uncle.
“Every day that they don’t find something is good for me.“ Billie Dunn
Beverly had dinner with her family (including her dad and older sister) and then went to attend the showagon festivities at the park with her best friend. We know Beverly and her friend made it to the park, and that Beverly stayed behind when her friend had to go home for her own curfew. If I recall correctly, all three adults (Beverly's sister was about 12 years older than her) of the Pott's household were in the home during this time. They all started getting worried when she did not return home when she should have, and started looking/making phone calls.
So unless the whole family is in on the crime, I don't see how mom could have done something to Beverly that evening.
There are many pages (about 40) of "Twilight of Innocence" available online to read:
Here's a video about Beverly's case:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcFyiLC240k"]Dusk & Shadow - The Mystery of Beverly Potts - YouTube[/ame]
While the person(s) responsible for Beverly's disappearance may have come from Linnet Avenue, I have never considered that her immediate family members were ever involved.