673 users online (84 members and 589 guests)  

Websleuths News

Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Northern California

    The Weirdest Lead We Ever Investigated

    Over the last years, we have received many possible leads of women who may be Anna. We have gotten very good at knowing how to investigate these leads and can usually dismiss them with an hour or less of investigation. Quite often it is as simple as locating them and identifying that the timelines do not fit. For instance, we may locate a resume posted online or a listing in classmates.com for these women that show that they are either too old or too young to be Anna.

    There were only two that warranted deeper and lengthier investigations. One is the case of "Mystery Woman C" who it took a DNA test to finally determine that she was not Anna. The other was a young woman who was born in San Francisco on the same day as Anna and had listed herself on various websites as being adopted. After much research and even stealth surveillance, I made contact with her and determined that she had been adopted at birth, and as a result, was not Anna.

    We have had a few weird leads also. One was someone trying to convince us that Anna had been kidnapped by the Zodiac (she wasn't). Another was a woman who claimed that she had spoken with Anna a couple of years after her disappearance. While we were never able to conclusively determine if this was valid or not, there were enough clues that this lead was false that we eventually dismissed the info.

    However, the absolute weirdest "lead" we ever had was one that (as I recall) came to us through an intermediary from a psychic. Most of the psychic leads that we have received over the years have been so vague as to useless even if they were valid (i.e. "I see her living in a white house with a tree in front"). This one was different: It was very specific - but it was the specifics that made it so weird.

    This info allegedly provided the name that Anna was using, where she lived and the name of the woman who had raised her (and was likely the one who kidnapped her). Before I post that info, let me state clearly and in all caps: THIS LEAD WAS COMPLETELY FALSE AND HAS BEEN PROVEN FALSE!!! Please do not start a discussion about how it may be true or did we try this line of investigation. I have not posted this before because I wanted to avoid that occurring and am only posting it now because it is illustrative of how crazy this case has become at times.

    The information provided to us was that Anna was living under the name of Jacqueline (Guber) Danforth and that the woman who had raised her was none other than beloved newswoman Barbara Walters. The psychic had posted on her website the prediction that (paraphrasing here since I did not save the exact post): One of the most respected female journalists in America will have her career ruined when it is discovered that she was involved in the abduction of a young girl from California who the journalist raised as her adopted daughter. (End paraphrase) As I recall, the intermediary filled in the gaps missing from the website post that it was Barbara Walters and Anna being discussed.

    Annasmom and I immediately discussed what, if anything we should do with this info. It was deemed to likely be a false lead, be we determined to research it to see if there was any possibility of it being true. Clearly, if it had been true, we needed every "duck in a row" if it turned out we were going to be accusing such a respected person of such a serious crime - both to protect Ms. Walters from any spurious accusations and to prevent ourselves from looking like total idiots. Quite simply, if we had gone public and had been wrong, it would have destroyed any credibility that we had developed in the past and could never expect any cooperation from the press in the future.

    I was able to quickly determine that Walters did have an adopted daughter the right age. I was able to locate a picture of that daughter at about the age when Anna disappeared and the picture, while not concrete one way or another, was close enough to what Anna looked like to not be conclusive proof that it was not her.


    I also located pictures of Danforth as an adult and again, they were not so far off from the age progressions as to eliminate her as Anna.


    Eventually, the "non-smoking gun" was found that disproved this psychic's claim: Walters and her husband at the time had adopted Jacqueline as a newborn in 1968 and had baby pictures to conclusively show that this could not have been Anna.


    So beloved Barbara Walters remains beloved (except for subjecting America to Rosie O'Donnell on "The View" for which I will never forgive her). And the heartwarming story of Walters raising an adopted daughter remains untainted of accusations of kidnapping and skullduggery. And our credibility remained intact.

    Order the book "Searching For Anna" directly from [URL="http://www.lulu.com/conte

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Ha! Wow. It's one of those things that could have been "truth is stranger than fiction." What a bizarre story! Thanks for letting us know about it, though. It's always good to get an Anna update, no matter how weird it is - shows that someone is thinking of her!

Similar Threads

  1. The ten weirdest new animals of 2010, per Natl. Geographic.
    By Steely Dan in forum Bizarre and Off-Beat News
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-11-2010, 02:30 AM
  2. Is This Case Still Being Investigated?
    By Brando in forum JonBenet Ramsey
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-07-2005, 08:13 PM