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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    310
    I stumbled upon this case a year or two ago and read all of the threads here on WS, and any other information I could find online. This case haunts me to this day, I believe it is likely that the children all died in the fire, but the bizarre circumstances surrounding the events that occurred that night lead me to wonder what really happened.

    A few things that stand out to me as very odd: isn't it strange that according to the daughter who fell asleep on the sofa in the 1st floor living room, the 5 kids that were hanging out with her in that room when Jennie went to bed, were the same exact 5 that went "missing"? What are the odds that they all went upstairs to bed, and then those exact 5 were the ones that didn't make it out? Something just really weird about that to me.

    What are the odds that a burgler would be out on Christmas Eve, in the cold, dragging their ladder over to the pole to cut the telephone lines so that he could rob them? On the same night that such a tragedy occurred? You have to wonder if he knew what was going to go down and just prepared and lurked until the time was convenient for him to strike. Or was he in on it? Or was his presence just a strange coincidence?

    I hate to even type this, but could one or more of the Sodder family members that were in that house that night, have been in on what happened? If arson, could it have been an inside job for whatever reason? Could someone in that family have been trying to cover up something more sinister?

    I have always had the feeling that George, and perhaps Jennie as well, knew exactly what happened and why. Some of their bizarre actions after the tragic fire could certainly be explained by profound grief. But the alleged photo of Louis as an adult that was sent to them years later? There is absolutely zero resemblance between Louis Sodder and the adult "Louis Sodder" in that photo. The mouth and ears alone rule them out as being the same person. It's hard to believe that they really believed that the man in the photo was their Louis. But again, perhaps they just wanted so badly to believe that.

    Another thing I wondered when looking at the photos of the giant billboard, they had $10,000 to offer for a reward...certainly at least one of the "abducted" children and/or someone associated with them would have hit hard times and needed that money, yet apparently nobody ever came forward with credible information? IIRC? It has been a while since I read all of the information on this case so I hope I am remembering the facts correctly.

    I'd love to read the interview of the daughter who fell asleep in the living room. Where did she usually sleep, upstairs with the others? Was it normal for her to fall asleep on the sofa? How lucky for her that she did so that night.

    IMO

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    6,758
    On the Christmas Eve burglary, I would expect that it would more likely than any other night. A lot of people go out for Christmas Eve. There is midnight mass, parties, and possibly visiting relatives out of town. Taking something late on Christmas night might be a good strategy.

    There would also a good chance that police would be slow in responding.


    What happened to former Centre County DA Ray Gricar?

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    1
    I saw this case via a buzzfeed video. In the "unsolved" series. It's particularly interesting, as you mentioned in the main thread there were bones found in the fire. But these bones were identified as belonging to a 16-17 year old when the oldest missing child was only 14 at the time. Therefore making it unlikely that these bones belong to him. Even without DNA proof the bones were not even chard making it highly unlikely these were even in the fire when it happened.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    6,758
    Quote Originally Posted by WeezieWoo View Post
    I saw this case via a buzzfeed video. In the "unsolved" series. It's particularly interesting, as you mentioned in the main thread there were bones found in the fire. But these bones were identified as belonging to a 16-17 year old when the oldest missing child was only 14 at the time. Therefore making it unlikely that these bones belong to him. Even without DNA proof the bones were not even chard making it highly unlikely these were even in the fire when it happened.
    The remains could still be there, buried.


    What happened to former Centre County DA Ray Gricar?

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by J. J. in Phila View Post
    The remains could still be there, buried.
    This remains a possibility, as later comments by modern firefighter suggested that the initial investigation was a cursory, 2 hour look-over and George bulldozed the remains in a hasty attempt to move on before a further investigation could be conducted.

    I will say that I doubt that either parent would have been involved. I put more stock in irrational behavior out of extreme emotions like grief than I do in conspiracies. I prefer the explanation that George's attempt to put the fire behind him led him to make a mistake that cost the investigation valuable evidence.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    396
    Did we ever know if the house was insured? If not how did they rebuild a new house. I think I remember reading the family were middle class and I'm wondering how they were able to pay for private investigators, offer rewards, and rebuild a home I'm not suggesting the family was involved and I personally think they did die in the fire but who knows?
    Rural Ontario

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    68
    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt sky View Post
    I'd love to read the interview of the daughter who fell asleep in the living room. Where did she usually sleep, upstairs with the others? Was it normal for her to fall asleep on the sofa? How lucky for her that she did so that night.
    She managed to remain asleep near an open front door on a windy winter night, we're told. I'd like to know where the WC was located in relation to the bedrooms. I'd also like to know how many windows each bedroom had.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    50
    Half the facts on these threads are repeats of other posts and pure imagination. Wikipedia is not a credible source of information.
    Unlocked doors? Normal in rural neighborhoods even today
    Christmas lights left on? She'd be one of the few post depression era moms not to turn off the lights at night but to leave them blazing
    Loud noise on the roof, or a small explosion from household chemicals being stored?
    A trusted electrician giving the wiring a thumbs up followed by two eerie strangers warning about faulty fuse boxes?
    Sounds like telling a different story depending what year it was and how guilty the parents felt for surviving.
    2 year difference between the bones found and oldest boy? There is not an unidentified body on this site that lists an exact birth year, there are some with bone fragments that say 20-40 years of age.

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