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  1. #1
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    OH - Zanesville, OH (1950s) *UNSOLVED*

    While looking into the case of the Boulder, CO Jane Doe from '54, I kept coming across something that made me go hmmmm...So I dug a little deeper. Even taking into account runaways, et al, does this seem excessive to anyone else?

    Geneve Richards, 17, Zanesville OH-reported missing from home 5/25/51
    Mary Ann Cummings, 13, Zanesville, OH-reported missing from home 7/29/52
    Sarah Besser, 18, Zanesville, OH-reported missnig from home 8/2/52
    Irma Jean Sampson, 16, Zanesville, OH-reported missing after leaving sisters home, 11/10/52
    Irene Olah, 18, Zanesville, OH-reported missing from home 3/13/53
    Lily Mae Denman, 16, Zanesville, OH-reported missing from home 4/8/53
    Phyllis McDonald, 17, Zanesville, OH-reported missing from home, 4/28/53
    Mary Shipman, 13, Zanesville, OH-reported missing from home, 12/8/53
    Pearl Ann Hines, 15, Zanesville, OH-reported missing from home, 12/18/55
    Norma Lee Hambrick, 16, Zanesville, OH-reported missing from home, 7/21/56
    Judith Martin, 16, Zanesville, OH-reported missing from home, 8/18/57
    Myrtle Shipman, 14, Zanesville, OH-reported missing from home, 10/26/57
    Dianne Higgins, 14, Zanesville, OH-reported missing on way to school, 11/1/57
    Lisa Roberts, 16. Zanesville, OH-reported missing from home, 2/8/59
    Ruth Baker, 15, Zanesville, OH-reported missing, 8/5/60
    Last edited by Kimster; 11-05-2011 at 01:43 AM. Reason: prefix

  2. #2
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    Jul 2004
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    Yes! I would call that excessive! I have lived in Ohio all of my life and have never heard of this. Could you let my know where your sources are? They are all in the age group of 13-18. Same area. Looks like a serial to me. Myrtle and Mary are both Shipman's. I wonder if they were related?
    Are they listed in Doe or missingkids?
    Please let me know where I can read more about these.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  3. #3
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    Sep 2005
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    I would love to have more info about these cases. I tried to look them up on the Internet, but I didn't find anything. Did you find these in the local paper? You would think that someone would take notice of that many people disappearing in that short a time frame from the same area. Are some of them classified as runaways?

  4. #4
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    What was the outcome of any investigations?

    If your source was newspaper archives, you might need to check them for more specifics. I have often run across stories of missing children in microfilms of old newspapers. Sometimes they report that the child was later found safe, and sometimes all you ever find is the initial report.

    If these girls are all still missing, or if any were later found murdered, there must have been some serious investigations conducted. Any news stories about them, or their findings?

  5. #5
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    All the reports came from NewspaperArchives.com (pay-to-play, of course). They were mostly listed on the front pages of two Zanesville newspapers in the Police Activity column. As I have stated elsewhere, I can't link to the pages because it is a pay site. (Would that site BugMeNot.com that I've read about here work??) Its possible that the individual papers have archives, also. I only listed those reports which had no follow-up that I could find.
    Remember, I only looked at this time period, '50 to '60. I originally looked at '53 and '54 (around the time the Boulder Jane Doe was found) but so many girls came up from Zanesville that I expanded the search. This search does not include surrounding towns. Just on a lark, I searched "girls missing", all states, for 1975 (just a random date). The first listing? "Pamela Jean White, 15...from Zanesville OH". It wasn't like these papers were the only ones reporting, either...Maybe it was just a depressing place for teen-age girls in the '50s.
    It is worth the price to buy access for a day, just to see the sheer number of missing reports that were big news at the time but have no reference on the web today.

  6. #6
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    I, too, would be interested in learning more about this. I would imagine that some of these missing children were runaways who probably returned home at some point. However, it sure would be interesting to look into this further and find out what was going on in that town, and what kind of investigations were conducted.

  7. #7
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    UFO Activity

    I was interested to note that when I "googled" Zanesville, Ohio with the word "missing", I found information about missing children and alien abductions.

    Here is the link, for what it's worth: http://home.columbus.rr.com/threeemu...o/humutes.html

    Not much help there.

  8. #8
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    That's creepy.


    Happiness...consists in giving, and in serving others.
    - Henry Drummond

  9. #9
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    I don't believe in alien abduction, but . . .

    I contacted a group of people who follow UFO activity, because they seem interested in sightings that have occurred in Zanesville, Ohio. I thought that as part of their "investigation", they might have stumbled upon stories about these missing girls. It seems like something they would latch onto as evidence of alien abduction or something. One of the members of the group is going to call me this weekend to discuss this, so maybe he'll have some information.

    If he knows anything of interest, I'll post it here.

  10. #10
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    April Rose Zane Missing since April 18, 1976 from Frankfort, IL

    Zanesville, Ohio was named for a family of early settlers whose last name was Zane. The famous writer of Western novels, Zane Gray was from there. He was named for ancestors whose name was Zane.

    There is a missing girl from Illinois whose last name is Zane. Note the timeframe and circumstances. I wonder if there is any connection between her disappearance and that of the girls in Zanesville?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    April Rose Zane
    Missing since April 18, 1976 from Frankfort, Will County, Illinois
    Classification: Endangered Runaway

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: February 25, 1960
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 16 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'4"-5'6"; 115-120 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Dark auburn hair; blue-grey/green eyes. She has a long back which makes her appear tall. April has freckles on her face.
    Marks, Scars: Scar on her right hip from appendectomy; scar on her right knee; scar on her chin.
    Clothing: Last seen wearing a brown flannel jacket.
    Dentals: Available
    Fingerprints: Available

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Zane was last seen in Frankfort, Illinois on April 18, 1976. She was going into town to visit a friend. She never made it to the friends' house and was never heard from again.
    April had a record of running away from home, but always turned up later. She was found several times in the Chicagoland area and arrested for curfew violation.

    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: Frankfort Police Department 815-469-4935

    Source Information: The Doe Network Case file 1404DFIL

    Link:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/


  11. #11
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    That is very interesting.

    I imagine most of the "missing" girls from the 1950's were runaways who most likely returned home shortly thereafter. But who knows, you may have stumbled across something significant.

    Next month, when I have a little more money, I am going to subscribe to NewspaperArchive.com. That way I can search more newspapers to see if there are any other missing girls to add to the list.

    I'd like to delve a little more into Zanesville, Ohio and see what kind of town it was in the 1950s. I'll make that a project to work on over the weekend.

  12. #12
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    I have done a little research and have found out what happened to two of the girls who were missing in Zanesville.

    Irene Olah, 18, who was reported missing on 3/13/53 - a couple of months after her "disappearance", there is wedding announcement in the Zanesville Times for her. So she must have run away for a while (another runaway bride??), then came back and got married.

    Sara Besser, 18, who was reported missing on 8/2/52 - a couple of days after her "disappearance", she called her mother to let her know she was in Columbus, Ohio.

    I haven't had a great deal of luck so far with the others, but I've just gotten started.

    I'll post again when I have more news.

  13. #13
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    I'm certain there are explanations for the majority of these, it just seemed so odd that so many girls would come up missing from the same town. I checked into the period '41 to '49, came up with eight names...I think I found one, she ran off to join the stock car racing circuit!!!!! Maybe it was just a bad place to be a teenage girl?

    Great digging, by the way.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    I'm certain there are explanations for the majority of these, it just seemed so odd that so many girls would come up missing from the same town. I checked into the period '41 to '49, came up with eight names...I think I found one, she ran off to join the stock car racing circuit!!!!! Maybe it was just a bad place to be a teenage girl?

    Great digging, by the way.
    I continue to dig away, finding out what I can about the missing girls. I've found that there seem to have been a lot of strange things going on in Ohio in the 40's and 50's, lots of unexplained disappearances. One article I read talked about a white slavery ring operating out of that part of the country, but I've found nothing to substantiate that.

    I've been able to follow up on a couple of the girls, and they returned home safe and sound. But with many of them, there is no further reference to them in the newspaper. I take that to mean that they, too, returned home, because I would think that if they continued to be missing, a follow up story would have appeared in the newspaper. The same would be true had the girls been killed. I'll still keep digging, though, to see what I can find out.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marilynilpa
    I continue to dig away, finding out what I can about the missing girls. I've found that there seem to have been a lot of strange things going on in Ohio in the 40's and 50's, lots of unexplained disappearances. One article I read talked about a white slavery ring operating out of that part of the country, but I've found nothing to substantiate that.

    I've been able to follow up on a couple of the girls, and they returned home safe and sound. But with many of them, there is no further reference to them in the newspaper. I take that to mean that they, too, returned home, because I would think that if they continued to be missing, a follow up story would have appeared in the newspaper. The same would be true had the girls been killed. I'll still keep digging, though, to see what I can find out.
    Even today in the Ohio area, they will have an article on a missing person.....then nothing further. The only way there is usually another mention is if they locate the person, or if they eventually find the body.
    When there is no further mention, that usually means there was no furthrer news.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

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