Does anybody have any information on this case? I read about it in an older book called Among the Missing.
Dorothy and Jules Forstein were married in 1941; they had two children from Jules' previous marriage (his wife had died in childbirth), and in 1943 another child was born (the oldest child was 12 and the middle child was around 2 at that time). Jules was a magistrate; the couple was well-liked in the community (a Philadelphia suburb).
In 1945 Dorothy went shopping. She was seen returning home in the evening, and a neighbor thought "someone was with her, or walking behind her." Dorothy was attacked and nearly beaten to death. They never found who did it; robbery was not a motive, and Jules was ruled out as a suspect.
Then, in 1950, Jules called his wife to tell him he was going to a political banquet. Dorothy seemed in good spirits. She said, "Don't forget to miss me!" before she hung up. When he returned home later that evening, his wife was gone. The eldest daughter was away from home, but the two younger children were found huddled together in a bedroom. None of Dorothy's personal belongings were missing and the front door was locked.
The older of the two children at home that night (she would have been around 9 years old at that time) said she woke up and went to her mother's room. She saw a man coming up the stairs. She saw her mother lying on the carpet, face down. The man picked up her mother and told the little girl to go back to bed, that her Mommy was sick. She descibed her mother, who was wearing a red nightgown and red slippers, and the stranger, who was wearing a brown cap and a brown jacket with "something stuck in his shirt." He took the mother downstairs and out the door.
Nothing was disturbed in the house and there weren't any fingerprints.
Dorothy Forstein has never been seen again.
That's the only thing I've ever read about Dorothy Forstein. I'd love to learn about any updates. Does anybody know anything?
According to the news archives, she was kidnapped on Oct 18th, 1949. Her husband "went to police seeking help" on Oct. 20th. The only thing I can find beyond the initial report is that a police officer in Camden, NJ believed he saw her in a phone booth, but by the time he got back to the booth to investigate she was gone.
The daughter stated she asked the stranger what was going on, to which her responded, "go back to sleep, little one, your mom is okay". He then patted her on the head and walked out, with Dorothy over his shoulder.
There is more to her statement, which is just strange. Methinks the husband should have been looked at very closely....
Being curious about this case I did a little google-research. I found a few websites including this with the article I post below. But I'm still suspicious. Perhaps this is just a hoax. Dorothy Forstein isn't mentioned on doenetwork, charleyproject or any other missing-persons-page. And the titles of the websites I found don't sound very reliable:
This information was shared with us from: http://www.historyandhauntings.com”
Or a book titled: Strange-Unsolved-Mysteries-People-Places where the Forstein story is mentioned along with King Arthur.
Does anybody know whether this story is fact or fiction? And if it is true: Why isn’t Dorothy included in any missing-persons-page?
Written By: Troy Taylor
Many American disappearances are not only mysterious, but are also tinged with tragedy and despair as well. The case of Dorothy Forstein is among the saddest of these stories and is(read more)
also one of the most unusual in this collection of the unsolved.
Mrs.. Forstein vanished from her Philadelphia home in 1950, having been married nine years to her childhood sweetheart, Jules Forstein, a clerk for the Philadelphia City Council at the time of the wedding. Dorothy was a happy, outgoing young woman and the devoted mother of two children. Marcy, an infant, and Merna, age 10, were children from Mr. Forstein’s first marriage. His wife had died in childbirth not long before he and Dorothy had gotten together again. This second marriage was a happy one and Forstein’s professional life began to prosper when he was made a magistrate in 1943. Another child, Edward, was born a little later.
That idyllic life was shattered on January 25, 1945. Dorothy left the children with neighbors and went out to do some shopping. She reportedly joked with the butcher and chatted with friends as she went about her errands. Later though, her neighbor saw her return home and thought that someone was with her, or walking behind her, as she made her way through the late evening shadows to her front door. It was getting dark and the neighbor, Maria Townley, admitted that she didn’t look too close.
Just as Dorothy was entering her three-story brick home, the stranger (or whomever it might have been that Mrs. Townley saw) jumped out of the darkness at her. He began beating her with his fists and some sort of blunt instrument. Dorothy fell to the ground and was pounded into unconsciousness. As she tumbled into the house though, her arm dislodged the hall telephone. In those days of live operators, the voice on the other end of the line heard the commotion and quickly summoned the police. The attacker fled at the sound of approaching sirens.
Police officers arrived moments later and found a battered Dorothy on the floor of the hallway. She had suffered a broken jaw, a shattered nose, a fractured shoulder and a brain concussion. She was rushed to the hospital and when she awakened, she could only weakly explain that “someone jumped out at me. I couldn’t see who it was. He just hit me and hit me,” she said.
Investigators labeled the attack an attempted murder and Captain James A. Kelly of the Philadelphia Homicide Division began trying to put the pieces together. He concluded that it could have only been someone trying to kill Dorothy since no money, jewelry or anything else had been taken from the Forstein home. Jules Forstein himself was investigated but he had an impeachable alibi and the children were too young to have been involved. The case was complicated by the fact that Dorothy had no known enemies and in fact, was one of the most well liked residents in the neighborhood.
Kelly could find no reason for the attack and no suspects were ever arrested. Before long, almost everyone had forgotten about it, except for Dorothy, who was so shaken by what happened that she was never the same again. Her happy and carefree personality was gone and had been replaced by a woman who was nervous and upset, jumping at every noise in the house and checking and rechecking the locks on the doors and windows. She was sure that someone was out to get her - but who?
Jules Forstein was perplexed. He was sure that no one he had come into contact with as a magistrate would bear him enough of a grudge to hurt his wife or his family, and yet he could not explain Dorothy’s attack either. He seldom left his wife and children alone but on the night of October 18, 1950, he made plans to attend a political banquet. As he was leaving the office, he called his wife to check on her, explaining that he didn’t plan to be home too late.
Dorothy replied that everything was fine at home and she joked with him for a moment, finally seeming more like her old self.... “Be sure to miss me!” she reportedly said just as she was hanging up. Tragically, her words would turn out to be prophetic ones.
Around 11:30 that night, Forstein came home to be greeted by the wails of his two youngest children, Edward and Marcy. They were huddled on the floor, crying and shrieking. Their sister, Merna, was away at a friend’s house and Dorothy was nowhere to be found. Forstein quickly found out why. The children were crying that their mother was gone!
While surprised that she would have left the children at home by themselves, Forstein assumed that Dorothy was visiting with friends or neighbors. He telephoned for several hours though and no one had seen her. Finally, he called Captain Kelly again and the detective soon started his men checking hospitals, morgues and hotels all over Philadelphia. They worked frantically but no clues were discovered. Kelly went door-to-door in the neighborhood but no one had seen anything. Wherever she was, Dorothy had left her purse, money and keys at home. The front door to the house had been locked.
The only lead came from Marcy Forstein, but her story was so wild that detectives at first dismissed it as nothing more than her frightened and overactive imagination. She told Captain Kelly that she had been awakened and had left her room to see a man coming up the stairs. He went into her mother’s room and through a crack in the door, Marcy stated that she could see Dorothy lying facedown on the rug. “She looked sick,” the little girl offered.
Then, the man, who she described as wearing a brown hat and brown jacket with something sticking out of the pocket, picked up her mother and put her over his shoulder. Dorothy was wearing red silk pajamas and red slippers at the time. Marcy asked the man what he was doing and he replied: “Go back to sleep, little one, your mommy has been sick, but she will be all right now.”
The man carried Dorothy downstairs and out the front door. He locked the door behind him and vanished. Marcy awakened her brother and they waited together for their father to come home. The little girl told the detectives that she had never seen the man before and had no idea who he was.
As bizarre as this sounded, it was the only possible explanation the police had for Dorothy’s disappearance. Nothing was disturbed in the house. There was no sign of a struggle and also no sign that anyone else had been there. There was not a single fingerprint in the house that did not belong and the investigators wondered how a man could have walked down the street with a woman in pajamas over his shoulder without someone noticing. And how had he gotten into the locked house anyway? It seemed impossible that the girl’s story could be true and yet it had to be. If no one had spirited the young woman away, then where had she gone? If she had walked away on her own, why had she not taken her purse or keys with her?
Dorothy Forstein was never seen again. There were no leads, no suspects and no explanations as to who might have taken her or why. She simply vanished - gone without a trace.
This information was shared with us from:
Mischa, the article you found seems to be very similar to the information from the book Among the Missing. I'll have to check; maybe the website article got its info from the book?
The book had a photograph of Dorothy, but I guess that could be anybody.
Unfortunately, the story is the real thing. It made the front page (with Dorothy's photo) of the October 25, 1949 edition of the Coshocton Tribune. As usual, if you want to read the archives, you have to pay.
Well if we had that photo we could asked Meaghan Good to includ Dorothys case on charleyproject.
I find it odd that whoever took her would lock the door behind them.
I found the following results on the name using a metasearch engine.
Maybe she had a lover that no one knew about? The husband had an alibi at least for the 1945 beating. I do find it odd that the girls didn't go next door instead of staying huddled in their bedroom. It would be nice to know how old they were at the time.
There is a photo of her in a book called "Among the Missing". I'm looking at it right now. I don't know if I would be breaking any rules if I put it on WS, but I don't know how to anyway. I wonder if her husband hired a hit man on both occassions, then used his legal muscle to get out of trouble?Originally Posted by Mischa
Hi Stella :-)
Who did write the book and when and where was it published?
I will write an e-mail to Meaghan Good and asked whether she thinks it's alright to use this picture. She must have dealt with problems like that many times before.
Perhaps we can get Dorothys case on charleyproject and find a wider audience for her.
Greetings right back atcha! "Among the Missing, An Anecdotal History of Missing Persons from 1800 to the Present" was written by Jay Robert Nash and published in New York by Simon and Schuster in 1978. Dorothy's case is included in the chapter titled "Carried Away". The whole book is a good read but might be hard to find since it was published so long ago.
I used to check out a copy from my library when I was a kid. I probably wore that book out reading it so often. Then, a few years ago, I searched around on the internet until I found a copy. It's packed away in storage right now. It's a terrific read. Frustrating, though, because some of the cases are so obscure that you can't find any other information on them. Where did you get your copy?Originally Posted by Stella
I bought mine, brand new from Brentano's,when it first came out. Like you, mine is worn out falling apart from reading it so many times.
I found this book is available on amazon.com. It's not available from amazon.com itself but they have several booksellers who have copies. Most all the copies are used but they tell you what condition it is in. I actually found this link by googling the book and that took me to a website called bestwebbuys.com. But there are many copies available through this amazon link below with some of the books in good condition and at very reasonable prices too. Just click on where it says "64 used and new" and it will take you the booksellers who have the book. Here is the link.Originally Posted by Mr. E
Those are very good prices -- can't beat 'em! I may have to buy another copy as a back up.Originally Posted by liz325
Here is another (questionable) book which contains the story of Dorothy Forstein, Strange Unsolved Mysteries: Mysteries of People and Places by Phyllis Raybin Emert.
A link to the book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/081...878632-2818023
I found the chapter on Dorothy Forstein by clicking on the ''search inside this book'' link, then on the ''surprise me'' link once I am at the book's webpage.
The chapter is incomplete on this link , but appears to match the article from the other book as far as I could tell.
Is anyone here from the Philidelphia area ....someone who could look through the newspapers of the day which would certainly have this case in it's archives?
A few posts above Stella mentioned that the Coshocton Tribune had published a front page article about the case at the time.Originally Posted by grievousangel
Got your pm, but I'm so mid-20th century as far as technology goes that I don't know how to pm you back. I know how to use my scanner to get a picture but not how to send it. Are there any WSer's out there who have a photo of Dorothy Forstein from a book who can help Mischa out? If so, send him or her a pm. Thanks.
I have my difficulties here, too. So I do never know how to include one of this meaningful smilies in my text. It just doesn't work with me :-((
I want to ask Meaghan Goode to include the Dorothy Forstein-case in the charleyproject database. And therefore I need a photo of her. Could someone please scan this photo and send it to me?
Of course if Meaghan states that it's not all right to use a photo scanned out of a book without permission, we forget about the whole thing. I don't want to get anybody in trouble.
Some archived articles for Dorothy.
Abduction Unsolved - Kidnapping of Phila. Woman Week Ago Baffles Police - October 25, 1949
Search Covers Nation for Phila. Woman - October 26, 1949
Phila. Police Expect to Find Wife of Magistrate Soon - October 27, 1949
Why are they so quick to dismiss the 9 year olds story? Yes it's strange but she is 9, not 3.
This is a curious case. I wonder, if like other cases of the day (Ruth Baumgardne for one), she was found and the story was swept under the rug to save the families reputation.
Just a thought but..... She was already in her 30's when she got married, which is on the older side for those days. Maybe she had a darker life in her 20's which involved questionable people. She could have tried to get away from her previous life and that may have made someone angry. It just seems to me that she probably knew the guy, possibly someone from a past she wanted to forget?
Very true, I wonder if we can find any info on the children.
She for sure knew the guy no doubt. But the fact that no one recognized points to your theory, she has some kind of past or secret life. The only other theory I believe is possible is he had ties to her husband not her. Either way, whoever he was, he was not a stranger to that family.
The case is still unsolved, however this blog adds that the little girl was checked by Psychatrists and they all agree she was telling the truth.
Also in one of the comments:
A guy who wrote an article on this got a letter from a lawyer representing the Forstein family. The lawyer asked for the articles to be removed.
And that comment is accurate. I found the blog of the writer. His name is Troy Taylor and he wrote the Book "Without a Trace'
Also a swedish website mentions the husband was a Judge. (Use google translate)