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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by meggilyweggily
    I've posted Ruth Baumgardner's case on my site, with all the relevant information I could get from the book, though I didn't talk about the guy that tried to call her.

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/...dner_ruth.html
    I just finished reading what you put about Ruth on your website. Most of it is accurate, but I believe Mr. Bellamy wrote a couple of inaccurate statements about Ruth. I am basing this on newspaper articles that were written at the time of her disappearance.

    (1) Ruth left not with an old handbag, but with an overnight case she had recently purchased.

    (2) The keys to Ruth's car were not found in the ignition, they were found on the steps of the dormitory.

    These are not key elements in her disappearance, but thought I'd point them out to you. Mr. Bellamy may have taken a little "creative license", but most of what he wrote is supported by newspaper articles written at the time of Ruth's disappearance.

    I am so glad to have Ruth's story on your website, who knows, maybe someone reading it might be related to one of Ruth's sorority sisters, and might remember something dear old granny told them about Ruth's disappearance that will solve the whole thing! (Yeah, I know, just wishful thinking on my part!!)

  2. #47
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    I seriously doubt John Bellamy took "creative license," everything else he's written I've found to be accurate, in particular all the details of his story on Beverly Potts corresponded exactly with the later (excellent) book on the subject. Perhaps the news articles got Ruth's car key mixed up with her dorm key, which was left on the step.

    I'm inclined to take newspaper articles, contemporary or otherwise, with a grain of salt. Even nowadays, when we are supposed to hold journalistic integrity to a high standard, the two articles that were written about my own website both had what I would term inexcusable errors (they messed up things that a cursory reading of the relevant pages should have made clear). And I've been trying to find more information on a cold case, Taj Narbonne, but every article I find contradicts the last one, and on MAJOR issues in his case. I'm tempted to call the investigating agency and ask them to clarify. I've never done that before but I'm so frustrated.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by meggilyweggily
    I seriously doubt John Bellamy took "creative license," everything else he's written I've found to be accurate, in particular all the details of his story on Beverly Potts corresponded exactly with the later (excellent) book on the subject. Perhaps the news articles got Ruth's car key mixed up with her dorm key, which was left on the step.

    I'm inclined to take newspaper articles, contemporary or otherwise, with a grain of salt. Even nowadays, when we are supposed to hold journalistic integrity to a high standard, the two articles that were written about my own website both had what I would term inexcusable errors (they messed up things that a cursory reading of the relevant pages should have made clear). And I've been trying to find more information on a cold case, Taj Narbonne, but every article I find contradicts the last one, and on MAJOR issues in his case. I'm tempted to call the investigating agency and ask them to clarify. I've never done that before but I'm so frustrated.
    You may be right about that. I have noticed that there were discrepancies in the articles written about Ruth at the time of her disappearance. But when two or more articles relay the same information, I tend to believe that information is accurate.

    The reason I am even mentioning this is that if Ruth's car keys were in the ignition of her car, rather than on the steps leading up to the dorm as reported in various newspaper articles, that would make me more inclined to believe she had been abducted (i.e., she was in her car, getting ready to leave, puts the key in the ignition, something happens to make her get out of the car, and then she vanishes), as opposed to her leaving willingly.

    I am supposed to be getting some documents from Ohio Wesleyan, and maybe those will shed some light on this issue.

    Your post has made me realize I need to be a little more objective when reading newspaper articles!

    By the way, we have something in common - I, too, am a professional insomniac!

  4. #49
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    Let me know what, if anything, the Wesleyan documents tell you. I'd be interested to know. Those old, forgotten cases fascinate me.

    Contradictory information is the bane of my line of work -- that is, my work on my website. I had one case years ago, resolved now, where I didn't even know for sure what the girl's name was. It was given as Angie, Angeline or Angelina, and no two accounts gave the same name. There's a similar problem with the Warner child -- her name is spelled Leanna, Leeanna, LeeAnna, Leanne, etc. I use LeeAnna Susan Marie Warner, which I believe is from her official website, but I really don't know. The NCMEC gives it as Leeanna Marie Warner, but I know they have at least one name wrong -- every other account I saw spelled Shemaeah Gunnell's last name with two L's, but the NCMEC poster for her has one L. Sometimes family members will email me and give the correct information, but they have to take the initiative for that. In any case, Shamaeah has no family for me to contact even if I chose to.

    God only know how much info on my website is correct, given that I have to take it all from mostly untrustworthy sources. Even police websites give false information, the NYPD has a missing persons case where they have the guy's height, his weight, and the address where he disappeared all wrong! That's why I post a disclaimer saying that nothing on my site should be taken as gospel truth.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by meggilyweggily
    Let me know what, if anything, the Wesleyan documents tell you. I'd be interested to know. Those old, forgotten cases fascinate me.

    Contradictory information is the bane of my line of work -- that is, my work on my website. I had one case years ago, resolved now, where I didn't even know for sure what the girl's name was. It was given as Angie, Angeline or Angelina, and no two accounts gave the same name. There's a similar problem with the Warner child -- her name is spelled Leanna, Leeanna, LeeAnna, Leanne, etc. I use LeeAnna Susan Marie Warner, which I believe is from her official website, but I really don't know. The NCMEC gives it as Leeanna Marie Warner, but I know they have at least one name wrong -- every other account I saw spelled Shemaeah Gunnell's last name with two L's, but the NCMEC poster for her has one L. Sometimes family members will email me and give the correct information, but they have to take the initiative for that. In any case, Shamaeah has no family for me to contact even if I chose to.

    God only know how much info on my website is correct, given that I have to take it all from mostly untrustworthy sources. Even police websites give false information, the NYPD has a missing persons case where they have the guy's height, his weight, and the address where he disappeared all wrong! That's why I post a disclaimer saying that nothing on my site should be taken as gospel truth.
    That has to be a real headache for you.

    In this particular case, since this happened so long ago there really isn't anyone to go to for clarification. As mentioned before, some newspaper articles say Ruth Baumgardner was blonde, but most say she had brown hair. One article claimed she was 19 when, in fact, she was 22. Those aren't terribly important details, I guess, but it's just annoying that those inconsistencies are there!

    Someone from Ohio Wesleyan is supposed to be sending me some documents, and another person from Ohio Wesleyan is supposed to call me to discuss Ruth's disappearance. If I learn anything meaningful, I'll certainly post it here!

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marilynilpa
    ... The reason I am even mentioning this is that if Ruth's car keys were in the ignition of her car, rather than on the steps leading up to the dorm as reported in various newspaper articles, that would make me more inclined to believe she had been abducted (i.e., she was in her car, getting ready to leave, puts the key in the ignition, something happens to make her get out of the car, and then she vanishes), as opposed to her leaving willingly.
    You can't necessarily draw a conclusion of abduction based on keys being in the ignition. Car keys were a relatively new thing in 1937 in an era where most folks didn't even lock their houses. She may have simply left them in the ignition all the time so that she always knew where they were.

    Back then, the key didn't actually start the car like it does today. Inserting the key and turning the ignition lock (if the car had one) simply allowed the car to then be started by pressing an ignition button on the dash. Some cars had ignition locks which could be locked in the "on" position, and the key removed - allowing the car to be started simply by pushing the button the next time around.

    Tractors of that era never had ignition locks or keys.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    You can't necessarily draw a conclusion of abduction based on keys being in the ignition. Car keys were a relatively new thing in 1937 in an era where most folks didn't even lock their houses. She may have simply left them in the ignition all the time so that she always knew where they were.

    Back then, the key didn't actually start the car like it does today. Inserting the key and turning the ignition lock (if the car had one) simply allowed the car to then be started by pressing an ignition button on the dash. Some cars had ignition locks which could be locked in the "on" position, and the key removed - allowing the car to be started simply by pushing the button the next time around.

    Tractors of that era never had ignition locks or keys.
    You know, that's a very good point. A car key in 1937 was not like a car key today. So any conclusion based on whether or not the key was in the ignition would be erroneous. As you stated, it could be that she ALWAYS left her key in the ignition, so there is no significance to it being there.

    Thanks for setting me straight on that. Sometimes I find myself spending too much time worrying about small matters that really don't amount too much!

  8. #53
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    A representative from Ohia Wesleyan e-mailed me yesterday to say she has some newspaper clippings the University kept relating to Ruth's disappearance. She is going to send me copies of them. It will be interesting to see if there are any articles that didn't appear on my NewspaperArchive.com search.

    Unfortunately, she told me that she doesn't have any documents such as statements, police reports, that type of thing. I still have a couple of people I have contacted and not heard from, so there is still a slight chance they may have more info.

    I am attempting to track down the children of the man who was chief of police when this disappearance took place. I'd like to know if they recall their father discussing the case, what his guesses might have been about what took place.

    I'll post more information if I get anything important.

  9. #54
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    The articles I received from the Ohio Wesleyan newspaper were interesting. While some of them were just a rehash of what the mainstream press reported, there were a few items of interest to me.

    The school newspaper ran a notice asking anyone who called Ruth prior to her disappearance to call the police. There were apparently five calls which were taken by Ruth's sorority sisters during the two days prior to her disappearance. Two of them occurred on the day she disappeared, from a man described as having a "high" voice. He was calling from a local number, as no operater was involved in the call. He left no messages. I don't know if anyone ever came forward in response to the notice.

    There is reference to a "friend" in Cleveland, Ohio, whom the police felt would be able to shed some light on Ruth's disappearance. While the police stated this friend was not Ruth's fiancee, they never disclosed the name or sex of the friend. I have not been able to find any other reference to this friend, or what he/she might have told the police.

    Ruth's family, the private investigator they hired, and the police all treated this as a missing persons case. Three days after she disappeared, Ruth's parents took all of her belongings out of her dorm room and returned them to Cleveland. They felt that when she finally came back, she would return to her home in Cleveland rather than Ohio Wesleyan.

    Two women in Zanesville, Ohio reported seeing Ruth the day after she vanished from Ohio Wesleyan. She was walking with a young man, and the two were later spotted hitchhiking. The police and the private investigator thought these two witnesses were credible and treated this as a confirmed sighting.

    A trucker claimed he picked up the two outside of Zanesville, Ohio, and gave them a ride to Tennessee. The trucker said they appeared tired. The young man called the woman "Bumbie", which was a nickname of Ruth's that few people knew about. The police and the private investigator followed up on this but came to a dead end.

    Ruth's mother thought Ruth might have gone to New York City, although she gave no explanation for thinking that.

    From everything I have been able to find about this disappearance, I believe it was staged by Ruth (possibly with the help of the male caller with the hgh voice). I also believe that Ruth's family eventually learned the reason for her disappearance. The Burns Detective Agency, hired by the Baumgardners to find Ruth, had a very good reputation for locating people. From the articles I read, it appears the private detective followed up every lead. That, coupled with the fact that the Baumgardners eventually asked the police to close their case on Ruth, leads me to believe they knew what happened to her.

    However, I don't think her family ever learned Ruth's whereabouts. In their obituaries, Ruth is described as "the late Ruth Baumgardner". I belive that Ruth was legally declared dead after all efforts to locate her had been exhausted.

    As to why Ruth ran away, I don't know - maybe she was pregnant, maybe she fell in love with someone other than her fiancee and eloped with him, or maybe she just wanted to get away from her family for reasons we know nothing about. Whatever the reason, she did a great job of disappearing off the face of the earth!

  10. #55
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    Bumping up this story

    It's been over a year since I've posted anything on this thread, but I do still keep this case in the back of my mind.

    I had one possible lead about Ruth in late 2005. I had spoken to someone within the police force who put me in contact with the grandson of one of the policemen who investigated this case. The grandson said his grandfather had some old files stuck in boxes in the attic, and he believed at least one of the files contained information on the investigation into Ruth's disappearance. He promised to locate the file(s) and arrange a time for me to drive to Zanesville, Ohio, to pick them up. I had one more telephone contact with this man, then went a couple of months without hearing from him. When I tried calling him, his phone number was disconnected. All I had was a cell phone number for him, and I can't locate a listing for him in any phone directories.

    From one of his statements, I got the impression that he read this and other "web sleuthing" sites, so if he reads this, I implore him to please contact me again!


  11. #56
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    marilyn...any chances of running down someone with the Burns Det Agency who might be able to shed some light on things?

    I too think Ruth disappeared willingly, and even if her parents did uncover some inkling of what was going on with her (I too think that is possible) she obviously never returned home or someone would have seen her.

  12. #57
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    Does anyone know if Ruth was political during her last college year? I know this is way out in left field, (excuse pun) but if she were, maybe she ran off to civil war Spain. Communism and the Republican cause were pretty big deals at some universities at the time. Just a thought.

  13. #58
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    I'm glad I generated a little new interest in this case.

    I have tried tracking down the detective from Burns who was involved in this case. I don't recall his name off hand, but he's mentioned in some of the newspaper coverage of Ruth's disappearance. Anyway, I was told by an officer of Burns Detective Agency that they would not have retained any records of this investigation since so much time has passed. That's a roadblock I often face when looking into these really old cases. But I'm still following a few leads in that area and will post when/if I learn anything.

    As to whether or not Ruth was political, from all indications she was not. It appears she was predominantly involved with school and sorority life. However, there's always the possibility that she was involved in activities unknown to her sorority sisters and her family. I'll do a little more research into the types of political activities going on at her university during the time leading up to her disappearance to see what was taking place.

    Keep up the suggestions, it's good to get new ideas!!

  14. #59
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    Feeling lazy this evening and don't want to go back and research.... Did Ruth have any siblings?

  15. #60
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    I just found this thread now...what an interesting case. I definitely agree that it seems Ruth disappeared willingly, and many signs point to a boyfriend and possibly a pregnancy. I can't think of anything new to add right now - I was going to post about how it was probably common at that time to leave one's car key in the ignition...but I see someone has already done that

    Also...my hair falls into the "dark blonde/light brown" category that was talked about here. I consider it to be dark blonde, and so does almost everyone I know...but occasionally someone refers to it as brown. So a discrepancy between various descriptions of her hair color is definitely understandable.

    I did find some websites with pictures of old cars, in case anyone is interested in what her car may have looked like. I know it probably has nothing to do with her disappearance, since she left her car behind, but I was just curious

    Here's a picture of a 1937 Dodge convertible. I remember reading that hers was red but I haven't been able to find a red one so far. I'm guessing it was either a 1937 or even a 1938 - since her father was wealthy, it was mentioned that her car was "new", and if things worked back then the way they do now, the 1938s would have already been out in 1937 in time for her to receive it as a graduation gift. Anyway, here's the pic

    http://www.dodgebrothersclub.org/gal...on.jpg&album=4

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