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  1. #16
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    Jul 2009
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    2
    Wow, I've often wondered what happened to him and whether he remarried or not. Now we know! How sad!

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Where the rainbow ends
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    184
    What was the state of blood forensics in 1962? Not what it is today, certainly.

    I did find a Joan Risch of the correct age, living in the Marin County, CA area.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    NC - the triangle
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    340
    This was the first case I heard of when I was a child. I never forgot it. I still have a hard time imagining a woman would leave her small children voluntarily. I think it's more common now, with some of the monsters we have raised who actually harm their kids, but back then, I remember always feeling that someone took this woman. I hate that the case remains unsolved to this day. The pictures of her in the newspaper showed her to be a very attractive woman. I wonder what her children remember about the day.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,959
    This year she will be 79 if alive. My opinion is that she staged her dissappearance, sad. If she was unhappy and needed to leave then at least have the courtesy to tell your family and file for divorce.

  5. #20
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    Mar 2010
    Location
    NC - the triangle
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    340
    Yes,it is an upsetting situation. it is unsettling to say the least, to have no answers for the family who certainly must have suffered then and bear the scars today. Back then, though, there were not many instances of women or men "staging" a disappearance. It was not as sophisticated an art as it is today. I still feel that most moms, no matter if unhappy, will not leave the children, no matter what.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    5,076

    Updated Doenetwork Link

    Here is an updated link to the Doenetwork file on Joan Risch:


    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/646dfma.html

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    orange county, ny
    Posts
    2,380
    The one point against a voluntary disappearance, at least to me, is the amount of blood that was present. For a 4 year old to say the room was "covered in red paint" and for a trail to extend outside...Seems like a lot of blood. If it were a few smears, some droplets here and there, then I would find the idea of a voluntary disappearance a lot easier to accept.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    massachusetts
    Posts
    6,340
    intresting that this took place at the height of the cuban missle crisis

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    9,235
    It's strange ; the year that she disappeared is listed as 1961 on some sites, and 1962 on others.

    The Lewiston (Maine) paper for 2/21/1963 has an article. Some interesting points :

    There was, as per this report, not a lot of blood. " Mostly drops,spots and smears -- consistent,perhaps, with a nosebleed,or a head injury ."

    The blood droplets were found from the baby's room to the kitchen, and also outside on the side of her car.

    At 2:15 p.m. a neighbor saw her outside by her car.

    At 3:20 p.m. a second car was seen parked in the driveway.

    At 4:00 p. m. her daughter came back from the neighbor's house to find her gone.

    The library book records were deemed so important that they were handed over to the District Attorney. Some of the book themes were :

    An orphan girl vanishes. Joan had been orphaned as a little girl in Brooklyn.

    A woman flees her home to begin a new life.

    A wife disappears without a trace.

    More info at : news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1928&dat=19630220&id

    Weird case. If she staged her own disappearance, how would she know that her little daughter wouldn't have come back sooner from the neighbor's house, and caught her ? Did she have a visitor that afternoon, who parked their car in her driveway ? I'm assuming the neighbor saw quite a bit...

    People could not obtain divorces back then merely because they felt unhappy ; they had to show proof of infidelity or mental illness. Or they could move to places like Nevada, set up residency, and then file for divorce.

    Different world back then. This is a case to get pulled into ...
    Last edited by liz b.; 03-21-2010 at 03:00 PM.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    NC - the triangle
    Posts
    340

    Joan's choice of reading material

    I don't think that her reading material is all that strange. Because I read the same types of books and mysteries, love the whole genre of detective stories, and always have....but i am not planning my own disappearance. It was a long time ago, but someone, somewhere is still around that knows what happened to her. I think it is very rare for a mom to leave her children voluntarily, and it does not matter if the woman is unhappy in her marriage. I wonder why people think she left willingly! I have never believed that.

    laces


  11. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    19,247
    Why would nobody stop if they see a bloody woman looking dazed? Just everybody thinking "none of my business, someone else can help her" or did she look somehow like she didn't want any help?

    I think if she wanted to disappear voluntarily she might have cleaned herself up before leaving home. It seems that people would pay more attention to a bloody woman than a neat and tidy one. Unless she was leaving a false trail?

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    1,088
    This is certainly a fascinating case. Is there confirmation on the year of her disappearance? 1961 or 1962? I agree that there does seem to be issues with the amount of blood evidence that would not suggest a voluntary disappearance. And even the amount of blood found is contradictory.

    Satch

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Douglas,MA
    Posts
    442

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    371
    I read in one of the articles that Mr. Risch was asked if his wife was pregnant. He said he didn't know but that if she was, she would not have been upset about it. That alone sounds a little fishy. It makes me wonder if she was pregnant and unhappy about it and had an abortionist come to the house. She was seen outside her house that day by a neighbor, looking like she was expecting someone. Perhaps the procedure didn't go well and she tried to call for an ambulance. The abortionist freaked out, tore the phone out of the wall, they struggled and he eventually got her outside, driving her somewhere he could dispose of her. Or perhaps he left her for dead and she wandered off and bled to death. It's a puzzle with so many possibilities.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Penn's woods
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    17,195
    Some of the links to articles at the beginning of this thread are broken so here are a few more:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...an-risch&hl=en
    Missing 16 months.

    From the above article: She is the former Joan Nattras born Brooklyn NY. They had lived in Ridgefield Conn. before moving to Boston.


    I don't have access to this archive, perhaps someone here does?

    http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/bostonhe...y&pqatl=google

    and about a man interested in Ruth's case (again in an archive)
    http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/bostonhe...h&pqatl=google

    Article dated 1961 when they had assumed she was kidnapped:

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...an-risch&hl=en


    October 1961, this article says the fingerprints found on the phone were her husband's?

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...an-risch&hl=en

    Article August 1975

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...an-risch&hl=en

    I know many here are up to date with the case, I posted these for any newcomers we might have.

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