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  1. #31
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    Jun 2010
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    493
    I came upon this mysterious case a few years ago on the Doe Network. After reading all the original news articles at the time after Risch's disappearance, and what was said regarding the the topics of her library books, I feel that she planned and staged her disappearance.

    I wonder if the methods used in the books provided any clues for police and if they followed these methods of a person trying to disappear would have got them closer to "where or what directional steps" she took after that and along the way.

    I get the impression she staged all the events that day, wondered off in a certain direction where, perhaps she had a fresh change of clothes and some cash, perhaps a car -- hidden and waiting, maybe in nearby woods, a parking lot, etc. These could have been items placed by her a day or two before she vanished. I think she was unhappy as a suburban housewife, and as much as she loved her children, she had to let them go in order to be happy.

    Another theory I have is that she could have set this up to be with another man. I had read somewhere the police cruiser that was seen in the driveway that afternoon was nothing out of the ordinary, that a patrol presence was always nearby on the road that she lived to catch speeders. It would be interesting to hear from her children, who are now adults, and what they might know through the years.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    NC - the triangle
    Posts
    340

    leaving the children.

    unless she was a sociopath, i still don't believe she would leave her children. They grew up hearing what others said about their mom. It is easier to believe that a person would walk off of her own accord rather than believe that she was murdered, perhaps by someone close to her. In essense, it is easier to blame the person who is gone, rather than the person who you see every day, and know and love.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Penn's woods
    Posts
    17,195
    Found a great thread for Joan on another website that has access to the pay per view articles.

    Joan Disappeared on October 24, 1961, From Lincoln, Mass. - Cold Case Investigations
    Last edited by KateB; 04-03-2015 at 04:55 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,631
    Joan's Charley Project file has been updated.

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/r/risch_joan.html
    Please Help Find Brian Shaffer!



    www.findbrianshaffer.com

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    372
    The update on Charley gives out 2 new pieces of info. The blood apparently began in her infant son's nursery, indicating that someone either snuck in the house while she was in there, or someone was laying in wait for her when she returned home from the dentist. The blood trail went from there to the kitchen to the driveway. Also, they found more than a thumbprint in blood in the kitchen; a partial palm print and 2 other fingerprints that have yet to be matched to anyone, were on the wall in blood. I don't believe she staged her own disappearance even thought she checked out all those books on missing persons. Some people, myself included, read such books all the time. Her husband did say she had an interest in such things, so I take any connection between that and her disappearance with a grain of salt.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    Posts
    12
    I don't think I have ever, ever thought this before in any case Ive ever read about. But the fact that her child was at the neighbors AND her husband was out of town tends to make me think she staged her own disappearance. And how sad he never remarried. I also wonder if they were perhaps Catholic & had he even suspected that she was not really dead, he thought he must remain true to his marriage vows and/or he would be committing bigamy? In any event, I do not think this case needs to remain unsolved. I hope and believe someone from WS could even solve this & gives this family answers.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Staten Island, NY
    Posts
    98
    I read an article from February '62, stating that the police had questioned a man that she had hired to wash the windows. He was from Nashua, NH (right across the state line). I haven't found any follow-up articles, so I *assume* that his story checked out. However, she might have hired other handymen (who would have known her routine, and not seemed out of place near her house). It's a long shot, but perhaps other families who still live in the area might remember the names of people/companies they used.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    372
    Bumping for Joan. It will be 51 years since her disappearance on October 24th. Her husband is now dead, he never remarried. In an article, it is stated that he believed her to be alive. Mr. Risch wouldn't elaborate and refused to speak of the disappearance ever again. I wonder if he found out what happened to her and where she was? And maybe too ashamed to admit she left him and their children, whatever her reasons?

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    372
    I just had a couple of new thoughts. Did Joan get along with all the neighbors? Did she have any enemies? They checked her husband's alibi but did they check his background? Maybe an angry girlfriend/mistress lurking in the picture somewhere? Did she have a history of seizures or bad nose bleeds that could cause confusion?

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    3

    all kinds of weird things about this case

    This is such a sad, sad case. From the research I have done, there are many unanswered questions. I would say most of the Boston Globe article immediately following the disappearance suggested that she was still alive. There were mystery phone calls to the Risch house in the days that followed her disappearance, detectives emphasizing that they believed she was still alive and had suffered a 'medical' emergency. I might agree with the post above about the idea that she may have wanted to have an abortion - but something doesn't feel right about that either.

    Hmmm! This is one that will probably always be perplexing, just like the Paula Welden case.


  11. #41
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    Feb 2006
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    372
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...D-APX2aq0CGydg

    I found a wealth of information and crime scene photos at this site. This is more than a nose bleed or a few spots of blood as we've been led to believe.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    3,026
    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...D-APX2aq0CGydg

    I found a wealth of information and crime scene photos at this site. This is more than a nose bleed or a few spots of blood as we've been led to believe.
    Great link... thank you!

    I guess little Lillian didn't hear or see anything (nor anyone) that scared her during the 30 minutes before she realized her mother wasn't home.

    Although it may not have anything to do with her disappearance, I continue to find the info (reported in link below) re: Joan's possible sexual abuse while in foster care quite troubling.

    http://www.myspace.com/joanrischinfo/blog/360069382

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    493
    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...D-APX2aq0CGydg

    I found a wealth of information and crime scene photos at this site. This is more than a nose bleed or a few spots of blood as we've been led to believe.
    Great find. I had always wondered if there were any crime scene photos online. In fact, a year ago I tried to find some, but to no avail. Nice work.

    I agree that there is much more blood in the those photos than what I and everyone else initially had thought. Some papers and missing persons sites give the notion that it was just a little drop here, and a smudge and a smear there! But not by the looks of those photos. They said the same about the baby's room, that there were droplets of blood. Now seeing these photos, the baby's room could have looked the same or worse. I wish those photos were included.

    What I find peculiar and very odd is the placement of the phone receiver in the trash can. The way it dangles and clings to the rim of the bin looks like it had to have been deliberately placed in such a way to be in that odd position... and with how the cord is up and over the can. There is NO WAY that someone–either Risch or an attacker, could rip the cord from the phone and throw on it on top and have the phone handset rest like that. It looks too orchestrated and gently positioned into place to just cling there on the edge. It looks very staged.

    As for the unidentified palm print... hmm... I don't know. I will need to really examine this file.

  14. #44
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    Jun 2010
    Posts
    493

    A Different Outlook...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella View Post
    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.
    After reading the pdf with some of the actual police files and seeing the photos, I'm actually taking a different perspective on this case. I had always perceived she staged a stunt and ran away from her family. But, like everyone else, we just had very little to go on about any real details of the case.

    Well, after reading through and seeing all that blood, this case not only answers questions, but asks even more. This has to be one of the most bizarre and perplexing cases I've ever read. It's truly the most baffling mystery I've ever come across. I wish that there were more things included in the pdf as I would want to read the report concerning what the police found in detail in the kitchen and throughout the house. And the bathroom, was there blood in the bathroom? The newspapers said that there was blood in the master bedroom, the hall at the top of the stairs, and the children's room. I hope a websleuther in the Boston area could research this case and try and get more police case reports and photos.

    But, after reading the reports about eye-witnesses seeing the same woman for almost over an hour walking on the highway bleeding with bloody blotches up and down her legs, both front and back, tells me that she very well could have had an abortion. Did she do it on her own? Perhaps.

    But there is unidentified fingerprints and a palm print in Risch's own blood. I agree that the mysterious car that people saw possibly parked and leaving her driveway could have been a doctor. Just like what was said... it could have been an abortion gone horribly wrong and she started hemorrhaging... and she panicked... then the doctor panicked... and she want to call an ambulance or someone to come help her and the panicked doctor yanked the phone receiver out of her hand and the phone set. But, I think in a panic the doctor left her there and got out of dodge. That's when she left on her own accord and was seen walking along roadways.

    This theory is possible according to the "Police Report to the FBI" as on Page Two it states:

    "There is no specific evidence that victim was abducted and possibility exists that she may have hemorrhaged or caused self inflicting wound and left the residence herself."


    If it was an abortion, she possibly she couldn't face her husband and family after such an incident because of shame and guilt. Perhaps those mysterious phone calls to the Risch home days after were from her.

    It is also interesting that there are no footprints that were found in the entire bloody mess, like someone did their best to avoid stepping in it. It's also odd that her neighbor saw her in the trench coat around 2:15 p.m., running around with her arms outstretched and seeing a glimpse of red. Perhaps, Risch, quickly losing so much blood was going into a real state of shock.

    I also noticed in one of the newspaper articles that it showed the Rischs' second car, the 1951 Chevy that was parked in the driveway had blood on the front hood by the windshield and numerous spots on the back. There was no photo of the front of the car, but when I examined the exact spots in the photo of the article I found them and marked them in the photo attached.

    Also, in the same photo, there is a metal wire hanger on top of the car. The investigation took place that evening of October 24, 1961, and near 8 p.m., police called the fire department to bring lights to light up the house and driveway. And when I saw the photos taken early the following morning, the wire hanger is gone. It must have been taken as evidence.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Kodiak; 04-22-2013 at 11:03 PM.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    372
    I don't recall any reference to a coat hanger in this case but I looked at the photo again and there it is. I completely overlooked it; apparently so did the police. Perhaps Joan picked up a couple while she was out with Lillian, then went to get one when the time came to self abort? Perhaps an abortionist (the person in the parked car?) brought it with him/her and left it there in case an extra one was needed? It could all be very innocent too but nothing screams 1960's abortion like a coat hanger.

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