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  1. #1
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    OH - Ronald Tammen, 19, Oxford, 19 April 1953

    Ronald Henry Tammen, Jr. (19) Missing since April 19, 1953 from Oxford, OH

    Ronald Henry Tammen, Jr.
    Missing since April 19, 1953 from Oxford, Ohio
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: July 23, 1933
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 19 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'10"; 175 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Dark hair and muscular.
    Blood type: O Positive

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Tammen was last seen in old Fisher Hall, a former Victorian mental asylum, at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio on April 19, 1953.
    Ronald Henry Tammen Jr. was just another hard-working Miami University student until that cold Sunday night on April 19, 1953, when he walked out of Room 225 and into oblivion.

    Forty-five years later, the sophomore business major remains Oxford's favorite ghost story.

    Mr. Tammen, a 19-year-old residence hall adviser, vanished from old Fisher Hall, a former Victorian mental asylum that was some said was haunted.

    About 8:30 p.m., he entered his room after returning from a road engagement with the Campus Owls, a popular dance band for which he played string bass. Outside sat his 1938 Chevrolet sedan. It is said he heard something that disturbed him, and he went into the hall to investigate. Apparently he didn't intend to go anywhere. He left his wallet, car keys and personal items on his desk. He also left the lights on, a book open, the radio playing and his clothes in the closet. His bank account, with about $200, remained active.

    Authorities checked all bus, rail and air terminals. The Air Force ROTC sent 400 men to help students search the countryside.

    Officials have discounted any theory of foul play, commenting that the missing man is rugged and strong. Tammen was not in any financial difficulty . . . since counselors are chosen for their stability, there seems to be no reason for a voluntary disappearance. Thus, officials have temporarily settled upon the thesis of amnesia. Friends and family -- from Maple Heights, near Cleveland -- said Mr. Tammen wouldn't leave without telling them. At first, police developed the amnesia theory, but later they did consider that he might have deliberately disappeared.

    Phillip R. Shriver, a former Miami president and history professor who came to Miami in 1965, thinks Ronald Tammen somehow lost his memory and later that night arrived on the doorstep of Mrs. Carl Spivey in Seven Mile, about 15 miles east of Oxford. At midnight, she heard a knock on her door. She saw a young man -- he fit Tammen's description -- standing outside. When she opened the door, he asked her how to get to the bus station. But there was no bus station in Seven Mile. She told him to go to Hamilton. She noticed he had a smudge of dirt on a cheek and his eyes were vacuous. Snow was on the ground that night, but he wore no coat or hat. She shut the door and expected to hear his car start, but it didn't. Then she realized the young man was walking. There's every belief he was Ronald Tammen. The supposition is that he had an attack of amnesia. He had no idea who he was, but he wanted to get to the bus stop.

    The problem with the amnesia theory is the condition doesn't usually last. Dr. Peter Simson, a psychologist at Miami, said most post-traumatic conditions last a matter of months, at most.

    The late Joe Cella, a reporter who covered Mr. Tammen's disappearance for the Hamilton Journal-News, claimed the police investigation wasn't thorough. He continued to inquire about Mr. Tammen for 25 years, and he carried the student's class photo in his wallet. He learned that Mr. Tammen asked for sheets and pillowcases an hour before he disappeared. Mr. Cella also discovered that five months before Mr. Tammen disappeared, he visited Garrett Boone, a Hamilton physician, to determine his blood type. Nothing more.

    But by then, police had neither leads nor reasons to continue the investigation. They didn't even keep the original case files. The next year, the university razed 120-year-old Fisher Hall to make way for the Marcum Conference Center.

    An arrest card was found for Mr. Tammen. He was cited for running a red light at Main and High streets on March 21, 1953. His $5 fine was suspended.


    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: Oxford Police Department 513-524-5240

    Source Information:
    The Cincinnati Enquirer 10/31/98
    Ron Tammen Disappearance
    The Doe Network: Case File 1562DMOH

    Link:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1562dmoh.html
    Last edited by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed; 05-01-2010 at 12:31 AM. Reason: updated doe network link

  2. #2
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    Questions...

    Does anyone know more about this case? Just in reading through it, I would ask a few questions.

    - What kind of grades did he have? Was he doing well in school or on the verge of flunking out?

    - Was he pledging a fraternity? His quick disappearance sounds like something that might be done as part of a fraternity initiation or a prank by other students.

    - Was he facing induction into the Army? At age 19 and at the height of the Korean War, perhaps he left to avoid the draft.

    - Why would he be interested in learning what his blood type was? Had he been involved with a girl, and was he facing a paternity suit?

    - Was he a member of the Air Force ROTC? They are mentioned as assisting in the search for him. Was this something they did as a regular service (searching), or was he one of theirs?

    - Have any unidentified bodies turned up over the years in Ohio, Indiana, or Kentucky, which might be his?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    Does anyone know more about this case? Just in reading through it, I would ask a few questions.

    - What kind of grades did he have? Was he doing well in school or on the verge of flunking out?

    - Was he pledging a fraternity? His quick disappearance sounds like something that might be done as part of a fraternity initiation or a prank by other students.

    - Was he facing induction into the Army? At age 19 and at the height of the Korean War, perhaps he left to avoid the draft.

    - Why would he be interested in learning what his blood type was? Had he been involved with a girl, and was he facing a paternity suit?

    - Was he a member of the Air Force ROTC? They are mentioned as assisting in the search for him. Was this something they did as a regular service (searching), or was he one of theirs?

    - Have any unidentified bodies turned up over the years in Ohio, Indiana, or Kentucky, which might be his?
    Once again, you've come up with a good one.

    He wanted to know his blood type - as you said, it could have been for reasons of paternity. Would he have needed to know his blood type in order to apply for something, such as a marriage license? Did he have a friend or relative in the hospital at that time who needed blood of a particular type?

    Do we know what his major was?

    Why would he have wanted sheets and pillowcases? Were there any dirty bedsheets in his room?

    It would be interesting to learn if he was in ROTC. If he was, then he probably didn't disappear in order to avoid military service.

    From what he left behind, it certainly doesn't appear he was planning to be gone very long.

    This will be an interesting case to investigate.

  4. #4
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    I suspect a fraternity prank gone bad . . .

    "At approximately 8:00 Sunday evening, April 19, 1953, Tammen left his Fisher Hall room to get new bed sheets from the Hall manager because someone had put a fish in his bed. Tammen took the sheets and returned to his dorm room to study psychology. It was the last time he was definitely seen alive. At 10:30 p.m., Tammen's roommate returned to find Tammen's psychology book laying open on his desk and all the room lights on. The roommate didn't think anything of it; he assumed that Tammen had decided to spend the night in the Delta Tau Delta house. It was only when Tammen failed to return the following day that the roommate became worried and a search for the missing student was begun." (bolding added by me.)

    The entire article can be found at: http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/tammen.html


    Here is a link to a picture of the band Ronald played with:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100304.pdf

    Here is a link to a newspaper article about his disappearance:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100320.pdf

    Here is yet another article:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100311.pdf

    This link is to photos of Ronald's room:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100318.pdf

    Here are links to several other articles about him:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100327.pdf

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100308.pdf

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100307.pdf

    Yet another article (hard to read, but has a photo of Ronald):
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100309.pdf

    Here are links to more articles:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100310.pdf

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100321.pdf

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100317.pdf

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100319.pdf

    This link is to police notes about the case:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/...aj00100314.pdf

  5. #5
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    could be

    I wonder if this will turn out to be one of those cases where 15 to 20 people knew what happened be kept silent.

  6. #6
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    Miami of Ohio Yearbooks...

    I would think that a 1953 Miami University Yearbook "Recensio" might have a photo and list of members of Delta Tau Delta, Gamma Upsilon Chapter, who knew Ronald. I wonder if any of them could shed some light on the subject today?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    I would think that a 1953 Miami University Yearbook "Recensio" might have a photo and list of members of Delta Tau Delta, Gamma Upsilon Chapter, who knew Ronald. I wonder if any of them could shed some light on the subject today?
    It's certainly possible, although if criminal activity was involved in Ronald's disappearance, the fraternity members may still keep their silence.

    It's possible he was hit on the head and suffered amnesia, but I tend to discount that. His photo and physical description were in the paper, so even if he couldn't remember who he was, I think someone would have recognized him.

  8. #8
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    His bank account, with about $200, remained active.
    What exactly does this mean? Does it mean he used it after he disappeared?

    I think the description on Doe Network said his major was business.

    Isn't O the rarest blood type?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthrobones
    Isn't O the rarest blood type?
    O+ is the most common blood type in the human race.

    Wonder if he was taking a biology course?
    There could be another reason for finding out his blood type. What if he knew Mm's blood type was A, and knew Dad's blood type was B. What if he had had prior suspicions, and then found out his blood type was O? What if thought he was an O+ but after studying it in class wanted to verify it?

    Another reason for finding out the blood type, might be if you wanted to donate blood for someone. Or if you wanted to sell your blood.
    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

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthrobones
    What exactly does this mean? Does it mean he used it after he disappeared?

    I think the description on Doe Network said his major was business.

    Isn't O the rarest blood type?
    I believe that it means that the bank account remained "open" as opposed to having been closed and the money withdrawn.

    O is one of the most common types of blood in the US, and is considered to be the "universal donor" type. The rarest type of blood would probably be AB negative.


  11. #11
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    How reliable was the supposed sighting of him by this woman. Could she have been mistaken? WAs it really him she saw or someone else? It was evening after all. How much light was there? Was it cloudy.

  12. #12
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    I don't know if this has already been covered, but here goes. The age and height are "off" a bit, but that composite drawing of Mr. Bones looks a lot like the photo of Ronald Tammen Jr. on the Doe Network. Possible or not?

  13. #13
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    Wow, this is sooooo tragic...I wonder if his brothers and sisters are still very affected by this....it must have been so difficult at the time...shame on the police for throwing away the case file................I think someone above was right and that maybe something did happen to him but everyone kept silent....I think that sighting might be suspect but the details seem honest......

  14. #14
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    Mr. Bones?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stella
    I don't know if this has already been covered, but here goes. The age and height are "off" a bit, but that composite drawing of Mr. Bones looks a lot like the photo of Ronald Tammen Jr. on the Doe Network. Possible or not?
    His photo does look a bit like the composite of Mr. Bones. I have a feeling, however, that the difference in time between Ronald's disappearance, and the estimated time of Mr. Bones' death (Spring 1958) is just too great. Five years is a long time to intentionally remain missing, yet traveling all around the country.

    It is possible, but the time frame, and age would tend to argue against a match.

  15. #15
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    Here is a new article about Ron Tammen's disappearance in the Oxford (Ohio) Press. There are no recent developments but it's interesting to revisit this missing persons case that has fascinated me for some time now. Miami University is about 2 hours from where I live and I would love to go there sometime and go over all the records they have about this very baffling disappearance. Also, there are a couple new theories as to why he might have gotten that blood test several months earlier that I don't remember reading in past articles.

    http://www.oxfordpress.com/life/cont...507tammen.html
    Last edited by MaryLiz; 01-10-2007 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Add

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