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  1. #1
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    Sep 2006
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    Chandler AZ
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    609

    5 Sodder siblings disappear xmas eve

    What a strange story. Sorry if this has been posted already. I( cannot imagine these parents losing 5 of their children to unknown circumstances. Doenetwork has a good story on them too.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5067563

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    402
    It's a very sad story. They have a couple threads, here is one of them in case you want to take a look:
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ghlight=Sodder

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    5,077

    Links to other Sodder threads...

    Good article. This month marks the 61st anniversary of their disappearance. There actually are a couple of Websleuths threads on the missing Sodder children with over 30,000 hits between them. Try these links:

    Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community - Missing in WV

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22973

    Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community - Missing in WV (Sodder Family) #2

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=35000

    You can also go to the "Search" window and type in "Sodder", then click on the go button. You will be shown any thread in this section which mentions them.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chandler AZ
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    609
    Richard, thanks. Sometimes when I do searches on here, nothing comes up but I did not bother to search this before I posted it.


    What a sad, but fascinating case.

    I wonder why a movie has not been made about this?

    How many siblings are still alive in this family? I know both parents are dead right?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    3,645
    Nogirl,

    Your question is a difficult one to answer as far as how many of the children are still living. I for one think that the five did not die in that fire.

    Sylvia, who was the baby is still searching for what happened to her siblings and is active here on WebSleauth's thru her Daughter who posts under the name Granddaughter.
    Retired 08/03/03

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    2,968
    OK.. LOTS of questions here--
    what kind of name is sodder? english? german? it's not an italian name (unless it was altered)- is the italian (or sicilian) on their mom's side? and what connection did they have with the mafia, if any? and since when were children sold to orphanages? for what purpose would anyone do that? (they seem a bit old for that anyway.. would expect that more with babies or very young children if it was some kind of illegal adoption ring.)

    and, what kind of mafia influence existed in that town, if at all? were they involved in the unions and what was mr. sodder's profession- did he have any run-ins with them, perhaps he was discouraging union activity which rubbed the mob the wrong way...?
    it does appear the fire chief was involved in a cover-up-- hence the box with the liver in it... maybe he was trying to convince the father to let it go and move on by this lame attempt at manufacturing 'evidence'... since the father did not die in the fire, as expected by someone- the fire chief himself, maybe? was he paid off by the mob to not respond quicker to the fire, and not investigate thoroughly, and to plant fake evidence?

    the strange caller-- makes me think that they were targeted by someone who had the wrong house--? or maybe the killers were calling to find out if (whoever they wanted to kill) was home?

    i wonder if the kids were kidnapped as an afterthought-- i.e., they went there to kill the family, and when the kids went outside to investigate, they ordered them outside and kidnapped them (possibly took them to another location and killed them, since they were witnesses)-- then tried to kill the rest of the family. why would they have been taken back to italy-- for what purpose? and wouldn't any of them try at some point in adulthood to go back home and investigate what happened?

    that's so sad that the poor parents (and siblings) never ever gave up. and they recieved very little help for their efforts-- which must have been incredibly heartbreaking.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2005
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    2,968
    OK-- i see now, he had a coal trucking business. hhhhhmmmmmm... since there are so many clues pointing to 'group effort'-- i'm thinking a union or mafia thing, definitely. a run-in with teamsters maybe..... or anti-teamsters.. or mob members trying to control the teamsters?

    also, did they immigrate WITH their kids or before they had kids? wondering if they still had active ties in italy, & if the kids were born there...

    and in the article it says "a man was seen taking a block & chain (presumably to throw a body into a lake?) from the sodder's garage- and admitted cutting their electric line-- BUT NEVER WENT TO TRIAL?? can someone please explain this to me.....??? well, who WAS this man? was he arrested on site, and why was he taking stuff out of the garage right in front of them? i am thinking a crowd gathered and he just went in there in all the confusion and took it, thinking the family was dead-- but how did he think he would not be noticed?
    and about the half-photo that was sent to them of one of their sons-- he says "that letter, like all our others, had been opened and resealed"- what does that mean? all their mail was like this? so the local post office was in on it too? i'm wondering now if the mob had such a hold on the town that everyone was terrified to speak out, and to refuse to do their bidding.

    or perhaps the community hated him because his business was successful (was it?), and he was an italian immigrant?

    the phone caller- did she have an italian accent? what was the name she asked for- was that italian too?

    OK... i'm now sifting through everyone's posts and i see many of these questions & ideas have been posted before--- well, these are just my first imrpessions for what they are worth.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    WV
    Posts
    3,645
    Quote Originally Posted by reb
    OK-- i see now, he had a coal trucking business. hhhhhmmmmmm... since there are so many clues pointing to 'group effort'-- i'm thinking a union or mafia thing, definitely. a run-in with teamsters maybe..... or anti-teamsters.. or mob members trying to control the teamsters?

    also, did they immigrate WITH their kids or before they had kids? wondering if they still had active ties in italy, & if the kids were born there...

    and in the article it says "a man was seen taking a block & chain (presumably to throw a body into a lake?) from the sodder's garage- and admitted cutting their electric line-- BUT NEVER WENT TO TRIAL?? can someone please explain this to me.....??? well, who WAS this man? was he arrested on site, and why was he taking stuff out of the garage right in front of them? i am thinking a crowd gathered and he just went in there in all the confusion and took it, thinking the family was dead-- but how did he think he would not be noticed?
    and about the half-photo that was sent to them of one of their sons-- he says "that letter, like all our others, had been opened and resealed"- what does that mean? all their mail was like this? so the local post office was in on it too? i'm wondering now if the mob had such a hold on the town that everyone was terrified to speak out, and to refuse to do their bidding.

    or perhaps the community hated him because his business was successful (was it?), and he was an italian immigrant?

    the phone caller- did she have an italian accent? what was the name she asked for- was that italian too?

    OK... i'm now sifting through everyone's posts and i see many of these questions & ideas have been posted before--- well, these are just my first imrpessions for what they are worth.
    I would suggest that you start at the beginning of thread #1 and read it in it's entirity then read all of thread # 2. I think that you will find answers to all of your questions. Well maybe not the answer but at least where it has been discussed/researched. I honestly don't think that there has been a stone left unturned at this point.
    In answer to your question, "What kind of name is Sodder?" It was changed from Soddu to Sodder upon coming to America.
    We found this post on ancestry.com :

    Re: Family History
    Author: adelaide Date: 23 Aug 2003 12:45 PM GMT
    Surnames: Dessena Adelaide Ignazia Lalla
    Classification: Query

    Our grand father Salvatore Soddu had a brother, is name was Giorgio, he goes in USA west virginia in beginning 1900, he was 16 years old.He changed his surname in Sodder, we have a photo of George family (1960),he had five soons,and his wife's name was Maria Cipriani. We live in Italy, Sardegna in a little village Tula in Sassari's provincia. We are Ignazia,Adelaide e Lalla Dessena our mother is Anna Maria Soddu.Sorry for our english. Is the person that you are looking for? bye bye



    We were never able to establish contact with the person who posted that information.
    Retired 08/03/03

  9. #9
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    Aug 2005
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    Is it possible that they perished in the fire?

  10. #10
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    Mar 2005
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    402
    I think it's always a possibility but they were not found after the fire and that has raised the doubt that they perished.


  11. #11
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    Mar 2005
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    WV - Sodder Family - 5 children, Christmas eve 1945 - #3

    Continue General Discussion here please.


    Missing in WV (Sodder Family) #1

    Missing in WV (Sodder Family) #2

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    189
    Ok just so you guys all know, I am not giving up. But here is what a fire cheif sent me on my inquiry. Again, I have NOT dropped the case. We're still awaiting the photograph of potentially what may have been Betty Sodder.

    Carla,

    Yours is a difficult question to answer for sure without all the facts, but it is not uncommon for very little to remain of the victim of a fire death. So many things contribute to the destruction of items or victims in a fire. The amount of heat generated in a house fire will vary depending upon the contents and construction type. In 1945 the chances are good that this was a wood framed structure and this would often generate a lot of heat. Ultimately, the temperature obtained in a fire will greatly determine the amount of destruction to everything, including people. These days we see different types of body damage to fire victims that range from no burns at all as a result of smoke inhalation, to the extreme almost cremation of the remains. Again, there is no rule of thumb, this is very dependent on the situation. To try and answer your question I would have to say, it is possible that not much of the remains were left. Also remember technology has greatly improved since 1945 in all aspects of firefighting, building construction, and even fire investigation. We may recognize items today that we can define as human remains, whereas in 1945 they may have gone unnoticed or remained covered in debris. Your story is a sad situation that we still see today as my department responded to a fire in Dec 06 with 5 fire deaths including children. I hope this information helped as I tried to answer as best I can without all the facts.

    Scott Schill
    Fire Chief
    Bedington VFD - Martinsburg, WV

  13. #13
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    Apr 2008
    Posts
    189
    All right. I have some unfortunate news. The magazine I thought it might be in has photos of a ballet class, but that ballet class was located in California. So it cannot be right. I can't believe that George would be that wrong about the photo. I'm really starting to become confused, are we sure he saw what he believed to be his daughter in a magazine? From Walt Whitman school? And are we positive this school was located in New York, NY?

  14. #14
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    Apr 2008
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    the reason I ask is because I am not big on conspiracy theories. Please don't try and tell me that every magazine with this photo shoot was destroyed by mobsters, I won't buy it. I mean, and I hate to say this, could it be possible that George was mistaken?

  15. #15
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    Apr 2008
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    Granddaughter, the lead you had we heard about some time ago, have you gotten anywhere with it? Do you know anything new? Anything new can help us.

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