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  1. #16
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    Apr 2008
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    http://www.jstandard.com/articles/1436/1/Local-woman-takes-%91Pride%92-in-her-childhood

    Can somebody find photos related to this children's home? I am beginning to wonder if Betty had been placed in an orphanage if she was taken.

  2. #17
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    Mar 2005
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  3. #18
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    Oct 2005
    Location
    Virginia West
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    Quote Originally Posted by catsy101 View Post
    could it be possible that George was mistaken?
    The picture is a mystery to me also. But I know it is out there somewhere. My mind keeps coming up with the fact that there were children in the May 14, 1946, Look Magazine that were art students. Now I that I have moved, I have lost track of my magazine, but I definately want to find it to look again. I know there isn't a mistake as to it being a ballet class, but isn't it odd that there are actually small children in that issue?

  4. #19
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    Apr 2008
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    Just sent them a photo of the real Betty Sodder. They can use this to compare it to photos they have there, and can also circulate it to people who stayed there at the time, they can see if they knew or remember her, or even maybe still know her.

  5. #20
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    Apr 2008
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    189
    And if she stayed there, they might even circulate it to her.

  6. #21
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    Apr 2008
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    189
    Fox, if you can find your magazine, would you please post some of the photos for us to see? I am trying to get a feel of the look of their magazine, the feel of it, etc.

  7. #22
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    Oct 2005
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    Virginia West
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    Quote Originally Posted by catsy101 View Post
    Fox, if you can find your magazine, would you please post some of the photos for us to see? I am trying to get a feel of the look of their magazine, the feel of it, etc.
    I will look for it, but it will be next week before I can get to it. Can't download the picture but could copy and send it to someone who could. My printer and scanner are not set up yet.

  8. #23
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    Apr 2008
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    189
    Thank you fox.

  9. #24
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    Apr 2008
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    189
    I asked the fire dept about the questions Marian had in her letter I have on my comp. Here are their answers.

    Carla,

    Again, I do not like to speculate but will try and answer your questions as best I can.

    1. There was no screaming from the children. Is this typical?
    If the children died in their sleep from smoke inhalation there would most likely be no screaming.

    2. We could not smell any burning flesh, something we are sure that with five children we would have smelled. Could a strong wind have totally taken that away?
    I was not around in 45 to know for sure, but I have been on many fatal fires in today's type of construction materials. There are so many different fumes and odors present at a fire scene due to the many types of materials that have burned, you may or may not get a distinctive flesh odor, more often than not we just smell burned odors from plastics, paint, household chemicals and things like that.

    3. The fire is believed to have begun on the roof, yet we were told that this fire was due to electrical. I would think the fire would have started in the walls had it been due to a fire. What do you think?
    I cannot speculate on this one, but I will say electrical wires often traveled in attic areas and inner roof supports in older balloon frame construction. I have also seen lightning start fires on roof areas.

    4. We were told as stated above that this fire was due to faulty electrical problems, yet the lights of our home remained lit, even as the fire progressed. Have you ever witnessed such an event, where although it was an electrical fire, the lights stayed on throughout most of the fire? If you have, would you say this is typical?
    What I do know is that even in older home wiring, homes were divided into different circuits, often fused in those days, mostly breakers these days. Based on that school of thought it would be possible to have 1 circuit short out or blow the fuse, and the power remain on in a different circuit of the house. Many times we arrive to find the main power is still live during the process of us fighting the fire, that is why we often request the power company to expedite. Sometimes even after the fire burns the main feed wire into, the wire falls to the ground and is still live from that point to the pole, sometimes even arcing or jumping around.

    Once again, I can image how bad this experience would have been for the family, and I know they have doubts and or hopes as to the outcome. I realize they are searching for the truth as to what really happened, and I really don't think that can truly be determined at this point over 50 years later. So many things have changed since then, included the training we receive to investigate fires, and DNA and forensic testing. Fire departments in those days, especially rural departments just were not trained at the levels we are today, and they did not have the equipment or resources that we have now. Even with modern technology, and a highly trained and skilled investigator such as a fire marshal, sometimes even today we do not always know for sure exactly what happened on every fire. As a fire chief and almost 30 years of experience I can recognize the pain of the family with unanswered questions. I would remind them that even through we can never go back and change what happened that night, they can take steps to prevent this from happening again by installing smoke detectors and recognize signs of faulty wiring or other hazards. Again I am sorry for your loss.

    Scott Schill
    Fire Chief
    Bedington VFD - Martinsburg, WV

  10. #25
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    Apr 2008
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    189
    I have not given up. I want to prove that either the children DID die or DID NOT die in that fire. If they did, I think we need some definite proof, not just a possibility or a probability. If they did not, we need to find out what happened to them, why they never came back, and what they know, IE --- If we find one of them, do they know what happened to their brothers or sisters?


  11. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    47

    Reporter Notes from 1951

    My mom thought you might be interested in the attached document. I have not seen in elsewhere before. We calculated the date as approximately 1951 based on the comment on page 3 that "Maurice would now be 20 years old."
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #27
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    Oct 2006
    Location
    Papillion Nebraska
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granddaughter View Post
    My mom thought you might be interested in the attached document. I have not seen in elsewhere before. We calculated the date as approximately 1951 based on the comment on page 3 that "Maurice would now be 20 years old."
    Thank you for posting this Granddaughter! This confirms some of the things I have been saying all along. The house burned to the ground in about 35 minutes. Which tells you that the fire burned hot and fast BUT not long enough to cremate the children's bodies and even if they died of smoke inhalation there would have been some bones left there after the fire. It also says the Mafia was probably involved I am sure that's the reason the people that investigated this did a very poor job. They knew why and how it happened and weren't about to risk their own lives. I wish we could talk to someone that was living around the area when it happened. This many years later they might be willing to talk.

  13. #28
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    Apr 2008
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    189
    Do we have any people in West Virginia? If we do, we could have someone go door to door. Someone who has lived there their whole lives, and was in their teens or early twenties at the time, may still be alive and may be willing to talk. Or families of the people there at the time.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    FL
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    254
    Hi everyone. This is my 1st post, so I'm sorry it's so long. I just have a lot of questions I've been wanting to ask, mainly about the Cipriani side of the family, and I was hoping maybe Granddaughter could ask her mother about it.

    I don't want to sound like I'm accusing anyone, especially part of their family, but since Mr. Sodder went all the way to FL to try to get answers and didn't get them, I think it's worth exploring. If they were involved, it may have been to protect them as others have suggested.

    Why was the man who threatened them before the fire upset that Mr. Sodder wouldn't settle his father-in-law's estate? Had there been a falling out between Mrs. Sodder and her family, maybe after her father's death? Were they contesting the will? Why did this man care? Was he an attorney for any of the Ciprianis or connected to them in any other way? Did the Ciprianis have pull with the other leaders of the community? Do you think they had mob ties?

    Why were the 2 oldest sons listed twice in the 1930 census, shown living with both the Sodders and Ciprianis? Did they live with their grandparents a while, or did they spend of lot of time staying there?

    Could "I love brother Frankie" be referring to to Frank Cipriani, or maybe his son, Frank Jr.? Could one of Jennie's other siblings sent it, and maybe written that as an explanation for not doing anything to stop it or to let her know where their loyalty still lies? Or maybe one of the Cipriani or Sodder kids wrote it about Frank Jr. just playing around.

    I would think Mr. Sodder's trip to FL would have strained the relationship with Frank's branch of the family, but I hoped Sylvia could share what the relationship was like overall with the Ciprianis as she grew up. Were they close to her grandmother? What about her aunts and uncles?

    I think if they were involved it could explain why the kids never came back, especially if they were convinced the mob killed the rest of their family, and that relatives saved them and changed their identities to protect them.

    Am I completely off-track?

  15. #30
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    Oct 2006
    Location
    Papillion Nebraska
    Posts
    800
    I don't think you are off at all. Anything is possible. You have brought up some interesting questions.

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