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  1. #1
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    LA - Robert Clarence 'Bobby' Dunbar, 4, Opelousas, 23 Aug 1912

    After 90 years, a man's name is cleared, a lost boy comes home
    The Associated Press
    Ninety years ago, William Cantwell Walters was convicted of kidnapping little Bobby Dunbar. On Saturday, Robert Dunbar Jr. announced at a Walters family reunion that their ancestor was innocent.

    A DNA test proved that the 4-year-old boy taken from Walters nine decades ago and handed over to an Opelousas, La., couple was not Bobby Dunbar. More than likely, he was a Robeson County child entrusted to Walters by the woman who cared for his aged parents.

    "It doesn't say who I am, but it does say more than likely T.P. Dunbar is not my grandfather," Robert Dunbar Jr. told those who gathered for the reunion on the banks of the Lumber River. "This adventure continues." --->>

    Bobby Dunbar disappeared Aug. 23, 1912, during a fishing trip on Swayze Lake near Opelousas. Eight months later, Walters, an itinerant handyman from Barnesville near the South Carolina line, was arrested in Mississippi while traveling in a tented wagon with a boy who fit Bobby's description.

    Walters maintained that the boy was Charlie Bruce Anderson, the illegitimate son of his brother and Julia Anderson. Julia Anderson was brought to Mississippi and identified the boy as her Bruce, but a court-appointed arbiter ruled that he was Percy and Lessie Dunbar's missing son.

    Walters was convicted of kidnapping in April 1914 in a sensational trial, but the verdict was overturned on appeal. He was never retried, and the boy grew up a Dunbar
    .--->>

    http://www.wilmingtonstar.com/apps/p...26&cachetime=5

  2. #2
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    "William Walters was tried and found guilty, but he was innocent," she told those who came, drawing applause. "The science proves it."

    For years, Julia Anderson's eight other children held tight to the belief that their brother was stolen away from them. Now, one boy has been found, and another lost.

    "What happened to Bobby?" said Cutright. "I believe he drowned in the jungle."


    ~~~~~
    What a story! lasted for decades and still a mystery.

  3. #3
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    I heard about this case back in 2004, but I didn't find a picture of Bobby until now. He's now profiled on the Charley Project.

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/...ar_robert.html

  4. #4
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    LA - Robert Clarence "Bobby" Dunbar, 4, Opelousas, 23 Aug 1912

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/...ar_robert.html

    This is an unbelievably tragic case, affecting two families. I doubt the real Bobby Dunbar will ever be found -- it sounds like he probably drowned -- but he's worth remembering.

  5. #5
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    That really is a strange case. The parents had to know that this boy was not their child, but they kept him anyway.

  6. #6
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    HUH?

    Im so confused, break it down for me.

    A child is missing, a child is found, a child is returned to the parents, but its not the right kid.....?

    Did I read that right?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by teonspaleprincess View Post
    That really is a strange case. The parents had to know that this boy was not their child, but they kept him anyway.
    I have to agree... it says "a 4 year old child" was returned to his parents, yet only 8 months passed since he disappeared... the parents HAD to know that it wasn't their son...

    “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

  8. #8
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    I don't think so. I've seen cases where the parents were so desperate to believe they had their kid back, they believed a certain person was their child, in the face of all the evidence. In one case a boy showed up claiming to be a missing child, and he had an accent and the wrong color eyes and hair, and the missing boy's mom still believed. It wasn't for months that the individual's true identity was determined by fingerprints. He turned out to be a scam artist. The missing boy is still missing. http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/..._nicholas.html

  9. #9
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    SewingDeb is offline "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."
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  10. #10
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    i dont think that the boy was a scam artist. initially he told the investigators that he was Charlie Bruce Anderson (which was what William Walters and Julia also stated). however, he was pretty young at the time, just a kid. i think that after being told by SOOO many people that he was really bobby dunbar and that Walters had kidnapped him, he began to believe it himself and make up memories to fill in the gaps. this wouldn't be the first time this has happened. often people talk about lost memories, however, people can make up memories as well.


  11. #11
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    i found this. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstrac...649D946396D6CF

    it opens a pdf that has a photo of the newspaper article. not good news for anybody.

    i knew someone who lost 3 children in the pearl river in the '50s. it took months to find them, and the mama went out of her mind. she saw their faces in every child she saw, even black and indian children. she died a few years ago, still searching for her babies, even though they had been found dead, and she was told. if someone had told her that any of those "recognized' children were hers, she would have believed it. poor miss emma

    maybe she found them in heaven.

  12. #12
    SewingDeb's Avatar
    SewingDeb is offline "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."
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    I am sure she did.

    How sad for Bobby Dunbar and for the woman searching every face for her babies.

  13. #13
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    I am guessing they were so grief stricken that they just convinced themselves her was their child. HOw very sad for all involved.

  14. #14
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    I'm not claiming the fake Bobby Dunbar was a scam artist. He was too young to form the intent for that kind of thing; he was just a very confused little boy whose life was turned upside down and he was probably the biggest victim in all of this. When I spoke of scam artists I was referring to the adult man who pretended to be Nicholas Barclay.

    I think chances are the real Bobby Dunbar died, probably drowned or something, on the day of his disappearance.

  15. #15
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    This American Life just did an episode on this, this week. It's available to listen to free at http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=352 .

    (I've been lurking here a week and read this thread the other day. Imagine my surprise when I heard it on the radio while I was driving yesterday!)

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