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  1. #16
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    Feb 2004
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    Book no longer in the works

    Not sure how many members here are interested in this case like I am, but I though I'd mention I learned that the book that was being written about Evelyn is no longer in the works. I was told the person sponsoring it ran out of money. I am disappointed as I think it would have been an interesting book and maybe could have helped solve the case (small chance but the more an old case like this is kept in the media the better chance of maybe someone coming forward with any info, if there is any.) Maybe someone else can take over as it appeared the writers worked hard at it and it's a shame to see that work go to waste.

  2. #17
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    Hi I am just wondering not only why they took her out the basement window, why did they hurt her so badly in kidnapping her? What I mean is when someone is kidnapped they usually hurt them after they kidnap them. So what was the point? if there were two of them like they think and they took her by surprise they could have easily overpowered her and taken her out the front door.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TisHerself
    Hi I am just wondering not only why they took her out the basement window, why did they hurt her so badly in kidnapping her? What I mean is when someone is kidnapped they usually hurt them after they kidnap them. So what was the point? if there were two of them like they think and they took her by surprise they could have easily overpowered her and taken her out the front door.
    I've always wondered that too . My guess is maybe they didn't mean to hurt her so badly at that point, but they wanted to silence her (several neighbors reported screaming at about 7:15 pm but dismissed it as children playing ,which I think they meant older children and /or teenagers, since it was after dark and and it was the college homecoming night), and hit her too hard or something to that effect. The fact that blood was splashed against a neighbors house also shows possible signs of a struggle. It appears Evelyn did scream for her life, and even after being injured had lurched up against the neighbors house in trying to break free or in a semiconcious state.

    These questions and many more are part of why Evelyn's disappearance has not been forgotten by LaCrosse residents. As a paragraph in "Getting Away with Murder "by Ed Baumann puts it
    "October 24, 1953 will most be remembered (around LaCrosse) as the night a bright young bobby-soxer names Evelyn Grace Hartley disappeared in a horrible splash of blood, leaving behind her jacket, glasses and shoes.The tragic disappearance of the 15 year old babysitter remains Wisconsin's number one unsolved mystery. And the ghastly fate she quite possibly met is almost beyond human comprehension."

    Evelyn forever vanished into the darkness, leaving behind many unanswered questions.

  4. #19
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    Feb 2004
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    Book on Evelyn Hartley 1953 Disappearance Coming Out This Fall

    I just read in the LaCrosse Tribune that the book on Evelyn Hartley, 15 year old babysitter who was abducted in 1953 from LaCrosse Wi and never found is finally coming out.

    Link to article:

    http://www.lacrossetribune.com/artic...ews/00lead.txt

  5. #20
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    Feb 2004
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    Link to Evelyn's case on The Charley Project:

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

  6. #21
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    Apr 2005
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    joellegirl-I'm impressed with your knowledge of this case. Do you know if anything was ever heard or found of the two girls (16 year-old Helen Owens and 15 year-old Barbara Brown) who disappeared from Rhinelander, 200 miles from Lacrosse, the week before Evelyn vanished?

    I look forward to the book.

  7. #22
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    I was very very young when I first heard about Evelyn, and her case is what sparked my interest in unsolved disappearances. I have family who lived in LaCrosse at that time (and still do live there), so that is how I first learned about the mystery of Evelyn Hartley. I have researched her case for years, seen the house (from the outside)she was abducted from, and the house she lived in. I am very glad the book will be finally coming out this fall.

    Shadowangel, amazingly I have never heard of those two missing girls from Rhinelander. That is very interesting. Do you have more details? I have a vague memory of reading about another missing girl in Wisconsin around that time but I can't remember her name. I wonder if these two girls were found shortly after? I know there was a very extensive search for Evelyn and things were done like opening new graves to see if she had been buried in one, so I think they would have looked into the case of the two missing girls as a connection. Where did you first read about the two girls?

    Thanks for posting!

  8. #23
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    The story of the two girls was basically a footnote to an article about Evelyn when her disappearance occured. As the article goes, the two girls were hitching a ride with three boys when the car they were travelling in had a flat tire. The three boys left the girls and went to get the tire repaired. When they returned, the girls were gone.A later article, a few weeks into the Hartley investigation, stated the sherriff believed the girls had ran off to Milwaukee, since one of the girls had once mentioned to a friend that she would like to go to Milwaukee.
    How's that an in-depth investigation? Seems like the typical '50s good girls wouldn't ride with boys anyway thing to me...

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    The story of the two girls was basically a footnote to an article about Evelyn when her disappearance occured. As the article goes, the two girls were hitching a ride with three boys when the car they were travelling in had a flat tire. The three boys left the girls and went to get the tire repaired. When they returned, the girls were gone.A later article, a few weeks into the Hartley investigation, stated the sherriff believed the girls had ran off to Milwaukee, since one of the girls had once mentioned to a friend that she would like to go to Milwaukee.
    How's that an in-depth investigation? Seems like the typical '50s good girls wouldn't ride with boys anyway thing to me...
    Very interesting. I must have missed this story in all my Evelyn Hartley research. Is it in Newspaper Archives? I only had a brief membership and remember lots of Hartley articles. I sure hope their disappearance was given more attention that it appears and that they were found. I did a google search but didn't find anything.

  10. #25
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    Yes, the articles were in NewspaperArchives.com. I couldn't find anything further. I can try to link the articles somehow.

    Is it true that the only door or window found open was the one used by the kidnapper?


  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    Yes, the articles were in NewspaperArchives.com. I couldn't find anything further. I can try to link the articles somehow.

    Is it true that the only door or window found open was the one used by the kidnapper?
    Yes, when Evelyn's father went to check on her,(because she hadn't phoned home as was her usual practice an hour into her babysitting job-after two hours he went to see why she wasn't answering the phone) he found all the doors and windows locked. As he walked around the house he found a side basement window gaping open. That is how the father entered the house. He saw one of Evelyn's shoes at the foot of the stairs, then when he went upstairs, all the lights were still on, the radio playing, and Evelyn's other shoe and eyeglasses on the carpet. There was fresh mud on the carpet and obvious signs of a struggle. After finding the baby unharmed in her crib, he called police and they found the blood outside by the basement window as they shined their flashlights around. The next morning a trail of blood zig zagging through yards was found and it ended at the street. Another splash of blood was found on the side of another house. It is believed Evelyn was badly injured as she was pushed out of the basement window, perhaps someone struck her head. That is why it is believed it is very possible there were at least two abductors. While one had a hold of her and pushed her out the window, the other was waiting to pounce on her. Neighbors did hear screams, but looked out their window and didn't see anything(it was dark by then) and dismissed it as children playing.

    I've never understood why the abductor(s) dragged Evelyn back down into the basement and out that window. Why didn't they use the front or back door?

    I believe the book, "Where's Evelyn" has some crime scene pictures in it (shoes and eyeglasses on floor...). I saw a newsclip from a LaCrosse tv station (online) and they were paging through the book. I have ordered the book, but it is not due out until next month.
    Last edited by joellegirl; 08-24-2005 at 11:55 PM. Reason: typos

  12. #27
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    A very curious circumstance, this...to quote Poe. I read several articles on the case, and what is available on the web. Why would this one window be open? A house in 1953 would, most likely, have casement windows with locks on top, which are virtually impossible to open from outside. Breaking the window I can understand. Was it ever considered a possibility that Evelyn was expecting a visitor that night? One difficulty in checking into this case is the newspapers' tendency to write opinion in place of fact. If one were to believe the stories of the time, every girl in America was a virgin until the age of 30 (with the exception of the tramps who rode in cars with boys...)

    It appeared to me that the police were primarily concerned with stranger abduction, most especially Ed Gein (who I seriously doubt had anything to do with this, as he concentrated on "replacements" for his mother for victims and was about the same size as Evelyn was at the time...)

  13. #28
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    Ed Gein

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowangel
    A very curious circumstance, this...to quote Poe. I read several articles on the case, and what is available on the web. Why would this one window be open? A house in 1953 would, most likely, have casement windows with locks on top, which are virtually impossible to open from outside. Breaking the window I can understand. Was it ever considered a possibility that Evelyn was expecting a visitor that night? One difficulty in checking into this case is the newspapers' tendency to write opinion in place of fact. If one were to believe the stories of the time, every girl in America was a virgin until the age of 30 (with the exception of the tramps who rode in cars with boys...)

    It appeared to me that the police were primarily concerned with stranger abduction, most especially Ed Gein (who I seriously doubt had anything to do with this, as he concentrated on "replacements" for his mother for victims and was about the same size as Evelyn was at the time...)
    Police, at the time of Evelyn's 1953 disappearance, did not know anything about Ed Gein. He was arrested in 1957 for the murder of Bernice Worden, a 58 year-old woman who disappeared in 1957. When arrested, Gein talked freely about the many bodies and body parts found in his home - most of which had been stolen from graves in cemeteries. There were at least 15 bodies found in his home. He also confessed to the 1954 murder of Mary Hogan, whom he had shot and beheaded. Although police suspected him of at least three other murders, Gein claimed that he had not killed anyone else. Ed Gein was declared criminally insane and spent the next 27 years of his life in a state mental holpital, where he died of natural causes in 1984.

    The circumstances of Evelyn's disappearance would indicate that at least two persons were involved in her abduction. It is indeed strange that an intruder would enter a basement window and then force her out through that same window, rather than exiting more quickly and easily through a door. To get her out of the basement and for her not to run away, she would have had to have been subdued by an accomplice outside. Also, the perpetrator who entered the house would probably have needed a hand to get out of the basement window himself.

    A blood trail which went through several yards would indicate a cut artery or a head wound which continued to bleed profusely. An experienced deer hunter and tracker would have been able to identify the type of wound, and whether the person were running, walking, or being dragged. It is likely that she was guided by her abductor(s) to a waiting vehicle and driven away if the blood trail ended abruptly.

    The abductor would have been fairly agile and strong to have entered the house as he did, and to drag a struggling girl down the stairs and out a basement window. The likelyhood of an accomplice would tend to argue against Gein being the perpetrator.

  14. #29
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    About the one and only window being open I'm guessing maybe it was an oversight by the homeowner. I do believe the home was brand new and they had just moved in recently. That is the reason the ground was so muddy.

    Police found pry marks on one of the bedroom windows, so it appears the abductors tried other windows first. Maybe this basement window was accidentally not locked all the way and it wasn't hard to open.

    I believe the police looked into the possibility that the abductor(s) may have been a boyfriend or classmate. According to Evelyn's parents and friends, she didn't have a boyfriend at that time and had only had a few dates prior. Of course 15 year old girls can be full of secrets and she may have a had a boyfriend, but I guess they were just going on her personality profile that everyone gave. She was an honor student, involved in various school activites, was friendly but quiet and appeared quite mature and dependable. Her family appeared close and on top of what their daughter was up to, but of course anything is possible. Because of the police thinking it may have been a male classmate, they conducted lie detector tests on all junior and senior boys the following spring. Nothing came of that. It really appeared that she was not expecting anyone, with all those signs of a violent struggle, or at the very least if she were expecting someone she didn't think she would be harmed.

    I have never thought the abductor was Ed Gein. As other posters have mentioned, Evelyn just wasn't his type of victim,I don't think he would have been able to subdue her himself, he denied involvement in her case, and it just seems too easy and simple-blame every Wisconsin mystery on Ed Gein. And as Richard mentioned, Ed Gein was unknown to police in 1953, so he wasn't thought of until 1957 when his grisly crimes were discovered.



    Part of the mystery is trying to figure if this was a total random abduction or someone had been stalking Evelyn and waited for the right moment.

    Even though the neighborhood was brand new, like something out of "Leave it to Beaver"--full of young families, bad things can happen anywhere.
    Last edited by joellegirl; 08-25-2005 at 11:32 AM. Reason: typos

  15. #30
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    Book is Available Now

    "Where's Evelyn" is now available. I have my copy and have read it. It is a very good solid account of Evelyn's disapperance, the aftermath etc. Also includes many pictures, and remembrances from friends and classmates etc.. You get to learn more about who Evelyn was, not just that she is someone who disappeared.

    The book also covers some new clues.

    I highly reccomend this book if you are interested in Evelyn's disapperance, and even if you are simply interested in any very old unsolved cold case.

    Contact Susan Hessel, (the author) at shessel3248@charter.net, if you are interested in purchasing a copy.

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