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Thread: WI - Evelyn Hartley: Vanished While Babysitting, 15, La Crosse, 24 Oct 1953

  1. #426
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    I don't remember this angle being covered but it is possible! Maybe like a Lindbergh baby type of case - kidnapping for ransom. Don't know if you got to this part yet but Evelyn and a friend apparently at one point talked about what they would do in a situation very similar to what ended up happening to her and she said she would fight and protect the baby.

  2. #427
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    Quote Originally Posted by marycarney View Post
    Wow- interesting!

    PS I feel undressed without my shoes on - I wear them from the time I get out of the shower in the morning until I get in bed.
    Do you wear them when you visit others' houses? I can't help but wonder why she had her shoes on, especially when it was muddy outside.

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    Ok just read a few pages, went to Youtube to watch. I'm hooked now!

    I was born in 58 but even in the early 60's the big crimes in small town America were peeping toms, however the farmer seemed very plausible to me. The jacket did look like a stain was on the back as if he picked up the girl and had her over his shoulder.

    The shoes, I'm thinking is she heard him enter the house but didn't know what it was, got scared, picked up her shoes in a panic as protection. Instead of picking up something heavy to defend herself, the only thing she thought to grab was her shoes. You have to remember the mindset back in those days. Crime was not wide spread like today, children were still children! I think she started to go towards the sound and saw him, threw one shoe and took off to go upstairs upstairs. Her mind was protecting the baby. He grabs her on the stairs and drags her, she throws the other shoe at him.

    He throws her over his shoulder and heads for the basement. She is fighting him, lost her glasses. I think he walked out the front door, locking it behind him (self locked)

    She is struggling and they both fall down, she takes off and the chase is on. He catches her hits her in the face and knocked unconscious, he places her in the basement well and goes to get his car, he gets her and places her in the trunk and goes home.

    The only other thing that might have been is if she had a boyfriend that nobody knew about. I remember my babysitter in 1960 always had her boyfriend come over or she was talking on the phone. Now granted the time is 7 years earlier but not much. The only problem with this theory is the shoes, if she was expecting a boyfriend, she wouldn't have thrown her shoes, at him. MOO from just watching the Youtube and a few post.


    Edit to add: I remember when I was young and was startled I picked up a hairbrush for protection. So shock, surprise and fear can make a person do something no very reasonable to us. Still you have to remember Children were Children back then.

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  5. #429
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudette View Post
    Do you wear them when you visit others' houses? I can't help but wonder why she had her shoes on, especially when it was muddy outside.
    Yes - I wipe my feet of course, but I wear them all the time. In fact, I had a home care case that wanted me to go barefoot at work (which violates OSHA regulations) and I changed cases rather than comply (for a LOT of reasons, the shoes being only one of them)

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  7. #430
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    After reading this whole thread I really believe that the person or persons who did this were probably after the girl who was previously supposed to babysit-I believe she was the intended target. Or it was a totally and completely random act.
    No regrets! Mistakes are just lessons I needed to learn!

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  9. #431
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    Quote Originally Posted by marycarney View Post
    Wow- interesting!

    PS I feel undressed without my shoes on - I wear them from the time I get out of the shower in the morning until I get in bed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Claudette View Post
    Do you wear them when you visit others' houses? I can't help but wonder why she had her shoes on, especially when it was muddy outside.
    I always wear my shoes...well, they are actually Chaco sandals, but, anyway, I have chronic foot pain/issues, so I pretty much -have- to wear them...I wipe them on the doormat very very very well

    Quote Originally Posted by Lera213 View Post
    Ok just read a few pages, went to Youtube to watch. I'm hooked now!

    I was born in 58 but even in the early 60's the big crimes in small town America were peeping toms, however the farmer seemed very plausible to me. The jacket did look like a stain was on the back as if he picked up the girl and had her over his shoulder.

    The shoes, I'm thinking is she heard him enter the house but didn't know what it was, got scared, picked up her shoes in a panic as protection. Instead of picking up something heavy to defend herself, the only thing she thought to grab was her shoes. You have to remember the mindset back in those days. Crime was not wide spread like today, children were still children! I think she started to go towards the sound and saw him, threw one shoe and took off to go upstairs upstairs. Her mind was protecting the baby. He grabs her on the stairs and drags her, she throws the other shoe at him.

    He throws her over his shoulder and heads for the basement. She is fighting him, lost her glasses. I think he walked out the front door, locking it behind him (self locked)

    She is struggling and they both fall down, she takes off and the chase is on. He catches her hits her in the face and knocked unconscious, he places her in the basement well and goes to get his car, he gets her and places her in the trunk and goes home.

    The only other thing that might have been is if she had a boyfriend that nobody knew about. I remember my babysitter in 1960 always had her boyfriend come over or she was talking on the phone. Now granted the time is 7 years earlier but not much. The only problem with this theory is the shoes, if she was expecting a boyfriend, she wouldn't have thrown her shoes, at him. MOO from just watching the Youtube and a few post.


    Edit to add: I remember when I was young and was startled I picked up a hairbrush for protection. So shock, surprise and fear can make a person do something no very reasonable to us. Still you have to remember Children were Children back then.

    When I was a little one, my cousin and I were at my house alone and thought we heard an intruder upstairs (we were in a basement). I grabbed a little flimsy twirling baton and a bottle of nail polish remover, and we locked ourselves in a room and called the cops. They were very nice about it and kept us on the phone until they got to the house, then they had me run up the stairs to the back door and let them in...they searched the house and no one. I'm quite certain now that it was just the overzealous imaginings of little girls.

    I wish it would have turned out so well for poor Evie I agree the idea of her grabbing the shoes as possible weapon/deterrents is plausible.

    So sad

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  11. #432
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    I agree, too bad it didn't turn out so well for Evie.

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  13. #433
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    What do you all think about the guys at the beginning of the thread, where some guys claimed they killed her. Do you think it is plausible or drunk talk? Personally I was convinced enough to not be sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scheie View Post
    I was born in LaCrosse and my grandparents were close friends of the Hartley's, my grandfather being a chemistry professor at the University.
    My grandparents (Mr & Mrs Lawrence Rowe), along with the Hartleys, the Campbells, and others I can't remember, formed a pot-luck "supper club" that met regularly - and this is how I know and remember the Hartleys.
    I can say they were both exceptionally pleasant, charmingly funny and sweet natured.
    No one in my family, or anyone, ever mentioned or discussed Evelyn in front of them. I was told they had accepted the fact that she was dead and her body would never be found. They had lost another child earlier to polio, which from other stories I have been told, was another entire nightmare affecting many families and spreading fear throughout La Crosse. So the loss of a child was something they were already unfortunately familiar with.
    I also know that there was extensive investigation and searching for Evelyn (or her body) at the time, and the Hartleys were vigorously involved - and that any attempt to portray the Hartleys as being disinterested, or no longer being interested in continuing the investigation, is to discredit their need for closure in mourning the loss of their daughter and moving on with their lives. I also understand that the event generated significant fear throughout the city, which remained for sometime.
    Regarding rumors of what happened that night, I have heard the following theory discussed by my family: The assailant(s) were let into the house by Evelyn under false pretense of car trouble, students looking for Prof. Rasmussen, or some other sympathetic story. Evelyn was smart enough to be aware of potential danger, but kind, and it was believed that appealing to her desire to be helpful would have worked as a way of getting inside the house. It was strongly felt that Evelyn did not know the attacker(s). At some point after this an attack occurred inside the house. Evelyn looses one shoe escaping, and unable to get out of the house (or in an effort to keep the assailant(s) away from the infant), flees (or falls) down the stairs to the basement. Another fight occurs in the basement, either before, or while, Evelyn is trying to escape through the basement window. It is at this point that she is screaming and neighbors look outside and see nothing. She escapes out the basement window (possibly with stab wounds in her back and legs), and is disoriented, rapidly losing blood, possibly about to faint or lose consciousness, she steadies herself from falling leaving a bloody handprint on a house, while she zig-zags across the yards. The attacker(s) leave the house, and pursue and capture her. She is seen by a witness being taken by two people to a car and then being driven from the area. The Gein rumors were frequent - but there were also rumors that this was an act of one or two male college students engaged in a random rape attack, fraternity hazing stunt, or some such that spun disastrously out of control and ended in murder.
    Anyway, I stumbled across this discussion and thought members might be interested to hear this...

    This scenario makes the most sense to me, though it leaves me with some questions.

    It makes "sense" because it's the only reasonable explanation for Evelyn to have exited the basement window. It makes no sense at all for the perp(s) to push/pull her through that window rather than using a door.

    Still, how is it she escaped if there was a fight in the basement? How could she possibly have gotten far enough from the perp(s) and had time enough to climb through the window? Is it possible she managed to injure the perp(s) enough that she had time to escape? Even for a skinny girl, this is not a quick way to exit.

    Did anyone ask Evelyn's father if the ladder was in place when he climbed through the window? He would know this, and it would be useful info. If the ladder wasn't in place when Mr. Hartley climbed in through the window, then no way did Evelyn escape this way.

    If the ladder was in place when Mr. Hartley entered, then it was either there by accident (for painting purposes) or it was placed there by Evelyn when she escaped (taking even more time) or it was placed there by perp-1, for the benefit of perp-2 to enter. I don't think the perp(s) intended Evelyn to go through that window, but they might have thought they themselves might have to exit that way.

    Since the window was, at the time, facing vacant lots, it would have been a reasonable escape route for burglars -it they were only stealing small things (cash, jewelry) but it would have been a silly way to remove a struggling girl.

    I also have trouble believing Mr. Hartley's story. As others have pointed out, he is on the scene about 1/2 hour (or more) before going to a neighboring home and asking the homeowner to call police. How could it possibly have taken that long to find the open basement window? How could it have taken that long to determine something was wrong, when he must have been able to look through the picture window and seen evidence of a struggle? In fairness, I suppose the mind does not immediately jump to the conclusion that foul play occurred, so maybe he thought Evelyn had stepped on her glasses and stumbled around a bit, and was injured or sick - something along those lines. I also find it odd that he doesn't call from the home where Evelyn was babysitting -it would be so much quicker than searching for a neighbor to call. And why would he assume the perp(s) would have been using the phone, thus leaving fingerprints ? That was his excuse for going to the neighbors, he didn't want to disturb fingerprint evidence on the phone.

    Of course, we really don't know that Hartley entered the home at all (until after police arrived) do we? I mean, we only have his say so. I'm not making any accusations, just stating that as far as I can tell, we just have his word for it.
    I'm just playing detective here. I have no idea who killed JonBenet. It's just an opinion.

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  16. #435
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    Re: Missing bloody clothes: Probably an animal. Right? I had a dog growing uP who would dig in the trash for pads. :S

    And there WAS blood in the house, wasnt there? 2 drops on the living room carpet?

    And if it was a fraternity hazing thing, wouldn't it be obvious that the hazers were not at the homecoming game?

    And if her parents were surprised she was babysitting and not attending the game, wouldn't they have asked her about it? Did they?

    Did the families remain friends?

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  18. #436
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    I don't suspect the dad because of the phone calls. The rule was always that she would talk to her parents an hour into babysitting. Her parents were both home waiting for the call. Something happened while her family was home, her dad's presence witnessed by her mother and probably all of her siblings.

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  20. #437
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claudette View Post
    I don't suspect the dad because of the phone calls. The rule was always that she would talk to her parents an hour into babysitting. Her parents were both home waiting for the call. Something happened while her family was home, her dad's presence witnessed by her mother and probably all of her siblings.
    Good points. I still find it strange that it took him so long to enter the house, and that he didn't call from the house. But, you never know how people will react in a crisis.
    I'm just playing detective here. I have no idea who killed JonBenet. It's just an opinion.

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  22. #438
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sally Kimball View Post
    I read part of this thread but it is long and now my kids are asleep and the house is quiet and it is freaking me out.

    But-

    Did anyone wonder about the family whose house it was being involved?

    Did anyone wonder if the basement window was used/going to be used because they were going to take the baby instead of Evelyn? And maybe she fought to defend the baby?

    All these people who just disappear...it makes me sad and a little afraid.

    The only issue I have with the baby thing is them leaving the baby - if someone broke into the home to take a child it doesnt seem likely that they would leave the child but take Evelyn.

    It was reported that the baby was in its cruib uncovered which meant that Evelyn was taken nearly as soon as the family left because the mother told her to cover the baby about 15 minutes after they left and it wasnt covered.

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  24. #439
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrishope View Post
    Good points. I still find it strange that it took him so long to enter the house, and that he didn't call from the house. But, you never know how people will react in a crisis.
    The big thing I dont understand about the father issue is him seeing that something is obviously wrong but decides to seek an open window until he finds the basement is unlocked and climbs through that window - why not rush to the neighbors house to call the police THEN come back and go through the window once help is on the way.

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  26. #440
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    Okay - I read through the entire thread (whew!).

    I'd like to explore the substitute babysitter/boyfriend angle. Perhaps she filled in for a friend because the friend knew a (ex?)boyfriend would be showing up. Her friend wanted to tell the boy she wouldn't be babysitting that night. The boy doesn't believe her and shows up anyway. This would go along with the family's belief that Evelyn opened the door. She would have opened the door willingly for this person. (Ex) Boyfriend is not happy that friend is not babysitting. Some kind of struggle ensues similar to what the family theorizes. (Ex) Boyfriends knocks her unconcious and bleeding on the lawn. (This is where my theory gets a little bit out there...I admit). Could the boy called his father (or friend) in a panic? Boy and father lead Eveylyn to father's car. Father or friend helps him dispose of body. Not really sure why they would dispose of the clothing. This would make sense about why the jacket appeared freshly laundered and cared for in a family wash. If the mother and father knew what happened, they would protect their son. Think Joran Van der Sloot. Just a few thoughts. Sitting here typing this, I am shooting all kind of holes in this. As others have stated, I would like to know more about the friend she filled in for and how thoroughly she was questioned.

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  28. #441
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    Talking about the windows....................

    I might be way off base with this but I wonder if Evelyn ran to the basement trying to escape someone who came in the door. Maybe she opened the door to him or maybe she left it unlocked and he entered the house. She might have tried to get out the window. It is very hard to climb in one of these. She might have been trying to escape not knowing someone was outside.


    Go to : windows.http://www.torontowindowsanddoors.ca/pic-gallery.htm

    Just a thought.

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  30. #442
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    I don't know how "blind" she was without her glasses. Perhaps her glasses were knocked off in the struggle. She thought she was running out the front door when she was really going down the basement.

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  32. #443
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    Quote Originally Posted by KariKae View Post
    I don't know how "blind" she was without her glasses. Perhaps her glasses were knocked off in the struggle. She thought she was running out the front door when she was really going down the basement.
    I wonder if she fell down the stairs and was injured for the reason mentioned above.

    Unless specified otherwise and linked, my posts are simply random thoughts of mine, in no particular order, not directed at any post or poster, including but not limited to the ones directly above mine. My opinion only, yours may vary. IMO. JMO. IMHO. JMHO. MOO. Disclaimer, small print, asterisk, and etc.

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  34. #444
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    Who was 'Gus' the old friend that supposedly helped Ed Gein ?

    There's reference here to him [ame="http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Gein"]Ed Gein - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

    Could Gus have been the accomplice who helped kidnap Evelyn ? It would be interesting to know if such a person was working in the area as a steeplejack or farmer driving farm equipment.

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  36. #445
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    Cold case playing cards used in Evelyn Hartley's case and other cold cases in Wisconsin.


    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/loca...cc4c002e0.html
    Please Help Find Brian Shaffer!



    www.findbrianshaffer.com

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  38. #446
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    Quote Originally Posted by flourish View Post
    I wonder if she fell down the stairs and was injured for the reason mentioned above.
    Since there was no blood inside the home it seems she was wounded directly after running out of the home - any wounds that she may have inside them home would have been of the non bleeding sort.

    The whole thing leaves me confused really - either the person doing this didnt intend to hurt her or intended to harm her within the home. Otherwise it just seems really sloppy to me - why would the person that did this not have a better plan in place if he intended to take her with him or kill her outside? The car was far away, he laid her bleeding body in a window well for 15+ minutes (the amount of blood in the window well suggested she was there 15 or so minutes) while he presumably went to get his car and even more baffling - why take a profusely bleeding person with them?

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  40. #447
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    Do you think she was unconscious for about 15 minutes & maybe that's how the abductor got her to lay still outside the window? Cause if I was being abducted I'd run if I could. I wondered if maybe she had a head wound which bleeds much more rapidly & she might not have been lying there that long. I say that because someone saw an older man sort of dragging a girl across the lawn, so she was somewhat able to walk with support it sounds like. If she had a cut on her head she might have lost 15 minutes worth of blood in much less time, in other words.

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  42. #448
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogperson View Post
    Do you think she was unconscious for about 15 minutes & maybe that's how the abductor got her to lay still outside the window? Cause if I was being abducted I'd run if I could. I wondered if maybe she had a head wound which bleeds much more rapidly & she might not have been lying there that long. I say that because someone saw an older man sort of dragging a girl across the lawn, so she was somewhat able to walk with support it sounds like. If she had a cut on her head she might have lost 15 minutes worth of blood in much less time, in other words.
    There was some sort of struggle once she was able to get out of the front door that ended up causing massive bleeding - since there was no blood inside we can only assume that she was wounded once she left the home. There was bloody hand print smears on the house next door so we know she at least got that far alive.

    From the huge blood loss she likely would have either been dead or very close to it; there was so much blood outside that when her mother was brought to the scene the first time she broke down in hysterics after seeing the amount of blood because she said she knew Evelyn couldnt have lived after losing that much blood. Anyway you look at it theres no way Evelyn would have been able to put up much of a fight after being wounded like that and would have stayed put wherever she was left.

    I have to think the person that did this wasnt thinking the result would be murder - he had the upper hand in the home; one can only assume that he would have been armed within the home and used whatever weapon he brought as a threat to keep her quiet once she saw him. He would have been ready to pounce the moment he saw her while she would have been stunned for at least a few seconds - had he wanted to harm her why not do it then? Its much smarter to wound someone in a controlled environment (inside the home) vs wounding someone outside and taking the huge risk of someone seeing you.

    Also, what reason would someone have to take her with him when she was bleeding so heavily? Just her bleeding all over the car would be off putting for the person doing it but what do you gain bringing her? It seems to me the person that did this never expected to hurt her and once she DID get hurt and was bleeding he didnt know what to do - he could have killed her and left here there didnt. Its possible that he couldnt kill her but also couldnt risk her ID'ing him so he took her with him in a panic trying to buy more time to figure out what to do.

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  44. #449
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    It has been 58 years..where is Evelyn?????? Still have hope someday this will be solved...

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  46. #450
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    Watching a video on this on youtube and they mention the family only lived there for 3 months. I wonder who lived there before?

    Secondly - there were footprints near other houses in the basement window areas...

    Thirdly one commenter thinks Bufford Sennet is likely culprit.

    Fascinating special - shows the house and crime scene photos

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