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  1. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    There are many men who aren't thrilled about the idea of raising another man's child, and I think it's certainly possible MA gave Joseph up because of this. She hadn't had much luck with men up to that point, even considering how young she still was. But I struggle with her being aware of where...
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    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    He did die from the head injury, which I suppose could have happened in a fall (although unlike adults, kids seem to "bounce" and escape serious injury when falling down even entire flights of stairs). But there were so many same-aged bruises all over different parts of his body, a single...
  3. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    I don't doubt Martha had a hard life, but I've never heard anything that comes close to convincing me she knew Joseph. Which is not to say she didn't convince herself she did.
  4. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    I keep seeing people say there are "compelling" details indicating Martha's story is true. But when I ask what those details are, I never hear anything but "baked beans", and of course there was no food at all in Joseph's stomach. What details do you believe confirm Martha's story?
  5. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    What information did she have that the police held back? I'm not sure they held much, if anything, back.
  6. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    I am not saying it's impossible. I'm sure there were a few girls who dressed like boys despite the rather strict conventions of the day. It's just not very likely, and M's story is simply not compelling overall.
  7. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    I've never believed Martha's story. No matter what anyone may try to claim, girls in 1957 didn't look like boys. And I don't believe anyone would be dumb enough to be that obvious in disposing of a body in a large box. He was almost certainly brought by car as I can't imagine how else someone...
  8. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    I agree that the box and Joseph probably arrived at the dumping site together. Considering it's overall good condition, it hadn't been in the winter elements very long. Of course, this doesn't mean the perp had the actual bassinet. The box could have been plucked from someone else's trash when...
  9. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    You'll need to look up the ME report which I'm sure you can find. I read it in the book The Boy In The Box. His stomach was completely empty and the examiner said he hadn't eaten in several hours. There was a very small amount of brown substance found in his esophagus which may have been...
  10. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    The medical examiner said x-rays revealed no present or prior fractures.
  11. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    There were no baked beans in Joseph's system. Not a one.
  12. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    Although one may not have been totally necessary in a large urban area like Philly, since 1929 the majority of Americans have owned cars and car ownership was the norm by the 1950s.
  13. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    I think it's worth keeping in mind that a much higher percentage of premature babies didn't survive back in 1953 so there would be far fewer in the baseline than today. Not that a full term baby can't develop a hernia. Also, I don't think surgical intervention was an option for babies with...
  14. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    This case does seem to lend itself to wilder speculation than most, I suspect because there is so little concrete evidence. And I agree, speculation can be like a game of telephone when there is not much to go on. "Baked beans" in his stomach being a fact is one example. In reality, there was...
  15. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    Only Martha mentioned baked beans. Joseph's stomach was empty, although a small amount unidentified brown substance was found in his esophagus. This information was not withheld; someone studying the case could have easily come across this detail.
  16. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    Of course, Joseph had a different father and we don't know whether Gus and/or Joseph were Rh positive or negative. So it's impossible to know whether there was even a possibility of him suffering due to Rh incompatibility. My great aunt was Rh negative and I know that there were transfusions...
  17. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    The brother would have been about 13 when Joseph died. If Joseph been adopted or in foster care, I can understand him not knowing anything about the pregnancy or the birth of his nephew. Otherwise, I find it hard to believe mom's family had no idea he existed for over 4 years, including his...
  18. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    Joseph apparently has a surviving maternal uncle who would have been a young teen when Joseph died. If he knew Joseph, he may be the only person who has memories of Joseph and can tell us anything at all about his life. If he didn't know Joseph, is this because his sister hid her pregnancy...
  19. H

    Identified! PA - Philadelphia - 'Boy in the Box' - 4UMPA - Feb'57 #4 - Joseph Augustus Zarelli

    Speculation only, but I think we will eventually learn that he was not adopted and that he lived his life with family. Maybe not with a biological parent but with people or a person with whom he was related in some way. Parent, grandparents, aunts/uncles, stepparents. If LE believed he'd been...
  20. H

    SANDRA BIRCHMORE, Stoughton, MA

    There was an autopsy as I understand it but media has not been able to get ahold of it. Ongoing investigation is probably the reason it's not been released. Let's hope. Everyone who knew Sandra well said she wanted the baby and no one believes she killed herself. Her last text communications...
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