IL IL - Barbara, 15, & Patricia Grimes, 13, Chicago, 27 Dec 1956

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by 2sisters, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. 2sisters

    2sisters New Member

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  3. CastlesBurning

    CastlesBurning New Member

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    I recently came across the Grimes case quite incidentally, while looking for something else...I had actually heard about it before, but it was good to refresh my memory. I was pretty intrigued by the story.

    One thing I was curious about from the account was the phone call to Sandra. The articles say she was a "classmate" of Patricia's. I'm guessing she must have been significantly closer than that, because otherwise, why else would a girl under supposed duress have chosen to call her? I mean, really, if you were kidnapped or in some kind of danger, and only had one chance to get to a phone, would "classmate" be your first choice of contact? So, I'm wondering if either A) Sandra was a very close friend, and for whatever reason the girls were somewhere that they were scared to call home, and hoping Sandra could help instead, or B) the calls were a prank and had nothing to do with the Grimes' disappearance.
     
  4. imamaze

    imamaze Former Member

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    Originally posted by:anneinchicago, moved to cold case board for discussion

    The Grime Sisters
    Barbara Grimes and Patricia Grimes disappeared on December 28, 1956, in Chicago, Illinois and their dead bodies were discovered on January 22, 1957. Their murder case is known as the Grimes sisters' murder case and it is still unsolved today... More...
     
  5. Mumsy

    Mumsy New Member

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    Hi,
    I remember this case vividly!! I was a teenager when it happened and it was so shocking at the time. I have thought about these girls many times over the years and have often wondered if the case had ever beren solved. I would like to know where I can find more information on the case, There was also another murder case I remember from near the same time. It was a girl name Judith Anderson that was found floating in a metal drum in a boat basin around Montrose beach?? It has been so long ago and I do not remember much of the details but it has stayed in my mind all these years. Would love to hear from anyone that knows how I can find out more info on these cases.:waitasec:
     
  6. Bargle

    Bargle Member

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    There's more information on both murders in the book "Getting Away With Murder: 57 Unsolved Murders With Reward Information" by Art Petacque and Hugh Hough
    There are sites with more info on the Grimes sisters. Running "Grimes Sisters Murders" through a search engine will turn them up. Same with Judith Anderson. Here's the Wikipedia entry:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimes_sisters
     
  7. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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  8. HesterMofet

    HesterMofet Member

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    I think the Grimes Sisters and the Schuessler-Peterson murders may be connected, although Hanson was only convicted of killing the boys. Just because he didn't confess and they didn't find any evidence doesn't mean he didn't do it. Also, according to one of the websites Silas Jayne confessed to the Grimes Sisters' murders and then recanted. He was just the kind of guy who would have toyed with the police because he knew who did it. The fact that both groups of children were going to the movies and both were found discarded and naked really makes it look like it could be the same perpetrator, or group of perpetrators.
     
  9. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    You're right...even though they reportedly solved the Schuessler-Peterson murders with Kenneth Hansen's arrest, I still thought the Grimes Sisters case was connected. Lord only knows with Silas Jayne and his goons from the horse mafia, what all they were guilty of. There were too many unsolved crimes that seemed connected to them, including the baffling disappearance of the 3 women at the Indiana Dunes State Park in 1966.
     
  10. Marilynilpa

    Marilynilpa New Member

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    I just read about the Grimes Sisters case yesterday on another site. What a tragedy!

    I'll have to read up on this one, as well as the Judith Anderson case.

    There sure are a lot of sickos in the world:mad:
     
  11. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    Wow, I cannot believe the thread for these girls is so short. Truly one of the most fascinating unsolved cases I have ever heard of. It was said that the elder Grimes sister was “fast” for the 1950s anyway and that she might have been a prostitute who met up with some older boys. This I doubt.

    But what was most creepy was the fact that the site where the girls were dumped was not far from a little house that was occupied by a family with young children. The police interviewed the family, who I believe admitted to hearing a car door slam. When the police returned either the next day or a few days later, the house was abandoned and by all reports, that house was left fast quick in a hurry.
    There were childrens’ toys scattered haphazardly and other things that suggested that that this family took only the bare necessities and left. It seems to me that they were scared off the place.

    The house stood for years and got the reputation of being haunted. Not sure if it is still there.

    Another interesting thing. John Wayne Gacy was growing up in Chicago at that point and was believed to have frequented the same theatre that the Grimes sisters saw the movie at. But I doubt Gacy was involved in this. He only killed boys.
     
  12. kbl8201

    kbl8201 Former Member

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    curious though, how old was gacy at that point?
     
  13. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    I am thinking he would have been a teenager.
     
  14. jashrema

    jashrema Verified insider - Sierah Joughin case

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    Sounds like maybe max fleig was the best suspect they had...confessed, flunked a poly, and later convicted of murdering a young woman...
     
  15. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    Never heard of Max Fleig
     
  16. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    Here is a book review of a book on the case:

    Murder Gone Cold: The Mystery of the Grimes Sisters by Tamara Shaffer. (Ghost Research Society Press, $14.95). At 7:15 p.m. on December 28, 1956, 15-year-old Barbara Grimes and her sister Patricia, 13, left home to see Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender at Brighton Theater in Chicago. They didn’t come home that night—or ever again. The Grimes sisters’ frozen bodies were found by Leonard Prescott along German Church Road, southwest of the city, 26 days after they disappeared. A crime that rocked and shocked Chicago, to this day, it remains unsolved. Chicago writer Tamara Shaffer pens a meticulously researched and richly detailed account of the crime and its aftermath.
    —Colleen Fahy
     
  17. snwflk

    snwflk New Member

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    Actually, the house where the girls were "dumped" was not abandoned. It was the Werners house and they were in Florida for Christmas vacation when the bodies were dumped. Furthermore, the family did not "flee" the house. We continued having birthday parties and sleepovers at that house until they moved around 1960 to LaGrange. They moved in with the grandparents because one of them was ill. The Werners rented the house out fully furnished because they had intended to return to the house. Around a year or so later the renters moved out, and before they were able to move back to the house, it burned down. Mr. Werner for whatever reason never bothered to clean up the property. As of several years ago, the Werner family still owned the property. As children we were never afraid to be on the property because we all lived in the surrounding area. Most of us never gave it another thought.
     
  18. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    Sorry about that. I read all that stuff on website. Should have known better to take it as gospel. snwflk, do you remember hearing any rumors or theories about the girls' murder?
     
  19. snwflk

    snwflk New Member

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    No, I don't remember hearing any rumors - I was in second grade. There were many kids in the area and I don't remember any of us discussing it then or later.
    I recently heard thru a childhood friend and former classmate, that the case was reopened this past year. I don't know if that is true or not. I no longer live in the area. I would think after all these years, someone would come forward.
     
  20. Spud

    Spud New Member

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    This crime occurred when i was 2 months old but it was a case that was always talked about on the south side of Chicago. It was said that anybody who had a criminal record at all was brought in for questioning. I had a co-worker that claimed that for a day or two that he was a prime suspect. As he told me.... "Sonny" was a 21 year old plasterer who was on his way to a jobsite with a co-worker to a private residence in unincorporated Cook County where there was a roadblock. This roadblock was where the Grimes sisters bodies were discovered. The Police were canvassing all that drove by to see if anything was seen, they also were checking I.D.s to see you did not belong in the area. Well, Sonny lived about a block from the home of the Grimes sisters and had actually dated an older sister of the two victims. Add to that coincidence that they had plaster buckets in the back of their work car. Apparently an earlier Chicago murder victim's (Judith Mae Anderson) head was found in a plaster bucket so Sonny who also had a juvenile criminal record was looking good to fit a frame. ........ He told me that he spent a few extremely worried days in jail until his story checked out and the police focused on Benny Bedwell as the main suspect......His name is not listed among other suspects and I don`t know if what he told me is true but i know that i believed him when he told me his story about 25 years ago and i can verify that he was a resident of the neighborhood. .......... I remember hearing that Bedwell vanished in Texas or that he was arrested for rape in Florida. Does anybody know the truth ? There was a similar unsolved case in a nearby neighborhood that got much less publicity in 1972.... Deborah Kozlarek, 17 years old and 13 year old Carolyn Vandermolen did not come home on 9-22-72 and were found the next morning in Chicago`s Washington Park dead of a single bullet to the head.
     
  21. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    I'm not sure what happened to Benny Bedwell after he left the Chicago area. He was a drifter from Tennessee. Cook County Sheriff Joseph Lohman always thought Bedwell was responsible for the Grimes sisters' murders. Another investigator, Harry Glos didn't think so. I always through Bedwell was a pretty good suspect from what I've read. Incidentally, I understand Harry Glos took a huge file home on the Grimes Sisters when he retired. His daughter was supposed to have written a book about the case from those files. I don't know whatever happened to the book.

    Here is a portion of a link on The Grimes Sisters from Prairie Ghosts that mentions Bedwell.

    Eager to crack the floundering case, Cook County Sheriff Joseph Lohman then arrested a Tennessee drifter named Edward L. "Benny" Bedwell. The drifter, who sported Elvis-style sideburns and a ducktail haircut, had reportedly been seen with the Grimes sisters in a restaurant where he sometimes washed dishes in exchange for food. When he was initially questioned, Bedwell admitted that he had been in the D&L Restaurant on West Madison with two girls and an unnamed friend but he insisted that the owners of the place were mistaken about the girls being the Grimes sisters.
    According to the owners, John and Minnie Duros, the group had entered the diner around 5:30 on the morning of December 30. They described the taller girl (Patricia?) as being either so drunk or so sick that she was staggering as she walked. The couples sat in a booth for awhile and listened to Elvis songs on the jukebox and then went outside. According to Minnie Duros, "The taller girl returned to the booth and put her head on the table. They wanted her to get into the car, but she didn’t want to. The other girl and the two men came back later and I told them to leave the girl alone -- she’s sick. But they all left anyway and on their way out, Barbara said they were sisters."
    Lohman found the story plausible, thanks to the unshakable identification of the girls by Minnie Duros, their respective heights, the fact that one of them said they were sisters and finally, Bedwell’s resemblance to Elvis. Lohman believed this might have been enough to get the girls to go along with him. And then of course, there was Bedwell’s confession, which related a lurid and sexually explicit tale of drunken debauchery with the two young women. He made and recanted three confessions and even re-enacted the crime for Lohman on January 27. Everyone doubted the story but Lohman. He booked Bedwell on murder charges, but the drifter's testimony was both vague and contradictory and (most likely) his confession had been beaten out of him. On January 31, he testified that he had confessed out of fear of Lohman’s men, who had struck and threatened him while he was being questioned.
    Another of the chief investigators in the case, Harry Glos, believed that Bedwell might have been implicated in the murders in some way but that he was a dubious suspect. State's Attorney Benjamin Adamowski agreed and ordered the drifter released. All charges against Bedwell were dismissed on March 4 and upon leaving the courtroom, he was re-arrested on a fugitive warrant from Florida for the rape of a 13 year-old girl. The crime he was charged with in Florida closely resembled the one that took the lives of the Grimes sisters but he managed to avoid conviction for it, thanks to the passage of time while he was a fugitive. According to reports, Bedwell’s accuser had been held captive for three days before escaping and notifying the police of her abduction and rape. Bedwell later spend time in prison on a weapons charge and died at some point after he was released in 1986.
    The dismissal of charges against Bedwell in the Grimes case set off another round of bickering between police departments and various jurisdictions and the case became even more mired in red tape and inactivity. It got even worse when coroner’s investigator Glos publicly criticized the autopsy findings concerning the time and cause of death. He shocked the public by announcing that Barbara and Patricia could not have died on the night they disappeared. He said that an ice layer around the bodies proved that they were warm when they were left along German Church Road and that only after January 7 would there have been enough snow to create the ice and to hide the bodies.

    Source:

    http://www.prairieghosts.com/grimes.html
     

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