IN IN - Catherine Winters, 9, Newcastle, 20 March 1913

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by Mischa, May 19, 2008.

  1. Mischa

    Mischa New Member

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    Searching for Connie Smith, I found this story about little girl missing since 1913 and never found.

    http://kidnappingmurderandmayhem.blogspot.com/2008/04/strange-case-of-catherine-winters.html

    Quote"Nine-year-old Catherine Winters was last seen around noon on March 20, 1913. A family friend named Dan Monroe spoke to her as she walked along the town square toward her Newcastle, Indiana home. On that day, the schools had closed due to an outbreak of measles and Catherine had spent the morning playing with her pal Helen Stretch. As she skipped toward home, she wore a “red sweater coat,” a white straw hat, and a black and white checked gingham dress. She had brown eyes and light brown hair."
     
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  3. Marilynilpa

    Marilynilpa New Member

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    What an interesting story. There are so many different angles to this little girl's disappearance - did her family kill her, was she kidnapped by gypsies, did a pedophile take her. It sounds like her father spent a lot of time and money trying to find his daughter, so it seems unlikely (but not impossible) that he killed her. Blaming gypsies for her disappearance strikes me as being extremely far-fetched. But it's always easier to blame an outsider than it is to accept that someone in your community is a kidnapper or murderer.

    Pedophilia and child molestation were taboo topics in the early 1900s, but obviously such horrible things took place then as now. To me, this seems the likeliest explanation for Catherine's disappearance.
     
  4. ttrachel04

    ttrachel04 New Member

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    wow.

    the creepiest part to me was the father's last words
     
  5. Trino

    Trino Active Member

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    I think all the father was saying was that he would be reunited with Catherine in Death/Heaven.
     
  6. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

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    It seems kind of likely that she drowned. It says in the article that it was the first night of "the great floods of 1913." Was that ever even a suggestion?
     
  7. mere

    mere Member

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    Very interesting. Thanks for posting it.
     
  8. ttrachel04

    ttrachel04 New Member

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    i know it gave me the chills tho
     
  9. Marilynilpa

    Marilynilpa New Member

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    I haven't read a whole lot about this, but from the little I have read the focus seemed to be on abduction. You make a very good point, though, and possibly the most likely theory. It would certainly explain why Catherine's body was never found.

    If I run across anything about this, I'll post it here.
     
  10. justche

    justche Former Member

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    3 months younger than my grandma. My grandma died about 13 years ago...if someone else took her and raised her as their own, it's possible she never knew anything was amiss.

    In certain areas gypsies certainly were an issue at that time....we heard (probably embellished) stories of gypsies when we were young.
     
  11. Trino

    Trino Active Member

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    The last sighting of Catherine was as she walked along the town square. There is no river that runs through New Castle, so I don't see how she could have accidentally drown.

    I just wonder if the quote was to emphasize the time frame.
     
  12. Marilynilpa

    Marilynilpa New Member

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    New Castle, Indiana, is located on the Big Blue River.
     
  13. Bluecat

    Bluecat New Member

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    I think this may be a case of fuzzy memory...my research shows that flooding occurred on March 23, 1913 at the earliest and more reliably on March 25. If she did disappear on March 20, that gives a minimum of 3 days before flooding occurred. Not to say that it wasn't raining...the accounts that I read show 5+ inches of rain falling on March 25, with flooding in Ohio that day (including levee and reservoir failure), and flooding in Indiana reported on March 26. I think that you would naturally associate the two, especially after years, but either the date she went missing is wrong or the flooding is days later and coincidental (but may well have washed her body away).
     
  14. Trino

    Trino Active Member

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    If I read the story correctly, it stated she was last seen walking along the downtown square. The Big Blue is sw of the town.
     
  15. iconoclast

    iconoclast Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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    Newcastle isn't all that far from Chicagoland, where the murder of Elsie Paroubek happened a couple of years previously. The girls are similar in age and appearance, and it is well known that child murderers have very specific physical preferences.
     
  16. Auramyst

    Auramyst Member

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    Bumping for Catherine
     
  17. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    http://www.hcgs.net/catherinewinters.html

    There is a video located on that page to of a newscast from 1990 that covers it as well.

    Catherine Winters Movie - YouTube

    A (silent) movie from 1913 about the disappearance of Catherine Winters of New Castle Indiana. Movie was commissioned by her Dad.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=mB...=catherine winters new castle indiana&f=false

    Book with mention of Catherine. You will have to scroll up or down, starts on page 68. I found the pages to be a bit off.

    The boarders name if I am reading right from an old article was William Ross Cooper. Anyone have any info on him? I wonder if he can be completely ruled out?
     
  18. BritsKate

    BritsKate Past mistakes should teach you to create a wonderf

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    Knowing what we know about criminology now my best guess is either a sexual deviant or parental involvement - specifically that of the stepmother. It really rubs me the wrong way that she complained of her husband, this child's father, spending so much time and resources attempting to locate his daughter.

    It also troubles me that the parents gave conflicting stories of the only possible evidence found buried behind a brick in the basement. In an account upthread the step-mother sounded (granted it is type and nearly 100 years later) nearly flippant. According to the link Kat included the hired PI (who I am certain had his own agenda $$$) claimed a witness placed Catherine at home at noon. Where was Byrd? Where was Catherine's little brother - was he ever questioned about the last time he'd seen his sister? Sadly he has passed away now as well. Byrd never revealed what she believed happened to Catherine before she died. I'd also venture a guess Byrd was controlling in some aspects since she threw Cooper out for getting the good doctor drunk. Honestly - I think if he were involved Byrd would have kicked him out long before she did (it was over a year after Catherine went missing).

    No little girl should be hidden away for a century. Given the father's innovative resourcefulness in attempt to locate Catherine I don't believe he was involved - but I do tend to have the simplistic view the home always needs to be looked at first. Fascinating case but I really hope she is someday located and can be properly lain to rest. JMO
     
  19. Bluejay_Young

    Bluejay_Young New Member

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    Sexual predators usually have some kind of a pattern. This was definitely known about in those days, there were some very famous cases in Victorian times. Police would have looked for those type of leads.

    There are details of this story strikingly similar to Elsie Paroubek's. Elsie was on her way to her aunt's place; Catherine was on her way home. Both girls were seen by other children on their way (in Elsie's case, they were her cousins). The story Dr. Winters tells is almost exactly what Frank Paroubek went through two years earlier, with the cars tearing up the road to the gypsy camp and one wagon having already left, leaving them guessing that that's the one she was in. Elsie's story was very widely publicized in the Midwest and Dr. Winters would have known about it. I can see why people suspected him or the stepmother.

    The girls themselves weren't much alike. Catherine was much older and a brunette. Elsie was five and blonde (see my avatar). Elsie came from a fairly large working class family who were Czech immigrants; Catherine's dad was a professional and the family had money. Her dad was able to keep her story before the public for a lot longer. Catherine even had a song written about her, which Elsie never did. Elsie's story received plenty of attention in the regional and national press but after her funeral it quieted down. About the only thing the girls had in common was a red outfit.
     
  20. Bluejay_Young

    Bluejay_Young New Member

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    Children are stolen by people other than sexual predators / murderers. I always forget about black market adoptions too, but they were common at that time. Georgia Tann didn't start her illegal adoption industry until a few years after Catherine disappeared, but Georgia was not the first person to have one. Healthy, well-cared-for children, even older ones, could be stolen right out of their front yards or off the street and put up for adoption.

    I am sure there are still black market adoption rings going on.

    Also, I did a little digging and found out something interesting. Catherine was not on her way home from playing with a friend. She was going door to door selling needles as part of a church fundraiser. That opens up many more possibilities as to what might have happened.
     
  21. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    This March will mark the 100 year anniversary of this case.
     

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