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MA MA - Joan Risch, 30, Lincoln, 24 Oct 1961

Discussion in '1960's Missing' started by smellsarat, Feb 4, 2004.

  1. smellsarat

    smellsarat Former Member

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    Anyone here from Mass remember this case...It has ALWAYS intrigued the heck out of me...and many others...I will transcribe what is in the DOE Network file online...
    LINCOLN- MA Joan Risch was last seen by neighbors on October 24,1961. That afternoon, Rischs 4 year old daughter ran to a neighbor and told her mother was gone and the kitchen covered with red paint. Her 2 year old brother was napping.
    The paint turned to be Joan Rischs blood. The telephone was ripped from the wall. Police lifted a bloody fingerprint but were never able to match it. No weapon was ever found. A trail of blood ended in the driveway.Droplets were on the side of Rischs parked car. Two neighbors said they saw a strange Sedan in the driveway, but police determined that what they saw was probably an unmarked cruiser. From the start police believed Risch was abducted. Then they theorized she was either put into another car or she ended up in the woods,chased or carried by her assailant.That would explain the abrupt end to the blood trail. A neighbor had said she had seen Risch outside the house that afternoonrunning and looking dazed. She had assumed Risch was chasing one of the children. A few motorists said they had spotted a bloody woman looking dazed near the site where Rte 128 was being built. Butno one stopped to help her. On the day his wife disappeared, Martin D Risch was on a business trip inNew York. He was questioned, but investigators ruled him out as a suspect. The search for Risch took a new turn in the town library , where a clue was found. A group of volunteers from the townsd library committee compiled a list of some 25 books Risch had apparently read that summer. MOST concerned murders or unexplained disappearances. It seemed she may have planned the disappearance and was looking for a way to do it.

    Her DOB- aug 4, 1931 which would make her 73 if still alive today.
    She was 31 when she disappeared...Blue eyes dark hair...
     
  2. Old Bird

    Old Bird New Member

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    Very interesting story, SAR!

    The other thought that went thru my mind is that she may have had a "premonition" that something (murder or abduction) was going to happen and obsessed on it. Sounded like there was LOTS of blood -- maybe more than someone would want to spill to fake an abduction.

    Bet it will end up like many sad cases -- unsolved forever!

    Thanks for sharing, OB
     
  3. smellsarat

    smellsarat Former Member

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    Old Bird...This case has been a great mystery in mA for ages....The hubby was away...but looking back the spouse was not as suspected in those days...reminds me of Lacis case in that at least initially for Laci..the case baffled people...
     
    Hazelnutty likes this.
  4. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Joan Risch
    Missing since October 24, 1962 from Lincoln, Massachusetts.
    Classification: Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: August 4, 1931
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 31 years old
    Height and weight at Time of Disappearance: 172 cm
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blue eyes; brown hair.

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Joan Risch was last seen by neighbors on October 24, 1961. That afternoon, Risch's 4-year-old daughter ran to a neighbor and told her mother was gone and the kitchen covered with red paint. Her 2-year-old brother was napping.

    The paint turned out to be Joan Risch's blood. The telephone was ripped from the wall. Police lifted a bloody fingerprint but were never able to match it. No weapon was ever found. A trail of blood ended in the driveway. Droplets were on the side of Risch's parked car. Two neighbors said they saw a strange Sedan in the driveway, but police determined that what they saw was probably an unmarked cruiser. From the start, police believed Risch was abducted. Then, they theorized, she was either put into another car or she ended up in the woods, chased or carried by her assailant. That would explain the abrupt end to the blood trail.

    A neighbor said she had seen Risch outside the house that afternoon, running and looking dazed. She had assumed Risch was chasing one of the children. A few motorists said they had spotted a bloody woman looking dazed near the site where Route 128 was being built. But no one had stopped to help her.
    On the day his wife disappeared, Martin D. Risch was on a business trip in New York. He was questioned, but investigators ruled him out as a suspect.
    The search for Risch took a new turn in the town library, where a clue was found. A group of volunteers from the town's library committee compiled a list of some 25 books Risch had apparently read that summer. Most concerned murders or unexplained disappearances.

    It seemed she may had planned the disappearance and was looking for a way to do it.

    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: Lincoln Police Department 781-259-8111

    Source Information:Link:
    Boston Globe
    The Doe Network: Case File 646DFMA

    Link:
    http://www.doenetwork.us/cases/646dfma.html
     
  5. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    This is certainly a strange case. Each sentence seems to beg another question. What was a police cruiser doing parked in front of her house? What kind of work did the husband do and what was the marriage like? Why would a mother intentionally leave a bloody mess in the kitchen for her baby to find? Do they have any evidence that it was her blood? Any DNA?

    What does her family think about it all?

    If police believe she staged her disappearance, why haven't they done age progression sketches on her?

    The implication that she needed to read 25 books to plan her disappearance, only to come up with this weird scenario is interesting.
     
  6. PonderingThings

    PonderingThings Former member

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    More about this story from The Charley Project:

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/r/risch_joan.html

    Risch's husband was in New York on October 24 for a business trip. He was questioned by investigators but was cleared of any involvement in her disappearance. Authorities did learn that Risch checked out over 25 library books during the previous summer, all of them related to murder or unexplained disappearances. Some people theorized that Risch chose to stage her own disappearance because she was unhappy with her life. Risch had worked in the publishing field in New York prior to her marriage. She chose to end her career to raise her family. Some friends claimed that Risch was very ambitious and was not fulfilled with her home life.

    Others speculated that Risch was attacked and was suffering from amnesia as a result. Another hypothesis in the same vein states that Risch was not assaulted at all, but simply suffered an episode of some type and left her residence. Both of these theories could suggest the possibility that Risch wandered into a pit on the Route 128 construction site the night she disappeared and was unknowingly buried.

    Newspaper reports from 1962 state that Risch may have been sexually abused as a child. Another account stated that her parents died in a strange fire in New Jersey when Risch was nine years old in 1940. Both of these reports suggest that Risch may have had personal reasons for wanting to stage her disappearance. Her case remains open and unsolved.
     
  7. PonderingThings

    PonderingThings Former member

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  8. PonderingThings

    PonderingThings Former member

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    I've often wondered what someone would make of the sites I frequent, and some I visit occaisionally. Today's home computer is the reference library of old (although I still love books!), its so easy to do research on the computer!

    Maybe she was researching a disappearance, with the intent to write a book, and the murderer found out and made her disappear? That seems more likely that a theatrical staged kitchen and a run for your life scenerio!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    A very possible and chilling scenario. With all the blood, one would think that footprints or fingerprints would have been left behind. There is just so much left out of the story.
     
  10. PonderingThings

    PonderingThings Former member

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    There was one bloody fingerprint found, but not matched to anyone..... its in the Doe Network summary.
     
  11. anthrobones

    anthrobones New Member

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    bumping up post
     
  12. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

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    This case is now 45 years old. Definitely one of the strangest ones I've read about. I wonder if we'll ever find out what happened to her.
     
  13. hannahdd

    hannahdd New Member

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    From the Boston Globe

    Martin D. Risch Share E-mail Visit Guest Book
    RISCH, Martin D. 79, died on June 22 ,2009 after a long illness. Long time resident of Lincoln. Survived by 1 son; David Risch of Haverhill, 1 daughter Lillian Mowe and her husband Jon of Port Angeles WA, 1 brother; Grant Risch of Toms River NJ, 1 granddaughter; Heather Mowe and four nephews. Martin lived a difficult and a good life. He endeavored to make life better for himself and his family and those memories will be with us always. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to join with the family for a funeral mass on Friday at 10:00 a.m in Saint Joseph's Church, 142 Lincoln Rd. Lincoln. Burial will follow in Lincoln Cemetery on Lexington Rd. Arrangements under the direction of the William R. Short and Son Funeral Home of MARLBOROUGH.

    What a sad obituary.
     
  14. Stella

    Stella Member

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    So I'm guessing he never remarried since the obit doesn't make mention of a widow or that a second wife predeceased him?
     
  15. ejholt

    ejholt New Member

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    I was a junior in high school, in Melrose, MA when she went missing. My mother knew her husband, Martin, through her work. It certainly is a huge mystery what happened to her. With today's technology we would be able to solve this and other cases, I suspect. I wonder if a cold case squad could do it, now?
     
  16. ejholt

    ejholt New Member

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    Wow, I've often wondered what happened to him and whether he remarried or not. Now we know! How sad!
     
  17. iconoclast

    iconoclast Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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    What was the state of blood forensics in 1962? Not what it is today, certainly.

    I did find a Joan Risch of the correct age, living in the Marin County, CA area.
     
  18. laces

    laces Member

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    This was the first case I heard of when I was a child. I never forgot it. I still have a hard time imagining a woman would leave her small children voluntarily. I think it's more common now, with some of the monsters we have raised who actually harm their kids, but back then, I remember always feeling that someone took this woman. I hate that the case remains unsolved to this day. The pictures of her in the newspaper showed her to be a very attractive woman. I wonder what her children remember about the day.
     
  19. 2sisters

    2sisters New Member

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    This year she will be 79 if alive. My opinion is that she staged her dissappearance, sad. If she was unhappy and needed to leave then at least have the courtesy to tell your family and file for divorce.
     
  20. laces

    laces Member

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    Yes,it is an upsetting situation. it is unsettling to say the least, to have no answers for the family who certainly must have suffered then and bear the scars today. Back then, though, there were not many instances of women or men "staging" a disappearance. It was not as sophisticated an art as it is today. I still feel that most moms, no matter if unhappy, will not leave the children, no matter what.
     

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