NJ NJ - John 'Jack' Muldoon, 32, Byram, 2 Sept 1950

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by muse217, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. muse217

    muse217 New Member

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    My father's brother, John Stanley Muldoon, known as "Jack" was the best man at my parent's wedding on Sept. 2, 1950 at St. Michael's Church, Netcong, NJ. The reception was held at my grandparents home in Cranberry Lake, Byram, NJ. He left the reception and was never seen or heard from again.

    Jack was a red headed, blue eyed Irishman, born in 1918 or 1919 in Jersey City, NJ to Helen Breen and James Muldoon. He served in the US Army throughout WWII, came home to Jersey City, and had a massive nervous breakdown. He was hospitalized at the VA Hospital in East Orange, NJ. I suspect he was sedated with morphine and possibly became addicted.

    Except for my two sisters, and myself, all interested parties have passed away, but I always thought it a shame that my dad never knew what happened to his only sibling. I have been totally unsuccessful in turning up even a single clue.

    It was strange growing up in the shadow of a "disappeared" uncle; I felt like I, too, could leave the house and disappear.

    This is the reason I first came to Websleuths. I've stayed because of all the dedicated people here who seek the truth, day after day.

    So thanks, Websleuthers!

    Virginia:rolleyes:
     
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  2. Teresa Larson

    Teresa Larson New Member

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    Have you ever contacted social security to see if there was any thing paid into his account after he disappeared? He might have also recieved disability benefits if he was mentally unstable. You can call and ask them where you could send a letter to (which office) and they would forward it if they have a current address for him. What all have you done in your search for him?
     
  3. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Your uncle was obviously in the VA system. They will have a file on him somewhere. If you call the nearest Veterans Affairs Regional Office nearest your home, they can look him up in a master Computer index that they have and can tell you when and where his file was "archived". This would be the last VA hospital or regional office that he had dealings with.

    As his next of kin, you could request a transcript of his record, and there might be some information there that would give you some clues.

    Another possibility is that your Uncle could have been recalled to active duty for the Korean War. This happened a lot. He may have had such orders and did not want to worry relatives before reporting for duty.

    You might be able to get some information on him through the State Adjutant General's Office.
     
  4. muse217

    muse217 New Member

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    Thank you for the excellent suggestion on the VA, Richard. I did check the SS Death Index and came up empty handed. My mother, whose opinion was not that reliable because it was colored with her post-divorce bitterness, said that she thought he was probably addicted to morphine (on the street, heroin,) and owed the wrong people money. In other words, he walked away from his life. I just don't understand how someone could do that, regardless of the circumstances.

    I will check with the VA in East Orange, NJ, though.

    Again, thank you Richard, and thank you, Teresa.

    Virginia
     
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  5. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Bumping up. Are there any updates in this case?
     
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  6. Redwood146

    Redwood146 New Member

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    big bump.....any news?
     
  7. Grifynne

    Grifynne Member

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    Curious if anything new has come of this? Good luck, I hope you find him!
     
  8. rob525

    rob525 Well-Known Member

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    I will bump again. I live about a mile from the church where the wedding took place and have hiked the trails in the area of Cranberry lake so this is close to home. Any updates?
     
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  9. annoulzz

    annoulzz Member

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    bump, hoping for new leads?
     
  10. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Bumping.
     
  11. NJEverCurious

    NJEverCurious Active Member

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    Not listed on NamUs or the NJSP Missing Persons page. I found a couple of obituaries with the name John Muldoon in the state of NJ, but I wasn't sure of this MP's date of birth so I can't say I think there is an obituary for him.

    I'll try digging up archived articles from the local newspaper. I'll follow up here if I find anything.
     
  12. NJEverCurious

    NJEverCurious Active Member

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    So now this is on my mind, and here's what I've come up with so far.

    St. Michael's Church, Netcong, NJ, is located next to Lake Musconetcong, which has a maximum depth of 10' and an average depth of 5', according to Wikipedia. Interesting, but not necessarily relevant because Mr. Muldoon made it to the reception at a house near Cranberry Lake.

    According to fishidy.com, Cranberry Lake has a maximum depth of 12' and an average depth of 7'. I would assume that Mr. Muldoon could swim, based on his having grown up in NJ and having served in the military, but perhaps he couldn't. If he had been drinking at the wedding reception (or if he was addicted to opioids as suggested in the initial post), it's possible that he was intoxicated and fell into the lake. Whether he was a good swimmer or not, being intoxicated could explain an accidental drowning. Cranberry Lake has a fairly dense residential area around it now, but based on this video from the 1950's () that wasn't always the case (and I didn't expect it to have been). I think it's entirely possible he may have drowned accidentally, but I struggle to explain how or why the body was never found, even if the area wasn't densely populated as it is now.

    I also took a look at the weather from 9/2/1950. According to an online tool provided by the University of Illinois, the weather on that date in Newton, NJ (near Byram) was a high of 84F, low of 69F, with no precipitation. Even now, Cranberry Lake is surrounded by a lot of wooded area, so I could see how someone might get lost. The high temp was quite a bit higher than what was considered average at that time, so maybe he wandered off into the woods somewhere and passed away from who-knows-what.

    The other possibility is that he left and started a new life somewhere. If he were still alive today, he would be around 100 or 101 years old, and he could be using any name.
     
  13. NJEverCurious

    NJEverCurious Active Member

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    I also just learned a few historical things about Byram that might be useful in this discussion:
    • Uranium mining became very popular there "in the 1950's" so there may already have been active mines in the area in 1950. Perhaps Mr. Muldoon wandered into an open (abandoned) mine. Seems unlikely if the mines were just starting to open.
    • The Lackawanna Cut-off Rail Line was active in Byram during the 1950's. There was a station stop "near the Forest Lakes area" (I don't know exactly where that is) according to Wikipedia. This rail line was part of a bigger network of railroads, so it's possible he hopped a train and left the area all together.
    • I thought more about why the body may not have been recovered if he indeed drowned. According to this blog, most drowning victims are found near the area where the drowning occurred. However, while the remains of a drowning victim are likely to float, this isn't always the case. It's possible his body got caught on something beneath the surface of the water and would not have come up.
     
  14. rob525

    rob525 Well-Known Member

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    I guess I would like to know when was John Muldoon actually reported / determined to be missing? Meaning, Cranbury lake now is surrounded by Allamuchy Park (even more so than Google maps would indicate) If he was not reported missing or the family did not realize he was missing until some time later, did they ever actually search the woods around Cranbury lake? I also wonder where in Cranbury Lake the wedding reception was held.
     
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  15. apearn

    apearn Active Member

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    This should be him. Height and Weight are at the bottom in case there is a John Doe who looks possible.

    Name: John S Muldoon
    Birth Year: 1918
    Race: White, citizen (White)
    Nativity State or Country: New Jersey
    State of Residence: New Jersey
    County or City: Hudson

    Enlistment Date: 7 Mar 1942
    Enlistment State: New Jersey
    Enlistment City: Fort Monmouth Red Bank
    Branch: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
    Branch Code: Branch Immaterial - Warrant Officers, USA
    Grade: Private
    Grade Code: Private
    Term of Enlistment: Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
    Component: Army of the United States - includes the following: Voluntary enlistments effective December 8, 1941 and thereafter; One year enlistments of National Guardsman whose State enlistment expires while in the Federal Service; Officers appointed in the Army of
    Source: Civil Life

    Education: 1 year of college
    Civil Occupation: Unskilled oilers of machinery
    Marital status: Single, without dependents
    Height: 71
    Weight: 170
     
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  16. rob525

    rob525 Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. The height and weight are not that far off of UP1720. I wish there was more information on where the UID was found and how long he may have been there before being found. Seems like for it to be Muldoon he would have had to have been deceased for several years prior to being located.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  17. NJEverCurious

    NJEverCurious Active Member

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    The remains found in Vernon had Spalding sneakers on, that look like maybe a 1980s or 1990s style. John Muldoon went missing in 1950, so it would be tough to explain how he stayed within an hour's drive of Byram unnoticed for 30+ years. I doubt this is a match.
     
  18. rob525

    rob525 Well-Known Member

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    Yes , I agree. As I said earlier it would be difficult to connect the dots.
     

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