Discussion in '1970's Missing' started by Richard, Dec 21, 2004.
HouseGnome, I thought that as well.
Left: Fox, circa 1974; Right: Age-Progressed to age 49 (circa 2009)
Margaret Ellen Fox
Missing since June 24, 1974 from Mount Holly, Burlington County, New Jersey.
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: February 4, 1960
Age at Time of Disappearance: 14 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'2" (157 cm); 105 lbs (48 kg)
Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Blue eyes; brown hair. Fair complexion.
Clothing/Jewelry: She was last seen wearing jeans with a yellow patch on the knee, a blue blouse and brown sandals. Margaret was also wearing a white and black checkered jacket. She was wearing a gold necklace with flowers and a blue stone and a gold charm bracelet with a blue stone.
Other: DNA has been entered into CODIS
Circumstances of Disappearance
Fox was last seen getting off a bus on June 24, 1974 in Mt. Holly, NJ, to meet a man who had advertised for a baby sitter. The telephone number in the ad was traced to a Lumberton supermarket.
A widely publicized confession from a suspect in 1976 turned out to be a hoax.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Burlington City Police Department
Agency Case Number: 745503
NCMEC #: NCMC959832
NCIC Number: M-150060380
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
New Jersey State Police
Doe Network Case File 1280DFNJ
The Doe Network: Case File 1280DFNJ
I closed my eyes, and listened to the voice.
I wonder if 'buttered topping' was a code? Did Margaret enjoy eating toast? Or perhaps popcorn, if bread was the 'slang' for bucks/money at that time? (and didn't have any meaning, to the butter being a topping?)
“$10,000 might be a lot of bread, but your daughter’s life is the buttered topping.”
Where do we know that vernacular from?
vernacular: Vernacular - Wikipedia
"A vernacular, or vernacular language, is the speech variety used in everyday life by the general population in a geographical or social territory."
It definitely has a New Yorkish sound to me. A little bit of Arnie (Schwarzenegger) IMO in his second sentence.
Was there ever anything revealed about setting up a drop? Or, I guess, no more calls?
Wouldn't it be great if someone could recognize that voice!?
Definitely a Jersey accent IMO. I too wonder where the vernacular is coming from. That’s not something everyone says, I have never heard it. Jim_M, yesssss!
"Buttered topping" sounds like something said by a grocery store or restaurant chain worker, imo.
Well, "bread" was common slang for money in the '70s...IMO the "buttered topping" part was just him thinking he was being clever.
But who knows? It IS a weird choice. I think most people would say "butter on top."
Thoughts come to mind: the voice is of someone who...?
1) worked in a movie theater.
2) supplied food items to movie theaters
3) worked in food prep/bakery.
The voice is of someone who...?
1) is between 25 and 35 years old.
2) faked articulation/accentuation during the phone call.
3) was reveling in what he did to MF (taking of MF's "life" was a "buttered topping" experience for him).
I suspect MF may have been his first or one of a first few. I suppose a next step is to determine how many missing/murdered young girls cases there were in the Philadelphia / South Jersey area during the general time frame.
Yes money would be bread so butter topping may just be his way of saying “icing on the cake” but referencing bread. Still what a weird thing to say. Is this the first time after all of these years that the audio is being released? Sorry if this has already been asked. MOO
Maybe forensic linguistics can help point out the type of perp who would use the odd " buttered topping" comment. imo.
What Are Forensic Linguistics?
by Richard Nordquist
February 27, 2019
Language as a Fingerprint
"What [Robert A. Leonard] thinks about of late is forensic linguistics, which he describes as 'the newest arrow in the quiver of law enforcement and lawyers.'
"'In a nutshell, just think of language as a fingerprint to be studied and analyzed,' he enthuses. 'The point to be made here is that language can help you solve crimes and language can help you prevent crimes. There is a tremendous pent-up demand for this kind of training. This can be the difference between someone going to jail over a confession he didn’t actually write.'
"His consultation on the murder of Charlene Hummert, a 48-year-old Pennsylvania woman who was strangled in 2004, helped put her killer in prison. Mr. Leonard determined, through the quirky punctuation in two letters of confession by a supposed stalker and a self-described serial killer, that the actual author was Ms. Hummert’s spouse. 'When I studied the writings and made the connection, it made the hair on my arms stand up.'" (Robin Finn, "A Graduate of Sha Na Na, Now a Linguistics Professor." The New York Times, June 15, 2008)
"The linguistic fingerprint is a notion put forward by some scholars that each human being uses language differently, and that this difference between people can be observed just as easily and surely as a fingerprint. According to this view, the linguistic fingerprint is the collection of markers, which stamps a speaker/writer as unique. . . .
Thanks! Sadly, I can't be of any help for the accent. Isn't this a very strange thing to say....about the bread and the topping....It feels artificial, like it comes from a book, a movie or and advertisement. Or is that just me? I totally see somebody rehearsing it, before making the call.....
JMO, I think the killer had semi-rehearsed what he was going to say.
The accent seems authentic to me. Speaking as a midwesterner, that kind of accent is difficult for most people to imitate.
I agree Betty P
I've lived in NJ my entire life (except for college) and I don't hear a Northern (where I am from) or a Southern Jersey accent. Just not clicking for me.
I think he is for sure reading the statement. I tried to listen to some Rhode Island, and New York accents but they don't sound right either. My Ex is from Long Island and I don't hear that accent either. Philly maybe...
The accent has me thrown. I was born, raised, and currently live in towns between the town she was from and the town she went missing in, and it doesn’t sound local to me at all. Not even close to what someone in this area sounds like. For some reason it made me think of NY, but then south Philly also popped into my mind. I agree with some of the other comments about how it definitely seems rehearsed. Like he wrote that out and thought it was clever... I just keep going back to thinking this was not a local and instead someone who picked this area due it’s closeness to major roads.
Eerie recording from missing teen's ransom call could reveal kidnapper
I’m wondering about the two handwritten ransom notes mentioned here. Were they legit or a scam? Has more information about then ever been released? The article kind of glosses over them and I don’t remember hearing about them years ago when I first heard about this... it may be a total long shot but you know never know, someone could recognize the handwriting if those were released (if they or photos of them are still available that is).
If they still have the envelopes, they may be able to get DNA from the postage stamps. Not too likely, but possible.
Do you remember the demographics in the area back then?
I have relatives who moved into Philadelphia/South Jersey a short time before 1974. I am sure they wouldn't sound local.
They were in their 30s - 40 at the time. All now elderly and not easy for me to ask them.
First time I’m reading this info... can’t recall if anyone else has posted it yet, forgive me if it’s a double post!
“Margaret’s father, David Fox, also spoke to Marshall on the phone to make sure his daughter would be in good hands.”
“Fellow officers also attempted to work every angle of the case and found their first suspect, an employee at the A & P named John Marshall. Marshall was eventually cleared after his alibi checked out and he passed a polygraph exam. Some investigators remained suspicious since polygraph testing isn’t always conclusive, however, others believe the true criminal wouldn’t have given his real name.”
“The FBI stepped in to assist on June 28 and began recording phone calls coming into the home. A man with a ransom demand called the day after Margaret’s information was distributed to the local media. The caller demanded $10,000 for Margaret’s safe return. “$10,000 is a lot of bread, but your daughter’s life is the buttered topping,” he said. A few days later, the Fox family received a letter reiterating what the kidnapper had said on the phone: that the money was “a lot of bread” but that Margaret’s safe return was the “buttered topping.” Mary and David Fox waited but never received further instructions from the kidnapper.
A second letter was received soon after the first. It was written to appear as though it had come from the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a small-scale terrorist organization that had kidnapped newspaper publishing heiress Patty Hearst in California on February 4, 1974. Investigators doubted the SLA’s involvement in Margaret’s disappearance. Police believe either the kidnapper or a prankster mentioned the SLA because the group was frequently in the news. After the second letter arrived there was no further communication.”
I am not entirely sure, but in the town I grew up which is below Burlington City and along the Delaware River as well, there were a lot of families that had been there for generations. The area is really old and a lot of families just stayed. But I’m sure there were a lot of new families who came in as well. Not sure how many people were commuters then, but the Burlington Bristol bridge which connects NJ to PA is right there in Burlington City and would’ve given easy access to the Philly area. I imagine families may have moved from the city to NJ for small town/suburbia feel.