OH OH - Mary J. Croft Vangilder, 43, Plymouth, 1945

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by mjcroftvan, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. branmuffin

    branmuffin Well-Known Member

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    It must be very difficult to read about unidentified bodies found and wonder if they are your grandmother. I'm very sorry, Mindy, that you are in this position. The Preble UID that is currently undergoing investigation may be Mary Jane but I have my doubts. My doubts are based on some of the information about the body.

    One is that the coroner thought the body may have been embalmed. That suggests a traditional burial not a murder victim hidden surreptitiously in an unmarked grave. If the body was in fact embalmed the condition of the remains may skew how old they are. Also there are no rules or regulations about burying people on private property in the state of Ohio so it is quite possible the remains found are someone whose burial plot got washed out with flooding over the years.

    The second thing is that after the skull was found a further search found more bones including a partial dental plate that was presumed to belong to the deceased. On the personnel records that listed Mary Jane's medical history it noted that her dentition was poor with many caries. If she had worn a partial plate I think it would have been noted on the record.

    The third thing is the coroner's note regarding the malformation of the pelvic girdle of the remains suggesting it would be very difficult for the deceased to give birth. Even though Mary Jane suffered the still births of two of her children she did have five other children which makes it unlikely the remains are hers.

    Then there is the issue of the bonds that Mary Jane bought and sent to her oldest child, Anna. The smallest denomination of the war bond was $25 so we know that is at least the amount she sent home and she sent several. Considering the median income during the war years was $2000 per annum, Mary Jane was making much less than that. Even though war bonds were sold 18.75 for a 25.00 bond, that's a lot of money for a single woman who must pay her own room and board and any other incidentals she may be required to pay out. Then after sending the bonds to her children, she asked for the bonds to be returned to her. Why did she need them? What was her plan?

    It's possible when Mary Jane discovered that her husband didn't want her back and found he'd filed his own divorce petition she planned to leave. And even though she had claimed physical and emotional abuse in her own divorce proceedings her husband was able to keep the kids and remarry. That's got to have an effect on you. In the 1940s it just wasn't done that you up and left your kids without society casting you in a poor light. Which was probably the reason she stated she only had one child on her employment record. A woman who willfully left her five kids, even if her reasons were valid, wouldn't have elicited much sympathy back then; her duty would have been to her children and that was that.

    I'd like to believe as much as she loved her kids she knew they were going to be okay with their dad and eventual new mom so she decided to make a new life for herself.

    The other less savoury option is that Mary Jane needed that money for a much different reason. One that had to be hidden and done on the sly. Women filled the void for the men who were off fighting in the war. When women who worked got pregnant employers dismissed them. So you didn't have much choice: get fired or do something about it. The reason given for MJ to give up her employment may have been coerced and she had no choice but to agree to it.

    MOO
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  2. Ozoner

    Ozoner Well-Known Member

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    Constantly changing addresses and giving false addresses might simply have meant that she was afraid of her estranged husband and didn't want him to find her, which would point to murder perpetrated by him more than it would point to a voluntary disappearance.
     
  3. onceuponadecember

    onceuponadecember Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking that too, but why would he go all the way to Ohio to kill her? I'm not saying he didn't kill her, but it's possible.
     
  4. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Missing for 75 years...

    Mary Jane Vangilder

    [​IMG]
    Age 33, Missing since 1945
     
  5. Grandview Writer

    Grandview Writer Member

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    Your map is wildly inaccurate given the time that all the disappearances took place. The only road connecting Columbus and the Cleveland area was OH SR3. Travel times would have been much longer making a traveling serial killer almost impossible. One must remember that shipping between cities at that time was done by train, which while slow and inconvenient today, was much faster than shipping by truck at that time.
     
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  6. Ozoner

    Ozoner Well-Known Member

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    Just an aside: shipping by train isn't inherently slow and inconvenient. It's orders of magnitude more efficient than shipping by truck. The trucking lobby has rigged the game.
     
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  7. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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    Bumping for Mary Jane.
     
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  8. imstilla.grandma

    imstilla.grandma Believer of Miracles

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    Me too…

    Mary Jane Vangilder
    • [​IMG]
    • [​IMG]
    • [​IMG]
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    Mary Jane, circa 1945; Age-progression to 50 to 60 years of age (circa 1961 - 1971)
    Mary Jane Vangilder – The Charley Project

    an older article… I apologize if this has been posted. I haven’t read the entire thread yet.
    upload_2021-9-26_3-51-28.jpeg
    Could a missing mother be Preble County’s Jane Doe?


    Not knowing where your family member is, it leaves a hole in your heart.”
    Misty James, granddaughter of Mary Jane
    New investigation aims to shed light on missing person case 75 years later
     
  9. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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  10. Laughing

    Laughing Well-Known Member

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  11. onceuponadecember

    onceuponadecember Well-Known Member

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    Is it just me or does anybody else fear that she could've been pregnant when she disappeared? This could explain her request for forklift operation (certainly a less laborious job than Jr. Warehouseman) and notation of "additional household duties" at the time? Certainly Mary Jane would've known if she were pregnant, she did have 5 kids after all.
     
  12. MadMcGoo

    MadMcGoo Well-Known Member

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    Possibly. But where would she have gone or ended up? I guess that's the million dollar question. o_O
     
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  13. branmuffin

    branmuffin Well-Known Member

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    I wondered if she asked for the bond money back because she was pregnant and wanted an abortion. If she went to someone who wasn't a doctor it wasn't uncommon for a women to die from a botched operation. I don't judge anyone for something they may have felt compelled to do for survival. When you consider how many women worked in those environments when their husbands and fathers and brothers may have been off fighting a war it was imperative they be able to continue to make money to put food on the table.

    Here's a link to an article that supports my theory in a previous post regarding the increase of abortion during WW2 due to threat of dismissal.

    When Abortion Was a Crime
     
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