OH OH - Ronald Tammen, 19, Oxford, 19 April 1953

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by Richard, Oct 24, 2005.

  1. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Ronald Henry Tammen, Jr. (19) Missing since April 19, 1953 from Oxford, OH

    Ronald Henry Tammen, Jr.
    Missing since April 19, 1953 from Oxford, Ohio
    Classification: Endangered Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Date Of Birth: July 23, 1933
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 19 years old
    Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'10"; 175 lbs.
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Dark hair and muscular.
    Blood type: O Positive

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Tammen was last seen in old Fisher Hall, a former Victorian mental asylum, at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio on April 19, 1953.
    Ronald Henry Tammen Jr. was just another hard-working Miami University student until that cold Sunday night on April 19, 1953, when he walked out of Room 225 and into oblivion.

    Forty-five years later, the sophomore business major remains Oxford's favorite ghost story.

    Mr. Tammen, a 19-year-old residence hall adviser, vanished from old Fisher Hall, a former Victorian mental asylum that was some said was haunted.

    About 8:30 p.m., he entered his room after returning from a road engagement with the Campus Owls, a popular dance band for which he played string bass. Outside sat his 1938 Chevrolet sedan. It is said he heard something that disturbed him, and he went into the hall to investigate. Apparently he didn't intend to go anywhere. He left his wallet, car keys and personal items on his desk. He also left the lights on, a book open, the radio playing and his clothes in the closet. His bank account, with about $200, remained active.

    Authorities checked all bus, rail and air terminals. The Air Force ROTC sent 400 men to help students search the countryside.

    Officials have discounted any theory of foul play, commenting that the missing man is rugged and strong. Tammen was not in any financial difficulty . . . since counselors are chosen for their stability, there seems to be no reason for a voluntary disappearance. Thus, officials have temporarily settled upon the thesis of amnesia. Friends and family -- from Maple Heights, near Cleveland -- said Mr. Tammen wouldn't leave without telling them. At first, police developed the amnesia theory, but later they did consider that he might have deliberately disappeared.

    Phillip R. Shriver, a former Miami president and history professor who came to Miami in 1965, thinks Ronald Tammen somehow lost his memory and later that night arrived on the doorstep of Mrs. Carl Spivey in Seven Mile, about 15 miles east of Oxford. At midnight, she heard a knock on her door. She saw a young man -- he fit Tammen's description -- standing outside. When she opened the door, he asked her how to get to the bus station. But there was no bus station in Seven Mile. She told him to go to Hamilton. She noticed he had a smudge of dirt on a cheek and his eyes were vacuous. Snow was on the ground that night, but he wore no coat or hat. She shut the door and expected to hear his car start, but it didn't. Then she realized the young man was walking. There's every belief he was Ronald Tammen. The supposition is that he had an attack of amnesia. He had no idea who he was, but he wanted to get to the bus stop.

    The problem with the amnesia theory is the condition doesn't usually last. Dr. Peter Simson, a psychologist at Miami, said most post-traumatic conditions last a matter of months, at most.

    The late Joe Cella, a reporter who covered Mr. Tammen's disappearance for the Hamilton Journal-News, claimed the police investigation wasn't thorough. He continued to inquire about Mr. Tammen for 25 years, and he carried the student's class photo in his wallet. He learned that Mr. Tammen asked for sheets and pillowcases an hour before he disappeared. Mr. Cella also discovered that five months before Mr. Tammen disappeared, he visited Garrett Boone, a Hamilton physician, to determine his blood type. Nothing more.

    But by then, police had neither leads nor reasons to continue the investigation. They didn't even keep the original case files. The next year, the university razed 120-year-old Fisher Hall to make way for the Marcum Conference Center.

    An arrest card was found for Mr. Tammen. He was cited for running a red light at Main and High streets on March 21, 1953. His $5 fine was suspended.


    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: Oxford Police Department 513-524-5240

    Source Information:
    The Cincinnati Enquirer 10/31/98
    Ron Tammen Disappearance
    The Doe Network: Case File 1562DMOH

    Link:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1562dmoh.html
     
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  3. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Does anyone know more about this case? Just in reading through it, I would ask a few questions.

    - What kind of grades did he have? Was he doing well in school or on the verge of flunking out?

    - Was he pledging a fraternity? His quick disappearance sounds like something that might be done as part of a fraternity initiation or a prank by other students.

    - Was he facing induction into the Army? At age 19 and at the height of the Korean War, perhaps he left to avoid the draft.

    - Why would he be interested in learning what his blood type was? Had he been involved with a girl, and was he facing a paternity suit?

    - Was he a member of the Air Force ROTC? They are mentioned as assisting in the search for him. Was this something they did as a regular service (searching), or was he one of theirs?

    - Have any unidentified bodies turned up over the years in Ohio, Indiana, or Kentucky, which might be his?
     
  4. Marilynilpa

    Marilynilpa New Member

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    Once again, you've come up with a good one.

    He wanted to know his blood type - as you said, it could have been for reasons of paternity. Would he have needed to know his blood type in order to apply for something, such as a marriage license? Did he have a friend or relative in the hospital at that time who needed blood of a particular type?

    Do we know what his major was?

    Why would he have wanted sheets and pillowcases? Were there any dirty bedsheets in his room?

    It would be interesting to learn if he was in ROTC. If he was, then he probably didn't disappear in order to avoid military service.

    From what he left behind, it certainly doesn't appear he was planning to be gone very long.

    This will be an interesting case to investigate.
     
  5. Marilynilpa

    Marilynilpa New Member

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    "At approximately 8:00 Sunday evening, April 19, 1953, Tammen left his Fisher Hall room to get new bed sheets from the Hall manager because someone had put a fish in his bed. Tammen took the sheets and returned to his dorm room to study psychology. It was the last time he was definitely seen alive. At 10:30 p.m., Tammen's roommate returned to find Tammen's psychology book laying open on his desk and all the room lights on. The roommate didn't think anything of it; he assumed that Tammen had decided to spend the night in the Delta Tau Delta house. It was only when Tammen failed to return the following day that the roommate became worried and a search for the missing student was begun." (bolding added by me.)

    The entire article can be found at: http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/tammen.html


    Here is a link to a picture of the band Ronald played with:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100304.pdf

    Here is a link to a newspaper article about his disappearance:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100320.pdf

    Here is yet another article:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100311.pdf

    This link is to photos of Ronald's room:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100318.pdf

    Here are links to several other articles about him:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100327.pdf

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100308.pdf

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100307.pdf

    Yet another article (hard to read, but has a photo of Ronald):
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100309.pdf

    Here are links to more articles:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100310.pdf

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100321.pdf

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100317.pdf

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100319.pdf

    This link is to police notes about the case:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100314.pdf
     
  6. docwho3

    docwho3 New Member

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    I wonder if this will turn out to be one of those cases where 15 to 20 people knew what happened be kept silent.
     
  7. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    I would think that a 1953 Miami University Yearbook "Recensio" might have a photo and list of members of Delta Tau Delta, Gamma Upsilon Chapter, who knew Ronald. I wonder if any of them could shed some light on the subject today?
     
  8. Marilynilpa

    Marilynilpa New Member

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    It's certainly possible, although if criminal activity was involved in Ronald's disappearance, the fraternity members may still keep their silence.

    It's possible he was hit on the head and suffered amnesia, but I tend to discount that. His photo and physical description were in the paper, so even if he couldn't remember who he was, I think someone would have recognized him.
     
  9. anthrobones

    anthrobones New Member

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    What exactly does this mean? Does it mean he used it after he disappeared?

    I think the description on Doe Network said his major was business.

    Isn't O the rarest blood type?
     
  10. mysteriew

    mysteriew A diamond in process

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    O+ is the most common blood type in the human race.

    Wonder if he was taking a biology course?
    There could be another reason for finding out his blood type. What if he knew Mm's blood type was A, and knew Dad's blood type was B. What if he had had prior suspicions, and then found out his blood type was O? What if thought he was an O+ but after studying it in class wanted to verify it?

    Another reason for finding out the blood type, might be if you wanted to donate blood for someone. Or if you wanted to sell your blood.
     
  11. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    I believe that it means that the bank account remained "open" as opposed to having been closed and the money withdrawn.

    O is one of the most common types of blood in the US, and is considered to be the "universal donor" type. The rarest type of blood would probably be AB negative.
     
  12. Susan Shock

    Susan Shock New Member

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    How reliable was the supposed sighting of him by this woman. Could she have been mistaken? WAs it really him she saw or someone else? It was evening after all. How much light was there? Was it cloudy.
     
  13. Stella

    Stella Member

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    I don't know if this has already been covered, but here goes. The age and height are "off" a bit, but that composite drawing of Mr. Bones looks a lot like the photo of Ronald Tammen Jr. on the Doe Network. Possible or not?
     
  14. kylie

    kylie New Member

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    Wow, this is sooooo tragic...I wonder if his brothers and sisters are still very affected by this....it must have been so difficult at the time...shame on the police for throwing away the case file................I think someone above was right and that maybe something did happen to him but everyone kept silent....I think that sighting might be suspect but the details seem honest......
     
  15. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    His photo does look a bit like the composite of Mr. Bones. I have a feeling, however, that the difference in time between Ronald's disappearance, and the estimated time of Mr. Bones' death (Spring 1958) is just too great. Five years is a long time to intentionally remain missing, yet traveling all around the country.

    It is possible, but the time frame, and age would tend to argue against a match.
     
  16. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    Here is a new article about Ron Tammen's disappearance in the Oxford (Ohio) Press. There are no recent developments but it's interesting to revisit this missing persons case that has fascinated me for some time now. Miami University is about 2 hours from where I live and I would love to go there sometime and go over all the records they have about this very baffling disappearance. Also, there are a couple new theories as to why he might have gotten that blood test several months earlier that I don't remember reading in past articles.

    http://www.oxfordpress.com/life/content/oh/story/news/local/community/2007/01/03/op010507tammen.html
     
  17. Richard

    Richard Active Member

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    Thanks for the link. I saw this article just recently in an Oxford University Alumni magazine. It is an interesting read.

    The same magazine also featured another strange case from an earlier era involving the sudden death of a popular chemistry professor.
     
  18. Jade

    Jade Member

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    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/taj00100314.pdf
    The police officer noted that the bed was made with the exception of putting the pillow in the pillowcase. The link with the picture of his room shows a neat and tidy bed with a pillow with no pillowcase. An article says that he had received both sheets and pillowcase. Wonder if the pillowcase was accounted for? A Frat prank theory could include a pillowcase over the head while being driven out of town and dropped to find his way back. Perhaps he good-naturedly went along as would be expected. His wallet was empty of money and an article states that his roommate speculates it should have had some but no more than 11 or 12 dollars. So a prank to drop him off somewhere not too remote and give him a few bucks of his own money to use in getting back to the dorm. The woman that says he came to her door reports him as being embarrassed as I would guess someone would be in such a situation and certainly the goal of a prank. She described a coat such as he was wearing but who knows if that was reported on in the article in which she recognized him.

    But what about this?

    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/tammen.html

    In 1973, the Butler County Coroner revealed that Tammen had visited his office, seeking a blood test, five months to the day before his disappearance. The Coroner claimed that, in his 35 years of practice, Ronald Tammen was the only person to visit his office with such a request. There were closer and more logical choices available for him to get his blood typed. Many reasons why one would need their blood typed [major surgery to bank blood, in case of emergency etc.] but why so mysteriously?

    Richard don't leave us hanging -what happened to the Chem Prof?
     
  19. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    Yes Richard, I seem to remember reading something about that a long time ago. It was in the late 1800s I think and some fellow teachers or students suspected his wife and her lover, who I think got married not long after. I'm kind of foggy on the details. I think I'm thinking of the right case but not sure.
     
  20. Bluecat

    Bluecat New Member

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    There are a bunch of other links at the Miami University library site:
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/

    I found the transcript of the 1977 local TV show about this interesting, it shows that his parents pursued the case and his father reported him to the draft board when the semester ended
    http://www.lib.muohio.edu/mysteries/files/phantom.pdf

    I find it odd that the roommate came home late the night of his disappearance (from his home in Dayton (depending on how he got there, maybe an hour or two away) and found nothing strange about all of Ron's belongings being there, including his wallet, with the door open, a light on, music playing, and a book open. Ron was last seen at 8pm or 8:30pm on Sunday night depending upon the account, and he was a member of the varsity wrestling squad. It was near 0 degrees that night, and he had left his coat! Given that the roommate came home at 9pm or 9:30pm, that leaves 30 to 90 minutes for him to disappear. No signs of foul play, but let's face it, there aren't always. I'm surprised the roommate is not a suspect...he would have all night to clean up... Of course, the roommate said that the wallet had his ID and papers but no cash (estimated at less than $12).

    The amnesia angle makes no sense to me...with temperatures near 0 degrees and no coat he would not have survived for very long out there. Windchill would bring it down to at least -15 degrees. It seems that the only reason for thinking he did not meet with foul play is that the room was not roughed up. That could just mean that someone held a gun to him and forced him outside, or they surprised him and conked him over the head. I saw a story recently where a woman went missing, and her body was found over a year later in the building - the murderer had concealed the body in a box in his own bedroom. The only reason they found the body after a year is because he reached a point where he could not stand for the body to be there any more and moved it to a common storage area. So it seems that (especially given the cold) his body could have been concealed until it could be disposed of more thoroughly.

    Supposedly there were other students at the school in the previous year or so who fell into a dissociative fugue and wandered off, only to come back later. According to websites:

    http://www.visionandpsychosis.net/Missing_Students.htm#NOTES

    http://www.riehlworldview.com/carnivorous_conservative/2005/09/taylor_behl_upd.html

    Another story here:
    http://www.enquirer.com/editions/1998/10/31/loc_miamighost31.html

    Here's another account I found, dates to 2003:

    Journal-News, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2003
    Miami's Ron Tammen mystery began 50 years ago in April 1953

    By Jim Blount

    The Ron Tammen mystery is nearly 50 years old, and no closer to solution than it was that cold night when the 19-year-old sophomore, who had been seen studying in his room in Fisher Hall, vanished from the Miami University campus in Oxford. His disappearance Sunday night, April 19, 1953, perplexed investigators and reporters for decades.

    At about 9 p.m., Sunday, his roommate, Charley Findlay, returned from a weekend visit to Dayton. He discovered Tammen’s radio playing and his psychology book open on his desk in Room 225, but Tammen wasn’t there. There was no note reporting his whereabouts.

    Also left behind were his watch, wallet, keys and a coat. His 1939 Chevrolet was in its usual parking place. Later, it was learned that $200 remained in his bank account. He hadn’t contacted a brother, Richard Tammen, then a Miami freshman.

    Ron Tammen -- 5-10 and 175 pounds -- was last seen about 8:30 p.m. when he was issued fresh linen for his room.

    The graduate of Maple Heights High School in suburban Cleveland was a 3.2 business student, a varsity light heavyweight wrestler, a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and played bass in a local dance band, the Campus Owls.

    According to 1953 reports, his friends described him as stable, responsible and friendly -- not a person expected to run away without telling anyone.

    Theories have ranged from amnesia and foul play to the possibility that Tammen, who was enrolled in the U. S. Navy ROTC program, ran away to avoid the chance that he would be ordered to serve in the Korean War (1950-53).

    There were no signs of a struggle in his room, and kidnaping was dismissed because there was no ransom note or demands for money.

    Wednesday evening, April 22 -- three days after his disappearance -- television stations in the area flashed a picture of Tammen on the screen and appealed for help in locating the missing student.

    It brought only one response -- from a woman in Seven Mile, who reported a strange acting, but polite young man had knocked on her door about midnight Sunday. He asked directions to a bus stop, she recalled. She directed him into Hamilton. She thought it odd he wasn’t wearing a coat or hat on such a cold night.

    Despite investigations, including the FBI, Ronald Henry Tammen was never seen again. He left a trail as cold as the night he disappeared -- the temperature near zero with snow flurries.

    A few weeks after his disappearance, some residents of Fisher Hall reported hearing mysterious singing and seeing a ghostly figure in the formal gardens near the dormitory.

    The Tammen mystery, some have said, is just another example of strange happenings in and about Fisher Hall, the base for several ghost stories. It was built in 1856 by the Oxford Female College. It was the Oxford Retreat, a sanitarium for the mentally ill from 1882 until 1926, when Miami acquired it from the Cook family.

    When the U. S. Navy moved into Oxford June 1, 1942, trainees were bunked in Fisher Hall, which was commissioned the USS Fisher Hall for the duration of World War II.

    From 1958 to 1969, it housed Miami’s theater department. Fisher Hall was abandoned in 1969 and demolished after efforts to preserve it failed in July 1978. Later, the Marcum Memorial Conference Center was built on the site.

    On Halloween night 1975, a student group sponsored a seance inside a boarded-up Fisher Hall. About 200 students attended as a California spiritualist sought the spirit of Ron Tammen. He claimed to have a vision of a young man going from a second floor room to the basement, attracted by loud noises. In the basement, he confronted two "men of evil," who attacked him. His vision ended, he said, as the men dragged the body out of the building.

    Finally, his Charlie Project case:

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/t/tammen_ronald.html

    Next question, can anyone substantiate the supposed other amnesia cases from the university? There is nothing in the news reports.
     
  21. monkalup

    monkalup Former member

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    Possible Break In Student's 1953 Disappearance

    Last Update: 9:36 pm

    Print Story | Email Story

    Possible Break In Student's 1953 Disappearance
    Ronald Tammen A Local Breaking News Alert now tied to a missing Tri-State college student.

    It's a possible break in a case that dates back 50 years and is the source of many ghost stories on the campus of Miami University.

    19-year-old business major Ronald Tammen vanished from the old Fisher Hall in April of 1953. His bed was made and one of his textbooks was open on his desk. No-one has seen him since.

    About a week ago, a cold case detective in northern Georgia made contact with Oxford Police and the Butler County Sheriff's Department. That detective wanted to talk about the body of a man found in his jurisdiction a month after Ronald Tammen went missing.

    Butler County's Cold Case Squad is now comparing notes with that detective. A connection could possibly make clear the mystery of Tammen's disappearance.
    http://www.local12.com/content/brea...ntent_id=790a05d8-d045-4f3a-b2c6-bcf4c49bf891
     

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