OH OH - Thomas Sumerix, 15, & Ruth Guthrie, 12, Summit County, June 1963

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by JeannieC, May 25, 2011.

  1. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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    Thomas Sumerix, Ruth Ann Guthrie, and Joseph Kulesza

    I'm looking for information on 3 possibly 4 who disappeared near Akron in the 60's. Two bodies were found, one was not, and I'm not sure of the fourth.

    Ruth Ann Guthrie 12 yrs - Disappeared June 2, 1963.
    Thomas Sumerix 15 yrs - Disappeared June 5, 1963
    Joseph Kulesza 17 yrs - Disappeared June 12, 1963
    I don't know the 4th girl's name?

    Tommy's skeletal remains were found May 2, 1964
    Ruth's skeletal remains were found May 27, 1964
    Joseph has never been found (or at least I can't find evidence that he has been found).

    I wonder if these are evidence of a serial killer. Tommy's case was changed from active to cold case in 1985. I believe someone knows something about these 3 or 4 cases.

    I also wonder how many more happened around the same time in the same area of Ohio. (North East)

    Tommy had been to Arlington Plaza in Akron and it is assumed he got a ride from someone when he left the stores. He lived in Green Twp, Oh. He never made it home. His remains were found nearly a year later in a woods. He had been strangled with a rope.

    These all happened near each other and notice the dates of the abductions as well as the dates the 2 bodies were located. Really strange that both were found so close together. Not the same police departments either.
     
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  3. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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  4. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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  5. doublestop

    doublestop Member

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    This is an interesting story....I wonder if Joseph was interviewed about having any connection with the others?
     
  6. doublestop

    doublestop Member

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    It appears that Joseph S Kulesza, born in 1946 in Akron, died Oct. 5, 2010 in Oceanside, Calif. So I guess there's no asking Joseph.
     
  7. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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    I saw that too. I also wondered the same thing...........

    I also wondered if he dropped out of school took off to Jacksonville, Fla and later joined the Marines. That was during the Vietnam era and a lot of guys enlisted in their choice of the branch of service if they had a low number on the draft.

    It could be a strange coincidence but I guess we will never know.

    In the mid 1990's a man called the Summit County Sheriff's Dept asking about Tommy but he hung up without giving his name or anything about himself.

    I gave my name and told why I was asking when I contacted them. Why would someone refuse?
     
  8. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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    I really believe Tommy and Ruth Ann were murdered by the same person. Both were strangled with a rope. Abducted within 3 days of each other and found within a few days of each other......

    I also believe there are more. Why just 2? Why a girl and a boy? This seems too much like a serial killer to me.

    I can't find anything about the other girl I heard about but she was found in the Akron area too. The person who told me didn't know her name but it was Ruth Guthrie. He thought it was Conner or Connelly or something like that............
     
  9. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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    The other girl was NOT named Ruth Guthrie. If the story was even real...
     
  10. doublestop

    doublestop Member

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    I did a search for missing girls from the Akron area around that time frame, but nothing really matches up with these kids:

    Linda Lee Hayes, 12, missing from Cuyahoa Falls in 1962, found safe a month later in Iowa, Robert and Elta McKeehan arrested for kidnapping.

    Joanne Starcher, 1, missing two days in 1960, found murdered in pond.

    Gwendolyn Anne Burke, 19, missing from Barberton for 6 months in 1966, found frozen to death in a field in South Dakota with a 31 year old male companion...car had been found in a snowdrift months earlier.


    Judy Sooy, 18, missing 24 hours from Cuyahoga Falls in 1961, found murdered in basement of a home.
     
  11. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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    Thanks. You did better than I did. I didn't find any of these. I think the person who told me is mistaken and there wasn't another girl or maybe it was a boy and he was confused about it. Who knows!
     
  12. doublestop

    doublestop Member

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    This may be the other child:

    There was another 12 year old , Marion Brubaker, strangled in Coventry Township, which is not far from Akron, on Aug. 28, 1962. She was found on a wooded path near her home.

    In 1965, they were looking at 31-year-old ex-con with a history of violence against women as a possible suspect in the deaths of Marion, Ruth, and 20-year-old Sandra K. Young of Canton who was beaten and slashed to death while babysitting Sep. 9, 1963.

    Significantly, in the 1965-01-13 issue of Plain Dealer that I found this in, they say the man admitted working at or near the fair that Ruth was walking home from when she disappeared. His name isn't mentioned in the article. He was under arrest at the time of the article for exposing himself to a 12-year-old girl, and was taking a lie detector test in Phoenix, where he was arrested. I can't find any follow-up on it.

    Here's more info on Marion: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=9367364
     
  13. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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    I had forgotten the name but when I read your post remembered her name as the other girl. I don't know how you found her but thank you!

    One more layer to the mistery........... Another girl or two Sandra Young.

    Now the question is: Who was the ex-con? Where Ruth's, Marion's, or Sandra's murders ever solved.......

    Canton isn't far from where Tommy's body was found. Coventry is very close to Green where Tommy lived. I bet Marion, Tommy, and Ruth were murdered by the same person. I'm not sure about Sandra but it is possible.
     
  14. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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    Marion lived on off South Arlington St. The last place Tommy was seen alive was at Arlington Plaza on Arlington St.
     
  15. doublestop

    doublestop Member

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    At first, they thought Marion might have been killed by the 15-year-old boy that found her. Then a peddler with a history of mental illness said he killed her...but both of these were well before the 1965 article with the unnamed suspect, so I assume both of them were ruled out. Still looking to see what else I can find.
     
  16. doublestop

    doublestop Member

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    100 miles straight west of Akron, in Tiffin, OH, 16-year-old Tharon Shepherd was strangled to death in January, 1965. A 23-year-old married baker, Joseph R. Esselman, confessed to killing her when she resisted his advances...probably unrelated, but since it was a teenager strangled to death, I thought it was worth mentioning. Where was Esselman in 1962-1963?
     
  17. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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    That's a good question. I wonder how he strangled her and if he used a rope.

    We need to know more about him. What was he doing from 62 to 65 and where did he live. A lot of questions........

    You amaze me! How to you find all this information?
     
  18. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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  19. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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    April 19, 1965 Esselman was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life............... I wonder if he's still alive???
     
  20. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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    If this is the same Joseph Esselman it looks like he died in Prison in 2000.



    Joseph ESSELMAN
    Birth Date: 15 Oct 1941
    Death Date: 14 Oct 2000
    Social Security Number: 284-34-9714
    State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: Ohio

    Death Residence Localities
    ZIP Code: 43229
    Localities: Columbus, Franklin, Ohio
     
  21. JeannieC

    JeannieC New Member

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