PA PA - Marjorie West, 4, McKean County, 8 May 1938

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by blueclouds, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. blueclouds

    blueclouds Former member

    Messages:
    3,521
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Illegal adoption agencies occasionally kidnapped children to "supply" their high paying clients with a child to their liking and description. This story has me curious and truly wondering if she really IS alive somewhere out there.

    What do you think? There's also a $10,000 reward if someone actually finds her. BTW, she also went missing on mothers day. Terribly sad.

    http://www.mlrmag.com/sections/m_west/m_west_what_happened.html

    http://www.angelfire.com/mi3/mpccn/mwest.html

    EDITED:

    I guess I should have given more background. This child disappeared in 1938 in the height of illegal adoption groups all over the country. There is a very good chance she was picked up by a broker for them who was "hunting" to get a child to their liking. I personally think that the "parents" of this adopted child probably didn't know they were getting a kidnapped child as well. It's very interesting and I think the only way someone will "find her" is that they will come across the website pictures and think it looks something like their great aunt or second cousin...etc...
     
  2. Loading...


  3. joellegirl

    joellegirl New Member

    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That is so terrible and sad. I really hope she is alive and is found.Her poor parents had to go to their graves not knowing what happened to her. It always amazes me how quickly someone can vanish, only out of sight for a moment...And what sickos these people were who stole these children, absolutely no conscience. Just sick.
     
  4. smile22

    smile22 Live Laugh Love

    Messages:
    3,770
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    38
    so sad, when i was driving the other day i saw 2 little boys outside on the side of their house playing with the water im sure the mother was inside and i would hope she was watching from the window, the nighborhood was a safe one but u just never know, and then one day i was watching my godson at my grandmas he gets the school bus at her house, she was runnig errands with my aunt i told my godson to stay in the porch and watch for the bus, then i went over with him the dangers of standing outside alone, and talking to strangers
     
  5. shadowangel

    shadowangel Black cats consider me unlucky.

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just got around to reading this thread. Contrast this story and the article linked to the story from my thread, Missing in WV. It definitely seems that the adoption theory has some credence....
     
  6. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,170
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Marjorie West
    Missing since May 8, 1938 from McKean County, Pennsylvania.
    Classification: Missing

    Vital Statistics

    Date Of Birth: June 1934
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 3 years old
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Red hair; blue eyes.

    Circumstances of Disappearance

    Marjorie attended a church service with her family members in Bradford, Pennsylvania during the morning hours of May 8, 1938. Her parents decided to have a Mother's Day picnic afterwards in the White Gravel area, which was a 40-minute drive from Bradford. They drove south along US Route 219, following an old railroad grade from Custer City to Marshburg, Pennsylvania. The Wests entered the White Gravel area from Chapel Fork Road in McKean County.

    Marjorie picked wildflowers with her older sister Dorothea later during the day. Dorothea recalled that their parents warned them against walking behind a large boulder near the flowers. She said their father and brother checked the area, but there was a chance that rattlesnakes were hiding near the rock.
    Dorothea left Marjorie alone while she spoke to their mother at approximately 3:00 PM. Marjorie disappeared by the time her sister returned to the area. She has never been heard from again. The girls' mother called the police after an initial search of the area by family members produced no evidence as to Marjorie's whereabouts. Police searched with bloodhounds around the rock and down to the road where the scent trail stopped; there near the road were the violets that Marjorie had picked earlier.

    Witnesses reported that two vehicles drove past the Wests' picnic site prior to Marjorie's disappearance. The first was going south to Morrison just before three o'clock. The second was going toward Marshburg just after three. Authorities identified the cars and neither was involved in her case.

    A taxi driver in Thomas, West Virginia claimed that he saw a girl matching Marjorie's description riding in a dark-colored sedan with an unidentified man. The sighting took place at 11:38 PM on the night of her disappearance. The driver said that the individual asked him where the nearest motel was located. The driver directed him to an establishment across the street, which did not have any vacancies. The man returned and inquired about a local liquor store. The driver instructed him to stop at a bar down the road. The driver identified Marjorie as the man's passenger several days later, but man's identity remains a mystery.

    Investigators determined that the approximate travel time along US Route 219 between the White Gravel area and Thomas, West Virginia was eight hours. If the individual abducted Marjorie around 3:00 PM, they would have arrived in Thomas by 11:00 - 11:30 PM that evening. Authorities were unable to confirm the child's identity.

    There was speculation that Marjorie was taken to Canada by other family members, while others theorized that she may have fallen down an abandoned oil well near White Gravel. Some people believed that Marjorie may have been abducted and taken somewhere in the south or southwestern United States.
    Additional speculation pointed towards the Tennessee Children's Home Society near Memphis, Tennessee. The facility was operated by Georgia Tann, who was initially lauded for placing at-risk children in adoptive homes. Authorities eventually learned that Tann had kidnapped over 1200 young children during the years 1932 through 1951. The majority of victims were abducted from states bordering Tennessee, although some children resided in Connecticut. Judge Camille Kelly approved Tann's custody bids for the majority of the victims. Tann placed most of the children with childless couples in New York City, New York or Los Angeles, California.

    None of the theories have been proven and no one has been implicated in Marjorie's disappearance.

    Marjorie's sister, Dorothea strongly resembles Marjorie and her photos are posted on the Doenet website. Marjorie's case remains unsolved.
    Investigators
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    The Mountain Laurel Review 814-362-5281 OR 814-368-1463

    Source Information:
    The Mountain Laurel Review
    The Doe Network: Case File 799DFPA


    Link:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/
     
  7. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily Member

    Messages:
    977
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    18
  8. anthrobones

    anthrobones New Member

    Messages:
    1,152
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
  9. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

    Messages:
    2,404
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It would certainly be nice if a family took Marjorie and lovingly raised her as their own daughter. But if she was the child with the man in the car, and he was looking for a motel room and liquor, it doesn't look good.
     
  10. docwho3

    docwho3 New Member

    Messages:
    2,715
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    One of the links in the post got merged with the link below it. So I am quoting it and attempting to fix the links at the same time. I hope it helps.
     
  11. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,170
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    63
    It has been a while since anyone has posted to this thread. I wonder if the pedophile mentioned recently by a convict as having killed children in the late 1950's and early 1960's was abducting and killing children as early as 1938?

    A little side note: Bradford, PA is where Zippo lighters are made.
     
  12. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,170
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    63
    It has been 69 years since the disappearance of Marjorie West.
     
  13. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

    Messages:
    1,584
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This case has haunted me ever since I first read about it. I pray this family can get some closure.
     
  14. istgirl

    istgirl New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  15. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,170
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    63
  16. outofthedark

    outofthedark Lyle Stevik's FB Hostess

    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I'm curious about the Dorothea West photos- other than the fact that she resembles Marjorie, was there another reason why they're posted?
     
  17. MacPlus512

    MacPlus512 The Mayor of McCully Road

    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Remember, in 1938 nobody would have really doubted the parents. I say this because in the 1980s nobody doubted parents.

    The proof? Sharon Marshall. Look at all the times she switched schools around 1983-1984. No questions were asked about FDF being a real father, the real background of the mother, etc.

    The guy who kidnapped Marjorie probably also enrolled her in a school without problems.
     
  18. Teresa Larson

    Teresa Larson New Member

    Messages:
    800
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wasn't there a movie made about this years ago? I also wonder if her sister ever went back to the place that Majorie was kidnapped from years later. Was the boulder that big and how far away was the mother at that time? I feel very sorry for the family never finding her. I also feel bad for Marjorie She would have been very scared and confused too being taken away from her mother I am sure she had some issues as she got older and never had any idea why.
     
  19. Bluecat

    Bluecat New Member

    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If my map search was correct, then the White Gravel area is actually the area around White Gravel Creek. From the satellite picture, it looks hilly and has a lot of greenery that might conceal a small girl. Chapel Forks Road (possibly now also known as Forest Road) runs directly from Marshburg in a big loop that goes back to Route 59. The area is riddled with creeks. I wonder how well it was searched...it seems like an assumption was made immediately that she had been picked up by a car, because of the flowers found near the road. Is it possible that she dropped them and wandered in another direction? I know that bloodhounds follow scent by basically crossing back and forth over the scent trail, and they are constantly loosing and picking up the scent. Could it be possible that the scent trail continued, and it was the handler that stopped where the flowers were found, based on an assumption? I've heard of lost children traveling a surprising distance and being found much further away from where they were lost than you might expect. I just wonder if she wandered away into the woods...
     
  20. meggilyweggily

    meggilyweggily Member

    Messages:
    977
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I recently read a book on Georgia Tann, The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption by Barbara Bisantz Raymond. It was a very good history and it really opened my eyes to just how evil this woman was, and how society at large colluded with her crimes. She would often outright kidnap poor people's children, snatch them literally off the street sometimes. And when the children's parents went to court to get them back, they were told they should be glad that their child was now being raised by rich people!

    I highly recommend the book, although it does not mention Marjorie West.
     
  21. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,170
    Likes Received:
    121
    Trophy Points:
    63

    I do not know the specifics of how and when the dogs were used in this case, other than what is stated in the case summary (see first post). I can say, however, that tracking dogs can be amazingly accurate and useful in a search - but that their usefulness and accuracy depend on various conditions.

    I have trained tracking dogs in the past, and it is only the very young and inexperienced dogs who cross back and forth over a sent path. It is called "casting". An experienced tracking dog will almost immediately pick up an assigned scent and stay with it to the exclusion of all other scents.

    Scent is left on the ground where a person walks, but it is left in a much larger "swath" to the side of the track where the wind has blown it. A large amount of this scent comes from the top of the persons head and exposed skin areas - not just from the soles of the feet.

    Weather and climate conditions play a big part in how strong a scent track is. If it is cool and damp, the scent is very easy for the dogs to read. If it is very hot and dry, then it is harder for the dog, as the scent will evaporate and the heat and dryness make dry out the dog as well. Rain can wash away some of the scent, and time also dissapates it.

    Experience of both dog and handler plays a major part as well. They work together as a team, with the dog reading the track, and the handler reading the dog, and interpreting his signals.

    The police conclusion that Marjorie may have been picked up by a vehicle was based on the fact that a very readable track suddenly disappeared at the side of the road, and the flowers that she had been carrying were also there. The dog would have indicated to the handler that the flowers had been dropped by her. Tracking dogs are trained to stay with the track and not "cut corners" when the track doubles back this is so that nothing is missed such as a dropped object, weapon, etc. They are trained to either pick up a dropped object, or indicate to the handler in some way that it is there. Some point to it, others indicate vocally, others may simply wag the tail briefly.

    The handler would not have simply stopped his dog at the finding of the flowers, he would have been encouraged by them and then disappointed when the dog began casting left and right trying to regain the trail.

    A dog will always begin to "cast" when he loses the scent, going left and right, or move in expanding circles. The handler is usually about 30 to 40 feet behind the dog, and must hold the lead above his head and take up slack quickly so the the dog does not get tangled up in it during this time.

    Dogs are trained over varying types of terrain, with various types of masking scents, and with various types of distractions. They are tested on a regular basis by other trainers and handlers. The American Kennel Club offers "Titles" to dogs who pass their very demanding tests.

    Numerous attempts to regain the track would have been made before giving up on it.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice