PA PA - Philadelphia, 'Boy in the Box' WhtMale 4UMPA, 4-6, Feb'57

Discussion in 'The Unidentified' started by christine2448, Mar 31, 2005.

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  1. mel36

    mel36 New Member

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    What surprises me and I hope to raise the thoughts of others on this subject is the fact that when the police and investigators went around and questioned the Orphanages and the Foster Homes, the question was "are their any missing children from this (orphanage or home)? well if some body killed the little boy from one of those places I don't believe that they would be so forth comming with and missing children information, their was a St Josephs Catholic Orphanage I believe that was in that area I wonder if through the years and with other investigators if they have never executed a search warrent for batismal records medical records or some kind of roll count from during that year as to how many children were their and if they could all be accounted for, it seems to me that the investigators previouse and new have put so much time and effort into this case it would be a shame to leave even one stone unturned, just my thoughts. :twocents:
     


  2. Pandora

    Pandora New Member

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    EXACTLY RIGHT mel36!!!
    When we sent our inspection teams to foreign prisons/encampments to search for MIAS/POWS from VietNam all they did was look at the rolls!!! WTH didn't they walk up and down the tiers hollering, "Is anyone here American?" SERIOUSLY! The powers that be always seem willing to take the word of those who would be investigated and prosecuted if the child/person were found. What gives?!?!
     
  3. docwho3

    docwho3 New Member

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    My response is not exactly important to the case.
    I just wanted to mention that when I saw this case title, which has to do with a box and then saw that the most recent post was from a user named pandora I just had to smile.
     
  4. 2sisters

    2sisters New Member

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    Lol!
    As ugguestion about the orphanage. They investigators went through the records I am sure, but who to say some records werent destroyed by the orphanage first. Sorry, but orphanages aren't know for being rainbows and baskets of puppies. Shouldn't the county have records of all kids living there? to me he jus thas to be from the children's home. i wonder did the investigators talk to kids at the home? weould they have been any help or too scared to talk?
     
  5. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Here is what the Doe Network has in its files on the little boy...

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Unidentified White Male
    Body found in a cardboard box off Susquehanna Road in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 25, 1957
    The child was severly beaten and bruised.

    Vital Statistics

    Estimated age: 4-6 years old
    Approximate Height and Weight: 40 1/2 inches; 30 pounds

    Distinguishing Characteristics: He had blue eyes and pale skin. His hair was medium to light brown, or blond in color, and was trimmed in an odd, bowl-shaped haircut. There were seven scars on the body, three of which could have resulted from surgical procedures. Two of these "surgical" scars were on the chest and groin. They had healed quite well, leaving only a hair-line trace. There was also a scar on the boy's left ankle, which looked like a "cut-down" incision. Such an incision is made to expose a vein so that a needle may be inserted to give an infusion or transfusion. There was a 1 1/2 - inch scar on the left side of the chest, and a round, irregular scar on the left elbow. On the chin was an L-shaped scar - a quarter of an inch long in each direction. There was no vaccination scar. The boy had been circumcised. He had several small moles on his body, including three on the left side of his face; one below his right ear; three on his chest; and one on his right arm, two inches above his wrist.

    Dentals: The boy had a full set of baby teeth, and was also slightly buck-toothed.

    Clothing: A tan child's scarf and a boy's yellow flannel shirt were also recovered at the scene. Investigators determined that the size four shirt matched the child's size at the time of his homicide. A child's pair of black shoes were also located; however, they did not fit the unidentified boy. An Ivy League style cap made of blue corduroy was also found near the box; the hat had a leather strap and buckle across the back. It was determined that the cap was made in a south Philadelphia shop; the store owner recalled that a man between the ages of 26 - 30 made the purchase. He did not speak with an accent. The purchaser was never identified.
    Case History

    This case has baffled the public for more than 42 years. The boy, now referred to as "America's Unknown Child" or "The Boy In The Box," has never been identified -- many leads have been followed, but proved futile.

    The child's unclothed body was placed inside a cardboard box and deposited at a garbage-filled locale on Susquehanna Road in Philadelphia in February 1957. His body was beaten, although coroners' investigations were unable to pinpoint any previous broken bones or inflicted trauma. The child's nails were recently trimmed. The palm of his right hand and the soles of his feet were rough and wrinkled, indicating that the limbs had been submerged in water prior or shortly after his death. Strands of the child's own hair were present on his body, leading authorities to believe that his hair had been cut shortly before or following his homicide.

    The boy was wrapped in a large piece of an inexpensive, well-worn blanket with a faded design of diamonds and blocks in green, rust-colored red, brown and white. An additional piece of the blanket was found inside the box, which was smeared with automotive grease. The third piece of the blanket remains missing.

    The box which contained the child's body was from JC Penney's in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania and had been used for a white bassinette. Records were unable to pinpoint the purchaser of the item.

    Below link contains a photos of the box that the victim was found in and Artist Reconstructions of the little boy.

    This case has been re-opened and closed many times in over 40 years. The boy's remains were exhumed in the late 90's for DNA testing; he was then reinterred into a tomb marked "America's Unknown Child" in Philadelphia. Recently, The Vidocq Society, an assembly of esteemed detectives and forensic examiners, has taken up the case.

    A long strand of brown hair -- identified as being from someone else, not the child -- was removed from the scene. In addition, a man's handkerchief with the initial "G" was located near the box. Short stands of hair were present on the material and were tested to determine if the hair came from the unidentified boy; the results of the tests are unknown.

    A forensic artist created an image which may possibly reflect what the boy's father may have looked like, as seen in below link. (Courtesy of America's Most Wanted)

    Update: Fall of 2000 -- An independent laboratory was able to obtain a a mitochondrial DNA profile from the boy's teeth. His remains were badly deteriorated and it was a last chance effort after failing to lift any other type of DNA.

    Update: May of 2002 -- Investigators received a phone call from a psychiatrist who said that a patient of her's, named Martha, knew who the little boy was. Martha said that in 1955, when she was 11, her librarian mother drove her to a home, where she picked the boy up in exchange for an envelope which she assumed contained money. The child, called Jonathan, then came to live with them in their Philadelphia home. There, he was raised in squalor in the basement, with a drain for a bathroom and a makeshift bed amid coal bins and discarded cardboard cartons. Martha claimed that her mother regularly sexually abused her and had purchased the child to do the same to him.

    The boy's death, Martha claimed, eventually came when her mother, in a fit of rage, slammed him down on the floor after he vomited in the tub. That day, her mother drove her into Philadelphia to dump the child.

    Investigator Tom Augustine was amazed, but skeptical. "This is the best lead we've ever had on this case," he explained. "But until we have proof that [the boy] is who she says he is, she can talk all day long — we're not closing it."

    Investigators
    If you have any information as to the identity of this boy or the circumstances of his death, please contact:

    Philadelphia Police Department
    Homicide Division
    215-686-3334

    You may remain anonymous if you wish.

    Source Information:
    America's Unknown Child: The Boy In The Box Mystery
    America's Most Wanted
    Court TV
    The Doe Network: Case File 4UMPA

    LINK:
    http://www.doenetwork.us/cases/4umpa.html
     
  6. 2sisters

    2sisters New Member

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    If this case were givien more publicity I wonder if a kid from the home might come forward 50 years later.
     
  7. reb

    reb Well-Known Member

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    you know this kid might have never seen the light of day, or the few people who saw him might not remember or be dead by now, and the parents might not have had any other kids... there might have even just been one parent as the father maybe never even knew... so if the parent/s are long gone by now then there might be no one left alive who even knew about him. i honestly think as far as this case goes, that at this point we'll never know.
    forgive me if this has been discussed, but it's possible this kid was the result of a nun & priest 'having communion' together.. i used to know a mother & daughter who had an antique store that was once a convent, and they said when they renovated the basement the workers found baby skeletons (or was it fetus skeletons??) down there. is that creepy (and sad) or what????? so.. i know these kinds of things went on... maybe this kid was kept hidden somewhere and he could have died from anything- some kind of disease or epidemic, malnutrition, & his parents were destitute and couldn't afford a funeral.. another possibility- there could have been a home for the disabled, retarded or blind, or an insane asylum-- and i know there were lots of unwanted pregnanices in places like these. what happened to all these children (that were born)? how he made it to the age he was was unusual though. also maybe he was retarded, autistic or disabled himself.. he may have also been a child of rape. maybe his mother was infirmed or never wanted to have him in the first place (esp if she had been raped).
     
  8. 2sisters

    2sisters New Member

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    Is there any thing from an autospy that could point to mental retardation. Some kind of bone formation, head shape, etc?
     
  9. reb

    reb Well-Known Member

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    he also could have been the only (or the first) child to a couple, or a mother (if the father was not in the picture)-- and the couple or mother could have told others later on, that she had a child years ago but it died... and no one thought anything of it. the question of how the child lived to be that old w/o anyone noticing or remembering him points to 2 things- (as said before)- he never saw the light of day or was hidden (this to me points to: 1-poverty, 2-shame of 'illicit' pregnancy due to status, religion or rape; or 3-retardation) or whoever had him moved around a lot.
     
  10. Boyz_Mum

    Boyz_Mum New Member

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  11. mel36

    mel36 New Member

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    I believe this story has been on the show Unsolved Mysteries and it was also featured on an crime show I think the show was CSI or simular to that, I also believe that AMW featured this story but I could be mistaken I also believe that more attention needs to be focused on the care takers at the childrens homes as well just because of the hat that was found at the scene the people who made it said that it was only one in 12 made like that and that particular hat she remembers because the man asked if she could put a strap on it, like I said someone has to remember something and kids pay attention to details "like hats" its a small piece of info but I am wondering if the person that wore that hat was just nasty enough to be remembered by a kid. Details like colors, smells and objects I think are remembered when they are associated with a possible bad memory, because anybody that would dump the body of a little boy or even help to dump the body could not have had that great of a personality. These people may be all but gone that did this but the fact remains in my mind that this little guy still deserves justice as would anybody.
     
  12. blaize

    blaize Former Member

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    This is such a sad story. I remember coming across it on the web and looking at the sketchs that were released of the little lad and thinking that tme was slipping away as many of the people in that area and possibly the perpatrator/s could be dead by now.

    Did anyone see the episode of Cold Case based on this story?
     
  13. Ms Suzanne

    Ms Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    I feel they will find thier answers with the Horsham suspects.

    http://www.americasunknownchild.net/Archives5Text.html#fourq

    http://www.americasunknownchild.net/Archives7Text.html#momq


    http://americasunknownchild.net/Archives1Text.html#CSIBM

    In the article mother of 9 quizzed,she was questioned bacause she looked like the lady near the car that was seen near the area of where the boy in the box was found.If you look closely she resembles the Horsham suspect lady.There is a boy in the Horsham suspect picture the may resemble the couple found near (lady and boy)the car near the area where the boy in the box was found.

    I feel the boy died getting his hair cut in the bath.He was fighting because he did not want his hair cut.I believe the autopsy said no old bruises?Did he change care takers or was he visiting someone.



    suzanne
     
  14. 2sisters

    2sisters New Member

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    Hey Suzanne, Good to see you back here!
    I thought the bruises were a mix of old and new but the haircut bruises were new, I think thatts how they knew he had his hair cut recently.
     
  15. Ms Suzanne

    Ms Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    Hey.How are you?I'm not sure about the bruises.I was kind of confused about that.I thought they said the bruises were all inflicted at the same time.I don't know.I'll have to go try and find it.I really felt sorry for this little boy.I hope and pray they find out who he is through DNA somewhere.God is holding him now and taking care of him now.

    suzanne
     
  16. christine2448

    christine2448 Retired WS Staff

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    Hiya, this is all I could find doing a quick look over at the case summary:

    There were many bruises all over the child's body; particularly on the head and face. All of the bruises appeared to have been inflicted at the same time.

    http://americasunknownchild.net/summary.htm
     
  17. christine2448

    christine2448 Retired WS Staff

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    Was reading the timeline, and I'm confused, I had always thought/assumed, the bassinett box was discarded w/the little boys body, this states otherwise, did anyone else catch this and/or assume as I did??

    To summarize, the sequence of events may have been as follows:

    1. Monday, February 11, 1957 - Fred Benonis' initial visit to the Susquehanna Road site. He did not see the J.C. Penney bassinet carton or the boy's body at that time.

    2. Late February 1957 (specific date unknown, but probably not more than a few days prior to February 23rd) - The empty J.C. Penney bassinet carton was discarded at the site by person(s) unknown. The blue cap was probably left at the site at about the same time.

    3. Saturday, February 23, 1957 (a.m.) - Alleged death of the unknown boy in Lower Merion, PA.

    4. Saturday, February 23, 1957 (5 - 5:30 p.m.) - The body of the unknown boy was allegedly disposed of at the Susquehanna Road site by "M" and her mother. A male motorist reportedly witnessed them at the scene as they were preparing to remove the boy's body from the trunk of their car.

    5. Sunday, February 24, 1957 (1:30 p.m.) - John Powroznik discovered the boy's body while returning home from a basketball game. He did not mention this incident to anyone.

    6. Monday, February 25, 1957 (3:15 p.m.) - Fred Benonis returned to the Susquehanna Road site and discovered the body.

    7. Tuesday, February 26, 1957 (10:10 a.m.) - Fred Benonis reported his discovery to the Philadelphia police department. Police officers arrived at the scene by 10:40 a.m.
     
  18. Ms Suzanne

    Ms Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    If the bruises were inflicted at the same time.That tells me there were not other bruises mentioned in different stages of healing.I don't think they mentioned older bruises.I feel he was beat on the legs as discipline to try and give him a haircut and he fought getting one.There could have been two people trying to give him this hair cut.the bruises inflicted at the same time I feel tells me he was not beat before at least not on a regular basis.I feel he may have changed caretakers or was visiting someone.

    suzanne
     
  19. christine2448

    christine2448 Retired WS Staff

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    I think someone else may have also mentioned this, but, one o f my 1st theories was he did as a lot of kids do and gave himself a haircut and this lead to the beating that resulted in his death, but, after rereading, it appeared he was nude when his hair was cut, so that doesn't line up with me that he was the one who cut his hair. What you are saying makes more sense to me.
     
  20. mel36

    mel36 New Member

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    I was doing some research and found an article that is strange in 1952 there was a church (St Annes) that was associated with the Catholic Charities Adoptions, in the article it mentions that a woman gave birth to a baby that was given up and the church assigned the woman an alias. I am not saying that this baby was the unknown boy but it makes a person wonder if one persons adoption was handled this way then how many (and I am sure several) were handled this way, in which case were back to square zero because if this boy was adopted out and he was sickly the "adoptive parents" could have brought him back which was not unheard of back then
     
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