Discussion in 'Sodder Family' started by ad rem, Feb 12, 2017.
Let's work on this.
WS. Am ready to present a more detailed theory thanks to questioning by Laura_Bean. However, I do wish other long term contributors to this case would question this theory. This theory is based on telltale logistics. I've read every post on this case. Fresh eyes. Prove me wrong. Help bring closure.
The major hindrance to closure on this case IMHO is romanticizing it as tragedy for a united family.
Maurice gets diagnosed with an inherited, incurable, severely crippling condition - expensive to tend to.
The father tells rest of family he has sent Maurice away to a better place to be looked after.
Mother, family and community concerned for Maurice's whereabouts and wellbeing.
Deville [somehow] knows where Maurice's body is.
Any of the younger Sodder children who present with symptoms similar to Maurice (14) is now faced with similar fate.
Mother tells brother (in local fire brigade) of her concern for Maurice's welfare. Also tells children her including two eldest sons who have US military training.
All Sodder family, apart from father, carry out a sting and rescue operation on Xmas, 1945. Also in on it are the local fire brigade and certain members of the close-knit community.
The sting and rescue operation rescues the children younger than Maurice. It convinces the father, at the time, some of his children perished on the night in question. It also serves to cover for the father's dealing with Maurice. That is, the Sodder and Cipriani family know what the father has done but are doing all they can to work to a best possible outcome for the all concerned - especially the children younger than Maurice.
Many decoys have been placed prior to during and after the fire. So many charges could have been laid but none are. Police, FBI and private investigators don't know where to start and all enquiries and investigations are lead astray.
As a by-result - Life Insurance fraud by mother. The fire site is left for three days pending investigation before mother convinces father to bulldoze the site and turn it into a memorial. Death certificates are hastily issued two days later, including one for Maurice.
This way, father isn't charged with any wrongdoing. Nor is anyone else of the night in question.
Ankylosing Spondylitis. As per investigation and proposal by Laura_Bean here on Websleuths.
This from Smithsonian dot com The Children Who Went Up In Smoke
In August 1949, the Sodders decided to mount a new search at the fire scene and brought in a Washington, D.C. pathologist named Oscar B. Hunter. The excavation was thorough, uncovering several small objects: damaged coins, a partly burned dictionary and several shards of vertebrae. Hunter sent the bones to the Smithsonian Institution, which issued the following report:
The human bones consist of four lumbar vertebrae belonging to one individual. Since the transverse recesses are fused, the age of this individual at death should have been 16 or 17 years. The top limit of age should be about 22 since the centra, which normally fuse at 23, are still unfused. On this basis, the bones show greater skeletal maturation than one would expect for a 14-year-old boy (the oldest missing Sodder child). It is however possible, although not probable, for a boy 14 ½ years old to show 16-17 maturation.
The vertebrae showed no evidence that they had been exposed to fire, the report said, and “it is very strange that no other bones were found in the allegedly careful evacuation of the basement of the house.” Noting that the house reportedly burned for only about half an hour or so, it said that “one would expect to find the full skeletons of the five children, rather than only four vertebrae.” The bones, the report concluded, were most likely in the supply of dirt George used to fill in the basement to create the memorial for his children.
Link referencing the above post is http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-children-who-went-up-in-smoke-172429802/
Mrs Ida Crutchfield of Charleston, West Virginia, owner of the Alderson Hotel, claims to have seen four of the children at her hotel three or four nights after the fire. She has signed an affidavit to this fact.
Four of the five, supposedly missing.
That's where this was supposed to end. Accounts mention the Sodders decided this-and-that after the fire. It was the father, George Sodder, who instigated the fire site re-examination in 1949 because he loved his missing children so much - come what may.
Adding: to the vertebrae found in the 1949 re-examination. It was found uncharred. From another post here on the Sodder Family forum it was found in the basement? Supposing it were from one of the missing Sodder children on the night of the fire, that post mentioned that the child must have ran downstairs into the basement, passing obvious and easier exit points.
To me, this indicates the vertebra fragment was planted during the fire site re-examination. IMO, it is likely Maurice's.
I am unable to relocate the website that expanded on the condition of the vertebrae. If my memory serves me correctly it was Smithsonian with podcast and transcript. The condition mentioned blunt force trauma. Anyone able to locate it? I will keep trying.
Planting the vertebrae in the location it was found was a veiled message to the father that someone knows what he did to his son, why he did it, and that he should stop trying to get closure regarding his missing children. The father was given the vertebrae. No-one is now sure what he did with it.
Still, the father kept looking, come what may. He was unaware that he was being protected from arrest and of the Life Insurance fraud by his wife and some in the community for his children.
So, the father sent out flyers and, subsequently, up went the billboard.
If this happened then I say the Cipriani family behaved as mafia.
Ida Crutchfield, a woman who ran a Charleston hotel, claimed to have seen the children approximately a week afterwards. "I do not remember the exact date", she said in a statement. The children had come in, around midnight, with two men and two women, all of whom appeared to her to be "of Italian extraction". When she attempted to speak with the children, "[o]ne of the men looked at me in a hostile manner; he turned around and began talking rapidly in Italian. Immediately, the whole party stopped talking to me". She recalled that they left the hotel early the next morning. Investigators today do not, however, consider her story credible as she had only first seen photos of the children two years after the fire, five years before she came forward.
On the night, the mother (apparently a light sleeper) made a venture into the basement. Without knowing the house layout, but knowing of the supposed coal store in the basement, I propose the mother opened any delivery hatch in order to hasten the effect of fire accelerants.
Also, the eldest two Sodder sons (that is, those that were at home on the night) apparently singed their hair on the way downstairs during the fire. Again, a previous post here to Sodder Family forum mentioned those Sodder sons must have singed their hair after igniting accelerants (on the night).
Further reports indicate lack of the distinctive burnt flesh odour.
No mention of fuel accelerant odour.
A previous post questioned the origin(s) of the fire. Rooftop? Basement? Fuse boxes? Any combination of these?
That'd be in 1949 when the father initiated re-examination of the fire site.
Ida Crutchfield's 1949 affidavit of 4 of the 5 missing children (therefore, "in the know") is as per vanished equipment thief and mystery phone caller on 1945 night.
George Sodder was being warned to take no more action for the good of all, including himself. Investigators were deliberately led astray. George Sodder didn't understand the bigger picture yet deeply cared for the whereabouts and wellbeing of his missing children. Mr Sodder kept searching for answers - come what may to himself.
My math needs correction. Late 1945: fire. Mid-late 1949: fire site re-examination. Mid-late 1945 into 1950: Crutchfield affidavit.
The father worked hard. Had some smarts. Was a self-made man. Honest. Adored his wife. Loved being father to a big family. Kinda adopted by the local community in which he settled. What are the chances he was escorted away to the USA, at age 13, by his older brother because an elder sibling back in Italy displayed AS?
January 21, 2015
W.Va Woman finds unexpected history in her family tree
by Marta Tankersley Hays
The above link may not stay long as it is 1 of 10 complementary stories enticing guests to subscribe. But, there it is for anyone in the area to follow-up a hardcopy on microfische, or the like.
Scroll down the above link and on the left is a copyrighted photo of Katherine Bonham Hill Lewis also known as Old Lady Lewis.
Apparently, Old Lady Lewis was a powerful, much feared woman who was notorious for having police members and certain other authorities in her pocket.
"A hundred years after Katherine Lewis’ shenanigans, which led all three of her sons down a criminal path, Lucas said the family has recovered."
Now, I'm not saying Old Lady Lewis and her relatives were involved in the rescue of the children, but that it now becomes a definite possibility that certain authorities were bribed so as to effect the disappearance of the missing children.
Charleston WV had a bad side of town back then. The distance from Fayetteville WV (where the children seemingly disappeared) to Charleston WV is 60 miles which, today, takes a little over an hour to drive by car.
Sting and rescue theory now has a more solid backbone to it.
pun definitely unintentional
"support" isn't quite the word i was looking for but it'll have to do