WV WV - Sodder Family - 5 children, Christmas eve 1945 - #4

Discussion in 'Sodder Family' started by Cubby, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia Owner Websleuths.com Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi Everyone,

    This case is so haunting. Glad to see we still have some discussion going on.

    Did you all see this?

    [video=youtube;z0AKoCMydkc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0AKoCMydkc[/video]

    Ryan and Shane mention Websleuths toward the end. This is from Buzzfeed's UNSOLVED
     
  2. I think the fact that Mrs. Sodder found the door unusually unlocked when she woke up at night indicates foul play. If only she checked to see if the children were still there, she may have found them already gone.
     
  3. Blondie in Spokane

    Blondie in Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link Tricia. I watched approx 20 min of the video & it really upset me how the two narrators made light of such a tragic situation. It just didn't seem right. But I do appreciate that this horrible tragedy is receiving some publicity. The Sodder parents seemed to try so hard to find out what happened to their missing kids. How awful.
     
  4. Falcon500

    Falcon500 Verified Law Enforcement Detective/L.E. Procedures

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    They could have solved their mystery 70 years ago if they had not been in such a hurry to bulldoze the site.
     
  5. margol29

    margol29 Member

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    I agree about the levity from the narrators. It was tragic and not the stuff of jokes. Just because it happened some 80 years ago does not make it less.

    Anyway I am glad this story is being kept in the public eye.
     
  6. jade.and.pals

    jade.and.pals New Member

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    the person who took them might have had a gun or some kind of weapon to scare the kids into going. they were still pretty young and might not have known what to do and cooperated with the kidnapers.
     
  7. Falcon500

    Falcon500 Verified Law Enforcement Detective/L.E. Procedures

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    There is absolutely no evidence that anyone "took" the children. However there is overwhelming evidence that they were killed in the fire. The scene was never properly searched, the entire house had collapsed into the basement, and the father was in such a hurry to cover up the scene that he borrowed a bulldozer and covered up the site within three days. There are some in that part of West Virginia who believe that the father had something to do with the fire.
     
  8. Sailor Haumea

    Sailor Haumea New Member

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    My guess - these "messages" from the Sodder children are people playing sick jokes on the family.
     
  9. Satch

    Satch Well-Known Member

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    Hey All,

    I posted a long time ago about this haunting case, can't remember my original thoughts too well. I was looking it over on Wikipedia here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodder_children_disappearance

    Note that anyone can edit Wikipedia links, but it is monitored fairly well and is regularaily updated. But best to compare what is already know about the case and check new developments on Wikipedia, carefully with other sources:

    1.) At this time, I suspect foul play. I believe that the fire was set by an arsonist who cut the phone lines, and moved the ladder, so that the children could not be saved who were still upstairs.

    2.) Why did Mrs. Sodder not go downstairs when she awoke that one time when the lights were still on at that location?

    3.) I think that the children were taken against their will, and sadly were probably killed a short time later. If they survived, they feared returning, feeling that if they did, their parents would be harmed. But to wait all these years and not contact them? I just can't see them held captive for that length of time. I don't think they died in the fire.

    4.) Haunting this case is the note that only the children who stayed up to play, were the ones who vanished?

    5.) If the account from Wikipedia is true, why did John change his story about first going up to try to rescue the children, but later say, that he just called out to them?

    6.) That mysterious phone call with the weird laugh is frightening, but I don't think it is connected to the children or the fire. There is no evidence of that.

    7.) To where did the family relocate after the fire? My understanding is that the home was destroyed completely and it became a memorial for the missing children.

    8.) I would suspect more that the children died in the fire, IF there were not all the other strange events and threats to the family before the fire, along with the phone lines cut and the ladder moved the night of the tragedy. Somebody planned this sabotage to the family property for a very long time and IMO to take the children.

    Satch
     
  10. PaulR

    PaulR Verified Software and Computer Tech

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    Just FYI on Wikipedia - how well a page is monitored depends strongly on that page, and it is not uncommon to find what Wikipedia editors call "vandalism" that has been there for months or years, because nobody saw that someone edited the page to include misleading information. Then you have editors with an agenda, and unless there are enough other editors who care to bring it to the attention of administrators, that page could end up being a glorified soapbox for someone's theories. I've done some anti-vandalism work on Wikipedia and frankly gave up because the amount of misinformation there is endless, and the only way to know it's wrong is if you have spent a lot of time doing research on your own.

    But on Satch's post - I'm not sure why someone would want to make the children appear to be dead in the fire but want to spare the parents. It would be much easier to abduct the kids and ensure the parents died in the fire - the authorities would assume everyone died in the fire, no billboards would have been erected, no possibility of news stories from parents who thought their children were still alive, etc.
     
  11. Wyle_E_Coyote

    Wyle_E_Coyote Well-Known Member

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    Occam's razor (or Ockham's razor) is a principle from philosophy. Suppose there exist two explanations for an occurrence. In this case the simpler one is usually better. Another way of saying it is that the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation is.

    https://simple.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
     
  12. Jubilee1523

    Jubilee1523 New Member

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    Hey all I’m new here. Could someone post the address of where the house was? I’m just trying to get a good idea. I’m LDS and have free access to genealogy pages. Do we have adoption records of that time?
     
  13. DakotaMayi

    DakotaMayi Former Member

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    Unless whoever took the children wanted the parents to feel the pain of those losses?
     
  14. DakotaMayi

    DakotaMayi Former Member

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    Hi Satch :wave:

    BBM...

    I happen to agree with you. Do you have any theories on why the children would have been taken? Or by who?
     
  15. Ozoner

    Ozoner Well-Known Member

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    Satch, I believe that the children died in the fire, but I do think that the fire was probably arson. I think the so-called messages from the children were from misguided people who felt sorry for the parents and wanted to give them hope. The only mystery here is, who set the fire, if it was arson?
     
  16. Satch

    Satch Well-Known Member

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  17. Satch

    Satch Well-Known Member

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  18. Satch

    Satch Well-Known Member

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    Here is another excellent article on the case. Error found is that George Sodder died in 1968. Actually it was in 1969.

    In the mystery photo that some believe may be Louis Sodder, people wonder who is "Frankie?" One of the markings is alleged to be a zip code from Sicily Italy. The article below mentions that George Sodder was very reluctant to talk about his experiences in Italy, and why he migrated to the United States:

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-children-who-went-up-in-smoke-172429802/

    Satch
     
  19. PaulR

    PaulR Verified Software and Computer Tech

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    He came over when he was 13 with an older brother. Maybe he just had a crappy childhood, he wouldn't be the first.
     
  20. Satch

    Satch Well-Known Member

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    Many facts concern amount of negative comments from people regarding the family in the months prior to the fire. For example the life-insurance agent saying that George's home would burn and his children destroyed when when George wouldn't purchase a policy from him. Death certificates issued for the children only five days after the fire. The same person on the review board that determined the fire caused by faulty wiring, despite the lights in the house and Christmas tree lights remaining on during the fire for a long time. The Fire Marshall advising George not to bulldoze the site. All of this points to arson and cover-up. This was no accident or faulty wiring. Even the ladder not in its proper place to rescue the children upstairs. This spells way too many avenues that somebody for whatever reason, hated George Sodder and wanted him and his family dead.

    My fear is that somebody in George's family had strong connections back in Italy with the Italian Mafia. This power over the years, could have been found out by a local and prominent West Virginia politician, who may have spread horrible rumors about George, because they hated his opinionated and out-spoken political views against people such as Italian dictator Mussolini. Anger and prejudice against George spread throughout the community, by perhaps a very small, but powerful group of people who had bad connections with revenge-seeking people. The family may have faced strong stereotypes, jump-started by these group of people, and they got the innocent locals to believe the terrible rumors.

    Start a fire Christmas Eve Night. In addition to items being moved (the ladder) or not starting, (both office trucks.) I believe that the children were taken by several people at gun or knife point. The Sodder's daughter Sylvia, found a grande like object in the yard. Witness reports of the children being seen in a passing car, as the fire was in progress! The reports of four of the children being seen by an inn-keeper a few days after the fire, but when this person tried to talk to them, they were given a look of hate by the man in the group and refused to speak. Too many incidents here tells me that this was arson, and that the children were kidnapped.

    Satch
     

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