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

Satch

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George was in no way an expert, my money says that if there was an expert excavation performed, remains would be found. The case could finally be closed.

I agree,

George was probably so upset over what he saw as LE apathy to the case, and the tragedy of his children gone, that he did not want to spend more money on local investigators.

Professionals, OUTSIDE of locals, with no presumed bias and proper experience could have likely found the perished children's remains in the rubble. Closure than could have been brought to this devastating case.

Satch
 
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ilovepierre

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IMO, the children never died in the fire.
I believe they were kidnapped. What happened to them after that, I have no idea....whether they were killed later by the kidnappers or were raised by them, we'll never know.

IMO
 

Satch

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IMO, the children never died in the fire.
I believe they were kidnapped. What happened to them after that, I have no idea....whether they were killed later by the kidnappers or were raised by them, we'll never know.

IMO

That theory still begs several questions, most of which, how did Marion stay sleeping on the couch through a kidnapping? Unless the children were taken while outside to do their chores before going to bed.

The kidnapping theory, if people go with that seems to say that the kids were probably already gone when Jennie went downstairs to the living room finding the lights on and Marion asleep the first time. The house was set ablaze a short time later.

It stands to reason that if the children were abducted, than unless they were killed, they would try to make contact with the family at some point.

We will also never know what would have happened if the whole family had stayed up downstairs throughout the night. Or what might have happened if all the kids had went to bed at about 10pm, as Jennie originally had wanted.

Satch
 

Satch

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Their youngest sister and remaining siblings are still searching for answers

Of the immediate family, only Silvia, the youngest daughter, 2 at the time of the fire, is still alive. I don't know about Silvia's extended family. She does not give interviews, but did say that the fire is her earliest memory. She will not allow herself to be photographed, or recorded in public.

John, when he was alive, was the only family member who would not talk about the fire. This lead to my believe that he saw the charred remains of his brothers and sisters, that he screamed when he saw them. But never told his parents because of the horror.

The dream of those following this case is to see pictures of the Sodder house before the fire. This is for purposes of studying a potential floor-plan. None have ever been seen online. My suggestion might be to go to a Historical Society or library in Fayetteville, West Virginia and see if they have any records about the house and could release them or copy them from microfilm.

Maybe Fayetteville City Hall would have something. If we could see the house structure, it would be a great visual to study.

Satch
 

Satch

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Here are two photos of the Sodder Property: (Land and Standing House Today,)

One is the original (Land Only) with what appear to be grave markers for the kids. I tried to add color and clarity with my photo software for a better picture of the location.

Next is the Sodder House as it is today. Or at least the house that sits on the property today. The address is online, but I will not post it here out of privacy respect to the owners that live there. I will say that the other source I found has the house today totally obstructed by trees, so you wouldn't see anything from that photo.



Satch
 

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Satch

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Here are two photos of the Sodder Property: (Land and Standing House Today,)

One is the original (Land Only) with what appear to be grave markers for the kids. I tried to add color and clarity with my photo software for a better picture of the location.

Next is the Sodder House as it is today. Or at least the house that sits on the property today. The address is online, but I will not post it here out of privacy respect to the owners that live there. I will say that the other source I found has the house today totally obstructed by trees, so you wouldn't see anything from that photo.



Satch

The existing house on the Sodder property today if my source is correct was built in 1971. The same reference said that road construction began in 1968. Presume that the home today is the third home on the property since the fire.

1.) It is possible that the address that I found was changed from the original Sodder address and their second home address for privacy reasons. Keep this in mind when researching.

2.) We don't know exactly where the Sodders built or bought their new home after the fire. The location I found in the second picture SEEMS to be pretty close to what little is known about their second home, but it is not guaranteed. We need the official property records for that.

3.) I read that the family lived with Jennie's brother after the fire to get their lives back in order, but for how long remains unknown.

4.) After the surviving kids had moved out and George passed away in 1969. Jennie stayed in the house alone according to reports. She built a garden around George's constructed"Memorial" site for the children. She tended that site for the rest of her life. Passing in 1989. Reports are that she dressed in black, rarely left the property after the tragedy.

5.) I personally believe that whoever cut the phone lines and moved the ladder started the fire. This was a deliberate act of arson. Not convinced of a kidnapping.

Satch
 

Mysteries1974

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The existing house on the Sodder property today if my source is correct was built in 1971. The same reference said that road construction began in 1968. Presume that the home today is the third home on the property since the fire.

1.) It is possible that the address that I found was changed from the original Sodder address and their second home address for privacy reasons. Keep this in mind when researching.

2.) We don't know exactly where the Sodders built or bought their new home after the fire. The location I found in the second picture SEEMS to be pretty close to what little is known about their second home, but it is not guaranteed. We need the official property records for that.

3.) I read that the family lived with Jennie's brother after the fire to get their lives back in order, but for how long remains unknown.

4.) After the surviving kids had moved out and George passed away in 1969. Jennie stayed in the house alone according to reports. She built a garden around George's constructed"Memorial" site for the children. She tended that site for the rest of her life. Passing in 1989. Reports are that she dressed in black, rarely left the property after the tragedy.

5.) I personally believe that whoever cut the phone lines and moved the ladder started the fire. This was a deliberate act of arson. Not convinced of a kidnapping.

Satch
I don’t think the children died in the fire.
 

localsleuthwv

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This is one of the most fascinating cases I have ever looked into. I would love to see an interview with any surviving family members or acquaintances to see what they have to say after all of these years
 

Laura_Bean

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BALLERINAS, 6 TO 8, SCORE HIT IN DEBUT; Children's Aid Society Cast, Trained by Mother of Five, Delights 200 Parents

Can someone get access to this newspaper? There is a photo of girls in it in ballet. Without a subscription I cannot get it. Does anyone have access?
 

Satch

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BALLERINAS, 6 TO 8, SCORE HIT IN DEBUT; Children's Aid Society Cast, Trained by Mother of Five, Delights 200 Parents

Can someone get access to this newspaper? There is a photo of girls in it in ballet. Without a subscription I cannot get it. Does anyone have access?

Is this the magazine that had the article, where George thought his missing daughter Betty was one of the girls? If so, several of us at WS examined the photo, and determined that it's not Betty.

The same is true with the mystery photo from 1967-1968 (sources vary) that the family got that looks like missing Louis as an adult. If you look closely at that photo, the ears and mouth do not match.

Satch
 

Laura_Bean

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Is this the magazine that had the article, where George thought his missing daughter Betty was one of the girls? If so, several of us at WS examined the photo, and determined that it's not Betty.

The same is true with the mystery photo from 1967-1968 (sources vary) that the family got that looks like missing Louis as an adult. If you look closely at that photo, the ears and mouth do not match.

Satch
THIS IS NOT A MAGAZINE PHOTO. I just said, this is from the NEW YORK TIMES, a NEWSPAPER. So no this is a new lead.
 

Laura_Bean

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Is this the magazine that had the article, where George thought his missing daughter Betty was one of the girls? If so, several of us at WS examined the photo, and determined that it's not Betty.

The same is true with the mystery photo from 1967-1968 (sources vary) that the family got that looks like missing Louis as an adult. If you look closely at that photo, the ears and mouth do not match.

Satch
Also, the one you are talking about was never found. There is NO photo that matches the date. There is NO photo that matches that magazine either. The photo was never found. So whatever photo you guys were looking at is not the one that George found. His date was wrong, I used to be under the name of catsy101 and I am the one who wrote to the library of congress. There is no date of that magazine with no photo that matched.

This is a newspaper. I think it is right for several reasons. He said LOOK (4 letters). They said maybe it was Time. Well Time magazine or the New York Times newspaper. Right? They said somewhere it mentioned the Children's Aid Society too. Guess what? This mentions it. As for the Walt Whitman school, it could have been an advertisement perhaps on the same page of this paper and it looked like perhaps it was part of the same article or maybe it even WAS part of the same article.
 

Laura_Bean

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Also, wondering how great Mr. Sodder's English was. And the reason I wonder, is perhaps he said magazine meaning newspaper. Perhaps in his mind it meant the same thing. There is not a lot of differences between the two if you think about it. Perhaps he SAID magazine but MEANT the other, newspaper. Or publication.
 

Satch

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Also, wondering how great Mr. Sodder's English was. And the reason I wonder, is perhaps he said magazine meaning newspaper. Perhaps in his mind it meant the same thing. There is not a lot of differences between the two if you think about it. Perhaps he SAID magazine but MEANT the other, newspaper. Or publication.

Thanks!

Must be going crazy, because I remember seeing a Ballerina School article earlier in this thread with the girls. I also remember that George did give the wrong date of what he saw, and seemingly the wrong publication. You helped me remember this!

And yes, George may have misspoke about the type of publication concerning the article.

Satch
 
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