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

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

  1. carolann0308

    carolann0308 Active Member

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    Arson or not: they would have needed at least 3 willing adults just to commit the crime. And a later plan on dealing with 5 living kids.

    All need to enter the Stodder house multiple times undetected, remove 5 children one by one from bed, carry them down a flight of stairs & out to a waiting car. It's December the middle of the night, they have no coats and no shoes and don't yell out or protest? Did they Fireman carry the older ones down the steps with no resistance or just march them barefoot through the snow? One driver stays in the car to watch over the kids, 2-3 people to bring them down individually and one or more to start the fire. Then they bring them all to a diner for breakfast and what.......kill them, or give them to other mafia families to raise as their own? It's preposterous.
     


  2. meyniemist

    meyniemist New Member

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    The 1945 Sodder Family Tragedy w/ Jennie Henthorn - A True Crime History Podcast

    I posted this in another thread (the one about the number on the back of the photo from the 60s) but I though it could be useful here. There was an interview made with Jennie Henthorn(Granddaughter) in 2016 discussing the case and they begin talking about the photo received in the late 60s featuring a possible adult Louis Sodder around the 29:25 mark and around 30:20 she mentions that "Frankie" was the nickname Louis had for Maurice. I don't think this detail has been mentioned before (correct me if I'm wrong though, I'm new to this thread). A theory I have was that assuming that actually was Louis Sodder who sent or had someone send the photo was that " I love brother Frankie" could have been "I [ha]ve brother Frankie(Maurice)" and "Ilil boys" could be " I [have] lil boys", a possible announcement of grandchildren or a clue to their location as in "Illinois boys". The message might've been intentionally cryptic in order to protect themselves, siblings, and new families. Whoever was the "mail culprit" might've died but had requested lackeys to continue the job of "looking after" the now adult siblings to keep their mouths shut. The photo was sent as a message of "come find us, we're right here" or "we're coming to see you". Unfortunately, I think if this theory is right(regarding the second interpretation of the message) I think the siblings were caught and "punished" for their indiscretion if we assume that the private detective hired didn't just take the money and ran.

    I remember comments on videos regarding this case that if this was a mafia hit, the children might've been forced to become members of it in exchange for them and their siblings' lives. I also think it's entirely possible that they were told their family died in the fire and they would be next if they didn't make themselves useful, which is why they never actively seeked out their family . Of course, there's the question of who sent the photo but they could've found out somehow that they were lied to years later and the attempts to contact the family were passive for safety reasons. I don't think it's impossible for the lie to be kept for so long. Jaycee Dugard was unaware of the publicized search for her even though she had access to a TV during her time in captivity(her kidnapper didn't allow her to watch the news) and even had access to a phone and e-mail account when she was the graphic designer for her kidnappers' print shop. Keeping up the lie was probably much easier in an era where the children didn't have access to modern technology or Google.

    Comments on the videos about the case have suggested that Jennie and the family take a DNA test from Ancestry or 23andMe since it could help find leads in the case. If the children survived that night, they might've had children and she could find first cousins she didn't know about. I think it's a good idea but it only works if the part of the family that you're looking for has also done the DNA test. There's also a chance that even if they survived into adulthood, they didn't have children. It's also emotionally difficult since this could lead to another dead end. Has Jennie posted any thoughts regarding DNA testing through Ancestry or 23andMe when she was active on websleuths?
     
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  3. Grammy27

    Grammy27 Member

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    I
     
  4. Grammy27

    Grammy27 Member

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    I think that the DNA investigation may be the only way to know if the children survived and had families of their own. Cece Moore is an investgative genealogist who is doing great work in helping the police solve cases.
     
  5. PrivateInspector007

    PrivateInspector007 Active Member

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    I am wondering if one of the Sodder children did it? Possibly set the house on fire and run away with the other siblings? Or did Marion set them up by giving them the new toys and she was sleeping on the couch. Does anyone know what the family dynamics were like? Did the parents and kids get along? Was this an initiation for one of the older kids to join the mob? Maybe the parents murdered the children?
    Just seems really odd that no one heard screams or cries from five children burning in a house. I think it had to be either someone in the family or knew the family well enough to get the kids out without any noise? To move the ladder? Cut the phone line? Possibly do something to the trucks to get them to not start?

    I know there are some sketchy characters like the fireman who claimed he couldn't drive the fire truck and the insurance guy. I haven't found much that claimed it was an inside job.

    I find a site that shows the area of the house, kind of grainy and hard to 'investigate' with:
    Sodder Family House - Clio
     
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  6. ColyH

    ColyH Well-Known Member

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    It's possible that they accidently started a fire, got scared and ran off but eventually they would have had to find food somehow and that's when they would have been discovered. If they died due to the elements they probably weren't too far away and someone would have come across their remains.
    I don't understand what that means.
    According to the surviving children they had loving parents.
    I seriously doubt that. That's not how the mob works.
    No way that happened.
    Asphyxiation can overcome someone pretty fast especially if their sleeping.
    [QUOTE}I think it had to be either someone in the family or knew the family well enough to get the kids out without any noise? To move the ladder? Cut the phone line? Possibly do something to the trucks to get them to not start?
    I know there are some sketchy characters like the fireman who claimed he couldn't drive the fire truck and the insurance guy. I haven't found much that claimed it was an inside job.[/QUOTE]
    I will always believe that the Sodder family isn't telling the whole story. I am not saying that they are guilty of the fire but that something happened that night that may shed a negative light on a family member.

    Nice find.
     
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  7. dms

    dms Well-Known Member

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  8. ColyH

    ColyH Well-Known Member

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    Sad to hear of her passing but she is now reunited with her family.
     
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  9. Ozoner

    Ozoner Well-Known Member

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    Many of these ideas are a bit far fetched. The answer to this "mystery" is simple: The fire was very hot and left little of the children's remains, if any, and what was left wasn't found during the quick search that was done using not-particularly-scientific 1945 techniques.

    The parents couldn't handle the reality of their children's deaths, so they imagined scenarios that would allow them to avoid facing that reality. Other people should be able to be a little more objective.

    I do believe that the fire was set intentionally, and the insurance salesman was probably behind it.
     
  10. Olivia_Elaine_Smith

    Olivia_Elaine_Smith New Member

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    Die Antwort:

    Ich denke, es war eine Brandstiftung. Die laut Sichtingen von zwei Frauen und zwei Männern geführt wurde, laut wo die Kinder, in einem Hotel gesehen wurden, also prinzipiell vier Tätern.

    Wenn die Kinder, tatsächlich an diesem Tage auf dem Dachboden waren, dann sind sie im Feuer gestorben, weil man kann ja keinen 14-jährigen Jungen, da geräuschlos da runterbringen, er hätte geschrien, außer man hat ihn eine Waffe vorm Kopf gehalten. Definitiv sind sie in ein Auto gestiegen sind, wenn die Entführungstheorie stimmen sollte, und sie mussten ja auch sie alle ernähren, deswegen fuhren sie allersamt zum Frühstück, und weil sie schlafen mussten, fuhren sie allersamt zum Hotel.

    Kleiner Hinweis ist, dass die Kinder alle die Aufgaben erledigt haben.


     
  11. dms

    dms Well-Known Member

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    That's one theory. It just seems so unlikely that if the children were taken away and lived, none of them ever came back.
     
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  12. PrivateInspector007

    PrivateInspector007 Active Member

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    It could have happened - no one will ever know. I do know that for bones to be cremated that temperatures have to be upwards of 1500F and for only one of the bones (not even confirmed if it was human) was found on site, with approx 200-270 human bones (less for the children of course) times the five children so out of about 1,000 bones only "one" was ever found? Children ranging in age from 5 to 14 , not one scream or some type of commotion? It is very odd.
     
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  13. wary

    wary Well-Known Member

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    Am I misunderstanding the situation? Wouldn’t it be likely that the children went unconscious from the smoke, without realizing what was going on?
     
  14. Ozoner

    Ozoner Well-Known Member

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    You're not misunderstanding anything. There's nothing that odd about people dying in a fire. They would most likely have died of smoke inhalation without ever realizing what was going on. The house collapsed into ash and rubble; a search with modern techniques likely would have found more remains. In that era, the amateur firefighters likely wouldn't have been able to distinguish charred bone fragments from the rest of the debris.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  15. Mila_Smith

    Mila_Smith New Member

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    Hallo liebe Community!

    Ich denke, es war eine Brandstiftung.
    Sie müssten für die Entführung viele Personen bzw. kleine Gruppen sein, um fünf kleine Kinder zu entführen. Und dazu muss auch ein guter Plan mehrere Wochen geplant sein.

    Hier meine Theorie, was passiert sein könnte!

    Ich habe mal gelesen, dass die grosse Schwester "Marian" wachblieb, um über die Kleinen zu wachen. Anhand meiner Lesungen hat konnte ich festestellen, dass sie so um Mitternacht eingeschlafen ist. Auch hier können wir uns den Zeitplan mutmaßlich erstellen lassen, dass die Kinder zwischen 00:00 Uhr und 01.30 Uhr entführt wurden. Irgendwann wurden die die Jungs müde, und mussten aber noch, die Kühe zu stellen und die Hühner in den Stall zu bringen. Die Jungs gaben Bescheid, und die Schwestern wollten mit, etwa sie haben geguckt, oder sie haben geholfen. Dann der richtige Zeitpunkt für die Täter, sie kamen zu ihnen und erzählten vom Feuer/Missbrauch bzw. Eltern vorher die Kinder missbraucht/ was weiß ich. Kinder kamen, allersamt! Sie stiegen ins Auto, und die zwei Frauen, die am Tatabend gesehen werden, waren mit den Kindern zusammen. Die anderen zwei Männer entfachten das Feuer. Dann wurden sie in andere Familien gebracht, etwa ein Kinderlos oder eine Mafiafamilie.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen!

    Hallo liebe Community!

    Ich denke es war Brandstiftung.
    Es müssen viele kleine Gruppen sein, um fünf kleine Kinder zu entführen. Und dafür muss ein guter Plan auch mehrere Wochen sein.

    Hier ist meine Theorie, was sein Sein ist!

    Ich habe einmal gelesen, dass die große Schwester "Marian" wach geblieben ist, um über die Kleinen zu wachen. Anhand meiner Messwerte konnte ich feststellen, dass dies um Mitternacht der Fall sein wird. Auch hier können wir unsere eigene Zugänglichkeit entfernen lassen, so dass die Kinder zwischen 00:00 und 01:30 eingeschlossen sind. Die Jungen müssen müde werden, und sie müssen immer noch die Kühe stellen und die Hühner in den Stall bringen. Die Jungs lassen es mich wissen und die Krankenschwestern müssen mitkommen, zum Beispiel haben sie geschaut oder sie haben gehandelt. Dann kamen die richtigen Entscheidungen für die Täter, sie kamen zu ihnen und erzählten ihnen von den Feuereltern, die vor den Kindern gehört wurden / ich weiß. Kinder kamen alle! Sie müssen ins Auto steigen und die beiden Frauen, die in dieser Nacht gesehen werden, waren bei den Kindern. Die beiden anderen Männer machten Feuer. Dann wurde sie anderen Familien gegeben,

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen!



     
  16. CastlesBurning

    CastlesBurning Well-Known Member

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    BEWARE: These 50 Strangest Unsolved Mysteries of All Time Are Seriously Spooky!

    15. The Sodder Children Disappearance

    On the night before Christmas in 1945 in Fayetteville, West Virginia, George and Jennie Sodder were asleep with 9 of their children when a fire started in the house around 1:00 in the morning. George, Jennie, and four of their children managed to escape. The remaining children: 14-year-old Maurice, 12-year-old Martha, 9-year-old Louis, 8-year-old Jennie, and 5-year-old Betty still remained in the house. Between the five of them, they shared two bedrooms located upstairs.

    George broke back into the house to save the rest of the children but the staircase was on fire. When he went outside to retrieve his ladder, it was missing from its normal spot. Plus, both of his coal trucks, which he was going to use to stand on top of, were strangely not starting. Marion, one of the children who escaped the fire, ran to a neighbor’s house to phone the fire department but the operator didn’t pick up. When another neighbor called, the operator failed to pick up the phone again. That same neighbor actually drove to town and found the fire chief in person, FJ Morris, and told him about the fire. However, even though the fire station was located a mere 2.5 miles away from the house, the firefighters didn’t reach the Sodder home until 8 am, seven hours after the fire began. When they got there, the house was literally burnt to ash.

    Authorities sifted through the ash to try and find the remains of the missing 5 children but nothing was found and they were presumed dead due to the fire. Morris suggested that the fire was so hot that it literally cremated the children’s bodies, including their bones. While that theory sounds reasonable, it’s not entirely accurate because even when flesh is burned away, bones are typically left behind. Additionally, there was no smell of burning flesh reported during or after the fire.

    The cause of the fire was deemed to be bad wiring and the 5 missing children were issued death certificates. Soon after the fire, George and Jennie began to suspect that their children were not dead but instead kidnapped and the fire was deliberately set as a diversion. In fact, George had the wiring checked earlier that fall by the power company which had deemed the wiring in safe working order. While the fire was in progress, a woman came forward and said she saw all of the five missing children peering from a passing car. Another woman who was staying at a Charleston hotel had seen the children’s photos in a newspaper and said she had seen four of the five a week after the fire. “The children were accompanied by two women and two men, all of the Italian extraction,” she said in a statement. “I tried to talk to the children in a friendly manner, but the men appeared hostile… and wouldn’t allow it.”

    From the 1950s until Jennie Sodder’s death in the late 1980s, the Sodder family maintained a billboard on State Route 16, with pictures of the five vanished children and offering a reward for information. The last known surviving Sodder child, Sylvia, still doesn’t believe her siblings perished in the fire. To this day, they have never been found.
     

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