1/17/11

ALL THE LITTLE CHILDREN


All the Little Children. M. Hudson. 2011.
In the land of Ozzie & Harriet Nelson, I Love Lucy’s crazy simple life, and our stereotypes of how good the ‘ old days’ were, it is unsettling to review some criminal cases.


In April of 1947, a tornado wrecked havoc in Woodward, Oklahoma and a little Joan Gay Croft, 4 yrs old, was taken from a make shift trauma ward in a basement by two unidentified men, and was never seen again. Strangely, a 12 year old girl was found after the storm and no one ever came forward to identified her or another girl of about Joan's age (who was also blue eyed and blonde haired). 


Most disturbing was California police had found a small girl of roughly the same age in the hands of a pedophile in that state who had been terribly abused. Initially, it was hoped she would be the Croft child but that was not the case.

The previous month a little 8 year girl was taken from Fort Atkinson, Wis. Georgia Jean Weckler was taken Mar. 27 (1947). Like Joan Gay Croft, the unidentified children of April 9, and others at the time, their full story remains unknown.


This early connection of the Croft girl to pedophiles, the similar kidnapping, and the unidentified child’s body,  raise disturbing questions based on known behaviors and preferences of child molesters. In our continuing naïveté we assume ‘sex slaves’ and ‘child prostitution’ is a modern situation. Unfortunately, people have been dealing in children as commodities for a long time. It has been theorized that some abductions of children over the decades have been to supply the demand for children to be used in this manner. This brief survey is limited to female victims but if enlarged to include males and other locations it  could provide some clues as to trends and identify possible perpetrators.

In March of 1953, Spring Valley, NY the bodies of two girls Marjorie Boudreau (8) and Esther Nagy (5) were found in Rockland County. One had been stabbed and the other died from a blow to the head, apparently from a rock. They were found in a wooded area not far from a stretch of road called Hungry Hollow. [“Two Little Girls Are Murdered.” Oklahoma (March 9, 1953) pg.1]

In July of 1954, 7 year old Judith Ann Roberts of Miami, Florida was taken from her home in the night. Her nude and blood covered body was found in a thicket on the shores of Biscayne Bay. She had been bound, blindfolded, and her head battered. [“No Clues Found in Child Slaying”. Oklahoman. (July 8, 1954) pg. 40]

In April of 1955, 7 year old Barbara Gaca was raped, stabbed and beaten not far from her home in Detriot. She had vanished on the Thursday previous on her way to school. Her body had been found in a secluded dumping ground. [“7-Year-Old Child Brutally Murdered.” Oklahoman (April 1, 1955), pg. 43].


In 1956 a mystery emerged between Kansas City and Oklahoma City when the body of a child of about 3 or 4 was confused with another child. [“Riddle of Slain Child Deepens.” Oklahoman (March 31, 1956) pg. 1]. Again, it appeared children could disappear and no one care.


In August of 1960, a Merced, California 6 year old, Angie Stewart, was found, her body showing indications of murder, in brush within Yosemite National Park. An army Warrant Officer, on orders to ship out to Korea, had been picked up. [“Missing Girl’s Body Located”, Oklahoman (Aug. 16, 1960), pg. 1].

In February of 1961, the body of 4 year old Edith Kiecorius was discovered in a littered room on a rooming house. Her body, showing evidence of being raped and beaten, was found amid dozens of empty bear cans and an empty whiskey bottle. [“Girl’s Body Found in Littered Room”, Oklahoman (Feb. 27, 1961) pg. 31).

In April of 1962 the bodies of two 6 year old girls, Stephanie Hanna and Paula Cram, were found in an abandoned refrigerator in San Fernando, California. Paul Cram was a foster child living with the Hanna’s and she had been raped while Stephanie had been knocked out. Both girls were stuffed in the refrigerator where they suffocated. [ “Girls Found Slain in Old Refrigerator”, The Oklahoman (April 25, 1962) pg. 45].

In June 1966 in Aurora, Colorado a nine year old, Paula Steinbach, was found in a cave under a shed used as a playhouse. It appeared her clothes had been disarranged. [ “Body of Girl Found in Cave,” The Oklahoman (June 30, 1966) pg. 42].

In December of 1969, six year old Kathy Adams was found in an abandoned farm house in Rice County, Kansas after being kidnapped by a man. The man then drove her to an abandoned area, had her remove her clothes, and then left. She made her way a couple of miles and saw the empty house, broke in and covered up with an old blanket. The owner of the property luckily found her the next morning, alive and unharmed. [“Officers Find Missing Girl”, The Oklahoman, (Dec. 27, 1969) pg. 32].

In May, 1967, 7 year old Cindy Cleland, of Sierra Vista, AZ vanished from her home on an army post. Four days later her nude and mutilated body was fond in dense undergrowth on military land. Initially, an area teen was arrested. [“Arizona Had Missing Girls Mystery Also”, Oklahoman (Aug. 9, 1967) pg. 9]

In late June of 1967, a 6 year old, Janelle Haines, whose father was also in the army, went missing. Some eleven hours later, her body was found between her home and officer’s club. [“Arizona Had Missing Girls Mystery Also”, Oklahoman (Aug. 9, 1967) pg. 9]


On Thursday July 6, 1967, Judith Elwell, age 5, disappeared from near her home in northwest Oklahoma City. To this day no one has seen or heard from her. [Greiner, John. “Case of Two Missing Girls.” Oklahoman, (Aug. 8, 1967) pg. 1]

On Thursday, August 3, 1967, Brenda Lois White, age 6, disappeared from near her home in Midwest City, Oklahoma (a suburb of Oklahoma City). A witness said he saw her in a white car with ‘fins’. In early November, her body was discovered in eastern Oklahoma County. It was in a shallow grave on an isolated old farm lot. [ Rogers, Jim. “Boy’s Description of Car Spurs New Kidnap Quiz,” Oklahoman (Aug.10, 1967) pg. 1; “Remains of Brenda White Believed Found…” Oklahoman, (Nov. 20, 1967) pg. 1]

August 11, 1967, two sisters, Roberta Barili (6) and Cecilia Barili (7) had gone missing on Wednesday and their bodies found the next day in Los Angeles. They had been raped and strangled. Nearby were footprints and eight empty beer cans. LA Police had suggested a possible link to the Oklahoma City-Midwest City disappearances. [ “2 Los Angeles Tots Slain”, Oklahoman, (Aug. 11, 1967), pg. 11]

August 13, 1967, in Oklahoma City four children were forced into a white, four-door sedan but escaped when the man stopped in a parking lot. They were identified as: Leellen Scott, 12, Leonard Scott 8, and Mike Bradshurd 12, and Patsy Newberry 10. [Rogers, Jim. “Four City Children Abducted”, Oklahoman, (Aug. 13, 1967) pg. 1]

In August of 1967, a 3 year old Hutchinson, Kansas girl named Rene Talbot went missing and Oklahoma City police and Midwest City police explored a possible connection to their two missing children. [“Police Study Kansas Case”, Oklahoman (Aug. 23, 1967), pg. 19]

In September of 1969, the body of 7 year old Donna Golish of Sherman, Texas was discovered in a pasture. She had gone missing on a Wednesday and her body was discovered on a Thursday. Her parents had lived on Perrin Air Force Base in Sherman. [ Rogers, Jim. “City, Texas Child Killings Compared.” Oklahoman (Sept. 12, 1969) pg. 9.] .

One of the gauges of a truly good society has to be how do we treat the 'least among us' ? The elderly, the handicaped, and the children? When children - those society should gather to itself and protect from harm - are abused and murdered we all must grieve. We must all assume the task of keeping it from happening again. We must all decide to protect and love 'all the little children.'

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is my Grandmother Kathy's Worley (Moore)sisters (Virgina) daughter. My name is Matthew William Vincent Nowak. My mother Kimberly June Moore(Nowak) (Kathy's Eldest Daughter) Virgina's daughter's Name was Donna Marie Golish

Anonymous said...

Paula Sue Steinbach was murdered in Aurora Colorado in 1966 by Charles Brett Lange who was 14 years old at the time. Brett had taken 'gag' photos of her in the tool shed and when she objected to the perverted poses he subjected her to she began to struggle and scream. The monster then strangled her and left her body to rot in the family tool shed. All of Denver and Aurora residents were praying Paula Sue would eventually be found safe and unharmed; however, this sexual predator ensured that wouldn't be the case. He even offered to join the search and rescue team to find her. For 30 days her parents and siblings were praying for her safe return. Brett Charles Lange went about his life, he married and had two children of his own. Hopefully, where he resides - he is listed as a sexual offender- not to mention 'child murderer.'

MARILYN A. HUDSON, MLIS said...

So sad and an all too familiar story.

Anonymous said...

Tomorrow, June 30, 2012 marks the 46th anniversary date of when Paula Sue Steinbach's body was discovered in a shed at the home and hands of Charles Brett Lange. I was 12 years old at the time of her murder and can clearly remember the sorrowful impact of this innocent little victim and how her young life was ended by a creepy neighborhood boy who had befriended her family. Experts in the study of homicide maintain that the technique of strangulation utilized for the purpose of murder is very personal and perverse as the killer obtains sstisfaction from draining the last breath of life from the victim. I will never forget Paula Sue's mother stating that Paula Sue was laid-to-rest with her favorite doll; my thoughts naturally centered around my little 8 year old sister and her favorite doll and the sad and sinking feeling I felt for Paula Sue's family. I understand Charles (Chuck) Brett Lange moved on with his life; he even married and had children and leads a normal life. What about the victim - she missed out on her whole life due to a freak who enjoyed taking porn images of a little frail 9 year old girl. Let us remember to be vigilant and keep our children safe and protect them from the creeps and freaks lurking in the neighborhoods in our society.
Bless you Paula Sue and your family.