In June 1968 Madeline Anna “Lynn” Babcock was a 35-year-old twice-divorced mother of four living in Venice Beach, California. To make ends meet she held two jobs in Santa Monica: bartending at Fred’s Tavern and assembly line work at the Plastic Glide factory.
On the 11th she called her mother from a pay phone and stated that a friend planned to drive her for a visit the following day. Lynn’s family never saw or heard from her again.
In early July the proprietor of Fred’s Tavern told Lynn’s sister, Pat Foy, that she didn’t call in or show up for her shift the first week in July. The same week the family received this news Lynn’s landlord let them inside the Flower Street apartment.
The family and landlord were surprised to see that all of Lynn’s possessions had been moved out. The landlord wasn’t aware that she left and didn’t notice anyone moving items from the apartment.
From what I’ve read none of the children were in her custody.
Medical, Dental, & Distinguishing Features
Lynn was born with hydrocephalus and usually wore her hair lower on her forehead in order to cover a bulge on the right side. Her condition required a spinal draining every seven years, but she reportedly hadn’t undergone this procedure since she was fourteen.
She had a hysterectomy scar on her abdomen, a healed broken nose, and extensive dental work.
According to The Doe Network Lynn was an alcoholic when she disappeared.
Thoughts, Speculation, Etc.
While the authorities took a missing persons report on Lynn they believed that she left of her own will. Did this compromise the investigation? It would be interesting to know if the police interviewed Lynn’s co-workers, neighbors, ex-husbands, or landlord. The family didn’t think Lynn had many friends in Venice Beach, but they lived out-of-town and may not have been privy to all of her activities.
The friend who was supposed to drive Lynn to her mother’s house was never identified.
There was no evidence of an attack in her apartment. If she had been abducted or murdered it seems far-fetched that someone would take the time to move all of her belongings.
If she had amnesia from a medical condition and wandered away, who emptied out her apartment?
In 2007 authorities were notified that a woman who was disabled and unable to communicate was Lynn Babcock but DNA testing ruled out this possibility.
Pat Foy apparently once maintained a website devoted to finding Lynn but that site is now offline. If alive, Lynn would be in her 80s and the sister would also be of advanced age. In 2011-2012 someone claiming to be Foy participated in a WebSleuths forum. This person made some highly accusatory statements about Lynn’s ex-husband Larry Babcock but provided no concrete proof to substantiate her claims.
After reading the above thread more carefully I looked up the Whitinsville, MA cemetery thinking that I might find a listing for Ms. Foy. What I found was a memorial that Patricia created a memorial for Lynn in 2010 listing the date of death as June 22, 1968. There’s no validation process for creating memorials on Find A Grave, so that date is probably an estimate and the likelihood that there are remains interred at Saint Patricks Cemetery are slim to none.
While it might seem difficult to imagine that a mother of four children would abandon her family this seems like the most logical conclusion.
What struck me more emotionally than the actual disappearance were the words of Lynn’s sister as they illustrate the impact of a missing persons case on those left behind.
Four decades later the sister struggled to keep the case alive, searching for closure. The cringe-worthy claims on the forum above read like the notions of someone desperately grasping at straws to avoid facing the painful possibility that Lynn was so unsatisfied with her life that she chose to walk away.