On the evening of September 10, 1947, 17-year-old Beverly Sharpman worriedly approached her mother and stated that she had something to tell her. While her mother made tea Beverly changed her mind and retired to bed without sharing the secret.
The next day she registered for senior classes at Philadelphia’s Overbrook High School but was spotted later in the evening at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station carrying a suitcase.
A telegram sent from the station’s Western Union reached the Sharpman’s home on Viola Street around 7:30 p.m.:
“Got married. Leaving town. Will not be back. Don’t worry. [signed] Babe.”
There is a frustratingly limited amount of information about not only Linda Louise Jackson’s disappearance, but about her life in general. This is not necessarily unique, especially considering that when she was reportedly last seen in 1983 information wasn’t as easily shared as it is today.
One of the saddest details about Linda was that no one seemed to notice that she was missing until years later when the police wanted to question her as a possible witness in the investigation of Gary Ridgway, the Green River Killer.
On January 3, 1948 twenty-six-year-old Lorraine “Lee” Judith Barrie Chance took her daughter Donna to a sitter’s house in Santa Cruz, California with the promise of returning later in the evening. There is no record of where she was headed or with whom (if anyone) she departed. Lee never retrieved her daughter and no one has seen or heard from her since.
Judith Ann Brown was nineteen years old when she was last seen on April 6, 1977 with Richard E. Reisenberg, a man housed at Queens’ Creedmoor Psychiatric Center after murdering his wife and young son in 1971.
Forty-seven-year-old Ethel Atwell pulled into the parking lot at the Staten Island Development Center (previously the Willowbrook State School) around 6:00 a.m. on October 24, 1978. She was expected for her shift as a therapist’s assistant.
Two women inside the building heard screaming across from Building #47 and contacted the security department. Wendy Zatwarnicki in Building #48 reported that she heard a woman yelling, “Don’t beat me, don’t beat me.”
A different version claims witnesses overheard a male saying, “Come on, come on” and a woman replied, “No, you’ll beat me!”
Nearly thirty-eight years later no one knows for sure what happened to Ethel.
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.
While most missing persons cases I’ve read so far belong to people who present complete mysteries, there are some known to have met with a tragic demise and the only missing puzzle piece is the location of the physical shell left behind.
Such is the case of 16-year-old Lucinda “Cindy” Lynn Schaefer, who disappeared on June 24, 1979 while walking home from St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Torrance, California.
On May 10, 1941 36-year-old Leila Lewis Bryan and her four-year-old daughter Mary Rachel left their Raleigh Avenue address in Carolina Beach around 9:00 p.m. on a shopping trip. They never arrived at their destination and to this day no trace of the pair or the family’s 1935 Ford Coupe has ever been found.