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PA THE BOY IN THE BOX: WM, 4-6, found in Philadelphia, PA - Feb 1957 - America's Unknown Child

Discussion in 'Unidentified 1900 to 1979' started by SMC, May 17, 2015.

  1. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    Jim Hoffman has released Edition #3 of his book, The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (3rd Edition): My Obsession with America's Greatest Crime.

    Mar 3, 2018 | Kindle eBook
    by Jim Hoffmann

    This edition of Jim's book has a lot more information that he has learned since his last edition. It also contains information that has never been released. Jim's book was the first book written about the boy. It was based on the investigation files from the Philadelphia detectives who worked on the case. It's available from Amazon for Kindle.


    This is the THIRD EDITION! It includes the author's tantalizing backstory to his research; the haunting of his home from the evidence boxes; the latest, up-to-date investigation of the most prolific lead since "M" - the Memphis Man - a resultant five years spent "down the rabbit hole" to another dead end, including a joint investigation with New Jersey author Louis Romano and Philadelphia's "Rutt Rutledge"; new evidence about "M" and much, much more. This work includes the original comprehensive book about one of America's greatest crimes: the Boy in the Box case. Using archived news stories, interviews with leading investigators and witnesses, and an analysis of the official Philadelphia Police Department's evidence box, "The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (Revised Edition)" set the standard for other researchers to follow. It is a succinct outline of the facts, the events, and the players to one of the true crime genre's most prolific stories. Included in the work are photos, charts, and a painstakingly created timeline of key events in the case. Also included in this unique work is a second book, "Susquehanna Road," a Power Prose fictionalized edition of the story (and a completely new literary genre) dedicated to the little, unknown boy and the battle-hardened investigators who fought valiantly for him.

    About the Author
    Jim Hoffmann hails from Glendale Heights, Illinois, west of Chicago. He has recently written biographies about famous rock stars including his childhood friend, Jim Ellison (Material Issue) and his current friends, Pat Vegas and Pete De Poe (Redbone). Hoffmann lives with his family in Apple Valley, California - the High Desert of So Cal.
    spike, Advocate, patsella and 4 others like this.
  2. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    However, Source R pointed out to me that when you consider the timeline, it’s basically impossible. Hurricane Hazel, which struck Philly in October of 1954, is when “M” claims her mother bought the boy at the row home.

    Hoffmann, Jim. The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (3rd Edition): My Obsession with America's Greatest Crime (p. 193). Susquehanna Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.


    Hurricane Hazel — A category four hurricane that smashed North Carolina in October, 1954, and then brought hurricane force winds as far inland as Canada. Passing 95 miles to the East of Charleston, South Carolina, Hazel made landfall very near the North Carolina and South Carolina border, and brought a record 18 foot storm surge at Calabash, North Carolina. Wind gusts of 150 mph were felt in Holden Beach, Calabash, and Little River Inlet 100 mph gusts were felt farther inland at Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York. Hazel carved a path of destruction that left over 600 dead, and damages exceeded $350 million 1953 U.S. dollars.


    Those who lived through this storm may best remember it for the dark clouds and the darkness that evening of Oct. 15, and wind gusts from 75 to 100 miles per hour. Documented reports clocked winds at Philadelphia International Airport at 94 miles per hour.

    Main Line Today
    A home in West Chester, after Hurricane Hazel hit with 65-miles-per



    OCF Realty
    With Hurricane Irene on her way, let's take a look at the worst hurricane to hit Philadelphia in modern history. Hurricane Hazel

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  3. FlandersFields

    FlandersFields Well-Known Member

    She has a cold demeanor to her look, and has a sly smile. She gave me the creeps when I first looked at her.
    spike, Scorpio, Kimster and 2 others like this.
  4. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    She has evil in her eyes. We only know information the PPD has shared from their interviews with Martha. It is my understanding that Martha was extremely forthcoming with her information, but she was thwarted and disparaged by a few individuals who attempted to portray her as mentally unstable. I do believe this case is more a problem of legal jurisdiction than anything else. The DA who originally refused to deal with Bill Cosby is the same DA who would not move the boy's murder case to Montgomery County. Once Martha came forward with her information, the murder scene changed from Philadelphia to Lower Merion Twp., Montgomery County.

    We know the librarian abused her own daughter, encouraged her husband to abuse their daughter, purchased a severely disabled toddler as a sex toy, housed the child in an old coal bin, and eventually murdered the little boy. These actions are heinous. I just can't accept that these evil crimes are the limit of this woman's vile activities. My ongoing concern is with actions the librarian and her friends may have done to other children after they retired to Fort Myers, Florida and after Jonathan was beaten to death. These possible victims may still be very much alive.
  5. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I have no words.
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  6. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Source R had much more specific detail about “M”’ s family, family member data, etc., but I decided to only include a “sanitized version” in this chapter. The bottom line is that the only real evidence we have to support the notion that “M” might be related to the Boy in the Box through her paternal uncle, her father’s brother, are “M”’ s own words, and the circumstantial evidence compiled by Source R. BUT... I believe every noun, pronoun, verb, and adverb “M” has stated publicly . . . and any other grammatical elements you can think of. Her account is unequivocal in my humble opinion.

    Hoffmann, Jim. The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (3rd Edition): My Obsession with America's Greatest Crime (pp. 194-195). Susquehanna Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.
  7. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member



    There was no callous development on the soles of Jonathan's feet. It's fairly obvious that he didn't walk. He lived in an old coal bin on top of a refrigerator box, with a thin blanket.
  8. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Hypothetical bust of what the unknown boy's father may have looked like, by forensic sculptor Frank Bender, V.S.M.

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  9. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    I don’t intend here to rehash “M”’ s account of what really happened to the Boy in the Box, the reader has it above in Chapter V, but this little tidbit, this little addition or wrinkle to the account has grabbed me. You see, “M” has publicly stated in interviews that she thinks it is possible she is related to the BITB. Let me type that again: “M” has stated in interviews that she thinks it is possible she is related to the BITB.

    Hoffmann, Jim. The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (3rd Edition): My Obsession with America's Greatest Crime (p. 186). Susquehanna Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.
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  10. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    He did not go to college and in fact initially worked as a clerk. After marrying, he eventually moved to the Mayfair section of Philadelphia. When the wife of “M”’ s maternal uncle died sometime after the uncle, Source R found an Obit which did not mention “M” as a surviving family member. Again, this made Source R “wonder if she [uncle’s widow] was angry because “M” released information about the family.”

    Hoffmann, Jim. The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (3rd Edition): My Obsession with America's Greatest Crime (p. 194). Susquehanna Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.
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  11. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    “M”’ s Father was the son of Welsh immigrants. He had four siblings and lived near Scranton. “M”’ s father had a BS from Penn State and an MA from the University of Pennsylvania. He didn’t marry “M”’ s mother until he was in his 40s - around World War II. At Lower Merion High School, he was a Science teacher and coach, she a librarian.

    Hoffmann, Jim. The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (3rd Edition): My Obsession with America's Greatest Crime (p. 194). Susquehanna Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.
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  12. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    As a side note, a recent reexamination of the boy’s autopsy by “Philadelphia Medical Examiner Haresh Mirchandani concluded that what had been thought to be signs of multiple intravenous insertions into the boy’s leg - an indication that he might have been chronically ill - were actually scars from hernia surgery.” (Lewis 1998)

    Hoffmann, Jim. The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (3rd Edition): My Obsession with America's Greatest Crime (p. 24). Susquehanna Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.
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  13. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    If Jonathan did have hernia surgery, problems with anesthesia during that procedure could have been responsible for severe cerebral palsy.
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  14. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Bump for comments about cerebral palsy.

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  15. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Though forensics was limited in 1957 compared to today, the investigators working the Boy in the Box’s case were very intuitive. An ultraviolet light was used by Dr. Spelman to scan over the body so as to look for tiny clues, small fibers, anything which might reveal something significant. When the boy’s left eye was exposed to the light, he noticed that the eye fluoresced a bright blue, indicating a possible use of an eye medicine to treat an eye infection. Like the cut-down incision, this was another unique characteristic the investigators could present when speaking to physicians, hospitals, etc.

    Hoffmann, Jim. The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (Revised Edition) (Kindle Locations 232-234). . Kindle Edition.

    Who was the source for an antibiotic to cure an eye infection? Obviously the librarian or one of her "evil friends" had access to someone who could provide this medication
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  16. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    Seven scars blotted the body, which were seen as possible clues to the boy’s identity. Three were possibly surgical in nature: two on the chest and groin, both well-healed indicating that they had been created some time before. There was also a “scar on [the] boy’s left ankle, which looked like a ‘cut down’ incision indicating [the] boy possibly received infusions” (Philadelphia Bulletin 1957). Dr. Spelman later ordered an examination of all records at Philadelphia General Hospital to locate child patients with a record of operations involving infusions or treatment of an illness.

    Hoffmann, Jim. The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (Revised Edition) (Kindle Locations 215-219). . Kindle Edition.

    The PPD checked hospital records throughout the Philadelphia area. They found nothing for matching footprints, hernia surgery, anesthesia problems, or eye ailments. Hospitals would have had records of an infant suffering surgical trauma that resulted in cerebral palsy. Where were these procedures done?
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  17. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    Venous cutdown is an emergency procedure in which the vein is exposed surgically and then a cannula is inserted into the vein under direct vision. It is used to get vascular access in trauma and hypovolemic shock patients when peripheral cannulation is difficult or impossible. The saphenous vein is most commonly used.

    Distal saphenous vein cutdown site.



    Intravenous (IV) access is one of the crucial first steps in the resuscitation of any critically ill or injured patient who presents to the emergency department (ED). When peripheral IV access fails, alternative routes must be sought to obtain rapid access for the purpose of infusing IV fluids, blood products, or medications. [1] Although venous cutdown has largely been replaced by the use of over-the-wire percutaneous catheters (also known as central lines) [2] , it remains an excellent alternative when other approaches have failed.


    The great saphenous vein (GSV) is the vessel most commonly used for the venous cutdown. [resuscitation, [10, 11, 12] this vein's location distant from the primary resuscitative efforts centered on the head, neck, and torso affords unhindered access to the site.

    Saphenous vein cutdown is indicated for the purpose of emergency venous access (when attempts to gain access via peripheral or percutaneous routes have failed).

    It sounds like an emergency situation occurred during the hernia operation. Jonathan may have entered surgery as a normal infant and emerged from the procedure severely disabled.
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  18. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member


    Inguinal and Umbilical Hernia
    What is a hernia?
    A hernia occurs when a section of intestine protrudes through a weakness in the abdominal muscles. A soft bulge is seen underneath the skin where the hernia has occurred.

    In children, a hernia usually occurs in 1 of 2 places:
    • Around the belly button
    • In the groin area
    A hernia that occurs in the belly button area is called an umbilical hernia.
    A hernia that occurs in the groin area is called an inguinal hernia.


    Inguinal hernia. An operation is necessary to treat an inguinal hernia. Generally, it will be surgically repaired soon after it is discovered, since the intestine can become stuck in the inguinal canal. When this happens, the blood supply to the intestine can be cut off, and the intestine can become damaged.

    During a hernia operation, your child will be placed under anesthesia. A small incision is made in the area of the hernia. The loop of intestine is placed back into the abdominal cavity. The muscles are then stitched together. Sometimes, a piece of mesh material is used to help strengthen the area where the muscles are repaired.

    Children who have an inguinal hernia surgically repaired can often go home the same day they have surgery.

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  19. Sleuth

    Sleuth New Member

    Some interesting info added today.
  20. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    The boy weighed 30 lbs. and was 40 1/ 2 inches tall. Of Caucasian ethnicity, he had blue eyes, partially open, but the eyeballs had already started to sink back toward the skull by the time of the autopsy. His hair was a light brown.

    Hoffmann, Jim. The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child (3rd Edition): My Obsession with America's Greatest Crime (pp. 23-24). Susquehanna Road Publishing. Kindle Edition.

    Blue is the most recessive eye color. Since blue eye was Jonathan's phenotype, it would have been necessary for Jonathan to have had a blue eye genotype from each of his biological parents. In other words, both of his parents had to be carriers of a blue eye gene.
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