Warning: Very Sad Post

UPDATE: I deleted my original post because it contained information and links to a story I came across that was so ugly and upsetting I just didn’t want to anything to proliferate the story. So the following is an edited down version.

When I was researching The Restless Sleep I came across a case of a little boy who went missing in the 1930’s. Just looking at his picture on the NYPD website got to me. It was from another time. It was obvious that his case will never be solved, and everyone who ever knew him is now dead. It’s over. Done. I thought of him again because of this new book about Etan Patz, a famous missing child case here in NYC.

The picture of the boy I remembered is no longer on the NYPD website, but I found him on the Doe Network. Joseph Rodriguez, 4 years old, went missing on September 6, 1936 from New York City. The information about him is scant.

“Rodriguez was last seen outside of his family’s home at 1637 Park Avenue in Spanish Harlem (Manhattan), NY on September 6, 1936. He has never been seen again. On September 12, the boy’s aunt, Pauline Rodriguez, received a telegram that suggested Joe may have been injured. It read: “Dear Pauline: Joseph will be back on Wednesday. Doctor will not let me move him.” But Wednesday came and went, without any trace of the missing child.”

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “Warning: Very Sad Post

  1. That picture is haunting. I have “Restless Sleep” and I hope to read it this summer. I’m hesitant, though, because these are the kinds of cases that bother me.

    It’s incidents like these that make me yearn for time travel.

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