There are few things more disturbing and upsetting than a child’s death—Moreso, of a murder.
An accident is tragic in itself and shines lights on the little dangers that adults tend to overlook, but murders put that harsh light on the community and on the hidden places that are frightening to look at.
What’s even worse, and happens rarely but indeed, is the unsolved murder. A child killer who goes free makes the world a worse place forever.
In 1957, a boy was beaten and dead in a cardboard box near a dumping site for ordinary refuse. There was no identification. Authorities couldn’t even find out his name.
No family came forth to claim and mourn for him, so instead, the nation mourned together as the mysterious victim became known as “America’s Unknown Child.”
10 Nameless Crime
The boy was never identified. Initially, attempts to make his body better presentable involved dressing him in clothes and highlighting his face’s dominant features.
He had a pronounced head and short-cut hair and was believed to be between the ages of 4 to 7 based on his teeth and build, but was severely malnourished and had surgical scars on both ankles, the groin, and an L-shaped scar on his chin. He was presumed dead due to an impact to the head.
9 First Founding
The first person to find the body, but who did not report it immediately, was John Stachowiak. He set up muskrat traps in the woods along the Susquehanna Road in an outer district of Philadelphia.
He did not report the body for the fear that his traps would be confiscated, leaving it to the elements for a few days.