Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baby Stolen from Buggy

When an Illinois mom left her baby in its buggy in front of a store, as was normal in 1942, she emerged only to find it gone--and the kidnapping was so unusual it made national news.

"The kidnapper had left the baby's pink blankets in the perambulator. The distraught parents asked the radio stations to broadcast the baby's food formula in the hope the kidnaper would take good care of him."

A police chief "said the kidnapper must be a demented person. He added, 'It's the most unusual case in my 30 years on the force.'" People were aghast that anyone would make off with any one of the babies commonly left outside stores while moms shopped.

Today, of course, they might arrest the mom instead, if she left her stroller outside Meijer's or Wal-mart.

--Ypsilanti Daily Press, November 25, 1942


Anonymous said...

Or accuse her of murdering her baby prior to heading to the store and pretending it was kidnapped! Why would a "kidnapper" leave the blanket? See? You can tell I'm from 2009!

Dusty D said...

Well, the Lindbergh kidnapping had made national news just a decade before...perhaps this woman was prominent in the community and someone thought they could get some ransom money. I was struck by the casual manner in which the baby was left outside; it implies a much stronger sense of community, one in which, of course, no one would think to harm a baby left outside a store.

Anonymous said...

Yes that is surprising. My parents used to leave my sister and I in the car while they shopped and it would feel like FOREVER! It was really unpleasant. That was the early 70s. I don't think she did it when we were babies, but certainly I remember being 4 and my sister 2...Unthinkable now.

I wonder if this case was ever resolved?

Dusty D said...

Yep, my sis and I used to wait in the car as well, also in the 70s. Or, if you got the privilege to go shopping and were BAD, you were taken out to the car to wait there, alone, until shopping was done!

Somehow my sis and I pulled through without lasting trauma.

I don't know if this case was ever resolved...

Lisele said...

With 5 children, my mother definitely never took us into the store with her (in the 1960s) -- we spent a lot of time waiting in the car. I remember just one time I was taken into a department store as a child. My mother & I went to buy some fabric for a dress I sewed for a girl scout event. As a sophomore in college, I went into Goodyear's in Ann Arbor for my first adult purchase and was astonished by the pneumatic tubes used to send money to the cashier's office!