top of page
  • Writer's pictureMountain State Mysteries

THE DISPPERANCE OF THE SODDER CHILDREN

GEORGE SODDER WAS BORN WITH THE NAME GIORGIO SODDU, IN SARDINIA, ITALY, IN 1985. HE IMMIGRATED TO THE UNITED STATES 13 YEARS LATER, WITH ONE OLDER BROTHER WHO WERE GOING TO CALL LEO WHO WENT BACK HOME AS SOON AS BOTH BOYS CLEARED CUSTOMS AT ELLIS ISLAND.

FOR THE REST OF GEORGE’S LIFE AS HE CAME TO BE KNOWN, HE WOULD NOT TALK MUCH ABOUT WHY HE LEFT HIS HOMELAND.

GEORGE WOULD EVENTUALLY FIND WORK ON THE RAILROADS IN PENNSYLVANIA, CARRYING WATER AND OTHER SUPPLIES TO WORKERS. IN 1912, WHEN GEORGE WAS 22, HE REGISTERED FOR THE SELECTIVE SERVICE FOR THE FIRST WORLD WAR, LISTING MICHIGAN AS HIS HOME. THIS RECORD SHOWS HIM WORKING AS A PLUMBER’S HELPER IN DETROIT. HIS DRAFT RECORD ALSO DOCUMENTED THAT HE WOULD SEND MONEY BACK TO HIS FAMILY IN ITALY. AFTER A FEW YEARS IN THE 1920’S HE WOULD MOVE TO WEST VIRGINIA WHERE HE TOOK A MORE PERMANENT JOB AS A DRIVER IN SMITHERS, WEST VIRGINIA. HE THEN STARTED HIS OWN TRUCKING COMPANY, INITIALLY HAULING FILL DIRT TO CONSTRUCTION SITES AND LATER HAULING COAL MINED IN THE REGION.


JENNIE LAURLESSA CIPRIANI WAS BORN ON MARCH 2, 1903, IN FOGGIA, ITALY, THE SECOND CHILD OF JOSEPH (GIUSEPPE) AND MARTHA (MARTENEA) CIPRIANI. THE FAMILY MIGRATED TO THE UNITED STATE IN 1904. THEY ALSO ENDED UP SPENDING SOME TIME IN PENNSYLVANIA BEFORE ENDING UP IN WEST VIRGINIA.


GEORGE AND JENNIE FIRST MET WHEN HE CAME INTO HER FATHER’S STORE FOR SOME SUPPLIES IN SMITHERS, WEST VIRGINIA. ON NOVEMBER 4, 1922, THEY MARRIED IN CHARLESTON AND LIVED IN SMITHERS.

THERE ARE SOME REPORTS THAT JENNIE WAS SUPPOSED TO MARRY SOMEONE ELSE AS PART OF A DEAL AMONG ITALIAN FAMILIES, BUT THE DETAILS OF THE STORIES ARE VERY SLIM TO ANY.


THE SODDER’S WOULD SETTLE IN FAYETTEVILLE, WEST VIRGINIA AN APPALACHIAN TOWN WHICH HAD A SMALL BUT ACTIVE POPULATION OF ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS, IN A TWO-STORY TIMBER FRAME HOUSE TWO MILES NORTH OF TOWN.


IN 1923, THEY HAD THE FIRST OF THEIR 10 CHILDREN. GEORGE’S BUSINESS PROSPERED, AND THEY BECAME “ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES AROUND” IN THE WORDS OF ONE OF THE LOCAL OFFICIALS. HOWEVER, GEORGE HAD STRONG OPINIONS ABOUT MANY SUBJECTS AND WAS NOT SHY ABOUT EXPRESSING THEM, SOMETIMES ALIENATING PEOPLE. IN PARTICULAR, HIS STRIDENT OPPOSITION TO ITALIAN DICTATOR BENITO MUSSOLINI HAD LED TO SOME STRONG ARGUMENTS WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY.


THE LAST OF THE SODDER CHILDREN, SYLVIA WAS BORN IN 1942. BY THEN, THEIR SECOND-OLDEST SON JOE WHO WAS 21 HAD LEFT HOME TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY DURING WORLD WAR ii.

THE FOLLOWING HEAR, MUSSOLINI WAS DEPOSED AND EXECUTED. HOWEVER, GEORGE’S CRITICISM OF THE LATE DICTATOR HAD LEFT SOME HARD FEELINGS IN TOWN.

THERE WAS A STRANGER WHO APPEARED AT THE HOME A FEW MONTHS BEFORE THE FIRE, BACK IN THE FALL, ASKING GEORGE IF HE HAD ANY HAULING WORK. GEORGE WOULD TELL HIM TO HOLD ON AND HE NOTICED THAT THE MAN FOLLOWED HIM TO THE BACK OF THE HOUSE, POINTED TO TWO SEPARATE FUSE BOXES, AND SAID “THIS IS GOING TO CAUSE A FIRE SOMEDAY.”

GEORGE THOUGHT THAT WAS VERY STRANGE, ESPECIALLY SINCE HE JUST HAD THE WIRING CHECKED BY THE LOCAL POWER COMPANY, WHICH SAID IT WAS IN FINE CONDITION.


AROUND THE SAME TIME THERE WAS A KNOCK AT THE DOOR AND IT WAS ANOTHER MAN TRYING TO SELL THE FAMILY LIFE INSURANCE AND HE BECAME IRATE WHEN GEORGE DECLINED.

“YOUR DAMN HOUSE IS GOING UP IN SMOKE AND YOUR CHILDREN ARE GOING TO BE DESTROYED. YOU ARE GOING TO BE PAID FOR THE DIRTY REMARKS YOU HAVE BEEN MAKING ABOUT MUSSOLINI”.

GEORGE BRUSHED THIS OFF AT THE TIME AND REALLY DIDN’T THINK ANYTHING ABOUT IT.


ACCORDING TO THE SMITHSONNIAN MAGAZINE ONE LAST STRANGE THING THAT HAPPENED BEFORE THE FIRE IS THAT ONE OF THE SODDER’S OLDER SONS RECALLED SOMETHING WEIRD. JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS, THEY NOTICED A MAN PARKED ALONG U.S. HIGHWAY 21, INTENTLY WATCHING THE YOUNGER SODDER KIDS AS THEY CAME HOME FROM SCHOOL


CHRISTMAS OF 1945 WAS GOING TO BE THE FIRST TIME THE SODDER FAMILY WOULD BE TOGETHER SINCE WORLD WAR II.

JOHN SODDER ARRIVED BACK IN FAYETTEVILLE THE WEEK BEFORE. HOWEVER, JOE WAS HELD UP AT AN ARMY BASE IN NORTH CAROLINA AND ENDED UP MISSING CHRISTMAS.


THE OLDEST DAUGHTER MARY ANN HAD BEEN WORKING AT THE WALLS DIME STORE IN DOWNTOWN FAYETTEVILLE, AND SHE SURPRISED THE YOUNGER SODDER KIDS WITH NEW TOYS SHE HAD BOUGHT FOR THEM AS GIFTS. THE YOUNGER KIDS WERE SO EXCITED THAT THEY BEGGED THEIR MOTHER TO STAY UP PAST THEIR BEDTIME AND PLAY WITH THEM.


AROUND 10PM, JENNIE TOLD THEM THAT THEY COULD STAY UP A LITTLE LATER, AS LONG AS 14-YEAR-OLD MAURICE AND 9-YEAR-OLD LOUIS, REMEMBERED TO PUT THE COWS IN AND FEED THEIR CHICKENS BEFORE GOING TO BED.

GEORGE AND THE OLDEST BOYS (JOHN AND GEORGE JR) WERE ALREADY IN BED BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN WORKING ALL DAY.


AFTER THE KIDS TOLD HER THEY WOULD TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING JENNIE TOOK 3-YEAR-OLD SYLVIA TO BED WITH HER.

AROUND 12:30 AM CHRISTMAS MORNING, JENNIE WOKE UP TO THE TELEPHONE RINGING SHE RUSHED INTO THE OFFICE TO ANSWER IT. THERE ARE A FEW DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS OF THIS CALL BUT IT’S USUALLY SAID THAT THE CALLER WAS A WOMAN WHO THE SODDER’S DID NOT KNOW. THE OTHER ACCOUNT IS THAT THE WOMAN ASKED FOR SOMEONE WHO HAD NO REASON WHATSOEVER TO BE THERE, IMPLYING THAT THE SODDERS MAY HAVE KNOWN THIS PERSON. JENNIE TOLD THE WOMAN THAT SHE HAD THE WRONG NUMBER. THE WOMAN WHO CALLED APOLOGIZED FOR DISRUPTING THEM. JENNIE ACCEPTED HER APOLOGY AND WENT TO HANG UP. JUST BEOFORE SHE DID SHE HEARD A MAN LET OUT PECULIAR LAUGH OR SOUND. OTHER ACCOUNTS SAY THAT THE WOMAN LAUGHED. OTHERS WILL SAY THAT SHE HEARD A PARTY IN THE BACKGROUND WITH GLASSES CLINKING. SHE HUNG UP AND WAS RETURNING TO BED. SHE NOTICED ALL OF THE DOWNSTAIRS LIGHTS WERE TURNED ON AND ALL OF THE CURTAIN WERE OPEN. THE FRONT DOOR WAS UNLOCKED. SHE SAW MARY ANN ASLEEP ON THE COUGH IN THE LIVING ROOM AND ASSUMED THAT THE OTHER KIDS WERE UPSTAIRS IN BED. SHE TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS, CLOSED THE CURTAINS AND LOCKED THE FRONT DOOR THEN RETURNED TO BED.


AS JENNIE STARTED TO DOZE OFF AROUND 1 AM SHE HEARD ONE LOUD BANG ON THE ROOF, AND THEN A ROLLING NOISE. AN HOUR LATER SHE WAS AWOKE AGAIN. THIS TIME BY THE HEAVY SMOKE COMING INTO HER ROOM.


WHEN SHE WOKE UP AND SAW GEORGE’S OFFICE ON FIRE, AROUND THE TELEPHONE LINE AND FUSE BOX ENGULFED IN FLAMES


THE LIGHTS WERE STILL ON WHEN BOTH PARENTS ORDERED THEIR CHILDREN OUT OF THE HOUSE. THE LIGHTS WERE STILL ON WHEN JENNIE WAS FIRST ALERTED TO THE FIRE. GEORGE AND JENNIE ORDERED THEIR CHILDREN TO LEAVE THE HOUSE AND THEN RAN OUT THE FRONT DOOR. MARY ANN WOKE UP AND RAN TO HER PARENT’S BEDROOM, WHERE SHE FOUND 3-YEAR-OLD SYLVIA AND PICKED HER UP. THEY MADE IT OUTSIDE AND MET THEIR PARENT. AT THIS POINT, JOHN AND GEORGE JR WOKE UP AND REALIZED WHAT WAS GOING ON.


BOTH PARENTS AND FOUR OF THEIR CHILDREN -MARY ANN, SYLVIA, JOHN, AND GEORGE JR ESCAPED THE HOUSE FIRE.

THEY TRIED TO YELL FOR THE YOUNGER CHILDREN UPSTAIRS BUT HEAR NO RESPONSE; THEY TRIED TO REACH THEM IN THE STAIRWAY BUT IT WAS IMPASSABLE.

JOHN SAID IN HIS FIRST POLICE INTERVIEW AFTER THAT FIRE THAT HE WENT UPSTAIRS TO ALERT HIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS SLEEPING THERE, THOUGH HE LATER CHANGED HIS STORY TO SAY THAT HE ONLY CALLED UP THERE AND DID NOT ACTUALLY SEE THEM.


IN EFFORTS TO SAVE THE REST OF THE SODDER CHILDREN GEORGE CLIMBED UP THE WALL OF THE HOUSE AND BROKE OPEN A WINDOW, CUTTING HIS ARM IN THE PROCESS. HE AND HIS SONS INTENDED TO USE A LADDER TO GET UPSTAIRS TO RESCUE THE OTHER CHILDREN, BUT FOR SOME REASON THE LADDER WAS NOT IN IT’S NORMAL SPOKE AND THEY COULDN’T FIND IT.

THEY NOTICED A BARREL FULL OF WATER AND WANTED TO USE IT TO TRY TO EXTINGUISH THE FIRE BUT THE WATER WAS FROZEN SOLID.

GEORGE THEN TRIED TO PULL BOTH OF HIS TRUCK HE USED FOR HIS BUSINESS UP TO THE HOUSE AND USE THEM TO CLIMB UPSTAIRS, BUT NEITHER OF THE TRUCKS WOULD START EVEN THOUGH THEY WORKED PERFECTLY THE DAY BEFORE,


THEY RAN BACK INSIDE TO TRY TO USE THE PHONE. HOWEVER, THIS TIME THE PHONE WOULD NOT WORK, SO MARY ANN RAN TO A NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE TO CALL THE FIRE DEPT. SHE RAN TO THE HOUSE OF MR. AND MRS. GARFIELD “GAR” DAVIS. MRS. DAVIS ATTEMPTED TO CALL THE FAYETTEVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT, BUT SHE COULDN’T GET THE SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR TO RESPOND.



AROUND ONE AM THOMAS E SMITH OF BECKWITH WAS DRIVING HOME FROM BECKLEY AND DROVE PAST THE SODDER HOME WHILE IT WAS BURNING. SMITH DROVE BY AROUND THE TIME JENNIE SMELLED SMOKE. SMITH DRIVE ON SEARCHING FOR A PHONE TO CALL THE FIRE DEPT. HE STOPPED AT A LOCAL PLACE CALLED CRASS’S PARK AND ATTEMPTED TO CALL BUT WAS TOLD THE PHONE WAS OUT OF ORDER.


DURING THE FIRE, SOMEONE NOTICED LONNIE JOHNSON IN THEIR GARAGE, WHICH WAS SEPARATE FROM THE HOUSE. HE WAS STEALING A SET OF CHAIN HOISTS FROM THE CEILING OF THE BUILDING. IT WAS SAID LATER THAT JOHNSON, HAD ASSISTANCE FROM DAVE ADKINS. JOHNSON WOULD LATER ADMIT TO TAKING THE HOISTS AND TOSSING THEM OVER AN EMBANKMENT SO HE COULD RETURN TO PICK THEM UP LATER.


A FEW DAYS AFTER THE FIRE GEORGE OBTAINED WARRANTS FOR JOHNSON AND ADKINS ACCUSING THEM OF LARCENY. JOHNSON FAILED TO APPEAR FOR HIS HEARING AND WAS LATER ARRESTED. HE PLED GUILTY TO THE CHARGES AND PAID A $25 DOLLAR FINE. ADKINS FLED THE AREA AND SHORTLY JOINED THE ARMY TO AVOID CRIMINAL CHARGES. HE SPENT TWO YEARS IN THE ARMY JUST SO HE WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY THE $25 FINE.


THE SODDERS HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO WATCH THE HOUSE BURN DOWN AND COLLAPSE OVER THE NEXT 30 - 45 MINUTES. THEY ASSUMED THE OTHER FIVE CHILDREN HAD PERISHED IN THE BLAZE.


SOME REPORTS SAY THAT AT LEAST 5 DIFFERENT VEHICLES DROVE BY THE SODDER HOME WHILE IT WAS ON FIRE. THERE HONESTLY COULD HAVE BEEN MORE. THE REASON WE ARE TELLING YOU THIS IS THAT IT PLAYS A BIG FACT IN THE STORY LATER ON.

MANY OF FAYETTEVILLE’S VOLUNTEER FIREMEN WERE STILL AWAY AT WAR. OTHERS WERE OUT OF TOWN BECAUSE OF THE HOLIDAY. THE FIREMEN WHO WERE IN TOWN, WERE ASLEEP. SO, IT WAS HARD TO GET AHOLD OF THEM. ONCE THEY WERE FINALLY REACHED, THE FIRE DEPT TOOK 8 HOURS TO GET TO THE SODDER HOME. REPORTS STATE THAT WHEN THE FIRE DEPT GOT THERE THEY HOOKED UP A PUMP TO A NEARBY CREEK AND EXTINGUISHED THE REMAINING PARTS OF THE EMBERS IN THE BASEMENT UNTIL THE FIRE WAS FULLY PUT OUT.


AFTER THIS MR. SODDER WAS TAKEN TO THE LOCAL HOSPITAL SO THEY COULD TEND TO THE CUT ON HIS ARM.


MARY ANN WROTE AN ACCOUNT OF THE NIGHT STATING THAT THE FIRE HAD COMPLETELY BURNED-OUT HOURS BEFORE. AND STATED THAT SOME FIREMEN DID NOT ARRIVE UNTIL 9 AM.


CHIEF MORRIS TOLD GEORGE TO LEAVE THE SITE UNDISTURBED SO THAT THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL'S OFFICE COULD CONDUCT A MORE THOROUGH INVESTIGATION. HOWEVER JUST FOUR DAYS AFTER THE FIRE. GEORGE AND HIS WIFE COULD NOT BARE THE SIGHT ANYMORE, SO GEORGE BULLDOZED 5 SEET OF DIRT OVER THE SITE WHERE THE FIRE HAPPENED COVERING IT TO A MEMORIAL GARDEN FOR THE LOST CHILDREN. THE LOCAL CORNER CONVENED AN INQUEST THE NEXT DAY, WHICH HELD THAT THE FIRE WAS AN ACCIDENT CAUSED BY “FAULTY WIRING”. AMONG THE JURORS WAS THE MAN WHO HAD THREATENED GEORGE THAT HIS HOUSE WOULD BURN DOWN AND HIS CHILDREN WOULD BE DESTROYED IN RETRIBUTION FOR THE ANTI-MUSSOLINI REMARKS.

DEATH CERTIFICATES FOR THE 5 CHILDREN WERE ISSUED DECEMBER 30. THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER CONTRADICTED ITSELF, STATING THAT ALL OF THE BODIES HAD BEEN FOUND, BUT THEN LATER IN THE SAME STORY THAT ONLY ONE PART OF ONE BODY WAS RECOVERED.


ON JANUARY 2, 1946, THE SODDERS HELD A FUNERAL FOR THE 5 CHILDREN. GEORGE AND JENNIE WERE TOO GRIEF-STRICKEN TO ATTEND THE FUNERAL, ALTHOUGH THEIR SURVIVING CHILDREN DID.

IN THE SPRING OF 1946, A FEW MONTHS AFTER THE FIRE, WHILE SYLVIA WAS PLAYING OUTSIDE, SHE FOUND A SMALL OBJECT THAT WAS GREEN AND DESCRIBED AS POSSIBLY BEING RUBBER OR PLASTIC WITH AN END ON IT THAT SEEMED TO BE BURNED.

THE OBJECT WAS FOUND ON PART OF THE PROPERTY WHERE IT COULD HAVE ROLLED OFF THE ROOF. IF THIS IS TRUE IT MATCHES UP TO SOME EYEWITNESS REPORTS OF FIRE BALLS BEING THROWN ONTO THE ROOF.

THE OBJECT WAS SHOWN TO LOCAL MILITARY OFFICIALS. ACCORDING TO THEM THE OBJECT LOOKED LIKE IT COULD POSSIBLY BE A PINEAPPLE OR NAPALM DEVICE.

ONE QUESTION THAT CAME TO MIND WHILE DOING THE RESEARCH ON THIS CASE IS THAT COULD THIS HAVE BEEN THE LOUD NOISE ON THE ROOF THAT JENNIE HEARD?

ANOTHER THEORY THAT HAS CAME TO LIGHT THROUGHOUT THE YEARS IS THAT THE RUBBER OBJECT COULD HAVE BEEN PART OF ONE OF THE TOYS MARYANN PURCHASED FOR THE KIDS AS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT.


THE SODDER HIRED A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR NAMED C.C. TINSLEY FROM THE TOWN OF GAULEY BRIDGE TO LOOK INTO THE CASE. TINSLEY INFORMED THE FAMILY THAT THE INSURANCE SALESMAN WHO HAD THREATENED GEORGE OVER HIS ANTI-MUSSOLINI REMARKS HAD BEEN ON THE CORONER'S JURY THAT RULED THE FIRE AN ACCIDENT HE ALSO LEARNED RUMORS AROUND FAYETTEVILLE THAT DESPITE HIS REPORT TO THE SODDERS THAT NO REMAINS HAD BEEN FOUND IN THE ASHES, MORRIS HAD FOUND A HEART IN WHICH HE LATER PUT INTO A METAL BOX AND BURIED IT.


MORRIS GAS APPARENTLY CONFESSED TO HIS LOCAL MINISTER, WHO IN TURN CONFIRMED TO GEORGE. GEORGE AND TINSLEY WENT TO MORRIS AND CONFRONTED HIM WITH THIS NEWS. MORRIS AGREED TO SHOW THE TWO WHERE HE BURIED THE BOX. THEY TOOK WHAT THEY FOUND TO A LOCAL FUNERAL DIRECTOR, WHO AFTER EXAMINING IT TOLD THEM THAT IT WAS JUST A FRESH BEEF LIVER THAT HAD NEVER BEEN EXPOSED TO FIRE. MORRIS SAID HE DID THIS IN HOPES THAT THE SODDERS WOULD FIND IT AND BE SATISFIED THAT THE MISSING CHILDREN HAD DIED IN THE FIRE.


ONE YEAR LATER JENNIE SODDER WAS READING ABOUT A FIRE WHERE SEVEN PEOPLE HAD DIED, INCLUDING SMALL CHILDREN. WHAT CAUGHT HER ATTENTION IS THAT THE BODIES WERE BURNED SEVERELY, THERE WERE STILL SKELETAL REMAINS OF EVERYONE, INCLUDING A THREE-MONTH-OLD INFANT.

JENNIE SHOWED THE STORY TO GEORGE AND THIS IS WHEN HE DECIDED THAT HIS CHILDREN DID NOT DIE IN THE FIRE.


AROUND THIS TIME JENNIE WOULD START TO DO SOME TESTS OF HER OWN. SHE BEGAN TO PLACING ANIMAL BONES AND MEATS IN HER KITCHEN STOVE TO SEE IF THEY WOULD BURN. SHE WAS ALWAYS LEFT WITH QUESTIONS BECAUSE THE BONES WOULD TURN TO ASHES BUT THERE WOULD STILL BE REMAINS LEFT IN THE PILE.


IN JUNE OF 1947, GEORGE AND JENNIE'S OLDEST SON, JOHN MARRIED 18-YEAR-OLD MARGRET MEADOWS FROM HICO, LATER THAT YEAR JOE SODDER MARRIED CLARRICE LOUISE BUCKALND FROM HAREWOOD.

NOW WE KNOW YOU PROBABLY HAVE QUESTIONS ON THE FIRE CHILDREN. SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT THE CHILDREN NEVER WENT TO BED, THEY WERE STILL ON THE FIRST FLOOR. THEY MAY HAVE BEEN LURED OUT OF THE HOUSE BY SOMEONE WHO ENTERED THE HOUSE THROUGH THE UNLOCKED DOORS, PERHAPS PROMESING THEM WITH A CHRISTMAS PRESENT, OR POSSIBLY TELLING THEM THAT THE HOUSE WAS ON FIRE.

IN THE BOOK NO DIRECT EVIDENCE - THE STORY OF THE MISSING SODDER CHILDREN

AUTORY BOB BRAGG CREATED A MODIFIED THEORY THAT COULD EXPLAIN THINGS.

  1. MRS. SODDER SAID NONE OF THE CHILDREN’S CHORES WERE COMPLETED

  2. THE SAME FIVE WHO STAYED UP PLAYING WERE THE SAME FIVE WHO DISAPPEARED.

  3. BOYS BEDROOM. MAURICE MAY HAVE BEEN TAKEN INTO ANOTHER ROOM AND KILLED ANYWAY FROM THE OTHER FOUR SO THEY WOULD NOT HAVE PANIC AND WAKE THE OTHERS IN THE HOUSE. BUT THIS COUNTERED BY THE FACT THE BONES FOUND IN 1949, SHOWED NO EVIDENCE OF EVER BEING EXPOSED TO FIRE.

  4. A WOMAN IN FAYETTEVILLE TOLD MRS. SODDER THAT FOUR OF THE CHILDREN WERE TAKEN.

  5. MRS. IDA CRUTCHFIELD, OPERATOR OF THE ALDRESON HOTEL IN CHARLESTON, SAID ONLY FOUR OF THE CHILDREN WERE IN HER HOTEL ON CHRISTMAS MORNING.

  6. IF THE CHILDREN WENT TO BED, WHY WOULD THEY NOT HAVE AWAKENED MARY ANN FROM THE SOFA SO SHE COULD HAVE GONE UP TO BED AS WELL?

  7. IF SOMEONE CAME INTO THE HOUSE AND THEY EITHER LURED THE CHILDREN OUT OF THE HOUSE, OR KILLED THEM IN THEIR BEDS THEN CARRIES THEM OUT, HOW COULD THAT HAVE BEEN DONE IF THE CHILDREN HAD SOME UPSTAIRS TO SLEEP AND MARY ANN WAS STILL DOWNSTAIRS ASLEEP ON THE SOFA?


ONE WOMAN WHO HAD BEEN WATCHING THE FIRE FROM THE ROAD SAID SHE HAS SEEN SOME OF THEM PEERING OUT OF A PASSING CAR WHILE THE HOUSE WAS BURNING. ANOTHER WOMAN AT A REST STOP BETWEEN FAYETTEVILLE AND CHARLESTON SAID SHE HAD SERVED THEM BREAKFAST THE NEXT MORNING AND NOTED THE PRESENCE OF A CAR WITH FLORIDA LICENSE PLATES IN THE REST STOPS PARKING LOT.


IN 1949 GEORGE SAW A MAGAZINE PHOTO OF A GROUP OF YOUNG BALLET DANCERS IN NEW YORK CITY, ONE OF WHOM LOOKED LIKE HIS MISSING DAUGHTER BETTY

JENNIE SAW THE PHOTO AND SAID “THAT’S SIS”

(YOU CAN SEE THE PHOTO ON OUR WEBSITE MOUNTAINSTATEMYSTERIESPODCAST.COM)

TO US IT LOOKS LIKE THE GIRL THEY THOUGHT WAS BETTY IS IN THE FRONT TO THE RIGHT.


GEORGE DROVE ALL THE WAY TO NEW YORK, WHERE HE ASKED TO SEE THE GIRL HIMSELF BUT HIS DEMANDS WERE REFUSED.


GEORGE ALSO TRIED TO GET THE FBI INVOLVED WHAT HE CONSIDERED TO BE A KIDNAPPING. FBI DIRECTOR J. EDGAR HOOVER PERSONALLY RESPONDED TO HIS LETTER. “ALTHOUGH I WOULD LIKE TO BE OF SERVICE, THE MATTER RELATED APPEARS TO BE LOCAL CHARACTER AND DOES NO COME WITHIN INVESTIGATIVE JURISDICTION OF THE BUREAU.” IF THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES REQUESTED THE BUREAU'S ASSISTANCE, HE ADDED, HE WOULD OF COURSE DIRECT AGENTS, BUT THE FAYETTEVILLE POLICE AND FIRE DEPTS REFUSED TO DO SO.


DURING THE SPRING OF 1949, SEVERAL CITIZENS WROTE TO THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE EXPRESSING THEIR FEELINGS TOWARDS THE CASE AND MAKING SMALL CONTRIBUTIONS.



“LET’S SOLVE THIS MYSTERY BY STARTING A FUND FOR THE SODDERS TO RAISE APPROXIMATELY $1,500 WHICH IN 2023 WOULD BE $19,266.24. TO FINANCE A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION OF THE CASE BY THOMAS P. BROPHY OF NEW YORK CITY. PROVIDING THESE CHILDREN ARE LIVING AND CAN BE FOUND THIS IDEA IS CERTAINLY WORTH A LITTLE CONSIDERATION. JUST TRY TO IMAGINE THE JOY WHICH WOULD BE EXPERIENCED THIS CHRISTMAS WHICH HAS BEEN MISSING FOR THE PAST THREE, IF THEIR CHILDREN ARE RECOVERED”

  • LAWRENCE R. SMITH


“I BELIEVE WITH ALL OF MY HEART THEY NEED A HELPING HAND FROM EVERY CITIZEN OF WEST VIRGINIA. WE DON’T HAVE MUCH OF THIS WORLD’S GOODS. BUT WE HAVE OUR CHILDREN THAT WE LOVE AND WE SYMPATHIZE WITH THE SODDER FAMILY SO MUCH THAT I AM SENDING OUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE FUND FOR THE SERVICE OF AN ABLE MAN LIKE MR. BROPHY.”

  • MR. AND MRS. W. M. PRICE


“I THINK THAT ANYONE IN A POSITION TO HELP SHOULD DO SO. SO THAT THE ANXIOUS HEARTS OF THE SODDER’S MIGHT BE RELIEVED. IT IS A BURDEN HARD FOR THEM TO BEAR. IT IS A FATE WORSE THAN DEATH AND I ONLY HOPE AND PRAY THAT EVERYONE WILL HELP. EVERY DONOR WILL RECEIVE HIS REWARD FROM GOD.”

  • MRS. GEORGE D. MILLER


BY MAY 1949, THE SODDER FUND HAD ONLY RAISED AROUND $51. THE REST OF THE SUMMER WAS SPENT BY TRYING TO RAISE ADDITIONAL FUNDS BUT BY AUGUST, CONTRIBUTIONS HAD ALL BUT STOPPED.


IN AUGUST OF 1949, GEORGE WAS ABLE TO PERSUADE OSCAR HUNTER, A WASHINGTON D.C. PATHOLOGIST, TO SUPERVISE A NEW SEARCH THROUGH THE DIRT AT THE HOUSE SITE. AFTER A THOROUGH SEARCH, ARTIFACTS INCLUDING A DICTIONARY THAT HAS BELONGED TO THE H=CHILDREN AND SOME COINS WERE FOUND. SEVERAL SMALL BONE FRAGMENTS WERE UNEARTHED, DETERMINED TO HAVE BEEN HUMAN VERTEBRAE. ALL FROM THE SAME PERSON,

“SINCE THE TRANSVERSE RECESSES ARE REFUSED, THE AGE OF THE INDIVIDUAL AT DEATH SHOULD HAVE BEEN 14 TO 15 YEARS”. NEWMANS REPORT SAID


“CONCLUSIONS: FROM STUDYING THESE BONES IT CAN BE UNEQUIVOCALLY STATED THAT THESE BONES ARE IDENTICAL WITH KNOWN HUMAN BONES OF THE AGE 14–15 YEARS AND IS PROBABLE, WITH ROOM FOR VERY LITTLE DOUBT, THAT THEY BELONG TO A CHILD OF THIS AGE.

THE BONES SHOE NO EVIDENCE OF ACTUAL CHARING WHICH WOULD INDICATE THAT THEY WERE NOT FREE WITHIN THE FIRE AND SUBJECT TO HIGH TEMPERATURE. THEY, OF COURSE, COULD HAVE BEEN IN THE FIRE COVERED BY FLESH AND CONSEQUENTLY INSULATED FROM THE HIGHER TEMPERATURE ASSOCIATED WITH THE FIRE.

THE QUESTION IMMEDIATELY ARISES AS TO WHY THESE BONES SHOULD BE FOUND WITHOUT THE ASSOCIATED BONES OF THE REMAINING PORTIONS OF THE SKELETON AND CONSEQUENTLY IT WOULD LEAD ONE TO BELIEVE THAT THE REMAINING PORTION OF THE SKELETON NECESSITATES THE CONCLUSION THAT THEY WERE FORCIBLY REMOVED FROM THE REMAINING PORTION OF THE SKELETON. SUCH A FORCIBLE DISMEMBERMENT DURING LIFE OR EVEN AFTER A BODY HAS BEEN SUBJECT TO FIRE OF THE INTENSITY DESCRIBED WOULD NECESSITATE A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF FORCE AND DEXTERITY ON THE PART OF AN INDIVIDUAL PLANNING SUCH A DISMEMBERMENT.

IT WOULD SEEM MORE REASONABLE THAT THE REMAINING BONES HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE SKELETON SUBSEQUENT TO THE DEATH OF THE INDIVIDUAL AT A TIME WHEN THE INTERLACING LIGAMENTS AND FIBROUS TISSUE HAD UNDERGONE DEGENERATION. THIS FEATURE, THEREFORE, SUGGESTS THAT THESE BONES WERE SEPARATED FROM THE REMAINING PORTION OF THE SKELETON AT SOME LATER TIME AND PERHAPS THESE BONES WERE OVERLOOKED AT THE TIME OF THE REMOVAL.”

REPORTED OSCAR B. HUNTER, JR.MD PATHOLOGIST.


THE INVESTIGATION AND ITS FINDINGS ATTRACTED NATION ATTENTION, AND THE WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE HELD TWO HEARINGS ON THE CASE IN 1950 AFTERWARDS, HOWEVER. GOVERNOR OKEY L. PATTERSON AND STATE POLICE SUPERINTENDENT W.E. BURCHETT ROLD THE SODDERS THE CASE WAS “HOPELESS” AND CLOSED IT AT THE STATE LEVEL. THE FBI DECIDED IT HAS JURISDICTION AS A POSSIBLE INTERSTATE KIDNAPPING BUT DROPPED THE CASE AFTER TWO YEARS OF FOLLOWING FRUITLESS LEADS.


WITH ALL OFFICIAL EFFORTS TO SOLVE THE CASE, THE SODDER FAMILY DID NOT GIVE UP HOPE. THEY HAD FLYERS PRINTED WITH PICTURES OF THE CHILDREN, OFFERING A $5,000 REWARD FOR ANY INFORMATION THAT WOULD SOLVE THE CASE.


IN 1952 THE SODDER PUT UP A BILLBOARD AT THE SITE OF THE HOUSE THAT READ WHAT WAS THEIR FATE KIDNAPPED - MURDERED OR ARE THEY STILL ALIVE? 5,000 REWARDS

AND ANOTHER ALONG U.S. ROUTE 60 NEAR ANSTED WITH THE SAME INFORMATION. IT WOULD END UP BECOMING A LANDMARK FOR TRAFFIC THROUGH FAYETTEVILLE ON U.S ROUTE 19 (TODAY STATE ROUTE 16)


NOW WE KNOW WE DROPPED A BOMBSHELL SIGHTING OF THE KIDS EARLIER IN THE EPISODE. DON’T WORRY WE ARE NOW GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT IDA CRUTCHFIELD’S SIGHTING OF THE CHILDREN.

WITH THE BILLBOARDS BEING PUT UP IDA CRUTCHFIELD CAME FORWARD WITH HER REPORTED SIGHTING.

IDA WAN THE ALDRESON HOTEL IN CHARLESTON WEST VIRGINIA, SHE CLAIMED TO HAVE SEEN THE CHILDREN APPROXIMATELY A WEEK AFTER THE FIRE. IN HER STATEMENT SHE SAID SHE “I DID SEE FOUR OF THE SODDER CHILDREN IN MY HOTEL THE IMMEDIATE WEEK FOLLOWING DECEMBER 25, 1945. THE CHILDREN WERE ACCOMPANIED BY TWO WOMEN AND TWO MEN, ALL OF ITALIAN EXTRACTION, TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE. I DO NOT REMEMBER THE EXACT DATE; HOWEVER, THE ENTIRE PARTY DID REGISTER AT THE HOTEL AND STAYED IN ROOM 25, WHICH IS A LARGE ROOM WHICH SEVERAL BEDS.

THEY REGISTERED BETWEEN 11 P.M. AND 1 A.M. I TRIED TO TALK TO THE CHILDREN IN A FRIENDLY MANNER, BUT THE MEN APPEARED HOSTILE AND REFUSED TO ALLOW ME TO TALK TO THE CHILDREN. AFTER REGISTERING THESE PEOPLE, I MADE A FRIENDLY REMARK TO THE SMALL BOY. HE ANSWERED ME AND ONE OF THE OLDER GIRLS BEGAN TO TALK TO ME.

ONE OF THE MEN LOOKED AT ME IN A HOSTILE MANNER; HE TURNED AROUND AND BEGAN TALKING RAPIDLY IN ITALIAN. IMMEDIATELY, THE WHOLE PARTY STOPPED TALKING TO ME. I SENSED THAT I WAS BEING FROZEN OUT SO I SAID NOTHING ELSE. THEY LEFT EARLY THE NEXT MORNING. AT THE TIE, I HAD NOT HEARD OF THE SODDER FIRE.

IN AUGUST OF 1946, A YOUNG MAN WHO SEEMED TO BE OF ITALIAN ORIGIN CAME TO THE ALDERSON HOTEL ACCOMPANIED BY A SMALL BOY, WHOM HE SAID WAS HIS WARD. HE STAYED IN ROOM 8 FOR TWO DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS. THE CHILD WAS NOT ALLOWED OUT OF HIS SIGHT. ON REFLECTION, I REALIZED THAT THIS WAS THE SAME ONE THAT HAD BEEN HERE IN WINTER BEFORE. I STILL DID NOT CONNECT THOSE OCCURRENCES WITH THE SODDER CASE UNTIL I SAW THE PICTURES IN THE PAPER.

I DID SEE THE THREE SODDER GIRLS AND THE YOUNG SODDER BOY (LOUIS) ONCE AND I DID SEE THE YOUNGEST BOY A SECOND TIME. I DO NOT REMEMBER SEEING THE OLDER BOY.


INVESTIGATORS STILL DO THIS DAY DO NOT CONSIDER HER STORY CREDIBLE, AS SHE HAD ONLY FIRST SEEN THE PHOTO OF THE CHILDREN TWO YEARS AFTER THE FIRE, FIVE YEARS BEFORE SHE CAME FORWARD.



SEVEN MONTHS AFTER IDA CRUTCHFIELD'S STATEMENT WAS TAKEN, JENNIE SODDER WROTE A LETTER TO GOVERNOR W.C. MARLAND ASKING FOR MORE HELP FROM THE STATE POLICE NOW THAT SUPERINTENDENT BURCHETT HAS RESIGNED.

SHE SPOKE

“DEAR MR. MARLAND AFTER EIGHT YEARS IF POLICE SERVICE I SEE THAT MR. W.E. BURCHETT RESIGNED. FOR ALL HE HAS DONE FOR ME I WISH HE HAD RESIGNED SEVEN YEARS AGO. HE SAID HE WANTED TO STAY ON THE JOB AND STOP CRIMES. IF HE DIDN’T STOP CRIMES OR INVESTIGATE THEM BETTER THAN HE DID MY CASE WE GAVE HIM BECAUSE ARSON AND KIDNAP CASE IS HERE IN FAYETTE COUNTY. BECAUSE SOME CRIMINALS SET MY HOUSE ON FIRE THEN KIDNAPPED FIVE OF MY TEN CHILDREN IN THE YEAR OF 1945. WE HAVE A SIGNED AFFIDAVIT THAT THE IMMEDIATE WEEK FOLLOWING DECEMBER 1945 MY CHILDREN WERE ACCOMPANIED BY TWO MEN AND TWO WOMEN. THEY STAYED ONE NIGHT AT A HOTEL IN CHARLESTON WV IN THE MONTH OF AUGUST IN 1946. A YOUNG MAN ACCOMPANIED MY SMALL SON WHO HE SAID WAS HIS WARD. STAY IN THE SAME HOTEL. THE FIRST TIME, YES. MR. MARLAND THE CRIMINAL SLEEP AND REST RIGHT IN OUR STATE CAPITAL.


THREE HEARINGS HAS BEEN FORCED IN MR. BURCHETT OFFICE. BUT WHAT HAS MR. BURCHETT DONE. NOTHING. HE DID NOT EVEN TRY TO INVESTIGATE AND AS FOR MR. PATTERON OR OUR FIRE MARSHALL MR. RAPER THEY HAVE DONE NO MORE THAN MR. BURCHETT. WHY ARE THEY HIDING FROM THE TRUTH THEY KNOW VERY WELL THIS CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITTED. BUT WE ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE UP LOOKING FOR THEM. AFTER ALL WE SHOULD GET SOME JUSTICE. MR. MARLAND YOU AND, RS. MARLAND HAVE CHILDREN AND I KNOW YOU LOVE THEM MORE THAN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD. I HOPE YOU CAN UNDERSTAND HOW WE FEEL. THERE WILL BE NO REST UNTIL WE FIND OUT WHAT THEY DID TO MY CHILDREN. I WILL APPRECIATE HEARING FROM YOU.

THANK YOU

MRS. GEORGE SODDER.”


AS USUAL, THE RESPONSE WAS THE SAME.


“DEAR MRS. SODDER:


I HAVE READ YOUR LETTER OF FEBRUARY 13, IN WHICH YOU MAKE CHARGES RELATIVE TO INACTION OF CERTAIN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS SOMETIME IN 1945. I AM SORRY TO ADVISE THAT THERE IS NO WAY IN WHICH I CAN HELP YOU IN THIS MATTER, BUT IT IS MY SINCERE HOPE THAT IN TIME YOU WILL BE REUNITED WITH YOUR CHILDREN. WITH BEST WISHES, I AM.


SINCERELY, WILLIAM C. MARLAND

COVERNOR”.


WITH THIS LETTER ALL HOPE FOR THE FINAL CHANCE AT REOPENING THE CASE FOR A FORMAL INVESTIGATION WAS OVER.


GEORGE SODDER NEVER GAVE UP HOPE ON FINDING HIS CHILDREN. HE WOULD TRAVEL TO WHEREVER A LEAD WOULD COME FROM. TRAVELING TO ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, WHERE A WOMAN CLAIMED MARTHA WAS BEING HELD IN A CONVENT.


TO TEXAS WHERE A BAR PATRON CLAIMED TO HAVE OVERHEARD TWO OTHER PEOPLE MAKING INCRIMINATION STATEMENTS ABOUT A FIRE THAT HAPPENED ON CHRISTMAS EVE IN WEST VIRGINIA SOME YEARS BEFORE.


GEORGE EVEN TRAVELED TO FLORIDA WHERE HE HEARD THAT A RELATIVE OF JENNIE’S HAD CHILDREN THAT LOOKED SIMILAR TO HIS, THE RELATIVE HAD TO PROVE THE CHILDREN WERE HIS OWN BEFORE GEORGE WAS SATISFIED.


IN 1967, GEORGE TRAVELED TO THE HOUSTON AREA TO INVESTIGATE ANOTHER TIP. A WOMAN THERE HAD WRITTEN TO THE SODDERS, SAYING THAT LOUIS HAD REVEALED HIS TRUE IDENTITY TO HER ONE NIGHT AFTER HAVING TOO MUCH TO DRINK. SHE BELIEVED THAT HE AND MAURICE WERE BOTH LIVING SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS.

HOWEVER, GEORGE AND HIS SON-IN-LAW, GROVER PAXTON, WERE UNABLE TO SPEAK TO THE WOMAN. POLICE IN THE HOUSTON AREA WERE ABLE TO HELP THEM FIND THESE TWO MEN SHE HAD INDICATED, BUT THEY DENIED BEING THE MISSING SONS. PAXTON SAID YEARS LATER THAT DOUBTS ABOUT THE DENIAL LINGERED IN GEORGE’S MIND FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.


ANOTHER LETTER THEY RECEIVED THAT YEAR BROUGHT THE SODDER’S TO BELIEVE THE MOST CREDIBLE EVIDENCE THAT AT LEAST LOUIS WAS STILL ALIVE. ONE DAY JENNIE FOUND A LETTER IN THE MAIL ADDRESSED TO HER. POSTMARKED IN CENTRAL CITY, KENTUCKY, WITH NO RETURN ADDRESS. INSIDE WAS A PICTURE OF A YOUNG MAN OF AROUND 30 WITH FEATURES STRONGLY RESEMBLING LOUIS’S, WHO WOULD HAVE BEEN IN HIS 30’S IF HE HAD SURVIVED ON THE BACK WAS WRITTEN


“LOUIS SODDER

I LOVE BROTHER FRANKIE

LIL BOYS

A90132 OR 35263”


TO USE AND EVERYONE ELSE THE PICTURE OF THEN MAN IN HIS 30’S DOES LOOK LIKE A GROWN VERSION OF LOUIS. YOU CAN SEE THE IMAGES ON OUR WEBSITE TO MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION.


THE FAMILY HIRED ANOTHER PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TO GO TO CENTRAL CITY AND LOOK INTO THIS, BUT HE NEVER REPORTED BACK TO THE SODDERS AND THEY WERE UNABLE TO LOCATE HIM AFTERWARDS.


GEORGE TOLD THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE MAIL LATE THE NEXT YEAR “THAT THE LACK OF INFORMATION HAD BEEN LIKE HITTING A ROCK WALL - WE CAN’T GO ANY FURTHER.”

HE SAID IN ANOTHER INTERVIEW AROUND THE SAME TIME. “BUT WE ONLY WANT TO KNOW. IF THEY DID DIE IN THE FIRE, WE WANT TO BE CONVINCED OTHERWISE, WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM.”

ON AUGUST 16TH, 1969 GEORGE SODDERE PASSED AWAY. JENNIE AND HER SURVIVING CHILDREN - EXCEPT JOHN, WHO NEVER TALKED ABOUT THE NIGHT OF THE FIRE EXCEPT TO SAY THAT THE FAMILY SHOULD ACCEPT WHAT HAPPENED AND MOVE ON WITH THEIR LIVES - CONTINUED TO SEEK ANSWERS TO THEIR QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MISSING CHILDREN. AFTER GEORGE’S DEATH JENNIE STAYED IN THE FAMILY HOME, PUTTING UP A FENCE AROUND IT AND ADDING ADDITIONAL ROOMS. FOR THE REST OF HER LIFE, SHE WORE BLACK IN MOURNING AND TENDED TO THE GARDEN AT THE SITE OF THE FORMER HOME.


ON FEBRUARY 15TH, 1989 JENNIE SODDER PASSED AWAY. AFTER HER DEATH THE FAMILY FINALLY TOOK DOWN THE WEATHERED, WORN BILLBOARDS.

THE SURVIVING SODDER CHILDREN, JOINED BY THEIR OWN CHILDREN, CONTINUED TO PUBLICIZE THE CASE AND INVESTIGATE LEADS. ALONG WITH OLDER RESIDENTS OF FAYETTEVILLE THEY THEORIZED THAT THE SICILIAN MAFIA WAS TRYING TO EXTORT MONEY FROM GEORGE AND THEY CHILDREN MAY HAVE BEEN TAKEN BY SOMEONE WHO KNEW ABOUT THE PLANNED ARSON AND SAID THEY WOULD BE SAFE IF THEY LEFT THE HOUSE.

THEY COULD HAVE POSSIBLY BEEN TAKEN BACK TO ITALY. IF THE CHILDREN DID SURVIVE ALL OF THOSE YEARS AND WERE AWARE THAT THEIR PARENTS AND FAMILY WERE LOOKING FOR THEM, THEY MAY HAVE AVOIDED CONTACT TO KEEP THE FAMILY SAFE.


IN 2021 SYLVIA SODDER PAXTON, THE YOUNGEST OF THE SURVIVING SODDER CHILDREN PASSED AWAY. SHE WAS IN THE HOUSE THE NIGHT OF THE FIRE, WHICH SHE SAID IS HER EARLIEST MEMORY. “I WAS THE LAST ONE OF THE KIDS TO LEAVE HOME”, SHE SAID IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE GAZETTE-MAIL IN 2013. SHE SAID THAT HER AND HER FATHER WOULD OFTEN SAY UP LATE, TALKING ABOUT WHAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED. “I EXPERIENCED THEIR GRIEF FOR A LONG TIME.” SHE BELIEVED THAT HER SIBLINGS SURVIVED THAT NIGHT AND ASSISTED WITH EFFORTS TO FIND THEM AND PUBLICIZE THE CASE.

HER DAUGHTER JENNIE SAID IN 2006 “SHE PROMISED MY GRANDPARENTS SHE WOULDN’T LET THE STORY DIE, THAT SHE WOULD DO EVERYTHING SHE COULD.”

IF YOU VISIT GEORGE AND JENNIE’S GRAVE AT THE HIGH LAWN MEMORIAL PARK IN OAK HILL WEST VIRGINIA

YOU WILL NOTICE ANOTHER NAME ON THEIR GRAVE IN 1950 JENNIE HAD A STILL BORN BIRTH TO MICHAEL SODDER.


ON THE GRAVE YOU WILL ALSO SEE

“WHO BELIEVED IN JUSTICE FOR EVERYONE BUT WAS DENIED JUSTICE BY THE LAW WHEN HIS FIVE CHILDREN WERE KIDNAPPED CHRISTMAS EVE 1945 AT FAYETTEVILLE WV”


IN 2023 THE STORY OF THE SODDERS HAVE NOT FADED OUT FOR ANYONE IN WEST VIRGINIA OR THE WORLD. EVERYONE STILL HAS THEIR OWN THEORIES.

SOME OF THOSE THEORIES GO TO THE MAFIA, THE TENNESSEE CHILDREN’S HOME SOCIETY (WHICH WE WILL BE DOING A FUTURE EPISODE ON).

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

THE BUBBLE THEORY WITH THE FIRE

THE LIST CAN GO ON AND ON.


NO MATTER WHO YOU TALK TO EVERYONE KNOWS THE CASE OF THE SODDER CHILDREN.


IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON THE CASE OF THE SODDER CHILDREN. EMAIL US AT MOUNTAINSTATEMYSTERIES304@GMAIL.COM


20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

WHO KILLED LEAH HICKMAN?

LEAH HICKMAN WAS BORN ON NOVEMBER 22ND 1986, IN POINT PLEASANT, WEST VIRGINIA, TO RONALD L. HICKMAN AND SHERRY J (COLE) RUSSELL. LEAH GREW UP IN LEON WEST VIRGINIA. WHEN LEAH WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL SHE PL

bottom of page