The Boy in the Box: America's Unknown Child
The Zodiac Killer aside, no unsolved criminal case in American history has quite gripped investigators nationwide like the Boy in the Box Case of Philadelphia, 1957.It is a story of sadness, teeming with hope. Originally seen as a local, solvable case, it has grown to include its own Website and appearances on America's Most Wanted, 48 Hours, Cold Case, and the like. Still the case is unsolved, and as Detective Tom Augustine recently said, “The case just won't go away.” On Monday, February 25, 1957, a young Caucasian boy, estimated to be between the ages of three and five, was found nude along Susquehanna Road, an illegal dumping ground for unwanted trash, located just some eight miles north of downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the City of Brotherly Love. The boy's body was partially covered with a recently cleaned, rust-colored, Indian-style blanket remnant over his loin and was placed inside a relatively pristine J.C. Penney bassinet box. Ironically, the discarded box was in better shape than the boy.What the Boy in the Box Case boils down to is quite simple. So much effort was put into the case because the victim is the epitome of innocence. As Lt. Kenneth Coluzzi, who once headed the Special Investigations Unit of the Philadelphia Police Department's Homicide Division, put it, “It's about giving the boy an identity and a name.” This came to be a monumental task for all involved.So began to build this story, the story of a boy, a box, and a lot of love, on February 25, 1957.
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America’s Most Wanted America’s Unknown Child Anna Marie Nagle Arthur Nicoletti asked Augustine 2006 autopsy bassinet box believed Benonis Bill Kelly blanket Box’s boy’s body boy’s death boy’s grave bruises Chief Inspector John claimed conﬁrmed crime scene Damman boy Detective Tom Augustine Dianne diﬀerent dumping dumpsite eﬀect eﬀorts Erdely February 25 ﬁfty ﬁles ﬁnd ﬁnding ﬁngerprint ﬁrst ﬁve Fleisher foster family Fox Chase Frank Bender Homicide identiﬁcation Interestingly Ivy Hill Cemetery J.C. Penney Joe McGillen Jonathon Joseph McGillen Kelly’s killer Knowles Krogman later lead look Lower Merion M’s statements man’s March McGillen told McIntyre Medical Examiner’s Oﬃce morgue mother murder northeast Philadelphia oﬀered Perhaps Philadelphia Bulletin 1957 Philadelphia Daily Philadelphia Inquirer 1957 Philadelphia investigators Philadelphia Police Department Police announce potter’s ﬁeld Powroznik psychiatrist Remington Bristow scars Selby signiﬁcant Spelman suﬀered Susquehanna Road tipster unidentiﬁed motorist unknown boy Vidocq Society Weinstein William H woman