Crud, I forgot

Okay, I’m two and a half hours too late to mark the anniversary, but I might as well say it anyway: Dorothy Arnold, the Charley Project’s oldest case, has now been missing for one hundred years. The daughter of a wealthy perfume importer, Dorothy disappeared on December 12, 1910. She would be 125 years old if she were still alive today, which of course she is not. I don’t think she was alive in 1911 for that matter.

The next oldest case is Robert Dunbar from 1912. He’s followed by Charles Whittlesey in 1921.

13 thoughts on “Crud, I forgot

  1. juno December 13, 2010 / 12:47 pm

    I’m confused. According to the Charley profile, Robert Dunbar didn’t disappear eleven and a half years after Dorothy, but only one and a half – he disappeared in 1912, not 1922. Or am I misunderstanding your words?

    • Meaghan December 13, 2010 / 12:49 pm

      Gah, you are so right. Just goes to show I can’t do math at 2:35 a.m. *fixes post*

      • juno December 13, 2010 / 12:55 pm

        No worries – I am math-challenged at EVERY hour of the day! 😀

  2. elisabeth December 13, 2010 / 9:09 pm

    What do you think happened to her? I would say either suicide or a botched abortion, but I can’t imagine someone on her way to do either thing would run errands. Maybe someone she knew abducted and murdered her? I suppose she could have been killed by a stranger, too, but an abduction like this would be hard to pull off in the middle of the day even now, let alone in 1910.

    • Meaghan December 13, 2010 / 9:10 pm

      No idea. There are so many different theories to choose from here.

    • forthelost December 14, 2010 / 1:33 pm

      She couldn’t handle human life and turned into a bird.

      (I’m joking, but this really was one of the tips police got after she vanished.)

  3. Princess Shantae December 13, 2010 / 10:13 pm

    In those days ladies like Dorothy probably wouldn’t even speak to a man they hadn’t been introduced to yet. That kinda rules out her going off with somebody she didn’t know. Suicidal people sometimes do strange things, like run their errands or clean their house or whatever before they do it so her doing her errands doesn’t realy mean much. If she was going to try for an abortion she would expect to live so why not do her errands first?

    • Vanessa December 14, 2010 / 5:25 am

      Who knows what happened to her, but you’re right about the not speaking to strangers theory, and I’m really going on the abortion theory. Abortion was illegal and highly risky in those days, so maybe that’s what happened. And she may have been suicidal, but of course we don’t know her mental health background. We’ll be thinking about what happened to her forever.

    • elisabeth December 14, 2010 / 5:35 pm

      I was thinking she wouldn’t have run the errands before the abortion because it’s more stuff to carry to and from the abortionist’s office. On the other hand, I doubt she had much information on what exactly the procedure was — maybe she was thinking of it as one more stop in her day, and not factoring in recovery. Denial can be powerful, too.

      We’ll never know, either way.

  4. Samantha cardwell December 15, 2010 / 1:30 pm

    I thnk im missing shannon marie sherrill fm indiana im in danger & no 1 will helpme

  5. Kat December 15, 2010 / 1:46 pm

    The abortion idea has been kicked around forever, but…why would she have wanted to meet her mother for lunch after? I realize women can be really dumb about their bodies (hell, we have a whole show about it now) but did she really think it would be wham bam and no side effects? Maybe she did. However, in the next breath the case file says they weren’t worried when she didn’t come home that night. I damn well know if someone had stood me up for lunch I’d be real angry. On the other hand, death is a pretty good excuse.

  6. maureen December 15, 2010 / 9:46 pm

    FWIW: as shameful and hidden as it might have been in those days, Dorothy would probably not have had to resort to some back-alley failed medical student for an abortion. She did have friends: perhaps at Bryn Mawr she had heard in whispers of such things; or the wealthy but useless Griscom ‘knew somebody.’ Somebody who could be trusted to keep a secret. It seems unlikely that someone so full of yearning for another, less rigid, and richer life would commit suicide. I like to think that a woman who thought of herself as a stifled artist, living a privileged but dull life, went out to meet destiny: to ‘light out for the territories’, as it were.

  7. Princess Shantae December 16, 2010 / 8:13 am

    Money talked back then just like it does now, and Dorothy had plenty of money.
    I would kinda expect a stifled artist type, especially one that didn’t get the kind of raves she thought she deserved, to be the type who might kill herself. There’s a certain type of artist wannabe that thinks suicide is romantic or artistic. They’re wrong of course but some think you can’t be a good artist unless you’re miserable.

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