Writing up the Paul Fronczak case

I’ve started writing up the story of the disappearance, recovery and un-recovery of baby Paul Fronczak. (Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you know who he is already.) It’s going to take awhile. The Facebook page about his case has loads of articles from back in the sixties when this happened.

It’s a heck of a story, Bobby Dunbar all over again. With the difference that Bobby Dunbar’s parents died believing they had their son back, and Paul Fronczak’s parents are both still alive. I wonder how they’re taking it. He was their second child; the first had been born dead.

The chances of finding the real Paul Fronczak are remote. Even more remote are the chances of finding his abductor alive. If she was 35 to 40 years old in 1964, she’d be in her eighties now and very possibly beyond the reach of what justice humans can mete out. That woman sounds absolutely chilling. She hung around the hospital for at least four fracking hours, apparently baby-shopping. She had the hospital’s layout and staff routines down. And she stayed calm the whole time and fooled patients and staff alike. I think she must have been plotting for months.

The Fronczak parents are of Polish and Croatian descent; the boy they raised, according to his DNA, has Jewish ancestry. Ancestry.com managed to track down a third cousin in their database, but that’s not much of a lead because people usually have thousands of third cousins they have no idea exist.

In the meantime, for me, writing up this case is troublesome because there are two Paul Fronczaks here: there’s Paul the kidnapped baby and Paul the adult who, it turns out, was not the kidnapped baby, but has no other name. How do I refer to them so there’s no confusion? Maybe call the kidnapped one “baby Paul” and the other just “Paul”?


There are 114 Charley Project related emails awaiting my attention. Not all of them are new; some are as much as two months old. Most of them, thank goodness, don’t need to be replied to; I just need to take what’s there and figure out what needs updated/added and write it up and post it.

There are 48 Charley Project related articles and general miscellany in my bookmarks.

There are 35 updated cases from NamUs whose updates I need to write up.

I’m not even going to try to count the yet-to-be-added cases.

And there is one of me, kvetching and procrastinating as usual.

Flashback Friday: Joseph Sireci

Joseph Sireci disappeared from Philadelphia in May 1983 — thirty years ago. He apparently left home to drive to work. He planned to stop at the laundromat on the way. Sireci never arrived at either the laundromat or his job and was never seen again. His car disappeared with him and it’s never been found either.

A lot of times, when people disappear with their cars and there’s no evidence of foul play but no evidence that they left on their own either, it turns out they accidentally drove off a cliff or into a lake or something. But Sireci vanished from Philadelphia; I don’t think you could get into a fatal car accident there without people noticing.

I don’t have much more than that on his disappearance. There are a few distinguishing characteristics: a scar, a mole, and three teeth missing. His blood type is AB, the rarest kind; this Red Cross chart says only 4% of white people have AB blood.

A note of minor interest: Sireci was last seen sometime between 10:00 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. — an unusually large time frame — and his date of disappearance is given as May 27, but I’m not sure if they mean 10:00 p.m. on May 27 — in which case he might have really disappeared on May 28 — or 4:30 a.m. on May 27 — in which case he might have disappeared on May 26.

He was 63 years old at the time of his disappearance, so even if he didn’t meet with foul play, chances are Sireci isn’t alive today. But he may have children or grandchildren still living who, I’m sure, would like to know his fate.