Oooooh, this is frustrating…

I’ve spent much of today combing through looking up stuff on specific old MP cases when I came across a column in the March 27, 1983 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, written by someone named Elinor Klein. It was about how her brother disappeared when he was 17 years old, and the devastation it caused in her family.

I’m pretty sure I have never heard of this case. But I’m not 100% sure because Elinor Klein never said what his name was, or the town he disappeared from. Just that he was 17, a freshman at an unspecified, possibly Ivy League college, and that he was born on February 22, 1937 and disappeared on November 8, 1954. She even includes his picture with the column. But not his name!

I checked NamUs; there’s only two 1954 disappearances in there, and both are of females. I would love to be able to put this young man on Charley if I can. If he was still missing in 1983 — nearly thirty years after he was last seen — he’s probably still missing now.

I looked up more information about Elinor Klein hoping that would lead me to her brother’s identity. Turns out Elinor was still alive as of 2008 and her maiden name was Friedman. I also learned she had a son named Willy at age 40; the St. Louis Post-Dispatch column says, “When my child was born a few years ago… I named my son after my brother and my father.”

Still not enough to go on. Darn it.

See the below images screenshot from’s PDFs, the column about the missing boy (Willy Friedman?):




On the bright side, Ms. Klein’s column did yield at least one nugget of information that’s of use to me: there were pictures of random missing children scattered across the bottoms of the first two pages, including one of Holly Hughes that’d I’d never seen before. It even shows her teeth! I added it.

11 thoughts on “Oooooh, this is frustrating…

  1. libraryjobber October 23, 2016 / 11:51 pm

    I found these people in the 1940 US Census:

    Lawrence Friedman Head M 39 New York
    Lucie Friedman Wife F 32 New York
    Elinor Friedman Daughter F 5 Massachusetts
    William Friedman Son M 3 Massachusetts
    Frances Pollock Mother-in-law F 55 Russia

    Elinor and William are the right ages mentioned in the article.

    They lived in Springfield, MA. Elinor attended Smith College with Sylvia Plath, according to Google.

    • Meaghan October 24, 2016 / 3:02 am

      I tried looking on for a William or Willy Friedman who disappeared in 1954 but turned up squat. However I did determine that Dartmouth College, an Ivy League school, is four hours due north of Smith by bus. In the morning I will give their library a call.

      • Brian Lockett November 2, 2016 / 9:42 pm

        That’s where just about every bit of info about WBF is (…

        I basically looked anywhere and everywhere I knew last night. I did it to keep my mind off of a (car/animal) accident that happened just down the road from my place. Some dude hit a horse and flipped his car. My little (under 200 people) town was lit up like Vegas and there were sirens and flashing lights of every kind and even a helicopter. That doesn’t happen every day (or decade). So I couldn’t exactly sleep.

        But everything I found was on N/, but I don’t have a subscription and didn’t have a microscope on me. All I really got out of those previews were his parents’ names and that they were from Longmeadow, MA. But all of that scant info’s already been posted here.

        I know that there’s several “big city” papers (maybe Boston or whatever’s in NH for Friedman?) that have big archives, but you usually have to pay for them, too. And some (college/university) libraries have huge archives. They have a lot of stuff, it’s just kinda hard to find what you’re looking for when you’re actually looking for it.

        Oh, your black cat (Aria?) looks just like my Mr Stu and his older brother, Mr Cooter.

  2. Christy October 24, 2016 / 1:09 pm

    I am not a subscriber but turned up an article (link above) about a missing Dartmouth student named William Friedman. Parents were living in the NH Seacoast area at the time.

    • Meaghan October 24, 2016 / 1:28 pm

      Thanks; my search somehow missed that. I called the Dartmouth College library right after I woke up today and left a message. Then ten minutes later I was in the shower and my phone rang and I actually ran out to get it, excited thinking Dartmouth was calling back already. (It wasn’t then. It was a robot trying to sell me something.) I still haven’t heard back from Dartmouth. I called the New Hampshire Historical Society and left a message with them too. I called my own library, which has one of the best genealogy centers in the country, and talked to the lady at the genealogy center, and she gave me some ideas as to where else to look.

      • Brian Lockett November 2, 2016 / 3:34 am

        You may have already seen this since you were looking around Dartmouth, but I sort of found something. It is actually just his name mentioned in a Dartmouth memorial pamphlet or program.

        It lists many late students and the date on his entry is strange (0/0/1958),

        William is mentioned on the last page (in “Memorial Presentation, Part I” in middle of the left column. He had to have died at some point after his disappearance.
        The 1958 date could have been when they found his remains or maybe they had him declared then if he wasn’t really found.

        Click to access 1958MemorialServiceProgram.pdf

      • Meaghan November 2, 2016 / 10:23 am

        They definitely didn’t find his remains in 1958, because the 1983 article made it clear he was still missing. My guess is that they put up the memorial thing in 1958 because that’s the year he would have graduated.

  3. Christy October 24, 2016 / 3:13 pm

    I was looking at it on my phone earlier; but now that I’m on my computer, I can see that he was from Longmeadow, MA (not the NH Seacoast). The article was published in the Portsmouth, NH paper, but was actually a UI wire report. Here’s what I can read at the link I posted before (I had to skip some text to piece it together since the OCR scrambled all the columns together):

    Police Chief Andrew J. Ferguson today admitted he had no leeds in the 16-day disappearance of 17-year-old Dartmouth College freshman, reported to be “concerned” over his his marks. William B. Friedman, son of Atty. and Mrs. Lawrence Friedman of Longmeadow, Mass., was “reported” –had less than “D” grades –in three subjects, a college spokesman said. The youth was quoted as being “concerned” over his grades before he was last seen. However, Freshman Dean Stearns Morse said Friedman “was not in bad shape, academically,” noting freshman often fall into this category in early days of the school year. Young Friedman was officially declared as missing from college and his Gile Hall single dormitory room on Friday. About 30 members of the college outing club joined with students in a weekend search of the area for the missing Bay State youth. A Civil Air Patrol plane also jined in the search operation. In January of this year, John J. Dailey of Baltimore, Md., a second-year medical student disappeared from the college. Dailey had cut the labels from his clothing, closed out his bank account and gave away his “ham” radio equipment. The college spokesman said no word has been heard of Dailey since his disappearance more than 10 months ago.

    • Meaghan October 24, 2016 / 3:36 pm

      Thanks Christy! I Googled Gile Hall and it’s still in existence as a residence hall at Dartmouth. Dartmouth adopted a “housing communities” style of living starting this year for the class of 2020, and Gile Hall is one of the three dorms in the Allen House community.

      If Dartmouth and/or the NH Historical Society don’t call back by tomorrow I’m going to call again. I want to know more about this.

  4. Grace Hummel August 26, 2017 / 2:40 am

    sounds as if Dailey and Friedman had committed suicide over their grades.

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