Flashback Friday: Charles Francis

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Charles Christopher “Christy” Francis, a seven-year-old boy who disappeared from Santa Ana, California on April 9, 1979.  He’d gone to work with his dad that day. (I’m not sure why, cause it looks like it was a school day.) Dad delivered water tanks. Charles disappeared while waiting for his dad to pick him up.

There hasn’t been a lot of press about this, either back then or now, alas. The police had some suspicion that it might have been a custody matter, but they seem to have ruled that theory out.

17 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Charles Francis

  1. Mario Lanza November 3, 2017 / 2:20 pm

    What parent would tell their 9 year old hey go stand on that strange corner while I drive somewhere else and unload a truck? This whole story just sounds weird to me.

    • Meaghan November 3, 2017 / 2:58 pm

      It was the 1970s. Children weren’t supervised as much then.

      • marsyao November 3, 2017 / 3:15 pm

        Still this makes little sense, why wouldn’t his father walk to the truck with him? It did not seem his father planed to go some where to do something he did not want his son to see, since he drove his truck back in just 10 minutes?

      • Meaghan November 3, 2017 / 6:45 pm

        Perhaps Charles didn’t want to ride in the delivery truck and was driving his dad nuts. I do not know, but I hesitate to make accusations based on a hunch.

      • Shari November 7, 2017 / 2:36 pm

        We were. It sounds weird to me too.

    • Karen November 3, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      Maybe the delivery company didn’t allow non-employees to ride in the trucks, and Dennis could’ve gotten in trouble if his co-workers saw him with his son as a passenger?

      • forthelost November 6, 2017 / 1:08 pm

        The article below says that children weren’t allowed on deliveries.

    • Crystal November 4, 2017 / 3:10 pm

      Even worse, he was 7, not 9. I grew up in the 60s/70s and none of the parents I knew would be so careless as to leave a 7 year old unsupervised on a street corner with instructions to meet later. Yes, things were more relaxed in those decades but stupid is stupid no matter what decade you’re in. Some people shouldn’t parent, and the year is no excuse, as evidenced by the fact that this child is long gone.

  2. forthelost November 3, 2017 / 5:11 pm

    I remember reading somewhere they suspected the same person that they also suspected in Richard Griener’s case.

    • Meaghan November 3, 2017 / 6:46 pm

      That was halfway across the country. I wonder why they suspect him (her?).

  3. Gypsy November 3, 2017 / 10:52 pm

    This case has always had me stumped. I don’t inderstand the father here either. It did look like a school day to me too. And yet he is with his Dad. And his Dad was only gone for 10 minutes.

  4. Alice November 5, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    I wonder if Patrick Kearney was involved.

  5. Mia November 6, 2017 / 10:18 am

    OT, but did you see where Harold Lawson (cross-dressing man from San Fran) is “no longer missing” per the DoeNetwork? They didn’t post any further info and I couldn’t find anything else online.

    • Meaghan November 6, 2017 / 10:19 am

      Yeah I heard about it.

  6. Annie November 12, 2017 / 1:46 pm

    I think it may have been spring break. I am the same age as Charles, and grew up in a similar area in So Ca. When I looked up the date, Google says it was 4 days from Good Friday. Our break was usually around Easter time back then- and being So Ca, we didn’t get out of school until mid to late June, so it wouldn’t be unusual for break to be so late in the school year. Also, it looks like they were in town for a custody situation with the mom? At any rate, I think it’s quite possible there was no school and dad didn’t have a babysitter.
    My mom was extremely protective and never would have let me out of her sight- but, in my experience, that was highly unusual back then. I could see a kid my age being told to wait somewhere public (park) in broad daylight when we were growing up and no one thinking terrible things about the parents. No disrespect to those who disagree, just my perspective.

    I had never heard Charles’ story. Thank you for choosing him for FBF.

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