Not-Paul Fronczak identified

This story actually ran on July 2, but I didn’t find out about it till now: “Paul Fronczak” has been identified. In a nutshell, for people who aren’t familiar with this case: a newborn named Paul Fronczak was abducted from a Chicago hospital in 1964. In 1965, a toddler who was about the age Paul would have been was found abandoned in New Jersey. The Fronczak family thought he was their missing son, but the identification could not be conclusively established due to unavailability of DNA testing, etc., at that time, so they had to go through adoption procedures. There the matter rested until 2012, when “Paul” had himself tested and found out he was not related to his presumed parents. This made national news and the baby Paul Fronczak was re-listed as missing at the time.

Well, according to the article I linked to above, not-Paul Fronczak has been identified by a “genetic genealogist” as a child named Jack, one of five kids in his family. His parents and one of his siblings are dead now; two are still alive. Jack has a twin sister named Jill (groan) and she’s missing. The twins disappeared shortly before their second birthdays, but their parents never told anyone; both sides of their family thought the children were living with the other side. The family’s last name has not been released as of yet, but relatives told not-Paul “dark tales” about the parents.

In other words, this seems like a Michelle Pulsifer type case. You gotta wonder how many times this sort of thing used to happen back in the days before computerized public records and what have you.

I wonder if Jill was also abandoned somewhere and is still out there, not knowing who she really is. It seems a lot more likely, though, that she died about fifty years ago.

Meanwhile, the real Paul Fronczak remains among the missing. What a bizarre case.

Flashback Friday: Paul Fronczak

This week’s Flashback Friday is the infamous Paul Fronczak case out of Chicago. The baby was abducted from the hospital only one day after birth. In a twist worthy of a bad novel, Paul’s parents actually thought they’d found him in New Jersey a year and a half later. However, as “Paul” grew up it became obvious that he didn’t resemble other members of the Fronczak family. In 2012 he got his DNA tested and it turns out he’s not his parents’ biological child. So the investigation into the kidnapping began anew, but it started over thirty years late.

The woman who abducted Baby Paul has never been identified. I’m guessing she either raised him as her own or passed him on/sold him to a family who did. There’s every chance in the world that there’s a man out there, fifty years old, who has no idea who he is and no idea that he has no idea.

Possibly a break in Fronczak baby case?

There’s a guy who thinks he might be Paul Fronczak, who was abducted from a hospital in 1964 at only one day old.

Sam Miller was allegedly born to a Chicago teenage mother named Sheila Kohn, but he hasn’t been able to locate her and thinks, if Sheila is in fact his biological mother, she used an alias. He’s got a pretty strong motivation to find his biological family, whoever they are: he needs a kidney.

I don’t know why they can’t just do a blood test or a DNA test or whatever to see if he’s related to Paul’s parents, who are, I believe, still alive. I’m not holding my breath here; I’ve seen so many cases where someone thought he was a missing child and it turned out he wasn’t.

A Charley Project reader sent me this

A fascinating article on the life of Linda Taylor, who epitomized the urban myth of the “welfare queen” who collects public assistance whilst driving a Lincoln and shopping at Barney’s.

What readers of this blog will find most interesting is the section on Paul Fronczak. Taylor, whose many crimes included trafficking in infants, was considered a suspect in the Fronczak baby’s abduction. She was never cleared and no one knows where she is today or even if she’s still alive she’s been dead for a decade now.

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”?