In a op-ed, Ana North wrote, “‘Stranger Things’ is a reminder of a kind of unstructured childhood wandering that [now] seems less possible.” But the Marjorie West case reminds us that decades before mass media coverage of child kidnappings, there were hazards that terrified parents.
The effort slowed when a cold rain fell at one a.m. They waded through the stream and stood 25 yards apart in a mile-long line, ultimately combing four square miles.Police interviewed motorists across an area spanning 300 square miles.a “line of men, standing shoulder to shoulder several miles long, grew impatient in the Chappel Fork road until leaders gave the [bugle] signal for them to enter the forest,” recounted the “Refinery workers rubbed elbows with professional men.” Women doled out 1,600 cups of coffee, prepared in “wash boilers” for hot laundry.By the end of the week, the search had covered 35 square miles with Marjorie still out of sight.By Tuesday, May 10, police brought bloodhounds from New York State. Two newspaper articles say the dogs followed Marjorie’s trail “half a mile up a mountain” to a cabin with its door nailed shut. Other media accounts, as well as those from Marjorie’s descendants in online blogs and discussion threads, say the dogs followed Marjorie’s scent to the road alongside the clearing.
“The searches found the crushed bouquet of violets, picked for her mother for Mother’s Day, lying on the ground not far from the rock,” close to where the flowers were pulled, wrote Catherine, the daughter of Marjorie’s cousin Joyce, on her genealogy blog in 2006.After the much-publicized Adam Walsh abduction, parents became more fearful about where their children went and who they were with, and government agencies instituted safety programs including taking fingerprints of kids to keep on file.More recently, the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things,” about a fictional 12-year-old named Will Byers who’s snatched into another dimension, prompted renewed discussion about the idyllic times when children roamed free and parents rarely worried.To this day she is the subject of one of the oldest unsolved cases recorded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.Her search was one of the largest for a child since the Lindbergh Baby kidnapping six years earlier.The drivers of two were identified by Tuesday night.