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Philadelphia Inquirer: 03/01/57
Barber Provides Clue To Slain Mystery Boy
Hair Cut Seen as Disguise
The police spotlight in the baffling task of identifying a small boy found beaten to death in Fox Chase turned to the Strawberry Mansion area along the Schuylkill yesterday when a barber in that vicinity said he cut the victim's hair a week ago yesterday.
Max Schellinger, whose shop is at 3208 W. York st., told Homicide Squad Capt. David H. Roberts he was "almost positive" that an enlarged picture of the blond, blue-eyed victim shown him at City Hall was that of the small visitor to his establishment.
CONFIRMED AT MORGUE
His identification was so positive that Roberts at once took him to the morgue. There the barber viewed the body and reiterated his belief that it was the same boy.
Roberts at once assigned two detectives to accompany Schellinger on a tour of Strawberry Mansion homes in search of witnesses to support the barber's identification, or if possible to find the boy's family. Schellinger said the boy had told him he had five brothers and a sister and had lived "over there", indicating the Strawberry Mansion sector.
The barber told police he believed the boy was accompanied to his shop by an older brother.
It was the second development of the day in which the question of the cutting of the boy's hair had figured.
The pathetic victim of the slaying, whose body bruised from head to foot was found in a cardboard box Tuesday in a thicket of scrub trees and undergrowth along Susquehanna rd. near Verree rd., had a crude crew cut which had aroused police attention from the first.
ATTEMPT TO CONFUSE
Yesterday, Chief Detective Inspector John J. Kelly disclosed that investigators now believe the boy's hair was deliberately given the mangled cut shortly before or directly after he was killed to confuse his identity.
This, it was pointed out when Schellinger's story was heard, did not necessarily conflict with the barber's story, because the attempt may have been to cut the boy's hair extremely short and change the style in which he customarily wore it.
CLIPPINGS ON BODY
Kelly said the basis for belief that the boy's hair was cropped around the time of the killing was the finding of bits of clipped hair, obviously his own, all over the nude body.
There was no way of determining whether the clipping was done before or after death, but Kelly said it was almost certain it was done while the child was unclothed. The extent to which it was distributed was too great to support the theory that the hair had slipped down around his collar.
If the new theory is correct, Kelly said, the boy's hair probably was usually much longer, giving a different appearance to the contours of his face and neck.
Two other possible leads engaged the attention of investigators on the case yesterday, but the absence of queries from either families or police in the area continued so marked that Inspector Kelly described it as "strange."
Early in the day. The search for the clues spread to Barrington, Rhode Island, where police learned a young mother and her six-year-old son had been reported missing since they left, ostensibly for Florida, on Feb. 19.
Capt. Roberts disclosed that 25 prints of the dead boy's foot have been sent to the Barrington police to be checked against those of the missing youngster there, along with a picture of the slain boy. The mother of the Barrington boy was estranged from her husband, Roberts said. Her son, though a blond and of about the same height as the dead boy, apparently was at least 10 pounds heavier than the unidentified child here.
A Merchantville, N. J., man was brought to City Hall for questioning about the slaying after he made five telephone calls last night to Sgt. John McBride, of the Homicide Squad, saying he "knew about the case."
Capt. Roberts said the man, father of five children, was released after it was discovered he had been a patient at the Naval Hospital. The man told detectives he "had visions" of being implicated in the murder.
Roberts said his squad received 25 calls last night from various persons "with information" about the dead boy, but all were checked out without success. The Inquirer also received several tips on the boy's identity but none proved true.
QUERY FROM TRENTON
From Trenton the detective bureau received a query from State Police Capt. D. C. Borghard, who was checking the Philadelphia victim against descriptions of another child who vanished, also with his mother, on Jan. 26 from a nearby community. As in the case of the Rhode Island child, the weight of the missing boy was said to be greater than that of the child here.
A promising clue discovered near where the body was found had to be discarded a few hours after it was found yesterday morning.
SHOES AT SCENE
It was a pair of size 1 black shoes found by Lt. David Brown of the homicide squad in a search of the area. The shoes, cheap but in good repair, were regarded as possibly significant because they were clean, while the area near the death scene was muddy. One was found on the same side of Susquehanna rd. as the body, about 50 feet north of it, the other 10 feet south on the opposite side.
But when they were placed on the unknown boy's feet at the morgue, it was found they were considerably too large for him.
BLANKET IS CHECKED
Even as new leads were being checked, detectives and police continued with the gruelling detail work of running down information from their first clues, including the torn blanket in which the murdered child's body was wrapped, and the corrugated cardboard box that served as his gruesome casket.
The blanket, a faded nondescript affair of plaid and Indian-style design, torn in half and with a strip carefully ripped from one of the halves as if to remove some identifying mark, was still the basis of conjecture that the child might have been an inmate of an orphanage or a shelter for the mentally retarded. It is of the size used on cots in institutions.
ROUND OF LEG-WORK
Detectives painstakingly continued their rounds from one institution to another throughout the area yesterday seeking one that might identify the blanket as part of its equipment. If the search proves fruitless here, photographs of the blanket are to be sent to institutions throughout Pennsylvania and in other States.
Welfare Commissioner Randolph E. Wise, who had joined police in this phase of the investigation, said yesterday he had completed a check on all children committed to foster homes by courts in his jurisdiction and is satisfied that none is missing.
BOX IS IMPORTANT
Inspector Kelly, in a renewed appeal for information from anyone who might help in solving the case, said that definite help of that kind could be given by the person who first had possession of the cardboard burial box.
The box was the container for a $7.50 baby bassinet sold some time before Christmas by the J. C. Penney Co. Store at 100 S. 69th st., Kelly disclosed. The bassinet was taken away by the purchaser in its original carton. The store had only a dozen bassinets similarly packaged, so the number of persons who would know of the box is limited, but the sale was a cash transaction and the store itself is unable to aid in the search.
ANY CLUE WELCOMED
Inspector Kelly said that even if the box had been discarded by the purchaser and later picked up from a dump or lot by the killer, it would aid police in their search if they knew in what area it had been thrown away.
"Our first objective must be to find whether this boy is from Philadelphia or its environs," said the inspector. "We must have him identified before we can get on with the case."
Philadelphia Inquirer: 03/02/57
Marine Believes Slain Boy Is Brother
A young Marine private told police last night he was "reasonably sure" the murdered boy whose battered body was found in a cardboard box in Fox Chase last Tuesday was his brother.
Pfc. George Broomall, of Spruce st. near 41st, made the assertion after going to detective headquarters in City Hall and he repeated it after viewing the body of the youngster in the morgue.
LOSES TRACK OF FAMILY
Broomall recently returned from overseas duty and is stationed at the Philadelphia Naval Base. He said he was one of 18 children but had been out of close touch with his family for some time.
He said he last saw his brother about a year ago in the home of his parents on Roosevelt blvd. In the vicinity of the Sears Roebuck store. At that time, he said, his parents were preparing to leave for California and planning to leave one boy, Butch, and a girl, Mary, at the home of an older brother, Charles Broomall.
FINDS HOME VACANT
The marine said he went to Charles' home on Thursday but found it vacant. Then, in the company of his wife, Cecelia, he went to the police.
Broomall said he remembered Butch had been born in Temple University Hospital. The information sent detectives and a member of the Medical Examiner's office to the hospital with a subpoena to examine records.
Examination of the hospital files disclosed a boy named Rey Broomall was born there in November, 1948, according to Sgt. John J. McBride, of the police homicide squad.
PLANS COMPLETE CHECK
McBride said the "inconclusive" results of this startling new phase of the investigation would be "completely checked out" today when the dead boy's footprints will be checked with those of the baby born at Temple. Meanwhile, he said, a search would be launched for Broomall's parents and his brother.
Earlier yesterday, police indicated a belief that the hands of a maniac, capable of exerting terrific pressure, may have taken the life of the tiny victim whose identity has proved so baffling.
Both Chief Inspector John J. Kelly and Capt. David H. Roberts, of the Homicide Squad, said there was a definite possibility that was what happened. Bruises on the boy's head bulwarked this theory, they pointed out.
LEAN TO NEW THEORY
Both officers agreed it was still possible that a blunt instrument might have been used in the murder, but were slowly leaning away from this theory.
Other developments in the child murder mystery were:
Nearly 4000 circulars carrying a photograph of the little victim, his description and a picture of the blanket in which he was wrapped, were sent out yesterday to physicians throughout the city. Another batch of circulars is being prepared for institutions in Philadelphia and throughout the State.
Another appeal was made to the buyers of a bassinet at the J. C. Penney Co. Store, 100 S. 69th st., shortly before Christmas. The box was used as the youth's coffin, and if police knew where it was discarded, that fact would help them.
Welfare Commissioner Randolph E. Wise was making a further check of institutions to determine if any of the city's wards was missing.
SCORES OF TIPS SIFTED
Scores of tips supplied by Philadelphians and out-of-town residents were being carefully correlated and run down in the painstaking task of arriving at the child's identity.
Detectives from all six divisions, including two from the Juvenile Aid Bureau, have been assigned to the case, providing one of the largest investigation forces here on a single crime in many years.
Inspector Kelly and Capt. Roberts pointed out yesterday that an autopsy attributed death to subdural swelling, caused by the exertion of pressure on the skull.
Stating that a blunt instrument could bring about such a fatal swelling, the police officials said they are leaning toward the theory that a powerful grip on the boy's head caused his death.
Bruises on the boy's head also lend credence to the theory. The possibility was advanced that the killer stood behind the boy, both hands gripped in a vise-like hold.
With the identity of the boy being the first key to the mystery slaying, police prepared 10,000 circulars for distribution over a wide area. They contain the photograph of the boy, clearly showing the crude crew haircut which may have been done after the boy was killed.
In another corner of the circular is a photograph of the torn blanket in which the body was wrapped. Details tell of other identifying markings on the body and where the body was found.
The body of the boy was in the box which was found in a thicket off Susquehanna rd., about 1500 feet west of Verree rd.
Meanwhile, telephone calls and letters with tips from citizens continued to pour into homicide headquarters at City Hall.
A search through the Strawberry Mansion district begun on Wednesday and ended yesterday failed to produce the evidence police sought. It was made after Max Schellinger, a barber at 3208 W. York st., said he was "almost positive" that the enlarged picture of the blond, blue-eyed victim was that of a boy who had visited his shop about a week ago.
PROCESSING THE TIPS
Capt. Roberts, to keep the investigation moving smoothly, has ordered all information funneled to the Homicide Squad for processing and investigation.
The tips, scores of them throughout the day and night, kept police busy around the clock in a mass project aimed at establishing the murder victim's identity.
03/02/57 Philadelphia Bulletin
Boy In Carton May Have Died Getting Haircut
Police Think Death May Have Been Accidental
Police today expressed a belief that the boy found dead in a cardboard carton last Tuesday might have been killed accidentally.
Chief Inspector John J. Kelly theorized that if this were so, the cerebral hemorrhage, which caused the child's death might have been caused by pressure near the temples while his hair was being cut.
Police have established that the boy had a haircut not long before he was killed and that it was definitely an amateur's job.
Not 'Intentional Killing'
"We feel," said Kelly, after conferring with Captain David H. Roberts, Lieutenant William Lovejoy and Lieutenant David S. Brown, all of whom have been working on the case, that there is a good possibility this was not an intentional killing.
"The position of the bruises across the forehead and one at the hairline are in the same position as a person's hand would be while holding a child tightly to give him a haircut with clippers.
"Whoever was cutting the hair might have exerted too much pressure, causing the hemorrhage.
"The marks on the legs could have been the usual bruises suffered by a child who plays hard, and the arm bruises could have been received while somebody was holding him to cut his hair."
"Possibly whoever exerted this pressure became panicky, and in that state of mind disposed of the body, and now is afraid to come forward.
The chief inspector said that if this theory should prove to be true, he hoped whoever was responsible for the accidental death would abandon his fears and report to police.
He also appealed to 12 persons who bought bassinets at the J.C. Penney Store, 69th and Chestnut St's., between early December and mid-February, to let police know where they disposed of the carton.
It has been established that the box in which the boy's body was found was one of 12 containing bassinets sold by the store during that period.
Heard From One
"We already have heard from one of the persons who bought a bassinet," he said. "We'd like to hear from the others who'll let us know how they disposed of the boxes.
"This box apparently came from indoors, since it had not been exposed to the elements."
Meanwhile the possibility that the dead boy might be the brother of Marine Private First Class George Broomall, 21, appeared to be fading.
Last night Broomall walked into police headquarters and said he believed the boy might be his brother, who would have been eight this year. He renewed the belief after viewing the body in the morgue.
Left: PFC George Broomall
One of 18 Children
Broomall, who lives at 4054 Spruce St. and recently returned from overseas, said he is one of 18 children. He last saw his family when they lived on the east side of Roosevelt blvd. near the Sears Roebuck store.
At that time, he said, the family was about to move to the West Coast, but two of the younger children were left with an older brother who lived in the northeast section of Philadelphia.
Today, however, Lieutenant Lovejoy located Charles Broomall, a brother of the marine, who said he never had the boy in his custody. He said, however, that the boy could have been with another brother in Pittsburgh.
Lovejoy said Board of Education records revealed that the Broomall boy transferred from the Thomas Creighton School, Tabor road and Cottman av., to the Edendal School in San Lorenzo, Calif., on September 5, 1956.
Philadelphia Inquirer: 03/03/57
Clue to Identity of Slain Boy Proves False
No Link Is Found To Marine
Another clue to the identification of the 4 1/2-year-old boy murder victim faded yesterday and left police no further advanced in their investigation than they were last Tuesday when the body was found stuffed in a cardboard box on a Fox Chase field.
The possibility that the murder victim was a brother of Marine Pfc. George Broomall, of Spruce st. near 41st, all but vanished as police worked through the night and then announced their investigation proved fruitless.
BOY IN CALIFORNIA
Broomall, one of 18 children, made an "almost positive" identification of the small body at the morgue Friday night. But yesterday police said Broomall's young brother was apparently safe and sound with his parents at San Lorenzo, Calif.
Hundreds of tips and clues have been run down and each led nowhere as police sought the key to the slaying - identification of the victim.
Thousands of new circulars, containing a photograph of the boy and two sections of the blanket which partially covered his body, were being prepared for circulation over a wider area. On Friday nearly 4000 were mailed to Philadelphia physicians. Another 1500 will be mailed to physicians in nine nearby counties and still others will be sent to authorities along the Eastern Seaboard.
HOPEFUL FOR IDENTITY
The investigation was being directed by Chief Inspector John J. Kelly and Capt. David H. Roberts and Lt. David Brown, the latter of the homicide squad.
Officials held out the hope that one of the 11 additional persons who purchased bassinets at the J. C. Penney Store, in Upper Darby, would help police identify the boy.
The young murder victim's body was found in a cardboard box that once contained a bassinet bought at the Penney store. Since Dec. 3, twelve such purchases were made and bassinets packed in similar boxes were taken to various homes.
One Media man told Philadelphia police the carton which contained the bassinet he had bought was thrown onto a lot near his home.
Kelly said that if the other purchasers would only tell police how they disposed of the cardboard cartons, that information alone might be of sufficient importance to lead to the identification of the boy.
For a time police believed the boy may have come from one of a number of city institutions. But this theory, too, was discounted. Up to now no child has been reported missing and none even approaching the age of the boy had died recently.
HAD GOOD HOME
For the time being, Kelly said, he could only believe the child came from a home where the parents gave him loving and tender care. The parents were at least neat and clean.
The cardboard box in which he was found was clean, discounting any theory that it may have been picked up on a dump or a lot. There was no indication that it had been weathered to any great extent.
The body of the boy was clean and the two sections of one blanket also were clean, Kelly pointed out. Tiny bits of hair found on the boy's body were an indication the child had been given a crude crew haircut either shortly before or after death.
Even the boy's finger and toe nails were clean and properly clipped.
A minute check of the body, Kelly said, disclosed the child had never been vaccinated, so that he apparently never attended school. He had a complete set of baby teeth and still had his tonsils. There was no evidence of any bone fractures, recent or past, or of any kind of surgery.
NO DEATHS REPORTED
Supporting the theory that the child did not come from an institution or a foster home were these facts:
Welfare Commissioner Randolph Wise, conducting an investigation of his own, said there were no deaths among the more than 200 children in foster homes here or among the more than 400 children awaiting admittance to State mental institutions in this city.
Philadelphia Inquirer: 03/04/57
Tests Show Boy Was Put in Water Before Murder
Close re-examination of the body of the small boy found murdered last Tuesday in a thicket in Fox Chase has disclosed that he might have been partly immersed in water only a short time before he was slain, police said yesterday.
Chief Detective Inspector John J. Kelly divulged this new finding yesterday, adding that police had not yet been able to relate it to other clues at hand, but believed it might lead another step toward solution of the crime.
The soles of the boy's feet and the palm of his right hand were puckered in the manner characteristic of skin that has been in water for some time, said Kelly. There was no indication in the autopsy findings, however, that the child died of drowning.
All the many marks and bruises on the head, body and limbs, indeed, proved conclusively that the immediate cause of death was a sadistic beating.
TWO NEW 'TIPS'
Amid a number of new "tips" received by investigators yesterday were two that particularly aroused their interest - one from Newark, N. J., the other from Bethlehem, Pa.
An unidentified woman who telephoned from Newark saying she might help identify the child whose battered body was found in a cardboard box along Susquehanna rd. near Verree rd., was on her way here late in the afternoon to be questioned by homicide squad detectives.
The caller from Bethlehem - police did not reveal whether it was a man or woman - was due to arrive at detective headquarters early last night.
Though investigators said both tips seemed "promising," a department spokesman conceded that the first business of the probe into the child's death - the identification - was effectually stymied so far.
Lack of information or even of the inquiries from the immediate Philadelphia area was tending hour by hour to confirm the belief of many of the men working on the case that the child was brought here from a distant point, either before or after the brutal killing.
Kelly announced that a new set of circulars bearing the child's pictures as well as photos of the torn blanket in which his body was partly wrapped was being prepared to be distributed among police throughout Pennsylvania and in States throughout the East.
The new circulars will differ from the first ones in having not only a more detailed description of the blond, blue-eyed youngster, but also in carrying both full and profile views of his features.
"Our first circular, with only a full-face view, could have been misleading to persons who were not intimately acquainted with the boy, " said Kelly. "From that view, he appeared somewhat older than what we believe was his true age, that is, between 4 and 5 years. The profiles show the babyish contours of the face."
Investigators were able, meanwhile, to check out one more of the 12 cardboard boxes that could have been the one in which the child's body was found. They had established last week that the box found in Fox Chase had come from the J. C. Penney store in Upper Darby, that it contained a baby's bassinet, and that only 12 such packages were in stock at the store.
Philadelphia Bulletin: 03/04/57
Mystery Boy's Skin Hints He Was Drowned
Beaten Child Found in Box Still Unknown
A new theory was offered today in the death of an unidentified boy whose bruised body was found in a cardboard carton in a Fox Chase field last Tuesday.
Dr. Joseph W. Spelman, city medical examiner, who performed an autopsy on the boy, said that it is possible his death was due to a combination of drowning and beating.
He said he will not be able to determine this positively until completion of certain chemical tests of the lung tissue, probably by the middle of this week.
Though Dr. Spelman has not yet officially determined the cause of death, he has ruled that it is a homicide case.
Suspicion that the boy, who appeared to have been between four and six years old, could have drowned came from the condition of his skin.
Police were investigating the possibility that the murdered boy was a refugee from Hungary.
MAY BE HUNGARIAN
Chief Inspector John J. Kelly has asked Federal authorities to check records of all refugees admitted to this country since the Hungarian revolt.
Kelly said that the refugees are from a police-controlled state and have an almost inbred fear of the police.
Kelly also said that the boy's physical characteristics would fit those of a Hungarian. He has light hair and a fair complexion and features indicating Slavic origins.
Kelly said one theory of the police is that the boy is not from this area and that he has asked the FBI to check on all persons reported missing throughout the country.
"What we're looking for," Kelly said, "is a woman or man reported missing who had in his custody or care a child of this age."
One theory of the police is that the child's death was accidental and the person responsible for the death may have become panic-stricken and fears to come forward to identify the boy.
Dr. Spelman, Kelly and Captain David H. Roberts, head of the homicide division, met today for an hour and a half.
After the meeting, Dr. Spelman announced that he will write an article on the case for the weekly magazine published by the Philadelphia County Medical Society in an effort to reach out-of-town physicians who may have some knowledge of the boy.
Kelly said there will be 25,000 new circulars of the boy's description distributed. He said so far 12,000 circulars were distributed but he felt these were too incomplete.
The new circulars, Kelly said, will have a left and right profile in addition to the full face view.
Philadelphia Inquirer: 03/05/57
Doctors' Help Sought In Effort to Identify Slain Mystery Boy
A renewed effort to find a physician in the Philadelphia area who may have attended the 4-year-old boy found beaten to death in Fox Chase a week ago will be launched by police, Chief Detective Inspector John J. Kelly announced yesterday.
Kelly said arrangements have been made to have pictures and a detailed description of identifying marks and medical clues published in a weekly medical magazine's next issue.
Despite painstaking examination of every clue and the questioning of more than a dozen persons who thought they recognized the victim, police are at a virtual standstill in their attempts to identify the blond, blue-eyed youngster whose nude body, wrapped in blanket sections, was found in a cardboard box in a thicket on Susquehanna rd. near Verree rd.
NEW CIRCULAR DUE
A new and more detailed circular for the use of police throughout the country will be sent out within a day or two. It will carry both the full face picture of the boy, as have previous descriptive circulars, and profile views, because Kelly said the full-face picture did not emphasize the "babyish" contours of the face.
Kelly said 25,000 circulars of the new issue are to be distributed nationwide.
Last night a Manayunk couple told detectives they thought the boy might be their 6-year-old son, whom they had last seen seven months ago when he was placed in an orphanage by the Municipal Court. The mother said the boy "looks like him" and the father said he wasn't "too sure." A team of detectives later found the boy in a private orphanage in West Philadelphia.
The chief inspector conferred for nearly an hour and a half on the case late in the afternoon with Homicide Squad Capt. David H. Roberts, Chief Medical Examiner Joseph W. Spelman, and members of Spelman's staff.
TESTS NEARLY FINISHED
Spelman said later he expected to have tests on the boy's vital organs and the contents of his stomach completed before the end of the week, and observed that these might provide some further clues as to the cause of death.
Thus far, examination of the body has indicated the child died of a beating, and that the immediate cause of death was several heavy blows on the head and neck.
Spelman said he has not yet ruled out the possibility that drowning may have been the cause of death or a contributory element in the case. A "puckered" condition of the skin on the soles of the boy's feet and the palm of one hand were the first clues to this possibility, which was supported to some extent by an examination of the chest cavity.
03/06/57 Philadelphia Bulletin
Police Rookies Assigned To Seek Slain Boy's Identity
Police Commissioner Thomas J. Gibbons ordered the entire student complement of the Police Academy into a search today for clues to the identity of the young boy found murdered in Fox Chase on February 26.
Chief Inspector John J. Kelly yesterday decided on an "inch-by-inch" check of a 12-square-mile area north of Rhawn st. in the Northeast and extending beyond the city limits.
The hunt will be primarily for anyone who might know of a missing child about five years old, and for any trace of the clothing of the murdered boy whose body was placed in a cardboard carton that once contained a baby's basssinet.
A torn, stained piece of blanket and a dead cat wrapped in a man's gray sweater were found this afternoon by police searching for clues.
The piece of blanket and the sweater-wrapped body of the cat were found lying together in a depression in the ground about a quarter mile from where the boy's nude body was found. Lying on top of the cat and blanket was a piece of crumpled, sodden brown wrapping paper.
Investigators at first believed the piece of blanket, a strip two feet by five feet, was the piece missing from a blanket found in the carton with the boy's body.
320 Police in Hunt
However, they established that it did not come from that blanket. But they said that it was from a similar type and quality blanket and might have some connection. It was sent to the police laboratory for analysis of the stains.
A total of 320 city police, detectives and Fairmount Park guards were thrown into the hunt in which police of Cheltenham and Abington Townships also joined.
This included the 270 rookies being trained at the Police Academy, State road and Ashburner st., and ten members of the academy staff.
In the city, the search will cover parts of Burholme, Rhawnhurst and Bustleton, as well as Fox Chase. It is expected to take two days.
The area being covered has been divided into 15 different sections. The searchers have been divided into groups of 50 each, consisting of 45 policemen, two park guards, a detective, a sergeant and lieutenant.
Walkie-talkies were used to maintain contact between six groups as they covered their sections.
The men were instructed by Kelly, who is directing the search, to pay particular attention to shacks, abandoned buildings and automobiles, vacant houses and garages as well as fields and thickets.
Park guards were ordered to pay particular attention to the bed and banks of the Pennypack Creek.
A separate force of 20 detectives armed with voting registration lists were assigned to contact every resident of the area being searched to see if anyone remembers seeing a child resembling the murdered boy in any connection.
Dr. Joseph W. Spelman, city medical examiner, reported that laboratory tests ruled out a suspicion that drowning had figured in the boy's death as well as beating.
He said the tests also failed to show any evidence of an assault and showed that the child had not eaten for two or three hours before his death.
Dr. Spelman said specialists have determined from X-rays of the boy's bones that he was between four and five years old.
03/07/57 Philadelphia Bulletin
Murdered Boy Had Operations
Doctor Describes Scars on Body
A possibility that the boy murdered in Fox Chase on February 26 may have undergone minor surgery was disclosed today by Dr. Joseph W. Spelman, city medical examiner.
Dr. Spelman said it was possible that three of seven scars on the body may have resulted from surgical procedures.
The medical examiner pointed to this possibility in a description he wrote of the boy for publication in this week's Philadelphia Medicine.
Doctors Get Book
This is the publication of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, which is mailed out to physicians. Dr. Spelman's description of the boy is aimed at the hope that some doctor reading it will recognize the child as a former patient.
Dr. Spelman reported that a scar on the left ankle looks like a "cut-down" incision. He said such an incision is made to expose a vein so that a needle may be inserted to give an infusion or transfusion.
The two other scars he suspects might have been caused surgically because they healed leaving only a hair-line on the chest and in the groin.
Dr. Spelman said that all of the bruises that covered the body of the four to five-year-old victim appeared to have been inflicted at the same time.
He said that while some came from the blows of an assailant, others appeared caused by manual pressure as though somebody had squeezed the boys arms while shaking him in a rage or grabbed him to pull him along or force him to do something.
One very puzzling thing, Dr. Spelman added, was that the boy's feet and one hand had been immersed in water. He said this must have occurred while the boy was lying somewhere else before his body was placed in a cardboard carton and brought to the spot where it was found.
Meanwhile, the 270 trainees at the Police Academy spent the eve of their graduation continuing their search today in the sparsely settled section of the far northeast for clues to the child's identity.
Chief Inspector John J. Kelly expressed hope that the "inch-by-inch" search of the adjoining open areas of Rhawnhurst, Bustleton and Burholme would be completed by dark today.
Yesterday, the six groups of more than 50 searchers each turned up a variety of possible leads while covering a goodly portion of the woods, fields, thickets, shacks, abandoned buildings and automobiles, and vacant houses and garages in the section.
Dozens of Items Found
Taken to the search headquarters established at the 7th District, Bustleton pike and Bowler av., were several items of boy's clothing and toys picked up during the day.
Among the articles were a torn, stained piece of blanket similar to the two cheap cotton blankets found in the bassinet carton with the boy's nude, battered body.
The blanket, along with a stained child's undershirt found in the section were sent to the Police Crime Laboratory for examination and chemical analysis.
Last night a special squad of 20 detectives under Homicide ... Detectives William Hipple called on residents of the area to determine if any boy resembling the murder victim had been around the area.
03/08/57 Philadelphia Bulletin
Six Identify Mystery Boy
Say He Lived With Father in Camden
Police said this afternoon that six persons have identified the boy found murdered in Fox Chase February 26 as a child who lived in Camden with his father for about six weeks.
As a result of the identification, Kelly late today sent out radio and Teletype messages asking authorities to pick up Charles D. Speece, formerly of RD, Lancaster for "investigation in connection with homicide."
He said all six persons, after viewing the body of the child in the morgue, said he is Terry Lee Speece, eight.
Didn't See Him for Year
Shown a police circular containing the child's photograph, however, the mother, Mrs. Wilhemina Speece, of Lancaster, said the photograph "does not look like him."
Mrs. Speece pointed out, however, that she has not seen her son for a year, during which time he has been living with his father. She said her son is eight and one-half years old.
Kelly and Lieutenant George Sauer, state policeman who has been working with local detectives on the case, arranged to bring Mrs. Speece to the morgue.
Kelly said the six Camden residents, two of whom live in an apartment in the 300 block of N. 2d st., Camden, said the child lived in an apartment with his father from early in January until February 23.
The father disappeared, Kelly said, three days before the boy's body was found.
Kelly said the persons who identified the body said the boy's father shared the apartment with an unidentified man.
All six persons were shown rogues' gallery photographs of Speece who Kelly said, has a police record, and identified him as the father of the child.
"They were positive in both identifications," Kelly said.
Kelly's radio and Teletype message described Speece as 26, white, medium build, brown hair, gray eyes, and said he was driving a 1947 four-door Hudson sedan.
The child's body, nude but wrapped in a blanket, was found in a cardboard carton in a thicket off Susquehanna road between Verree and Pine roads.
03/08/57 Philadelphia Bulletin
Handkerchief' Clue in Murder
Short Hairs on It Compare With Boy's
A man's white handkerchief with some short strands of hair clinging to it has been found by police seeking a clue to the identity of the boy found murdered in Fox Chase on February 26.
Chief Inspector John J. Kelly said the discovery was made during a two-day mass hunt by trainees from the Police Academy. The hunt ended yesterday.
It was conducted in a four-square mile area bordering Cottman av., and extending into the area of the Montgomery County communities of Hollywood, McKinley and Rockledge.
Kelly said that the handkerchief was relatively clean considering its exposure to the elements. It has the initial G in one corner. It was sent to the police chemical laboratory for a comparison of its hair with those of the dead boy.
Also found during the two-day hunt were a tan, child-size scarf and a boy's yellow flannel shirt, size four. This is the size of the clothes worn by the dead boy, investigators said.
Meanwhile, another clue to the boy's identity has fizzled out. A man who thought he recognized the boy from his pictures, looked at the body last night, and said he was mistaken.