Hey there. My name is Jakob, I’m from the North Shore area of Massachusetts, generic intro info etc. etc. I just graduated school this past year, and while I wait for those job-offers to start rolling in (Any day now, I swear) I needed a little project to keep me from spending all day on my Wii, wasting away.
Anyway, I decided to look more into the fairly unknown missing children’s case of 1994, when nine children from the North Shore MA area vanished without a trace, and were never recovered. Nor were any clues. No ransom notes were left, no evidence of kidnapping or murder was left behind, nothing. My brother was one of the nine.
So why was such a huge event largely forgotten? (It’s extremely difficult to find any information about it at all) Well, it was largely hushed up, due to the tremendous failure on the part of the law enforcement officials. Eventually, the families, mine included, accepted that there was nothing left to do but hope, and we quietly went about our lives with a hole where a child used to be.
I realized over the summer that my brother would have been 20 by now. I decided I wanted to learn more about the events, as I was only 6 at the time and therefore didn’t remember much about the actual disappearances. So I started off at my local library and started doing some research. Then I moved on to the Boston Public Library. I realized that this was a much more in-depth project than I originally wanted to take on.
See, all the cases were somehow connected. One girl was cousins with one of the boys, who went to daycare with my brother, who was classmates with two of other children- and one of their mothers was best friends with the mother of the first girl mentioned. In fact, there was a very tangled web of connections between the families, and yet none of them knew everyone else.
But besides these odd little connections, every child was taken individually, all while out in the woods. New England, of course, is very heavily forested, and there are many beautiful nature trails through the forests. It would seem that all but one of the children were out for a short hike with their parents when they simply vanished, as if plucked from existence.
To add more mystery to the whole ordeal, one (perhaps two?) children went missing, but were later recovered. The first was Alice Lancaster, of Reading MA. She was out in the town forest with her parents when she vanished, but two days later the family dog apparently took off from the house into the forest (which was close to their house) and found the girl, staying by her side barking until the search and rescue team followed the barks. They reported that where she was hidden, halfway out into the swamp, but on a patch of land covered in reeds, they likely would have never found her.
The second girl, who could possibly be linked as well, was Clover Jameson, also of Reading, MA. Her case was different. Her house was set right next to a rather sizeable forest, and she was simply playing in the backyard one day when her parents looked up and she was no longer there. They immediately went on a frantic search through the forest and over to the horse farm that sat just beyond the trees. With the help of the owner, they did find her- cowering in the back of an empty, locked stable. I wouldn’t have connected the events myself, if not for the police reports surrounding it. She acted very much like Alice had when they found her, mute and anxiety ridden. She refused to speak at all about the incident when later questioned, but did provide one small piece of evidence: A drawing of a very tall man in black clothing, which the police presumed was the perpetrator. He had no facial features, which presumably implied the man had been wearing a mask.
And from there the trail ran cold.
Of course, all nine are now presumed dead, though no bodies were ever recovered. However, some very odd events surrounding the disappearances occurred in the following years- and seem to occur even today.
But more on that later.