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What happened to the Sodder Children?-Bizarre '45 Cold Case

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posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 07:52 AM

I look into the disappearance of several kids during a fire at a family's home in 1945.
Death by fire seems obvious...but a lot of odd circumstances surround the case.

What do you think happened?

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 10:12 AM
Some background on the story from the OP source

Fayetteville, West Virginia became home to a great mystery on Christmas Eve in 1945. George and Jeanie Sodder celebrated the holiday season with 9 of their children – a tenth (Joe) was away serving in the military. George went to bed first that evening – followed by his sons John (23 years old) and George Jr. (16). Meanwhile, Maurice (14), Martha (12), Louis (10), Jennie (8) and Betty (6) begged their mother to allow them to stay up a little longer and play with the toys their sister Marian (17) had bought for them that day. Their mother consented, but took Sylvia (3) up to bed with her.

About a half hour later, smoke started to pour into her bedroom, and being semi-awake already, Jeanie was the first to notice. She opened the door and was horrified to find flames engulfing the next room. She called for her husband to wake up and her daughter Marian grabbed little Sylvia and took off outside. She then called to the attic where her children were thought to be sleeping – her two oldest sons ran down. George ran outside barefoot into the snow and realized five of his children were apparently still in the house

Shortly afterward, rumors started surfacing that the fire was intentional and the children did not die. We have reports of a man watching the children from the road in the days prior to the fire, a man caught stealing from the garage during the fire, and a warning from an insurance agent because Mr. Sodder was vocal about his dislike of Mussolini.

There were reports from a motel owner that she had seen the children with 2 itialian men shortly after the fire. The Sodders also received a letter from Kentucky with a picture enclosed labeled "Louis Sodder".

So that's it in a nutshell, with some points edited out for time and space.

My personal take on it is maybe the two older children helped the little ones escape since it is pointed out that one of the older boys has been insistent on "dropping it". Escape why? Who knows. The Sodders sound like good people who love their children and want to find them, but that doesn't mean they were always the nicest people. I also can see it being retribution for Mr. Sodder being so outspoken against Mussolini.

The missing children:

Very interesting case. Thanks for posting it.


posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 01:50 AM
maybe it was the italian intelligence that killed him for speaking out against el duce, kids were taken for mk ultra......just guessing

posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 01:25 PM
The "false" remains that were found twice is really the most bothersome part. Seems like a cover up but was it local...or a wider conspiracy.

Was the robber part of the plot? Did he toss the fire ball or just take advantage of a crazy happening?

posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 03:13 PM
Text I had never heard of this case. Thank you for bringing it up. I am intrigued. My research nerve is twitching now...

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 08:14 AM
reply to post by Veryophelia

Did you come up with any clues I missed?

posted on Aug, 13 2013 @ 10:49 AM
Reading several pages from a google search renders the same info over and over.

I'm curious of the Italian-born Father's history. But, to tell the truth, I think the father found his children in the remains of the home and couldn't bear the consequences for his wife. I think he buried them and the house with the bulldozer knowing exactly what he was doing. That's why they planted flowers.

I also think he took that information to his grave.

posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 10:17 AM
reply to post by SeenAlot

Other than all the money he spent on searching for them, that's a pretty solid theory.

I think the parents just chose to ignore the obvious.

I'd like to know if the thief stuck around town after paying his fine. He probably knew a lot about the fire and who was behind it.

posted on Aug, 15 2013 @ 10:40 AM
I read a few other articles that mentioned the ladder, as well. One article had it 'down in a ditch'. The other stated the older son had used it and it wasn't found until much later. The article used here is the only one that mentions the thief and his court fines.

posted on Dec, 11 2016 @ 09:58 AM
In the aftermath of this article, a man named Daniel Zaleski contacted and alerted me to the fact that he was working on a documentary on this case. I ended up helping him get booked on After Dark Radio to share this case to a wider audience.

As far as I know, the documentary never came to pass.

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