The Who2 Blog

The Strange Case of the Boy in the Box

The mysterious case of Steve Fossett has us looking through our Who2 case files of oddities: missing rafters, nutty hypnosis subjects, elusive mountain critters, and the like.

Which bring us to the Boy in the Box, otherwise known as the Fox Chase Boy and certainly one of the oddest unsolved crime mysteries of 20th century America.

The sad backstory: In the cold Philadelphia winter of 1957, police were called to a vacant lot in the Philadelphia suburb of Fox Chase. There they found, in a cardboard box, the body of a blonde boy. His hair was neatly cut, his nails trimmed, and nobody had any idea who he was.

The case is mostly unknown now, but it has never died in Philadelphia, where a collection of active-duty officers, ex-cops and clubby citizens have kept digging. The case had many strange angles, not the least of which was the creepy, lifelike photo that the police managed to get by posing the deceased child.

There was some hubbub in 2002, when a Cincinnati woman told police that she had shared a home with the boy, who had been purchased (or “unofficially adopted”) by a Main Line family. But in the end, nothing came of the tale. The mystery remains unsolved.

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