Newspaper clippings · Wisconsin

15-year-old abducted by “sex maniac”

From the Chicago Sunday Tribune

Published October 25, 1959

La Crosse, Wisconsin

The article describes a 6 year old unsolved case, which a 15-year-old seemed to have been abducted by a “sex maniac.”

On October 24, 1953, Evelyn Hartley had been babysitting a 20-month-old girl the night of her disappearance. Her father called when Evelyn failed to check in at a designated time, and when no one answered his call he stopped by to ease his concern. He found all doors locked, the lights and radio on, and items scattered throughout the house, including Evelyn’s shoes (one was located in an upstairs room and the other downstairs) and books. Blood was also found inside the house and in the yard. A screen had been forcibly removed from a window with a stepladder nearby, which seems to be the abductor’s point of entry. The baby was found asleep and unharmed.

Police dogs were brought in, and it is believed the assailant carried Evelyn outside, dropped her to the ground, dragged her for approximately 2 blocks before the trail was lost. It’s suspected Evelyn was placed in a vehicle at this point.

Over the next several days following the abduction, various articles of clothing were found around the town, many stained with blood. A massive search was conducted but little evidence turned up. After his arrest in 1957, serial killer Ed Gein was also questioned in regards to Evelyn’s disappearance as he had been visiting a relative a few blocks from the scene, but he passed two lie detector tests. Some, however, still question if he was involved in the abduction.

Evelyn’s disappearance and fate are still unsolved to this day.

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