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Paper Ghosts: 50 Years Ago, Four Young Girls Abducted In One Summer

From Audio: 1. The Dead Butterfly

Duration: 04:13
In the summer of 1973, Janice Pocket rode her bike down an old dirt road in search of a dead butterfly that she had hidden. She was never seen again.
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In the summer of 1973, Janice Pocket rode her bike down an old dirt road in search of a dead butterfly that she had hidden. She was never seen again. Investigative journalist and true crime author M. William Phelps dives into the harrowing cases of four young girls that were abducted that summer, including Janice Pocket.
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mhm the day she disappeared. Do you remember as clear as day? Certain things stick out in my mind like we had. We had gone grocery shopping. Remember the grocery shopping trip? That's so much the actual trip. But when we got home and I think it's because my sister and I had a huge fight when we got back from the I can I can still picture it in my head. My mom was down at the bottom of our basement stairs and she was putting stuff away in a pantry like cabinet. We had there, and I when we were then shopping, I search and I both picked out new toothbrushes and we got back and somehow we were fighting over which, whose was whose? Like which color was mine in which colour was hers. It seems so silly and ridiculous. But I remember I was crying because I was that upset about it. And I'm just thinking my poor mom, I think it was have driven her crazy. We were fighting over something so silly when you think about it as a mom. Now I know it's like here they go again, you know. That was July 26th, 1973 mid afternoon near 3 30 PM, Sunny, a perfect 73 degrees. Janice decided she needed to do something, and she pleaded with her mother to go alone. The next thing I remember is my sister, and she had asked if she could go on her bike up the road to get the butterfly. And and I can tell you what that means, because it was earlier in that week, probably a couple of days before we were out for a walk with my mom and the dog. I was walking, My sister was riding your bike and my mom had the dog and my sister found, and it was right around the corner. Here she found on the side of the road, just butterfly. It was dead, but it was perfect, and it was a one of the yellow and black ones. It was perfect. Mary and Janice's mother used to take them for walks down that dirt road. They had recently gotten a new puppy, so there was a good reason to be out a lot during the summer of 1973. On that day, Janice wore navy blue shorts with an American flag emblem, striped pull over shirt and blue sneakers. She had unmistakable strawberry blonde hair, shoulder length with those 70 0 banks covering her forehead. I can recall her gap toothed smile from her second grade class photo, an image that is stuck with me since growing up in this area. That photo on a missing person Flyer was everywhere, so she tucked it behind a rock that was on the side of the road. And I think thinking I'll come back, we'll get it the next time we walk or whatever Walking it, Mary and I figured out the distance was about a third of a mile from her childhood home. This was far for a seven year old on a bike. You left the pocket home, took right out of the driveway, went down the road and came to a stop sign at the beginning of the dirt road. Heading straight. The dirt road took a sharp right hand and then a sharp left hand turn. Janice had placed the dead butterfly just after the second turn on the side of the road behind a rock. I know it was a Thursday, just only because of knowing that now, but and my sister asking, could she go get the butterfly? And normally my mother would have said No, just wait and let's go take a walk But I think, you know, she was trying to put stuff away and was probably sick of us fighting. That's what I'm just thinking in my head. And I remember her saying, Go quick and come right back. Janice was given permission to go out alone for the first time. Her mother gave her a blank envelope to put the butterfly in. She then hopped on her bike and rode down the driveway, hit the street and headed back to the dirt road to get the butterfly. My God, what an image. A seven year old in July on her bike, going to get a butterfly. This image is something no one in this area to this day has forgotten. You bring up Janice
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