Walter Collins the real changeling story

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Walter Collins the real changeling story

Post by weasel666 on Sun 17 Sep 2017, 12:55

Nine-year-old Walter Collins was abducted from his home in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, on March 10, 1928.[37] Initially, his mother, Christine Collins, and the police believed that enemies of Walter Collins Sr. had abducted Walter.[38] Walter Collins Sr. had been convicted of eight armed robberies and was an inmate of Folsom State Prison.[39][40] Walter Collins' disappearance received nationwide attention and the Los Angeles Police Department followed up hundreds of leads without success.[14] The police faced negative publicity and increasing public pressure to solve the case.[41][unreliable source?] Five months after Walter's disappearance,[14] a boy claiming to be Walter was found in DeKalb, Illinois. Letters and photographs were exchanged before Walter's mother, Christine Collins, paid for the boy to be brought to Los Angeles. A public reunion was organized by the police, who hoped to negate the bad publicity they had received for their failure to solve this case and others. The police also hoped that the uplifting story would deflect attention from a series of corruption scandals that had sullied the department's reputation. At the reunion, Christine stated that the boy was not her son, Walter. She was told by the officer in charge of the case, police Captain J.J. Jones, to take the boy home to "try him out for a couple of weeks." Christine agreed to do this.[additional citation needed][41][unreliable source?] Three weeks later, Christine returned to see Captain Jones and persisted in her claim that the boy was not Walter. Even though she had dental records proving it, Jones had her committed to the psychiatric ward at Los Angeles County Hospital under a "Code 12" — a term used to jail or commit someone who was deemed difficult or inconvenient. During Christine's incarceration, Jones questioned the boy,[14] who admitted to being 12-year-old Arthur Hutchins Jr., a runaway from Illinois but originally from Iowa.[42][43] A drifter at a roadside café in Illinois had told Hutchins of his resemblance to the missing Walter, so Hutchins came up with a plan to impersonate him. His motive was to get to Hollywood so that he could meet his favorite actor, Tom Mix.[additional citation needed][41][unreliable source?] Christine was released ten days after Hutchins admitted that he was not her son.[44] She then filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department.[14] On September 13, 1930, Christine won a lawsuit against Jones and was awarded $10,800 (approximately $154,000 USD in 2014[45]), which Jones never paid.[14] The last newspaper account of Christine is from 1941, when she attempted to collect a $15,562 judgment against Captain Jones (who was by then retired) in the Superior Court.[46] Christine became hopeful that her son Walter might still be alive after her first interview with Gordon Stewart Northcott. She asked Northcott if he had killed her son, and after listening to his repeated lies, confessions, and recantations, she concluded that Northcott was insane. Because Northcott did not seem to know whether he had even met Walter, much less killed him, she clung to the hope that he was still alive.[47] Northcott sent Christine a telegram shortly before his execution, saying he had lied when he denied that Walter was among his victims. He promised to tell the truth, if she came in person to hear it. Just a few hours before the execution, Christine visited him. But, upon her arrival, Northcott balked. "I don't want to see you," he said when she confronted him. "I don't know anything about it. I'm innocent." A news account said, "The distraught woman was outraged by Northcott's conduct. . .but was also comforted by it. Northcott's ambiguous replies and his seeming refusal to remember such details as Walter's clothing and the color of his eyes gave her continued hope that her son still lived." wrote:


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