The articles below detail the grisly murder of a young woman, found decapitated, floating in the Ohio River in early May, 1936. There was speculation for a brief time that she was Evelyn Hatfield from Cincinnati, but detectives later determined that missing young woman was alive and well, she’d actually run off to join the circus. Families of another young woman named Emogene Spurlock came to the morgue to look at the clothing found on the victim, but deemed it not to belong to their missing loved one.

Clues were few.
A scarf with the initials E.H. and shoes, crafted in Boston with taps attached to the soles led detectives to believe she was a dancer, perhaps from Boston. That’s when they contacted authorities up east and they joined in the case, thinking perhaps this was the body of one of two missing tap dancers, a detective William Ross from Boston Missing Persons Bureau was checking the prints from the body found in the river against those of the dancers. That’s when the trail goes cold.

While I’ve searched high and low, reading countless newspapers from different cities and towns I have been unable to find any further information on the outcome of this case. By all accounts, it appears this young woman was never identified.


  1. William Thurston John Ross, head of the Boston Police Missing Persons Bureau, was my grandfather. I’ll see if there are any more clues in the newspaper clippings I have.


    1. Oh wonderful! Feel free to message me directly at


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