october 1949

Dorothy Forstein from Philadelphia, was a well-liked mother to three children and wife to city magistrate, Jules Forstein. In 1944, Dorothy dropped her children to a friend’s house and made her way back home. As she entered the empty and dark house, she was beaten unconscious by an unknown assailant hiding in her house. The assailant fled as Dorothy lay bleeding on the floor. The random attack was baffling - nothing was stolen from the house. 

Her husband was cleared as a suspect and the family could not think of anybody that would have a grudge on a housewife. Dorothy recovered and life went back to normal. However, on 18 October, 1949, Jules was away from the house for the evening and their eldest daughter, 19-year-old Myrna, was also away from the house. When Jules returned home that night at approximately 11:30PM, he discovered his children cowering in their bedroom and Dorothy was nowhere to be found. 

Their youngest daughter, 9-year-old Marcy, told police that she had been awakened by somebody entering the house. She got up out of bed and walked into the hall and saw a man carrying a seemingly unconscious Dorothy down the stairs. The man looked towards her and whispered “Go back to sleep, little one, your mother is alright.” Dorothy was never seen again.


History of Magic Meme: [1/3] Younger versions of characters || Molly Weasley (née Prewett)

Molly Prewett was born on 30 October, 1949. She began attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the early 1960’s, and was sorted into Gryffindor house.  After graduation she married Arthur Weasley and their first child, Bill, was born in 1970. Six more children followed: Charlie, Percy, twins Fred and George, Ron, and Ginny. She is described as kind, gentle, loving and motherly but could also be very stern and fierce when prompted.

Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara (December 21, 1949 – October 15, 1987) was a Burkinabé military captain, marxist, Pan African theorist, FEMINST and President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987. Viewed by supporters as a charismatic and iconic figure of revolution, he is commonly referred to as “Africa’s Che Guevara”. Sankara seized power in a 1983 popularly supported coup at the age of 33, with the goal of eliminating corruption and the dominance of the former French colonists. He immediately launched one of the most ambitious programmes for social and economic change ever attempted on the African continent. To symbolize this new autonomy and rebirth, he renamed the country from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso (“Land of Upright Man”). His foreign policies were centered on anti- imperialism , with his government eschewing all foreign aid, pushing for debt reduction, nationalizing all land and mineral wealth, and averting the power and influence of the IMF and World Bank. His domestic policies were focused on preventing famine with agrarian self-sufficiency and land reform, prioritizing education with a nationwide literacy campaign, and promoting public health by vaccinating 2.5 million children against meningitis, yellow fever, and measles, components of his national agenda included planting over ten million trees to halt the growing desertification of the Sehal, doubling wheat production by redistributing land form feudal landlords to peasants, suspending rura poll taxes and domestic rents, and establishing an ambitious road and rail construction program to “tie the nation together”. On the localized level Sankara also called on every village to build a medical dispensary and had over 350 communities construct schools with their own labour. Moreover, his commitment to women’s rights led him to outlaw female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy, while appointing women to high governmental positions and encouraging them to work outside the home and stay in school even if pregnant. His revolutionary programs for African self-reliance made him an icon to many of Africa’s poor.Sankara remained popular with most of his country’s impoverished citizens. However his policies alienated and antagonised the vested interests of an array of groups, which included the small but powerful Burkinabé middle class, the tribal leaders whom he stripped of the long-held traditional right to forced labour and tribute payments, and France and its ally the Ivory Coast. As a result, he was overthrown and assassinated in a coup d'état led by Blaise Compaoré on October 15, 1987. Sankara’s body was dismembered and he was quickly buried in an unmarked grave,while his widow Mari and two children fled the nation A week before his murder, he declared: “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”


The Disappearance of Jean Spangler

Earlier in this blog’s existence, I wrote a short bit about Jean Spangler, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get a ton of information into the post because it was a group post about various disappearances. With today being the 100th birthday of Kirk Douglas, a suspect in her disappearance, I decided that I wanted to cover her story in full.

Jean Elizabeth Spangler was born on September 2nd, 1923 in Seattle, Washington. She attended Franklin High School, where she graduated in 1941. During her teenage years, Spangler danced with the Earl Caroll Theater and Florentine Gardens. She was married in 1942 to Dexter Benner, and two years later she gave birth to her first and only child, Christine. She later on divorced Benner, who initially took custody of their daughter, denying Jean any visitation. He reasoned that Spangler had been unfaithful during the marriage and cared more about her life of partying and fun than caring for her daughter. However, Spangler fought vigilantly for custody of her daughter, and was awarded with just that by a judge two years after the divorce. The ruling was ultimately in her favor as the judge believed that Spangler’s questionable past was behind her, and she had proven that Christine belonged with her. After the divorce, Spangler lived with her mother, brother, sister-in-law and daughter in Los Angeles. 

Jean began her career as a hopeful actress in 1948. Although she had high hopes for the work, she was only ever awarded bit-roles in films and television shows. She was the girl in the church. The dancer. The showgirl. The pretty girl. Despite the size of the roles, she still had high hopes for her dreams of becoming a star. Unfortunately, this would never come to pass. 

Jean Spangler would only ever become famous for being a missing person.

On October 7th 1949, only a little over a month after her 26th birthday, Jean Spangler left her home around 5:00 PM. Upon her leaving, she had told her family that she was meeting up with her ex husband to discuss child support, and that she had to work on a film afterwards.  However, she never returned home. Her sister-in-law reported her missing the day afterwards. The last person to see Spangler was a store clerk, who said she seemed like she was waiting for someone. Additionally, police found that none of the studios in LA had anything being filmed that night.

Spangler’s ex husband was the first to be questioned. While it was clear that Benner had motive, his new wife assured police that her husband had been with her during the time of the disappearance.

Two days later, her purse was found.

The note found inside of the purse was unfinished, ending in a comma and unsigned, meaning Spangler might not have had time to finish it or she had been interrupted while writing it. It reads as follows:


Can’t wait any longer. Going to see Dr. Scott. It will work best this way while mother is away,

LA Police scrambled to connect the names to possible suspects. They looked into every Dr. Scott in the LA area but came up with no leads. In a strange turn, Kirk Douglas, who had been working on a film that Spangler had a part in, contacted the police to assure them he was not the Kirk in the note. By this point, the police hadn’t even considered Douglas yet. This seemed suspicious, but with no other evidence or leads pointing to him, Douglas was let off the hook. In another twist that shocked many, Jean Spangler’s friends told police that she was 3 months pregnant during the time of her disappearance, and she was looking into getting an abortion, which was illegal at that time in history.

Los Angeles police continued their search while looking into other possibilities. In the time before her disappearance, Spangler had been spotted with a man named Davy Ogul, who was connected to mobster Mickey Cohen. Around that time, Ogul was under suspicions of conspiracy, and was reported missing two days after Spangler’s disappearance. This led people to believe that they had possibly run away together to avoid prosecution. A hotel clerk claimed to have spotted Ogul in El Paso, Texas with a woman that resembled Spangler. However, neither of their names were used for registry and the claims could not be confirmed either true or false.

As it stands, no one knows what happened to Jean Spangler. She has been a missing person for over 67 years, and while people have claimed to see her all over the United States over the years, her case still remains open and unsolved.


The Twisty, Unsolved Disappearance of a Hollywood Beauty

Ever head of Jean Spangler? Probably not. She never got to make it big in Hollywood, but she was starting. She had a career as a dancer, a model and had started doing small parts in movies. But then she vanished.

It was October 7th, 1949, and Jean, who was 26 years old at the time, left her small daughter with her sister in law, telling her she was heading to meet her ex husband, Dexter Benner, to discuss an increase in the amount of child support check. Afterwards, she added, she had a night film shoot.

When Jean didn’t come back the next day, her family reported her missing. Dexter claimed he’d never met Jean, nor had planned to, and his current wife verified his alibi. There was also no film shoot that night. It seemed like Jean had lied to her family about her destination, but why?

On October 9th, two days after Jean’s disappearance, her purse was found in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, with the handles torn off but nothing stolen. Inside there was a handwritten note that read: “Kirk, can’t wait any longer. Going to see Dr. Scott. It will work out best this way while Mother is away,”. The note ended in a comma, so it appeared to be unfinished. Jean’s mother was out of town, so that made sense. But who were Kirk and Dr. Scott? That’s when the theories started rolling in, mainly three:

- A friend of Jean said she had revealed she was pregnant shortly before her disappearance. It could be, then, than in her note she was referring to an abortion, something illegal in 1949, and that “Dr. Scott” was the one to perform them. Could it be an abortion gone wrong? Police tried to find this Scott, but nothing came out of it.

- A few people, including Jean’s mother, said she had mentioned a Kirk, and that she was dating a man, but that it wasn’t serious. Could this Kirk had taken and killed her? Actor Kirk Douglas, already a Hollywood star at the time, came under scrutiny and explained that, while Jean had worked as an extra in one of his movies, he couldn’t even remember her. Police never found out who was Kirk.

- Jean apparently had an affair with a man called David Ogul, who was an associate of well known gangster Mickey Cohen. Ogul had disappeared two days before Jean, so there was a chance she had ran away with him. This theory was further supported by some alleged sightings of the actress and Ogul in Texas in 1950, but they were never confirmed.