352: The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar

352: The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar

Mar 14, 2008
In 1912 a four year-old boy named Bobby Dunbar went missing in a swamp in Louisiana. Eight months later, he was found in the hands of a wandering handyman in Mississippi (the picture at left was taken just days later). Reporter Tal McThenia co-authored a book about the Bobby Dunbar story called A Case For Solomon.
In 2004, Bobby Dunbar's granddaughter discovered a secret beneath the legend of her grandfather's kidnapping, a secret whose revelation would divide her own family, bring redemption to another, and become the answer to a third family's century-old prayer. We devote our entire episode to the story.
  • Reporter Tal McThenia tells the first half of Margaret's story. Everyone in her family knew the legend. Her grandfather went missing in a swamp in Louisiana, and was found 8 months later in Mississippi, in the hands of a wandering handyman named William Walters. But then another woman came forward and claimed the boy as hers. There was a big trial, and the boy was awarded to the Dunbars.

    In 1999, Margaret's father gave her a scrapbook full of newspaper clippings from the period. A lot of the clippings didn't match up exactly with her family's legend. So Margaret went on a quest to learn as much as she could, to small town libraries and archives all through the south, and eventually, to the living children of the "other mother," a woman named Julia Anderson. Her family had their own legend about the kidnapping. But in the Anderson version, Julia's son Bruce was the boy who was kidnapped, and it was Margaret's family, the Dunbars, who kidnapped him. (23 minutes) CrimeFamilyHistory

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Bobby beside car with unidentified people.

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