Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Real Christine Collins

Christine Collins came from work, and found out her son Walter Collins went missing. She called the police right away. but they told her she had to file a missing persons report in 24 hours because most kids come back.

Five months of investigation, with the police had nothing to show. They tell her they have found her son. When the police “returned” a boy to Ms. Collins that was not Walter, she said, “That's not my son”. The police responded by telling Ms. Collins that, because of the months-long trauma that she had endured, her memory was likely failing her. She does as told by the LAPD and takes the boy home, still insisting its not her son.

She collected documents from dentists, doctors and friends that stated that the boy was most definitely not Walter Collins, but the police department refused to help her.The police was getting tired of Ms.Collins, so they decided to locked her up into a mental institution, for her to go away. When she finally gets out she learn about what is now called the "chicken coop murders."

The police had no idea what was going on in Wineville at the time until Canadian Sandford Clark was picked up by police for staying in the states too long. He alerted them to the fact that his cousin Gordon Northcott was kidnapping boys, molesting them, murdering them and dismembering their bodies on his chicken ranch, and that he had threatened Sandford, telling him he would kill him if he tried to leave the ranch. He also forced Sandford to help him murder the children that they kidnapped together, using Sandford to lure other children into his truck. Sandford led the LAPD to the buried remains of some of the children, claiming that he helped Gordon murder around 20 children, but that he couldn't be sure of an exact number because he had stopped counting.

The remains of Walter Collins were never found and no traces of him were ever found in the Wineville Chicken Coops. The boy that was given to her was a runaway found in DeKalb, Illinois, but he was originally a runaway from Iowa and confessed that his name was really Arthur Hutchins and that he had pretended to be Walter Collins hoping that Christine Collinswould pay his way to California and give him free room and board until he could meet the cowboy star Tom Mix.

In 1935 one boy who was presumed dead finally surfaced and told police that he had escaped along with Walter Collins and one other boy, but that they had split up and he had not seen Walter Collins since. Gordon Northcott was charged with three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths. He was hanged for his crimes on October 2nd, 1930.

Although Christine Collins never found her son, her case changed the LAPD and several laws forever. Because of her fight police can no longer throw someone into a hospital without a warrant, and the corruption of the LAPD at the time was exposed to the public. She later sued the police officer who committed her to the hospital for false imprisonment and won, but he never paid her the $10,800 that he owed her.

Christine Collins was a fighter and never gaved up, she stayed hopeful until the day she died.

1 comment:

  1. What a sad and amazing story! Thanks for sharing it!


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