This week Rachel takes on some of Russia’s most recognizable historic figures — the Romanovs. She also says the word “cock” about 100 times in reference to Rasputin. You’ve been warned. Then, Emily tells the little-known story of Paul Fronczak, a one-day-old baby stolen from a Chicago hospital. Hopefully, you’re horrified.
Content/Trigger Warnings: child abuse, gruesome violence
Hi, welcome to horrible history. I’m Emily Barlean.
And I’m Rachel Everett Lozon. How are you?
I’m really good. I’m really tired like in my body because I’ve been gardening this weekend and digging things up and going to mall halls, which is like this flower garden plant store that’s like massive and Omaha and just like going to town on that, and it was my dad’s birthday. So we went to this place called farmer browns. And they have like, this cut of meat that is literally it’s like the size of 314 ounce tanks, like stacked on top of each other.
It’s insane. You posted it on social media, and it was like the Foxy like, the size. It’s like bigger than my small dog. It’s a big steak.
I know we’re trying to decide how many ounces it is because they don’t even bother. It’s like a whole roast like it’s Yeah, but we had it in like primer sandwiches for lunch today. So that was really good. My mom like whipped those on up for us this afternoon with the leftovers. Which speaking of my mom, she is our newest patron. So Hi, Mom, thank you for patronizing.
Thank you, Gina. I got to meet her when I was in Omaha. And she’s lovely. I just a real type three thing where I’m like, I’m going to be your mom’s favorite. Friend, but it was really easy because your parents are super cool. So yeah,
I’m glad we got to hang out with them for sure. And I’m glad that now she can hear some of some of our Patreon content. As a $5 subscriber, I will say everyone who’s listening, those of you who are only $5 subscribers, and those of you who are not a patron at all. While Rachel is here, we did a really fun thing. And we did an in person together on screen q&a. It’s on video. It’s just for our $10 and up patrons.
it was a mess. I was like sweating. So I don’t know why it was like really hot.
It was very warm.
So I was a mess. And also teaser. If this doesn’t make you want to listen or become a $10 patron. I don’t know what will I tell my most embarrassing story of all time. The story of the time I shit my pants at the World Series
is one of my favorite stories. Maybe ever.
It’s so horrifying, but it’s pretty incredible. So yeah
It really is.
Yeah, so please, please subscribe if you want to hear that story because I think it’s worth your money
is worth it. Even if you just try it for that month, you get all of the $5 patron Plus, you get us on video for terrible today’s and our bonus content is on video and we are going to start doing we haven’t decided exactly what yet something like a hot horrible minute, once a month, you’ll get a bonus episode from us. On top of all the other bonus content if you are a $10 patron because we want to make it worth your time and money. We love doing that shit. So we don’t know what that’s gonna look like. Stay tuned. Did you just make it a musical? Yeah. I love it. Alright, so
Where are you going this week? I feel like we haven’t recorded forever and like, so we got ahead for when you were visiting. And now I’m like, I don’t know what to do with my hands. Yeah, and I don’t know where you’re going. And I don’t know how this works anymore.
I will remind you actually, I have got this. I will carry the podcast now. Look at me. Oh my god.
Sorry. I’m not gonna interrupt this my last time. My dad, we were in the middle of dinner last night, having this whole conversation about something totally different. And my dad all of a sudden goes, everyone look at me. I’m the captain now. Like, change the topic that we’re talking about. I was like, have you been listening to my podcast?
little bit of content to Emily’s dad is just chilled a Hangout around everyone. He’s not trying to steer the conversation for his own purposes. He’s just like, cool to be around. Have a beer have a steak. For him to be like, this is my new segue. My favorite thing. Look at me. I’m the captain now I know you’re all you listen now we just got to get your brother into it. He listens. Jesse where the fuck were you last weekend? Why didn’t I get to meet you, huh? rude. rude. Okay, so today I’m doing another request from listener slash patron slash my real life friend Aaron is the literal best, and I love you. But Aaron also, this is a really big one. I’m here for the challenge and I may have procrastinated writing this story until today, which is the day we’re recording because of my anxiety about putting it into not just one episode but half of an episode anywho Today we are going to St. Petersburg, Russia, Russia, Russia. So St. Petersburg is a cultural Mecca. I am not sure how much I’ve talked about it on the pod, but I love an old church. There was this old church turn to like, bar when I used to work for my very first agency friends and I would just go and it’s got all of the cathedral vibe, and you just sit there and have a glass of wine and it’s so fun. I love that sort of shit. That’s fun. Mm hmm. So I would for sure want to check out Church of the Savior on spilled blood. Not only does it have an incredible name, it looks like a real life gingerbread castle. What? It’s gorgeous. I’ll post a picture. The church is full of mosaics and it has pink marble floors. It’s badass name is in honor of Tsar Alexander the second aka the Liberator. Yeah, who was assassinated in 1881. So Spilled Blood builds blood. I also this is a good time to pre apologize for any of my pronunciations. I apologize. But I’d also want to check out the Grand moquette russkaya, which is the National show museum. So it’s a museum filled with tiny towns that are all replicants of Russian cities, but tiny.
What is this a center for apps
like that, and there are moving trains and special effects and tiny figurines my kids would fucking love it.
It sounds like someone that’s like that train at the Durham Museum, that little town but like a million of them.
Yes. And in all actual like St. Petersburg, teeny, and probably other Russian studies too. But you know, and although there are so many museums and palaces and cathedrals etc, and St. Petersburg that I would want to see I definitely want the Winter Palace of Peter the first to be on my list. Although it was not occupied by the Czar’s after Alexander the second assassination in 1881. It was still used ceremoniously by laters ours, and in the winter of 1905. Sir Nicholas the second and his family has stood silently at the Winter Palace, witnessing a peaceful protest of starving workers. These workers were met with troops who had been instructed to fire well, leading to the deaths of about 200 people. Whoa, it has been commemorated as Bloody Sunday, and is often noted as the beginning of the fall of the Romanovs, aka the end of the Russian monarchy. So that is what we’re doing today. Thank you, Aaron. Oh, I’m
so excited because I not gonna lie. I know nothing about this. So. And for me,
I was so intimidated Aaron ubitx. I You bet. You bet. He was lucky that I was traveling last weekend, I used a bunch of different sources, lots of history, calm. Lots of fun. I listened to two other podcasts that are very thorough, the history checks have a good two part series on this. And last podcast on the left has a four part series on Raspbian which I’m barely going to put in my story, but if you like raspian or are curious about him and his, you know, giant, the man the myth, the caulk the legend, it’s like
it sounds like one of the dating profiles I’ve been seeing on Tinder.
Tinder. But listen to this podcast first and then if you want a more deep dive, then you can go listen to the other ones. This one first. I’m the captain now. Okay, let’s do this thing. So Nicolas, the second was crowns are in 1894. And he was not stoked about it. Really? Yeah. There’s a quote. I didn’t write it down. That basically is like, What’s going to happen to me and to Russia? If I’m crowned he did not want it.
No, he’s like, I’m gonna fuck this up. You guys. Yeah, give me this responsibility. foreshadowing.
This man was not a leader and definitely not a woman. ruler, I would probably call him a fuck boy personally. Yeah, he had long been interested in Alexander Fedorov, nah of Britain. His second cousin bt dubs, who liked to be called Alex. So that’s what we’ll call her. He had, I think, been fucking some unfavorable for a while, but ended up choosing Alex to marry. And it was a love match. And their wedding was, of course very fancy. Russians are slash were into or Nate as if you google any Russian architecture you can tell. But this is telling Nicholas’s coronation for to be the Tsar of Russia was fancier than their wedding.
He’s like, I know, it’s important to me, okay.
It was a big fucking deal. Yeah. Nicholas has dad Alexander the third was a bit of a tyrant. He shut down freedom of the press, and he didn’t let anyone speak non Russian languages. So that’s the way I think he wanted Nicolas to lead with an iron fist, you know, but Nicholas really wasn’t a leader. And by the late 1800s, before, before Nikolas even took the throne brush and people were starting to get disenfranchised with their monarchy. Enter super passive, Nicolas. To clarify, I do not think that this guy single handedly took down hundreds of years of the Russian monarchy. I think he was a really unfortunate historical figure who happened to exist within a perfect storm of shit.
And hope will explain what happened. Do you think that we just lived with that in America?
Maybe. I will let you be the judge when I tell you if this stuff happens. So here’s example number one. A few days after his fancy coronation, about 1400 of Nicholas’s subjects died in a CMP Oh, no, that’s hysterical. See if it was people or animals, like I’m picturing Black Friday at Walmart. Just running it but it was probably animals. I don’t know.
I was picturing like, the running of the ball. Some Yeah, freakin cows got, um, sort
of, they were smashed. They there was, which was a great choice of words. I’m really sorry. So the the really, really horrible part is that these they weren’t just his subjects. They were people who worked for him, right? So they were there to greet the common folk and accept gifts on behalf of the Tsar and tsarina. And they died doing this. So not a great look. For our buddy Nicholas.
He’s like, but what about my gifts?
Were they my children? I I’m sure he had plenty already. That he didn’t need to take from the people who are starving. But this started this urn people calling him Nicholas the bloody Oh, nothing. And this is you know, within a week after he’s crowned, so not awesome. He’s like, the next unfortunate thing to happen to the Tsar and tsarina is that Nicholas and Alex kept having damn girls, ladies, Emily, ladies, nobody
wants lady babies.
Nobody wants these lady babies. This was well, not at this time in Russian history when ladies could not do stuff. I don’t. Because the story is already so complicated. And there’s a ton of names. I didn’t go very back very far back in the Russian monarchy. The Romanov family ruled from the 1600s and this is late 1800s and then early 1900s. So even though we’ve all heard of Catherine the Great who obviously was Zarina and ruled
Russia, I’ve never heard sorry, Anna and I fuckin love that. It just sounds great. You I know. Zarina nobody bow.
Yeah, but obviously she was running shit. Yeah, but I don’t know why after her. There was never another female ruler. I think one of the Peters was like, fuck that lady. I don’t know. But she did better than me and I don’t like it. If you’re into it, you can research it. So all you need to know is that there’s a lot of social pressure to have a boy because otherwise who’s going to lead the people not a
person with a vagina that’s for sure.
Not a lady. Definitely not. I heard their periods attract bears. Smell demonstration. Brick killed the guy. There were horses and a man on fire. I killed a man with a frightened unfortunately, for those are in Zarina Olga is born in 1895 then tatsiana in 1897 Maria in 1899 and everyone’s favorite Disney Princess not Anastasia in 1901. Not not I haven’t seen Anastasia probably since 1997. When it came out what have you, I’m just pick No, but
I’m just picturing that little bat thing with her. I don’t even know his name. I just like, he was so cute.
Yeah, I am. In last podcast on the left. Marcus talks about watching it recently as an adult. And I guess the villain is Rasputin. The one that I’m writing against, and his sector apparently looks like a giant cock, so I’m gonna watch it just for that. Image Disney. Disney in the 90s Gohan. You’re drunk. Okay? You’re horny, gross. You’re drunk and horny go away. It’s important to know a couple of things about Alex. Okay, first of all, she was not super likable. She didn’t speak Russian. She was British. She’s actually the granddaughter of Queen Victoria. So she didn’t immerse herself in Russian culture and she didn’t endear herself to Russian people. Number two, Alex was into some goo. So she’s very spiritual and believed wholeheartedly that it was her fault that she couldn’t produce a male heir. We obviously know for now from science. It’s the dude. It’s all it’s your sperm, your sperm but that’s a gender.
Somewhere I was reading something where it’s like you can do certain positions and like make it more likely to get a boy and I was like, that seems fake.
Yeah. I I feel like it’s whatever sperm has gone the fastest. Right? You would think there’s a lot of them all add on.
Just imagine the very beginning of the movie, Look who’s talking
to so she starts putting her trust in rituals, I think while she was trying to conceive a boy there’s some ritual where she’s like, naked and some water and it’s that sort of kind of Eastern medicine kind of whoo shed, even though Russian Orthodox is the religion of the times of people. So Christianity, essentially. Um, so she also starts putting her trust in some gurus who are not so much with the credentials, which will come in to play later in a very important, gross, big cop way. So praying and chanting and naked swimming, and gurus it all worked because a 1904 Alex and Nicholas finally welcomed their first and only son, Alexi. This is probably a good time to note that the royal family was very private. Alex was actually a really good mom. by today’s standards. She was super hands on with her kid. She nursed them, which was progressive for the earlier and
usually they have a wet nurse.
Yeah. She kept them hidden away from others. She wanted them to have as normal of life as possible, which was pretty similar for what her mother did for her kind of kept her away. So the family pretty quickly discovered that Alexi was sickly. And they told no one. Alexi had hemophilia, which is a disorder that you bleed and you don’t stop, you get a paper cut, and you could die. So they found this out at about six weeks old when he began bleeding from around his bellybutton and just wouldn’t stop, which is terrifying. I know. So the ceiling is secretive and out of touch with the common people. Although by all accounts, Alex was incredibly compassionate. I don’t put this in my story. The history chicks talk about it in their podcast, but she and her daughters all learned how to do nursing. And when people would be sick or wounded because Russia was in a lot of wars around this time. They would go and be hands on with wounded people. So she was very kind, but they’re living this ornate off the grid life. And even though they’re they’re like, well, we’re normal, rational people are starving. It’s not a great time in Russia. Yeah. And obviously the 1905 Bloody Sunday massacre was not great for the already not great moniker Nicolas the bloody. And even though Nicholas didn’t actually give the orders for his army to shoot the protesters, his name is the one that people think of when they think about military control. So the approval rating for the royal family is declining.
rapidly they’re just doing their best to send out news alerts of like Alexi is doing great he’s lifting heavy objects he’s very strong
great Evers even had a cold it’s don’t even worry
about the ladies. Yeah they they just don’t say anything about him everybody’s just like oh and air and then enter raspy muted Oh, ah okay have everybody’s favorite smelly big dick legend ban Gregory rescued and marketed himself as a spiritual healer, which remember Alex was incredibly vulnerable to Yeah, truthfully he was a peasant from Siberia,
I have like no idea about who Rasputin is.
You should listen to the four part series, I’m not going to get into it essentially like, he’s very crass, alcoholic man. He basically walks. He takes like a spiritual pilgrimage to this place in the rest of Russia away from Siberia. And at this point, he’s sober. He has these times where he just stands in swamps trying to be closer to God, this guy smells, smells, smells, and then he falls off the wagon permanently. And he’s just like, really gross and fucking, but the royal family keeps him around. And they’re like, Oh, that’s just Raspbian. But
I don’t know why, but I’m picturing. I was picturing Jafar from a lab. Realizing I’m very far up and what I who I’m picturing
seems clean. Yeah. He fades regularly rasp Putin does not. So he’s also a very slick talker. This guy, he’s full of shit. And a lot of people can see it. But if you’re picking up what he’s putting down, you’re gonna buy it, right like Alex’s into spiritual healing. So keep that in mind. So he meets the royal family in 1905. And he leaves a lasting impression impression on them. So Alex buys rambutans bullshit hard. And the reason she did is that miraculously, whenever Rasputin was around, Alexi didn’t get sick. Oh, and even when he wasn’t around, if Alexi got hurt and was bleeding, Alex would call for Rasputin who was probably, you know, visiting family in Siberia. So she would send him a letter, and rescued and let’s say the boy will be fine. Just don’t bother him too much. Tell the doctors to leave him alone. And then just like magic, Alexi was fine. Whoa, yeah. So he was a healer that really did seem to be healing, Aleksey, what we might infer now, the theory that I go with, is that these healers, you know, the doctors were probably pumping this child full of aspirin, which we know now is a blood thinner. And since he had hemophilia, the medications were making him bleed more.
But there’s no way that Rasputin would have known this. In the early 1900s. He, it just so happened that he was like just leaving be for a little while and then probably his blood thick and tiny, but it’s Yeah,
exactly. So because he’s a witch doctor, which he basically was, you know, and because Alex believed that rescued and had saved her son’s life, her only son, heir to the throne multiple times, this smelly spirit guide was around the palace. A lot. So a lot
of place that I previously worked now my current job, but we had a perfume policy, you couldn’t wear cologne or perfume because I don’t know for people with sensitive noses. One guy who refused and he was one of the partners, so it was like,
No, we do what he wants. Yeah,
you could like get on an elevator and be like, Oh, so and so was here recently because it’s like stands out so yeah. Like people would walk down the hallway and be like up close, like,
oh my god. Yeah. And, and also remember, he’s real crude and drunk all the time and hitting on ladies. He’s got a wife and kids back in Siberia, but he doesn’t care. And remember, nobody outside the royal family knew that Alexi was sick. So this smelly crude alcoholic hanging out with Zarina Alex on the regular starts rumors for Thai people are like well why would you be around they must be fucking they fuckin they fuckin which there’s no evidence to support they they more than likely we’re not fucking she was just keeping him around to save Alexi. But public opinion of the world Family continues to decline. So we’ve got weird rash butan living lavishly and privately while many are starving, and we have Nicholas’s inability to lead. Are you ready to add more to this? shitstorm? Yes. Okay. And now 1914, Russia joined a little thing called World War One her. heard of it? Sure have this is a history podcast. And Russia was not prepared. So they had previously been involved in a war with Japan that I’m not really going to talk about, but just know it was within the past decade. And Nicholas didn’t do a very good job. They had a lot of casualties. And so not only did they were they kind of recovering from that, but their army in World War One got destroyed, destroyed, and it wasn’t just their army. Russia had more casualties than any other country during World War One, about 1.8 million military deaths, and about 1.5 million civilian deaths. She’s
shocked. Shocking, I don’t know why. But I just think of Russia as like, a military powerhouse. Now, I guess, are they now? I just didn’t ever know that they had a moment where they were like,
Yeah, no, they were, they were not rocking. And people blame Nicholas for this because he was the face of the military. And Around this time, Alex had somehow convinced Nicolas that he should be more authoritarian and hands on and his military control. So he was visible trying to lead these troops. And inevitably, with the number of deaths and soldiers away fighting instead of home farming, the food system went to shit, the transportation with the shit and the people started writing. And finally, after many, many calls for application in March of 1917, Nicholas abdicated the throne. The man Don’t worry, it gets worse. Essentially, application means I’m going to give up my power as king or czar or whatever you want to call it. And just not rule.
Anyone? Does it hand it over to someone or is it
generally speaking, it does. So very famous example. Edward, the eighth of the British monarchy in 1936, abdicated the throne so that he could marry a divorcee who you weren’t supposed to marry, obviously, because that was uncouth at the time. So he handed rule over to his younger brother George, who is was Queen Elizabeth father. And so the whole monarchy kind of shifted over, still within the family, but not not where it was probably supposed to go because he was supposed to produce an air and George was never supposed to be king. So and what happened to Edward is that he ended up going and living elsewhere, I think, in America, with his, you know, divorce a wave, and they live pretty happily. And he got, I believe in allowance from the royal family. So he wasn’t cut off completely. But he had to denounce his titles as royalty. But the monarchy did live on in Russia in 1917. There are no other people to hand it over to. People are pissed with the monarchy and Nicolas in specific, but when he advocates political unrest gets even greater, because he can’t hand it over to Alexi because he’s too young, or I think because he’s part of the same bloodline, maybe like the giraffe, because it should have gone to him anyway. But Alexi was born in 1904. And this was 1917. So he was 13. Maybe, but he was sickly. Yeah. And this was a time with war and famine and
the economy like they’re like not a 13 year old. No,
no, definitely not. So the Bolsheviks who are essentially a radical leftist group that eventually become like the communist regime, led by Vladimir Lenin, take power in the Russian Revolution. And they imprison the entire Romanov family. Whoa, yes. So basically, the family is an exile. They’re moved from house to house safe house quote, unquote. And they’re thinking that eventually one of their relatives in England or France will take them in. I mean, remember, Alex is the granddaughter of Queen Victoria. She’s like somebody who’s going to take us in, right also the families used to being together. in isolation, and in fact, the four daughters had been so isolated, that mentally they were only about 10 or 11 years old. Wow, adults. That’s some isolation right there. Gee, yes. Emotionally stunted, they really only interacted with each other. Which is why I’m glad to be vaccinated and get my kids out because I’m worried about COVID. I’m worried about that. I’m worried about that. Okay. That’s my therapy conversation, though. Not for the podcast, okay. So the Romanovs. They aren’t too upset about being isolated together. Problem is, none of their relatives are willing to take them. Remember in so World War One in 1917, and nobody wants to piss off Vladimir Lenin and the rest of the Russians or the Bolsheviks in particular. But Alex and Nicolas, don’t give up hope that there’ll be rescued. The Bolsheviks like I said, they move family from house to house and eventually settle in at the quote, House of special purpose. Yeah, talk about ominous names. The Romanovs were guarded by soldiers who were not exactly being gentleman. Many of them made sexual comments to Alex as well as the girls who remember developmentally young and probably have never heard the word penis.
They’re like adult women with adult female bodies and but 10 year old brains great.
Yeah. Yeah. And also, this is a time where you weren’t showing your fucking ankles to Pete, right? People were proposing because they heard that you were fair. Like that. That’s it. They’re like, let me send you a letter saying please let me see those ankles like I needed. It is a proper fucking time as these girls that you were pleased. through the grapevine I’ve asked you know, it feels like it’s so so long ago. But this is 1917. So only a little over 100 years ago. Yeah. On top of that, the house has special purpose is gross. It’s dusty. It’s dingy. The family doesn’t have enough plates or silverware. There weren’t linens on the bed. It’s a huge juxtaposition from the life of luxury that they were living before.
They’re eating off eating chili off of a Frisbee.
They’re living like college dudes. No sheets. Oh, no boy at all. a Frisbee. No, it’s gross. It’s really gross and horrible. And they’re guarded day and night by these dudes who are like, hey, I’d like to see her Frisbee. I don’t know.
Like, how come saying anything in that? I’d like to see her anything. And it sounds gross. Yeah,
yeah. I’d like to see her house has special purpose. It just gets even worse. The Romanov family lives in exile here or moving around from house to house. Not necessarily here. I don’t know exactly how long for a year and a half there in exile. Then July 17 1918. Bolshevik soldiers wake the sleeping family in the middle of the night. They tell them to get ready for a move to another house, which is pretty common at this point. They’re moving all over as they get ready. The women I wonder if they had done this before, as I’m reading this, it doesn’t make sense that they would do it here. But at some point, the daughters at least three of them had sewn their jewels into their core sets so that they wouldn’t be seen as they move and nobody’s going to, you know, Frisk, their corsets. So that’s important.
I feel like I remember that from Anastasia.
Mm Hmm, maybe? Yeah, yeah, I don’t know. I’m gonna have to rewatch the Disney movie. Aaron told me she would get drunk with me and watch it. So that’ll be fun. But the Romanovs are told to line up like they’re going to take a photo. So they have you know, like you guys in the front row. You guys in the back? Don’t do it. Yeah, well, they’re surrounded by guards and and severely outnumbered. And all the trigger warnings instead of a camera. They get executed. All seven Romanovs are shot and killed. And I would love to tell you that they all died quickly. But unfortunately, the jewels that had been sewn into the core set acted as kind of a bulletproof vest, meaning that the daughters didn’t die right away. And they saw their parents and their brother being executed. Oh, but it took 20 fucking minutes to kill everyone. And eventually soldiers were given permission to use the button. their guns, bayonets and knives to finish off the remaining Romanovs as well as all of their servants.
Oh my God. That just got real gruesome. Yikes. Yeah,
yep. And after the execution, the soldiers use sulfuric acid to disfigure the bodies so that they wouldn’t be able to be recognized. So they, they buried them separately. Another precaution to avoid identification, Nicolas Alex and three of their daughters, it’s unclear which three? Probably for sure, hold on Tatiana, and either Anastasia or Maria. were buried together in a mass grave with Alexi and the fourth daughter being buried in a separate location.
Why do I think it was probably Alexia and Anastasia the like? sickly son and the hated?
Yeah, the youngest daughter, maybe. But yeah. And although Vladimir Lenin would recognize yet cold euro ski as the leader of the killings, the rest of the information about the Romanovs murders were kept in mystery. So they told the public that Nicholas was executed, but the rest of the family was being held safety safely at an undisclosed location. Eventually, I think they said they were upheld, but really for almost a decade, the Russian people had no idea if their monarchs were truly dead, all of them how they experienced their fate until the fall of the Soviet Union, which was in 1991. during the decade, details came out. So like almost a century later, I think I spent decades those are different, almost. Of course, with the details of the murders being covered up rumors and conspiracy theories about did we just did like a little raccoon hands like the most popular theory was that Anastasia had escaped from the firing squad. Many many women came forward claiming to be Anastasia and one was probably the most famous and most believed Anna Anderson. She was pulled from a canal in Berlin in 1920. After a suicide attempt, she was put into an asylum, and she started telling other patients that she was Grand Duchess Anastasia, and people believed her. Even though Alex’s brother, Ernest Lewis, the Grand Duke of hesi, funded a private investigation in 1927 to prove that she was an imposter. The investigation found that Anna was actually Jesus help me Franziska schanz couser Polish factory worker who had a history of mental illness. But even with this investigation, this woman had some metaphorical balls and she continued to claim to be the Grand Duchess. She emigrated to the US in 1928, and kept up the charade and didn’t die until 1984. And requested her body be cremated, probably so that they wouldn’t be able to verify. But in a twist twist of science in 1991 seniors the fall of the Soviet Union, which is interesting, the bodies of Nicolas Alex and three of their daughters were zoomed from a mass grave and the Ural Mountains. They found them. And luckily for Anna, she had I mean, she is already dead. So she didn’t know. But she had had part of her intestines removed in 1979 during an operation and that hospital store the bit of her intestines because she had been claiming to be Anastasia, that they were able to compare to the DNA of the Romanov family. And surprisingly, they are the little hospital employees nonmem Finally, in 2007, so this is another like 15 years later, the bodies of Alexi and the other sister even Maria Anastasia, were discovered in a smaller grave nearby the mass grave where the rest of the family was buried. So they were in similar locations but not in the same grave. How curious. Yeah, I don’t know why. DNA confirmed this discovery, and the family’s true fate was revealed. All seven of the Romanovs were declared what these particularly Romanovs were declared saints by the Russian Orthodox Church, and their remains were laid to rest in St. Petersburg Cathedral. At least some of them. I love acces and that sisters remains are still held in a Russian state archive. Although multiple DNA tests as recently as 2018 have confirmed the siblings identities, it is unclear if and when they will be buried with the rest of the family. Weird. And that is the crazy horrible, very abbreviated story of the fall of the Romanovs.
Wow, I wonder why they haven’t buried them yet. That’s fascinating. super weird, right? I don’t know. Hmm, that was so interesting. I’m definitely gonna want to watch one. I want to watch the Disney movie again. And I definitely want to go listen to the four part series because that’s just like, yeah, I’m drama.
I mean, the four part series on raspian Very good. I, we don’t have that kind of format here.
That we’re going to talk about Cox that much weight.
Essentially, rambutan was a big part of an already downward shitstorm. Right, like, yeah, I didn’t mention this. But like, when he was executed, I think he was assassinated, not executed. A lot of people hated Rasputin. And it was like 1916 so before the family was captured and killed people cheered when they found out that rescued and had been killed. Nobody did not have a great reputation. That one apparently, allegedly, his his caucus still somewhere stored in something and like, yeah, oh, yeah. Yeah, no, it’s just a cock and like a, you know, in cartoons when they have those big containers and it’s just a floating brain and liquid. That’s what I picture but it’s just a giant cock. Please stop saying caulk. To Tell me your story.
I feel like I’m gonna have a nightmare just about a floating penis
coming up and even proven that it’s probably a horse penis. No. Actual man’s penis. But he was said to have been literally hung like a horse
Yak. But um, but um Well, great job. ended on a sour note, but otherwise gray. I was like,
Oh, that’s sweet. They’re all buried together. And then I kept researching and I was like, Oh, fuck yeah, interesting story. Lots and lots of information out there. So if you’re interested like I said, I’ll we’ll link everything obviously in the show notes. But, man, man, Russia, you delivered Russia is fucked up. Yeah. and beautiful. I’ll be anxious to hear.
Because I remember when I did the diet love, which I can still barely say I love diet love pass. I had such a hard time finding terrible today’s stories because it’s like, very locked down in terms of their internet. So I’ll be really anxious to hear your terrible today stories. So
I will just tease for terrible today which will be coming out this coming Tuesday. When Emily did Russia, she talked about one of my favorite stories that we’ve ever done for a terrible today, which was the man who claimed that Apple had turned him gay. Oh, yeah. Like I’m in a committed relationship. And I don’t know how I’m suing. I found a follow up to that story. And we’ll be discussing it in terrible today. So I just say got married. Have a family. Thank you wait to find out. Oh, what are you doing today?
I am going to Chicago today. And so I know you’ve been to Chicago. I’ve been to Chicago many times. I have traveled there. My friend Elaine used to live there. So one of my favorite stories. Me and Carson went to go visit the Elaine in Chicago and Carson’s perpetually late to everything. And so he was driving from Nashville to St. Louis. So that then we could drive from St. Louis to Chicago for Elaine’s 30th birthday. And he was supposed to leave at noon, so that he could get to my house by five so that we could get to Chicago by 10 or 11. He did not get to my house until 11. That’s very late. Like he was 12 hours late. Like he was like I couldn’t get away. I know. And so as we were pulling out of my house, I think I like hit my tire on something and Oh no, like 20 miles into the trip my little light came on of like your your tires low and so we pulled into a gas station and the tire was fucking flat like to the rim flat. And it was midnight, like what’s open at midnight? What are you gonna do and so we took Had to blow it up and it literally just went flat again. And then I looked in my trunk and I had this stuff my dad had put in my trunk when I moved away to college. So that would have been 15 years prior, like, a long time before. And it’s called fix a flat and it’s the stuff that you like, you like put it in, like you’re putting air in and, and it fills your whole tire up inside with this goop that then like hardens. That ever. It’s supposed to be like a stop gap. Like it’s a drive it for a mile to get to the Jiffy Lube or whatever. We drove all the fucking way to Chicago. So like, five hours, it took us like eight hours because that we had to I was going like, 40 the whole way there because I was like, I’m not. I’m afraid if we get going too fast, this fucking thing’s gonna blow up. And I’m totally not willing to do that. So it took us so fucking long. We got in at 8am like, Oh, my God, and then I took it to a Dobbs or something. And I was like, told him the story. And he goes, that’s just supposed to only drive for like, maybe 10 miles, you know, like 300 miles on
it. But I get a new tire though. That’d be great stuff. Stuff with a judgement. That’s not what I’m here for.
I know, I’m like we lived it’s fine.
but every day. Exactly. But so yes, I’ve been to Chicago many times. And St. My company has an office there. And I have several clients in Chicago. So I pre pandemic used to go up to Chicago quite a bit to have meetings and stuff. And so I went once with my boss and we went to this place called eataly. like Italy, but eat, which I think is a chain, but I’m not sure but it’s like the biggest one ever is in Chicago. And it’s like, you can shop for dry goods and wine and then there’s like three different restaurants inside. It’s like three storeys tall, and you can get gelato at one place and so fun. And then of course, I went on a vacation to Chicago one time to with my ex and we did all the fun stuff like we rented bikes and like rode around on the pier and you know, went by this mean, like got hot dogs from a stand outside of the Shedd Aquarium and like, I just really like Chicago. So
it’s so travel there. It’s such a pretty city and there’s so much to do, and it’s still I know it’s got a high crime rate, whatever. I’m sure you’re about to tell us about something horrible, but I everybody’s so nice. It still has a very Midwest vibe, because it’s still Illinois, like you forget the rest of Illinois is the Midwest. And then there’s just Chicago.
I know I love Chicago. I actually thought about moving there. At some point A few years ago, I was feeling restless, restless in St. Louis. And I worked in Chicago so much. So I had friends there and like co workers and there’s an office so I could have moved ended up moving my high instead. Big difference. Same but yeah, and it’s so walkable. which I love. Though I will say when, when my ex and I I remember we walked so much around the city. This trip is one of my few like really good memories with him. We walk so much and then on our way out of town, you know when he walked a ton and then you finally sit for a while and then your muscles all like cramp up. It’s like lactic acid.
It’s like Yeah,
totally. Exactly. Yeah. So we got in the car and we started to go home and we it takes a while to get like out of town enough like to schomburg which is where they IKEA is and so we’re like IKEA we should stop. And I remember where these two like 25 year olds and we were like, out like trying to walk up the stairs. We ended up having to take the elevator up and down because I was like, I can’t move my legs and he was like
so it was it was fun. That’s a very good time.
Yes. Anyhow, um, that was a fun time. This story is not so fun. But it is a little bit lighter. And I have a big update on it. That is happening just recently. So okay, I’m getting into some present day but fuck it. I don’t care. Because for some history,
it’s our podcast and we do but we want don’t suck on that. Yeah, but don’t stop listening though. We love you.
Love you. Okay, so I got a lot of information from a really incredible interview done by BBC. So I’ll give a nod to them. But there was a ton of different articles that I got sources from but major kudos to that BBC article. Okay. On April 26 1964, Dora frog Zack gave birth to a baby boy In the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, she and her husband Chester, which I like Chester, endora, good names. That’s cute. They named the baby Paul. And they were super excited. It was their first child. And so throughout the day, Dora, you know, nurse Paul. And then he goes sleep with the babies in the nursery, and so on and so forth. And then the following morning after he was born, so she only really had him for a day. And nurse came into the room and took him and said, like, are the documents to examine him, so I’ll be right back. And he she took the baby. But the problem is, the nurse was not a nurse. It was a woman dressed up like a nurse. Oh, my God, who took baby Paul and never returned. Oh, my God kidnapped him at one day old. Ah. Oh, that’s, that’s heartbreaking. I know. I know. And really heartbreaking. Dora had had a stillborn son the year before. So it was like, okay, she finally had a like healthy baby. And then he was kidnapped, kidnapped at one day old, which is my God.
Yeah, so the hospital staff realized that something had gone wrong. And they started frantically searching for this baby. But they didn’t actually notify the authorities or the baby’s parents until in the afternoon. So it was like mourning when he was kidnapped. And at 3pm they finally called the father who had gone back to work, like no paternity leave for you. Yeah, he worked at a factory, you know, and so he was a machinist. And so they called him at the factory to tell him that their baby was missing in the he needed to call come and tell his wife, which I’m kind of like really guys. Like, why even speak to the woman?
She just birthed a fucking human.
Yeah, let’s keep her in the dark about this. But also like they didn’t call the authorities. So we’re taking down those hours of 24 hours since the baby’s been kidnapped. You know, whoever’s got him is getting farther and farther and farther away. So, reports say that the kidnapper fled the hospital with the baby in her arms wrapped in a receiving blanket and got in a taxi down for the South West Side of Chicago. So what followed this kidnapping ended up being one of the biggest manhunts in Chicago’s history. 200 police officers and the FBI were searching. And the Postmaster General even told 175,000 postal workers to like literally when they were on their routes, keep their eyes out, because postal workers tend to be on the same route. So they have they see people day in and day out and like get to know the people they deliver to. And so they are like, if you see anyone who suddenly has a baby that Yeah,
who wasn’t pregnant.
Shouldn’t have a baby. Yeah, like, just alert us.
That’s a smart idea.
Yeah, I thought so true. And so they searched 600 homes by midnight. So they did kick it into gear pretty quick, which was good. Yeah. but to no avail. They did not find poor little baby Paul. So a week later, they did distribute an artist’s rendition of the suspect who newspapers referred to as the mystery woman. And witnesses described her as being around 45 foot for a ruddy complexion, and like black, graying hair, so like salt and pepper hair. There was one nurse from the hospital who bore some resemblance to this sketch. And so they detained her and then released her after an hour of questioning because they realized like there was no way that she could have been the one who took the baby. And then another woman called to say she knew who had taken Paul. In the end, bizarrely, that woman ended up just being the wife of an alleged drug kingpin. And she was upset because her adopted child had been removed from the home by authorities. And so she didn’t actually know anything about the Franks Act case. She just was like, I know things. Give me a baby like. Yeah, very strange, huh? After the kidnapping, Dora and Chester stayed in the hospital for a whole week, like waiting for news, but they just didn’t hear anything. There were no leads. And so eventually, they had to return home without a baby. I can’t
heartbreaking just awful. So Chester issued a plea to the kidnapper asking for her to return the baby. And if she didn’t do so immediately to at least care for the baby. So newspapers even ran a recipe for baby formula, and instructions on like, how often to feed a newborn and how much like, here’s the recipe, you’re supposed to feed him three ounce portions every four hours, like, please take care of our baby, like, Oh, my you can have you you’ve got him. Okay. But let’s be them. Okay. And so they were like desperate, you know, hoping their baby would be returned. Dora was quoted as saying that she kind of thought maybe the woman who took the baby would give him back to us for Mother’s Day, and it would be like a Mother’s Day treat. And maybe she would just leave the baby in a church. And then like, phonus, the address and we can have our baby back and she could just disappear, like, always obey God. Oh, right.
I’m sure there’s like a word for this sort of thinking like magical thinking, where it’s like when you psych yourself up, and then you’re so disappointed after. Like, this is not the same. But this is like, you just had Mother’s Day and me thinking, not the same. But so on Mother’s Day, this past year, like, we were super busy. My husband had his first grad school class, like giant 30% of his grade paper do a couple of days after Mother’s Day. So like, Mother’s Day weekend was very much like grad school focus, not so much Mother’s Day focus. The weather was shitty. So like, we didn’t want to go sit outside everywhere. And we weren’t quite eating in restaurants yet. Although that I got much more comfortable with an Omaha. But so essentially, like he got me flowers, which was lovely. And like I spent the day with the kids, like had brunch at home. But so it’s morning, and I’m about to go upstairs and take a shower. And my husband is like, Lincoln, hey, give this to your mom. And he like goes in the to the garage to get something and in my head. I’m like, Oh, my God, President. I’m president and he hands me some toilet paper to like take. You could just see my face like, Oh, you know what I was hoping? I wasn’t thinking we don’t usually do big presents for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, we usually just like eat at a nice restaurant and like spend the day with her family.
You had that moment, though, of like, oh, he was extra thoughtful this year.
told him that he’s like, Oh my god, I’m so sorry. But like we needed toilet paper upstairs, like you don’t care for it. It’s not the same. But like, No, you pay yourself just right into a hole if you have any expectations for things. So like mediocre expectations.
Going one of my all time favorite movies is 500 Days of Summer, and I haven’t seen it, get out there and watch it immediately. It’s actually the very first movie that I ever saw alone. I went into theaters by myself because I moved to St. Louis and I didn’t really know anybody. And I really wanted to see that movie. So I was all brave. And I went and watched the movie by myself. And now I’m like, that’s the life like no one’s talking to Mike and talking to me. Like Don’t talk to me when I’m watching him.
She will pause the movie and give you the minutes look at them. You’re like,
I’m like, there’s a watching everything like that. But so in that movie, there’s a really, it’s a very, like artistic movie. And so there’s a great part where it does a split screen. And it’s like expectation versus reality. And it shows the one of the main characters like what he expects to happen when he goes to this party to meet this girl and then like what actually happens and they’re so different and so terrible. And so yeah, I totally know what you mean when poor Dora is probably like, I’m just going to hope for the best and like imagine that this is what’s going to happen
and it just makes it so much worse if you’re expecting it and you’re hopeful not that you shouldn’t be hopeful, but like it just is extra devastating. Yeah,
yeah. So everyone around them like this started get picked up around the nation obviously like kidnapped children tend to get you know high alert from people. And so they were on TV they were asking for the baby’s return. And they’re really getting hounded by the press reporters are like what’s being done? How are you feeling? Like you know, all those terrible things so you don’t want to be answering while you’re in grief. How
do you fucking think I’m feeling somebody stole my baby.
The stupid Yeah, like I’m fucking devastated. Please don’t
talk to me. There are no stupid questions lie.
That’s the one yeah, that’s another stupid question. Have you gained weight?
never asked. It. Are you pregnant? Are you?
What? No, no. So they start getting an outpouring of note being sent to them like, Oh, I’m so sorry about what’s happening or what thinking of you like, all of these things. And at the end of October of 1964, Dora received a phone call. And the person on the other line said that she would return the baby, if they paid a $10,000 ransom. And so police set up a sting with a bag stuffed with cut up newspaper to like, resemble money, because they were going to try to catch the suspect. But it was all a big hoax, apparently, and they had never had the frog sec, baby. And so months go by, and the nationwide search and like, relentless police investigation are still coming up with nothing. It seems like this baby has disappeared without a trace. And to everyone’s dismay, the investigation was just kind of shelved, like, you know, like, other things are happening. We’re gonna keep looking, but it’s not top priority anymore. And so two years pass two years, with no baby, which sounds so awful. Yeah. And then suddenly, in 1966, Dora and Chester receive a letter from the F b eye. They have found a toddler in Newark, New Jersey that matched their son’s description. And this baby had been abandoned and a stroller and a busy shopping center the previous July. So like a while back, and had been placed with a foster family and that foster family had actually baptized him and like named him Scott. And they are getting ready to adopt him. But for some reason, before the adoption went through, the New Jersey police department was like, hold on. Maybe this is the missing baby from Chicago. And so they began to test this hunch. Now, there wasn’t very much to go on. There literally was one single photograph taken of this baby the like, you know, very first, like, okay, here’s your baby picture. Yeah, they didn’t know the baby’s blood type. But they didn’t have fingerprints or footprints or anything like that yet. And as we know, in the 60s, like DNA testing was not a thing yet, not a thing. And so they tested this baby from New Jersey and the blood tight match. So they’re like, oh, okay, this is good. And so then they’re looking at the baby and the picture or the toddler and the picture of the baby. And it looks very similar. And in fact, like Paul, the baby had kind of like uniquely shaped ears, I guess. And so they were like, hey, or, like, these years. His ears. They’re a match. You look at
them. Holy crap. They’re so fucking weird. It couldn’t be like,
you could never convince me that’s not his years. I’m like, were they big? Were they tiny?
Did they have like, oddly shaped?
I know that they have like a swirl? And then somehow I don’t know. Yeah. But it is said that they had evaluated 10,000 little boys that could have been Paul. And one by one they had narrowed, like, excluded them like a brown blood type, or they nose looks totally different, or whatever
normal size here is
normal fucking yours next. So this one baby from New Jersey is the only baby that they could not exclude. And they are like,
it has to be this baby. This
is it is our baby. And so of course the frogs acts are like elated, you know, they are like, Oh my gosh, finally, maybe our baby’s back. And so three months later, which I’m like, these are periods in between. They drove from Chicago to meet this boy who might be their son. And they all while the reason took a while they all had to be put through all these psychological tests before meeting and Dora and Chester had to be approved to adopt the child because which is crazy because it’s like it’s our child like what the hell but this other couple had like officially named him Scott and started adoption proceedings until like legally
bad for that other family. Like they didn’t take the baby.
I know. They they are having a baby. kidnap from them, you know, in some ways.
Legally kidnap us. Yeah, exactly. So after they went through all the psychological tests and got approved to adopt Scott and rename him, Paul, the FBI agent walked little Paul into the room and introduce him to his parents, Dora and Chester and like, let them all get reacquainted. And so having spent less literally less than a day with her son before he was taken out of the hospital, I’m sure it was really hard for them to really know what to expect. Yeah. And to tell, you know, if it was really their son, and I mean, you probably have better words for this than me. Like, psychologically, but like, your brain wants that thing to happen so badly that it’s like, yeah, I mean, yeah, his ears look the same, or Oh, yeah, I
feel like this is my kid. So that confirmation bias? Yes,
that’s exactly. I was thinking like, so if you spent one day think of like, the one day between when your Lincoln or Vieira was born, and then never saw them again, until they were to, like, do you feel like you’d have that mother’s instinct of like, this is my baby. It’s, I mean, how can you answer that, but
I mean, I want to say yes, but I also had a very different birth experience than, like, my kids were not removed from me for any significant period of time. Like they didn’t go to a place to nurse like the hospitals now will bring a little bassinet right next to your hospital bed, and you sleep with your baby, and you nurse your baby, and you hold your baby. So like, they slept on me, you know, in the hospital, and I didn’t let them go until it was time to put them in the car seat and take the home. I guess we didn’t give them a bath. The nurses but they do that, again, in the hospitals, we ride with you and they show you like, here’s a little brush, you can use like, here’s how you shampoo their tiny hair and shit like that. Avoid their umbilical cord, like, it’s all done with the parents.
So I think it’s like it just wouldn’t happen at this point.
It wouldn’t happen. And also like, Veera in particular, should have known she is going to be feisty from the start. She did not. She didn’t let me sleep for about 24 hours when I had her and I was very sick after her as well. So I I would recognize that face. But I mean, I’m Lincoln looks exactly the same now as he got. Yeah, he was born just in a four year old spy. So right.
Yeah, he really does.
Yeah, I want to say I would but I there’s no way to tell. And also my pictures of them at birth are probably much higher quality than a 1964 grain. Yes. Yeah. Like black and white. He’s got his head turned to the side. Well, of course,
of course post that initial photo. And I do feel like a while. So teaser for happy hour if you’re a $5 patron. For happy hour this week, I am going to tell three different stories of babies that were Switched at Birth. Oh, yeah. And there’s Okay, crazy ones out there. And there are some that happened still to this day. Like the most recent one was 2018. Granted, good, right? Granted, they realize it after like 13 days, like it was no significant amount of time. But the ones I’m talking about for happy hour are from like the 50s, or the 60s or whatever. And they some that never realized until like, they’re 50 years old.
It’s crazy. fucking nuts.
Yeah, it’s, I’m excited. But so so that is part one of this story. We’re gonna fast forward a teeny bit to 1974. So this is eight years later, when little 10 year old Paul now living with Dora and Chester is hunting for Christmas presents in the basement, which is so like I told you that that too. Like I will look through every nook and cranny until I find these presents. Yeah. And at one point, he pushed aside a sofa to get into a crawlspace. And he discovered a bunch of boxes in there that were full of letters and sympathy cards and newspaper clippings were like 200 search for stolen baby and mother asks kidnapper to return baby, and he like looks at these newspaper clippings. Like that’s like what, that’s my parents like, what the fuck? And then he’s reading. It’s like that their son Paul, Joseph had been kidnapped. And he’s like, that’s me. Frog.
You tell your kids about shit like that.
Right? So he like gets all excited. And he runs upstairs and he’s got like all these clippings and he’s like, Mom, what the fuck? I’m sure he didn’t say that. He was 10. And
Geez, Louise. Mom, do you have somebody to tell me? jinkies Yeah.
And so Dora got really angry and like, yelled at me for snooping. And then she kind of was like, Yes, you were kidnapped. We found you. We love you. That’s all you need to know.
I don’t want to talk about it.
Don’t bring it up again. Exactly. And so Paul
60s mom answer right because I broke it. To ask your father.
So Paul didn’t bring the subject up again. But his curiosity was not satisfied. And so it said that like, often when he was home alone, he’d sneak back into the crawlspace. And like, read more and try to like, read about what had happened to him. And then from that day on, he had this thought in the back of his head, of course of like, I love my parents. But like, what if my parents Yeah, and the parents are super overprotective? Like understand that their kid was kidnapped at one point. And so there’s like clashes, and he just never felt like he fit in. Like, they sent him to a Catholic school that had a strict dress code, and he liked rock music and like, wore his hair long. And oh, this is really shitty. Once during a really heated argument over the length of his hair. Dora said, I wish they’d never found you. Ah, which is like, oh, like god damn. Like, that’s some need therapy for many years. kind of bullshit. Yeah. Yeah. So let’s talk a teeny bit about Paul, like who Paul was in his young adult and adult life. So after graduating from high school, he left home to be a bass player with a rock band in Arizona. And then five years later, the band broke up, and he returned to Chicago. But then he got restless again and join the army for a while. And then afterwards, he kind of moved around. He was a salesman, and then a model and an actor. And like, eventually, he settled in Vegas. And he kind of is like, moving around all the time, he moved 50 times like he had over 200 jobs. Like he’s like,
he’s a nomad.
Which I wonder if that’s something like, I don’t know, he just like he’s not satisfied or settled or whatever. And he just says that he no matter what changed, he always had the clippings with him. Like, he was just kind of holding on to this, like thought of like, where
he’s, you know, find himself like he’s really trying to find someplace to anchor something to anchor to. That makes a lot of sense.
Yeah. And so in 2008, he married for the second time, and his wife, Michelle, they were expecting a daughter, and he was super excited. And then the the obstetricians like, well, so tell me about your family medical history. And it kind of hit Paul that he was like, Well, I do know, like, what my family want, unquote. But he’s not really sure if that’s his medical history. And so he actually kind of thought, like, what are the actual chances that that one baby was like, the I was the baby taken from Chicago, like, Yeah, he was found so far away. He’s kind of thinking like, this is unfathomable. And he said, he always felt like he didn’t fit in kind of like we were talking about like, so he did have a younger brother eventually named Dave. And he said, like his parents in closer to Dave. And the three of them were all like, quiet and reserved. And then Paul was like, like loud music and fast motorcycles. And they all looked different, like, Dave look just like their dad, and even in like, facial expressions, and mannerisms and stuff. And Paul didn’t really look like either of the parents. And so this question starts to haunt him. Right? Is that Mr. rally, Paul? And so that brings us to part three. Okay, um, again, we’re into non history time, but you know, I’m not going to not share the up, do you have to tell us what happened?
history. It’s not, it didn’t happen today.
So at some point in 2012, Paul spots, you know, the new fangled thing like over the counter DNA kits, and you know, whatever, 23andme or ancestry, whatever. And so his parents came over for a visit. And he kind of like, got the courage to bro broach the subject. And hey, could you speak? And so he actually was like, like, have you ever wondered if I’m your real son? Yeah. And I guess his parents admitted that they had wondered it. And so he was just like, do you want to find out and so they swab their cheeks and seal up the kids. And then he took his parents to the airport to send them off to I’m sure fuckin Florida or wherever, because they were old at this point. Yeah. And he says that by the time the plane landed a few hours later, they changed their minds, like, they’re like, we don’t want you to send those kids off like you’re our son. That is the end of this. Like, what good can come of this Basically, which to me there says like they all deep down. No, he’s not. Yeah, no.
Yeah. And I think there is something to be said, like, we adopted you, and we’d love you no matter what. Yeah, we are your parents. Yeah. I’ve got to know if I’m the parent. I’m kind of with them, like, do what you got to do. If you really need to know. But you’re my kid no matter what. And I love Yeah,
yeah. Yeah, they could have handled it better. Probably. Yeah. So he did keep the samples in his desk for a couple of weeks and like, wrestled with what to do. And then, you know, he wanted to respect his parents wishes, but it was just nagging at him. Yeah. And so he sent the samples on our sheet. And when he received the DNA test results, he discovered that there was no remote possibility that he was the real Pol frog sec.
Right. And so, at that moment, he vowed that he was going to find the kidnapped baby, and his own biological family, because he’s like, what the fuck? Like, I’m not this kid. And so he goes public. He like context news outlets. He even wrote a book called The foundling.
I’ve never heard of this case before.
I know, right? It’s crazy and crazy that it’s got some very like recent news to it. So one consequence of going public was that it did cause the FBI to reopen the kidnapping case. Sure. And they found all the original cases in Chicago, but because the DNA results prove that he was not Paul, he had no right to any of it. They’re like, you’re not like, it’s not about you, which I’m kind of like it is totally
like he was living with their family verb, right. 15 years yours, you know,
I know. He did speak to one of the retired FBI agents who had worked on the case and Bernie Kerry, and Bernie admitted that the team had not been convinced that they found the right child like some of them were just like, add I don’t know, this seems far fetched.
We don’t care about your weird years, dude. Yeah, another family wants to adopt you.
Yeah, poor. What did they name him something else? I can’t Oh, Steve’s got. It’s like scar Scott. Like that kid just disappeared. Yeah. So because he couldn’t really look into the real Pol frog, Zach at the moment, because that was all kind of like, sealed up and that guy was looking at it. He decided to do the opposite look for his biological parents
And he actually had more luck in that search, because he contacted this team of volunteers called the DNA detectives, which I was like, that’s so cute. That is can they took on the case free of charge. And so there’s this genetic genealogist cc Moore, who used a combination of DNA testing and investigation techniques, like searching newspapers and public records and stuff like that. And she started to do tracing of him. And so although he had been found in New Jersey, they ended up tracing his family to Tennessee. And like his DNA test revealed that he had Ashkenazi Jewish roots.
There was all my friend from long haired Christian,
right? Like his family. The frog’s eggs were like, Polish, like, yeah, very different. Very different. Yeah. And so it took months before they made any kind of breakthrough. And then at some point, they were in this conversation with one of his, like, potential relatives. And that relative was like, You know what, there were some missing twins in this family. Like, that went missing. I know. Right? And so two years after they began their investigation, cc, the genetic genealogist calls up, Paul, and she’s like, what do you think of the name jack? And he’s like, it’s a strong name. It’s a good name. And she’s like, well, it’s your name like she had found him. So he is actually born jack Rosenthal. He was six months older than he’d always thought, Oh, my God, and his new birthday was now the 27th of October 1963. So he was not born on the date that Paul was born on. Sure. And the kicker, he had a twin sister named Jill.
Jack and Jill!
Right! But she, like him had also vanished. So now he’s got a third person to fine. He’s got God trying to find the real Paul is trying to find his parents. And now he’s like, Well, fuck, I have to find gel as well.
Yeah, so that’s for people.
I know. That’s true. Mom and Dad. Yeah. So now that he knows like, the family like he hasn’t found his parents obviously yet, but he now knows biological families. So he’s starting to like meet some of them. So cute. He said he’d always been drawn to music and then He met this cousin named Lenny, which I’m like, Okay. And Lenny was a musician who had been a doowop. singer in the 50s. So when Lenny and Paul met they like played together with Lenny’s band, and like he was like, felt like he was at home. But not all the relatives welcomed him back. So Paul discovered that there was this kind of like dark side to his biological family. His mother, he found out was named Marie had always been a really heavy drinker. His father, Gilbert had come back from the war in Korea, an angry man, PTSD. Yeah. And there’s evidence that Paul and his sister who actually had two older sisters, and the younger brother had been like, really badly neglected. And so it says that they were always crying. And then one cousin said that they remembered seeing the babies sitting in a cage. Mm hmm. So they were like, super abused, for sure. And so no one really knows what happened there. But whenever family members would ask about the twins, they were told that another member of the family was looking after that, like, oh, they’re with Aunt Joe, or whatever. And then if aunt Joe asks
are like, oh, they’re with
Danny. Yeah, exactly. But in fact, no one was actually looking after them. And so this is conjecture. But Paul kind of thinks maybe something tragic happened to Jill like, maybe she died for some reason.
I mean, or neglect,
we’ll do that. Exactly. And then they had to get rid of jack because they couldn’t explain like why they had one twin and not the other. So they left him at a mall or what you know, like because he had just been left at that convenience or whatever it was in New Jersey. And so, in his book, The foundling he does kind of describe like the twists and turns of his obsessive search for answers. He said at one point, he dug up the Garden of the house where the Rosenthal’s had been living hoping to find like the remains of his sister, like, he got really obsessed with it. And he really found out that his real parents were not nice people. And so he even said, like, I’m thankful that they abandoned me because I got to live with the frogs. Frogs acts like they saved my life. Yeah, much better life to grow up with them. But he and his parents, Dora and Chester did have a falling out over him doing the DNA show, yes. But they made peace after a couple of years. And for the first time, he kind of like sat down and talked to them about what happened. And Dora told him, like what she had been through, you know, Paul found out that his mom had really beat herself up her whole life, like having this never ending guilt of having handed Paul over to the nurse, even though it’s like, well, that evon nurse comes in, says, we should take your baby, like, you’re gonna hand the baby over. But I guess she just wrestled with that her whole life and thinking if I would have just been like, no, he’ll stay with me, you know, nothing would have happened. And Dora also did dig up from old boxes, photos that she had gotten from the family who had planned to adopt him as Scott Scott. And so he had pictures for the first time of him in his early life because he had like the one picture and then nothing until he was two. So he just said that all of it helped him to understand who he was and it kind of explained like, why he could never seem to settle down as an adult and a quote from him he said, you know, the first couple years of my life obviously really shaped who I am, I’m able to walk away from anybody any situation any job and never look back and I think that’s part of having had three childhoods like three different identities as such a young age, like I learned how to adapt and survive from the years of birth to two was totally mind blowing. Well and
Fun fact, from your friendly neighborhood therapists the majority of secure attachment is formed in utero and till age two.
Whoa, yeah, it does make total sense that he’s like, I have no attachment. I don’t attach to things. Exactly.
So when you think about being securely attached, and you trust people you’re able to enter into new relationships. Do you think people are generally good? versus you know, insecure attachment styles and yeah, that’s where you get your anxious or your avoidant and Yeah, wow. Wow, that makes sense that he would not feel settled.
Yeah, well, and CC the genealogist Woman mentioned something interesting. She said like that she’s kind of curious about what happened to him in those months that he was being examined by the FBI. Like, because it took them months. Yeah, figure out what they were going to do with him. And if if he was the frog sex kid or whatever, so it’s like, well, what are you guys doing?
Yeah, like who was nurturing that child? Children right? nurtured, not just studied.
Right, exactly. So, who friggin knows what he went through. Okay, so on to the final part of the story. Just two years ago, in a small town of Manton, Michigan. news stories about this whole mystery started to strike a chord with one family. And the adult children of a man from Manton took DNA tests and came to the realization that their dad was the real Pol frog, Zach. Yeah, he was alive. Like he, we had
to fight him.
Right? It’s crazy. And so they reached out to Dora and Chester and Paul, this other it’s confusing. Now. It’s like, there’s two polls that they reached out to them, and they informed the FBI and like word spread. And then investigators started to do their legwork, and, you know, investigating and comparing the results and everything. And it just, they found out that that man was the baby that was kidnapped in 1964. God, right. And so sadly, I there’s not that much information about like, what the fuck happened? Like, yeah, who his parents were like, what the hell because he when he found out, he was, um, he asked the reporters not to name him and keep his name private, because he was like battling cancer and didn’t need the stress of all the news reporters. And of course, like Oprah pulling them on to tell me about your lives, you know, all that. And so his name was finally revealed in an obituary, because the real Paul passed away from his cancer a couple years ago, his name, who he grew up with his whole life was Kevin Beatty. And according to the obituary, he was born in Michigan in 1964, quote, unquote, and died of cancer earlier this year. So it is said that shortly before he died before Kevin, aka the real Paul died, he did talk to his biological mom Dora on the phone. So they were able to connect and have that like moment. But I don’t know if they ever actually even met because Dora was like 85, or something like that, and Chester had passed away already. So that’s a crazy story of Paul Frank sack who was kidnapped and then found, quote, unquote, and then unfound and then found again,
that’s insane. What a crazy story.
I know. I’d never heard of it before, but Switched at Birth or like kidnapped and found again, stories are crazy to me. So I’m excited to tell you three new other stories about birth, and happier Whoa,
yep. And to get to happy hour, all you got to do is go over to patreon.com slash horrible history $5 and up, you get different new content every single week. And if you can’t figure out how to put the RSS feed into your preferred player, apple, Spotify, whatever it is, shoot us a message on social media.
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Thanks so much for listening.
Hopefully, you’re horrified.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai