2 PA Traveling Girls
Murder of Jennie Behm - Rockland Township, Fleetwood, PA
Thank you to strangefamiliars.com for letting us know about this local mystery. There is a 3 part podcast called The Broken Circle. Please check out their podcast.
Jennie Pauline Behm - 9/19/1923 - 8/2/1925 - 1 year, 10 months, 11 days
Jennie was playing with her sisters, Mildred & Myrtle, while her parents were picking corn in the fields. Jennie was last seen by her uncle, Arthur Oswald, and 5 year old Emma Kutz. They were driving in a car and found Jennie walking in the middle of the road a mile from her home. Arthur told Jennie to get to the side of the road before a car hit her. Jennie had light hair, was wearing dark clothes and a sunbonnet.
When the parents realized Jennie was missing they contacted authorities. Over 100 people searched for Jennie throughout the day and night. 27 Boy Scouts from Reading and Kutztown were brought in to aid in the search. It was first believed that Jennie was kidnapped for ransom but this was soon ruled out due to her parents being poor farmers. Another guess was that the gypsies who were camping in a field at Bowers took her but they were also ruled out. Another theory was she died of exposure or was hit by a car and her body moved to hide it.
Jennie’s body was discovered six days later, 2 miles from home, between 2 rows of tall corn beside the road where the child was last seen. Her bonnet was found 25 feet from where she was found. A piece of tar binder twine was found close to her body and a number of corn had been toppled. Coroner Bauscher of Reading claims the child’s neck was broken. Every resident of Dryville came to her funeral.
A coroner’s jury was held to determine by what means Jennie’s life had come to an end. The six men of the jury determine that Jennie met with violence but could not determine the method or by whom.
Buried at: New Jerusalem Cemetery, Lyons Road, Fleetwood, PA 19522
Parents: Charles M. Behm - 5/15/1899 - 12/2/1992 (93 years) Elsie H. Rohrbach Behm - 10/5/1893 - 3/26/1969 (75 years) Siblings: Mildred F. Behm Isamoyer - 6/15/1919 - 11/23/2010 (91 years) Myrtle Elizabeth Behm Merkel - 4/5/1921 - 6/13/2015 (94 years) Verdie M. Behm Sanders - 11/28/1925 - 8/13/2007 (81 years) Miriam M. Behm Ohlinger - 2/5/1930 - 7/27/2014 (84 years) Samuel P. Behm - 4/14/1934 - 11/17/2018 (84 years)