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MISSING: Margaret Ellen Fox

2020-05-25

In 2017 the FBI released a chilling recorded phone call that may be the only clue as to what happened to Margaret Ellen Fox back in 1974. 

Sources for this episode cannot be listed here due to character limitations. For a full list of sources, please visit https://crimejunkiepodcast.com/missing-margaret-ellen-fox/

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hi crime, junkies, I'm Ashley flowers and I'm actually solo. Today, if you listened all the way to the end of last week's episode, you'll know that Britain I planned to take this week off for Memorial Day, but I also know you guys need effect. So I wanted to tell you a little many story that I just came across to get you buy until we're back next week. This is a story I had never heard of before until one of our listener sent it to me and the second I heard the chilling recorded phone call that was recently released in this still unsolved case. I knew I had to share it with you guys, because one of you out there just might hold the key information to a question. That's baffled the FBI
for over forty five years. What happened to Margaret Ellen Box in June? nineteen seventy four Margaret Fox had just graduated the eighth grade. Being the in depth, the girl. She was the Philadelphia daily reported that she had big plans that summer to start working so that she could make her own money
you know how we all were when we got our first jobs, just wanting that little taste, a financial freedom, the first small steps to adulthood, but being just fourteen Margaret didn't, have a lot of specific labour skills specifically, but her in her younger cousin Lynn came up with an idea. They, police and add in their local Burlington New Jersey newspaper, offering in home baby sitting services they listed both their phone numbers and not less after publishing the ad lean, but a call from a man named John Marshall. He was looking to hire a babysitter for his five year old son at their home in Mount Holly, now Mount Holly New Jersey
is about seven ish miles from Berlin to New Jersey and according to Marimba Paine, who wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer Linz parents, weren't? Ok, with her taking a job in a different town. I mean she was younger after all, she'd have to take the bus there and they just won't comfortable with it. But Lynn knew that this was a too good to be true kind of gig. The guy was offering forty dollars a week for just four hours a day, and he said they had a swimming pool that they could use and he'd even cover their bus fare to get there and back. She didn't want this opportunity to go by so she passed along his information to Margaret who was the railed at the opportunity Margaret made contact with Mr Marshal and June nineteenth, and he asked her if she could start in two days on the twenty first. He gave her specific instructions about what bus to take and we are to meet him and his wife said they could take her to their home. Now Mark
parents were ok with the arrangement, so everything seemed great, but the next day June twentieth. Mr Marshall called again this time he even speaks with Margarets dad. He tells him that his mother in law had just died, so there would be no need to have a baby sitter come to their home. The next day, now Margaret was bombed at this loss of a new job before she even got the chance to start it. But she was relieved when the man called back on the twenty first, offering a second chance for work starting Monday June. Twenty fourth, so on the morning of June, twenty fourth Margaret set off for her first day on the job she pact a swimsuit and carried her glasses with her and her eleven year old brother Joe, walked to the bus. Stop to see her off. Now Margaret parents asked her to call when she arrived just so they knew she made it. Ok, but nine o clock came and went nine. Thirty ten, her parents began worry, but they try to ease their own minds thinking you know. Maybe she just forgot baby
got there you gotta fight brocade like she just jumped right into it, but their worry only grew as the day slipped on Margaret was supposed to be here, by two thirty and when that time came and went without any word from her. Her mom was any full panic. According to the courier post back and seventy four, the first thing she D it was called the number Margaret had left behind in case of emergencies at about three thirty, a woman picks up on the other end of the phone, and when MRS Fox asked to speak with Margaret, the woman There's no one here by that name, neither isn't more information about this call, and I don't know how long it went on. I have to assume that kind of ended abruptly, because MRS Box keeps trying to call back it rings and rings, and this time someone else answers the phone and the person who answers is totally different and tell MRS Fox, you know you're calling a payphone outside of an a dot m
he right. No, she had no idea that she was calling a pay phone and that's when she gets sick to her stomach, because now Margaret had been gone all day and the only way she had to reach her daughter was a fake number. Mrs Fox then starts looking up any and all people with the last name, Marshall in the phone book and she just arts calling all of that money. This has to be a mix up. Maybe I transposed number or something nothing bad could have happened now at home. They found a note that Margaret had left with more detail about the travel arrangements for the job. John Marshall said that either he or his wife would pay
Margaret up from the bus, stop to take her to their home, and he told her to look for a red, or maybe even orangist, Volkswagen at high and mill streets, which is where the bus would have dropped her off. So while Margaret is making call after call, her husband drives the fifteen minutes to mount Holly with a friend and they start to look for any sign of his daughter. But neither parent have any luck so that evening, they calling police to help by the time police arrived. Even though we know that this is all wrong. There was almost no talk of Margaret being a runaway instead, just after midnight onwards, now the twenty fifth, her missing person file was officially opened and police start to investigate, starting with her bus ride. They found out that multiple people had seen her on the bus and she got off at the exact spot that she was instructed to write at high in mill. Now there were a couple of sightings of Margaret talking to someone a meal
and but nothing than ever pay and out and any attempt to glean information from the phone number John Marshall gave with a lost cause too, because police found out exactly what the family did that. In fact, it was a pay phone outside of the MP in Mount Holly, but police found something interesting. The assistant manager at the store. Can you guess what his nameless? The assistant managers name was John or sometimes Jack Marshall. Now arm, chair, detectives all over the world are screaming right now, because this seems like way more than just a coincidence, but police.
Quickly ruled him out, though I don't love the reason why so Lieutenant Ben English, like the guy he's kind of an charge early on, spoke to IRAN Avery for an interview in the courier post and he told Rhine. Oh I'm totally friends with John Marshal, and he says, quote: I've known him for twenty five years. He's the father of five grown children and I'm sure he's not involved. End quote and you guys my research notes just have a bunch of exports because what I mean that is not how you rule someone out just goes. A cop is friends with him not to be fear more. Sister in law, who is obviously much older than her also said that she knew him too, and never thought that he was involved, but I re
someone in the last forty five years did more than just say hey. I know this guy he's cool and it was reported by LISA Ryan the assistant manager was given a polygraph and passed, and he heard in alibi. He was actually working at the time, but I don't and away all of this information without the details who verified the alibi. Who gave him the Polly was his friends, but here's the thing. I don't necessarily think he was the person that did it, but I do think he could be the key to solving this disappearance, because what are the odds that some random person picks a pay? phone in the parking lot of a place where the manager is a guy, with the same name that our purpose is using as fake name I mean it seems too far fetched to be a coincidence. I think whoever made
call new job, maybe, as a friend may be, they were a regular of the store. They knew to use his name they knew the store and they knew the area now by day three The media gets wind of the case and strange report start coming in parents calling police
telling them that beer, young daughters, too, had been contacted about fake babysitting jobs, though in every other case the girls were allowed to go meet up with the stranger. So they had no idea what kind of terrible fate they had escaped until after Margaret had gone missing. This may police even more sure that they weren't dealing with some kind of accident or impulse abduction. This was well planned and Margaret was targeted if there was any one who question this conclusion. Their mind was changed when, four days after she went missing, a phone call came into the Fox home from the supposed abductor asking for ransom money. I'll play you a short clip of this call that was released by the FBI in two thousand. Seventeen govern our heart grow out of Bed
your daughter life is the butter topic. Who is it? If that didn't give you full body choose you might be broken? I was shocked by that call. The first thing that I heard I may little had to play multiple times, because my mind could even but wrapped around it, so I'm gonna play it for you, one more time again govern powered by your lot of bread, but your daughter life for butter covered, though, is so in that call the collar says. Ten thousand dollars might be a lot of bread, but your daughter, Life is the buttered topic and then that's Margarets mom you here on the other and asking who the collar is now. How much more of this call got recorded, I dont. Actually, no. This is all the FBI would ever get
and initially they didn't even release the audio of this prior. Did you doesn't seventeen? All they did was told the newspapers. What the man says I mean it was so odd phrasing. I think that maybe they were hoping some one would recognise just the words themselves and what I find interesting is like the fact that the specific freezing was about food that you'd find at a supermarket. We're. John Marshall worked where the pay phone was, it never gets brought up. Maybe it's just me M spiralling, but I think it's a little bit bizarre is very unique freezing, so they don't released audio, they just released what was said, but they decide to release it. In two thousand seventeen on the forty Fiveth anniversary of her disappearance and to me that's a little astounding because
my God, why not release the sooner it? There was nothing for forty five years. Why not see if someone can recognize this guy's boys? The Philadelphia inquire opposed the same question to authorities and they were told quote: release of the call was not previously possible because the audio had not been clear. The F b I spent years working with developing technology, to enhance the tape for digital release. End quote, which I kind of get but not fully. I mean they had the tape in the seventies. Could they not have played it on the news? I understand you to change it for digital release, but why not? When it first happened,
I know we ve come a long way in parenthesis testing, but I feel like we ve had a good audio equipment for some years now, and I mean to be totally completely fair. I know zero about the condition of this tape back in seventy four or two thousand and seventeen or any time in between. So I can't pass judgment. I just wish people in the area could have heard this voice sooner before the speaker could pretend We be long gone and when people's memories were still very fresh, but it's worth noting that this call came in just one day after the press. First started reporting about Margarets case, so it's also possible that this call was just a terrible hoax and the letter that followed it could have been two in Philadelphia Enquire story written by Jan Hassler. It says that the day after the call came in a no arrived at the families home and it actually gave instructions about exactly how to prepare and pack,
the money and then even made mention of a specific blouse and glasses. That Margaret had been wearing, though it's possible that those details were already released to the public, which is why a lot of people wonder if this is the hopes, because why wait four days of this truly was a ransom You know information comes out to the public on day three and then all of a sudden there's a colony for this letter. Andy five. It seems like somebody who was trying to take advantage of the family now even though her parents withdrew the money and were ready to go meet the demands another. No,
did up a writing saying that they quote goofed and the deal was off, and that was the last time they heard from the collar or the note writer, the F B. I was able to pull fingerprints from the no back in the day, but when they tried to certain their local databases, nothing matched, which meant either this guy had no criminal history or he wasn't local like we thought I would assume that in the years since they ve compared the fingerprints to national databases, but that is strictly in assumption and not something I was able to confirm
So in August of this same year, without any leads us to wear Margaret might be the F B. I released a sketch of a man that they wanted to talk to you in relation to the crime and it was published in the Burlington times. He was white between thirty five and forty about five ten, two hundred to two hundred and thirty pounds, and notably the article said that he had very blue eyes, like piercing blue eyes. He also had light blonde or reddish hair and very noticeably white teeth and just like the description of the car given to Margaret to look out for they thought that he probably drove a like Reddish Orange Volkswagen back in seventy four. This leads seemed promising, but persons of interest would come and be cleared and go and police and the F b I got no closer to binding Margaret their word, twinges of hope as the years passed in seventy six,
Courier Post, reported on fifty three year old man who confessed her killing, but it was ultimately found that he was just lying. Then in seventy seven central New Jersey, home news reported on thirty one year old man named John Housman, who actually was arrested for the murder of a fifteen year old girl mean Patty and yuri similarity to Margarets case John actually lured Patty to his home by responding to her add for a baby sitting gig and making a fake offer for work. Now the fact that his first name was John, I found to be extra interesting, but ultimately, police even ruled that He wasn't connected to Margarets case Jan Hassler reported that in seventy nine police even looked closely at a sex offender who lived very close to where Margaret was dropped off by the bus, and he even drove like the same kind of car that they were looking for, and I dont know how exactly they got to him if they were just looking up all of the sexes,
in the area or all of the people with that kind of car, which I know they did but either way this guy ends being ruled out as well, because he had an alibi as a ham radio operator, which apparently they keep a very detailed logbooks of who they communicate with and when which police were able to verify. But I always have to wonder I mean if their verifying the alibi for years later. Can you really be one hundred percent sure If he says I talked to you, no person with X Y see hand on they go to X Y, see person. You know it was for years ago. Maybe they have a log book that matches up, maybe not to me it's a little bit of a question mark, but they knew something I don't and ruled this guy out the next little bit of hope. Came in eighty eight. When about an hour or so away from where Margaret lived with her family, a young
it remains were found in a shallow grave covered by two tyres. It seems that by the time they made the possible connection to Margaret in ninety two, her dental records had been lost, so, according to Asbury Part Press, it was ten years before. They were able to do a comparison with this Jane DOE and Margaret through DNA, only to realise that they weren't a match. Now that Jane DOE is still a Jane DOE and Margaret was still missing around the time. This testing was done in nineteen. Ninety eight image, ten years between finding those remains and getting conclusive testing done. There was also a single piece of jawbone fair in a yard in Mount Holly, and this was
one thousand nine hundred and ninety, but no other remains were found in the bananas part about this is I couldn't find any follow up articles about this job up, so I have no idea where that is, if anything came of it and if it was ever found to belong to any, why me that you just another huge question mark in this case, and that's really all we Even all these years later are just question marks the FBI. I says they have a long memory and they will never give up on this case. Most people believe Margaret is deceased, and if she is her killer needs to be caught, but also what? If she's not? What is somehow some way she's still alive, keep your eyes open talk to the people in your family who would have been alive when more.
Went missing in seventy four show them her picture play them. The audio recording from the ransom call because decades later, the FBI's only hope at closing this case. Is you that one person who knows something? Even if you don't, You know it. Anyone with information about Marcus Whereabouts is asked to call the FBI Newark Field Office at nine hundred and seventy three seven hundred and ninety two three thousand or you can call the Burlington City Police department at six hundred and nine three thousand eight hundred and sixty to two extension to one one thinks so much more listening to this little meaning
episode. We will be back next week with our regularly scheduled programming to see pictures and all source material. For this episode. You can find that all on our website, crime, junkie, podcast dot com and make sure to follow up on Instagram at crimes. Anti popular crying junkie is an odd Eu Chuck, action. So what do you think? Chug disapprove
Transcript generated on 2020-05-30.