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Starbright726
10-19-2003, 07:01 PM
What are your theories about this case? It has to rank up there as one of the most creepiest, mysterious, and memorable ones UM ever produced. Judith Himes disappeared without trace in 1965 after allegedly going for an abortion. Her bloody car was found out of state a few days later; a witness saw an unidentified man removing a bag from the vehicle. Around 1990 phone calls came out of nowhere to a sheriff saying she was still alive. One of the callers impersonated a radio DJ (Why, who knows). Some days after the UM segment broadcasted, a letter was sent to the cops saying Himes had indeed died during her abortion. The police believe the letter was credible. But why would those phone calls come out of nowhere? Were those people just playing a cruel joke, and if so why would they chose such an obscure case (it was a very cold-case and in fact the cop they called didn't even know who Himes was). And who sent the letter, could it have been Himes herself?

P.S.- Sorry if I'm creeping anyone out further by asking these questions. :wave:

Allierain
10-20-2003, 06:00 PM
Excellent questions. I've always been curious about this case.

The abortion was illegal, as I recall, so I've often wondered if she died during the procedure and the "doctor" who performed got rid of her body. Or perhaps she left the office, started bleeding very badly, went back to the office, and died there. That's the only explanation I have for the blood in the car. It's too bad that they cannot do a sophisticated DNA test today (I'm assuming the car is long gone).

The only other theory I can think of is that she started bleeding heavily in her car, left it in the neighborhood, and wandered off somewhere to die. But wasn't her car found in a populated neighborhood? What was she doing out of state?

I think the letter is credible. As for the phone calls, who knows...maybe it truly was just a prank.

-A

Brent88
10-20-2003, 07:45 PM
This case was on about a month or two ago. Spooky to say the least.

rerungirl
10-21-2003, 06:00 PM
I agree, this case has to rank up there as one of the Top Ten strangest/creepiest they've ever shown on UM. Just the thought of that whispered voice: "Judy Himes is alive and living in Omaha." As far as the phonecalls being a cruel prank, I guess that's possible. There are heartless people in the world who call the families of missing children and claim to have information...or in some cases, even claim they are the missing child grown up (recent case in Indiana is a prime example) but I also wonder why someone would pick such an obscure case...so many years later...and get in contact with that sheriff in Florida right after he attended a law enforcement convention in Omaha. Very very strange.

Starbright726
10-22-2003, 01:43 PM
"The abortion was illegal, as I recall, so I've often wondered if she died during the procedure and the "doctor" who performed got rid of her body."

Yes, that is the main theory UM presented, and in fact the letter that was sent to the police went something like this (I paused my VCR and read it):

"Judith Himes in not alive. She came in for an abortion and was given an anesthetic injection to which she had an allergic reaction. Everything was done to save her but she did not survive. The body was disposed of in Biscayne Bay."

This may explain why there was blood in the car, they used it to transport her body to the bay (maybe they had performed the abortion before the allergic reaction began). For obvious reasons the abortion doctor didn't want to call the police and bring attention to his illegal practice, so he covered up the accidental death. I think the letter could've been sent by a nurse or receptionist who was present that day.

But there is a slight chance that Judith faked her own disappearance and someone has found out, hence the phone calls. It sounds very far-fetched, but maybe she wanted to raise her child but like her friend said it would've been socially unacceptable back then to be an unwed mother, so she had to relocate to do so. I remember a UM case about a woman who faked her own kidnapping and was found in a hotel of suicide. I would've bet everything she had disappeared against her will, so the update was really shocking.

My mother firmly believes the Himes calls are a prank, because as she said if someone really wanted to inform police that she was alive they wouldn't play vague games. They'd call the police and tell them exactly where she is, her address, a phone number, SOMETHING more concrete than just "she's living in Omaha". But I still wonder, too, why the pranksters chose a case that they would not have even known about.

Starbright726
10-22-2003, 02:10 PM
There's a lot of reasons why I don't watch this case at night. Besides the sinister implications of the case, it's the music that plays during it, of course. And somehow Robert Stack's eyes are more piercing and wider than usual as he looks into the camera. Some of the sets are very dark and shadowy, and then finally the way Robert Stack says "UPDATE" at the end. He doesn't use his usually eager tone, but a low-pitched, stiff baritone almost like he's disappointed! And they don't play the typical up-tempo update theme, just this eerie, slow music as they show the brief letter and the beach shore. I really believe the staff was trying to scare viewers on purpose with this one.

FanfromES
10-23-2003, 11:03 PM
There was another case similar to this: Mary Ann Perez(sp?) disappeared one night. The police believe she was killed by a couple of serial killers. Years later her niece got a call by someone telling she was alive but she couldnt came to the phone, as far as i know theres no update on this case. Probably i messed up some details since the last time i saw this segment was years ago, but thats the main story.

BTW, i do think UM staff really wanted to scare viewers, if someone have seen this case, the progression picture of MAP has a sinister grin, that i dont think part of the progression process.

corazon
10-24-2003, 12:26 AM
That's freaky.

Starbright726
10-24-2003, 05:03 PM
I remember the Perez case and it, too, is a real mystery. I do not have such strong beliefs about what happened to her, though.
A main theory is that she wasn't strangled to death, only unconscious, and she's been walking around all these years with amnesia. But if she doesn't know who she is, how could the caller know? A possible explanation is that the serial killers just made up the story of killing the woman. Criminals do that, plus a body was never found in the area they supposedly dumped her. This means she could've been killed by someone else, and the calls are either a joke by vicious strangers of the actual killer.

dynoguy88
10-24-2003, 06:27 PM
Regarding the phone calls in the Judith Himes case, one thing I always wondered, if they were indeed a prank, was why these people waited until 25 years AFTER Judith vanished to make them.

Very strange case. The update was indeed creepy and haunting. It's too bad we'll never know what happened for sure.

PracTz
12-14-2003, 09:10 PM
Originally posted by dynoguy88
Regarding the phone calls in the Judith Himes case, one thing I always wondered, if they were indeed a prank, was why these people waited until 25 years AFTER Judith vanished to make them.

Very strange case. The update was indeed creepy and haunting. It's too bad we'll never know what happened for sure.

I agree it's very odd and creepy. I guess the letter's legit- though I wonder if it's possible that either she or someone who knew her real background made the calls to the Floridian police chief to let Judy's family know she was alive but didn't want them to have further contact with her. We'll likely never know in this world.

unsolvedmysteriesfan
09-09-2008, 04:42 PM
I was wondering if it is a possibility that she is alive . Many sites have no real information on her except "circa 1943" for birth and no middle name.

There is a 59 (that doesn't go with the circa 1943 -that goes more like 1949 or so) year old Judith Himes who has lived in Omaha, NE as well as in Wyoming and Washington. If she was only born in 1949 or so, it would mean that in 1965, she was only 16 yrs old .

There is a 63 yr old who has lived in Florida and in Pennsylvania. No 65 yr olds.

I tend to believe that with all the blood and the note that she probably didn't make it. If she is alive, she probably has the capability to Google herself and find herself on many sites.

LooksLikeCRicci
09-10-2008, 02:17 AM
Google herself? Why does that always sound dirty? :D

joshypiano
09-10-2008, 09:49 AM
Google herself? Why does that always sound dirty? :D

I suppose dirty minds think alike....I was thinking the same thing.

:grineyes:

mphs95
09-10-2008, 10:29 AM
I personally think she died during the abortion. If there was a Judith Himes in Omaha, maybe the caller thought that was her and wanted to let the sheriff know. Or the caller has too much time on her hands......

:drink:

unsolvedmysteriesfan
09-10-2008, 01:17 PM
I personally think she died during the abortion. If there was a Judith Himes in Omaha, maybe the caller thought that was her and wanted to let the sheriff know. Or the caller has too much time on her hands......

:drink:

Yeah, if she was actually alive today, and did indeed 'Google' herself, she has nothing to hide anymore really, so she would have spoken up by now and gotten herself off of the missing sites.

justins5256
09-10-2008, 05:43 PM
I was wondering if it is a possibility that she is alive . Many sites have no real information on her except "circa 1943" for birth and no middle name.

There is a 59 (that doesn't go with the circa 1943 -that goes more like 1949 or so) year old Judith Himes who has lived in Omaha, NE as well as in Wyoming and Washington. If she was only born in 1949 or so, it would mean that in 1965, she was only 16 yrs old .

There is a 63 yr old who has lived in Florida and in Pennsylvania. No 65 yr olds.

I tend to believe that with all the blood and the note that she probably didn't make it. If she is alive, she probably has the capability to Google herself and find herself on many sites.

I was thinking about this case recently and wondering the same - if she could be alive.

I really doubt it though. Was there ever any additional evidence that she lived other than a couple dodgy phone calls?

The phone calls themselves seem pretty displaced. I think they were made to an officer who wasn't even familiar with the case and so many years after the fact.

I think it's pretty obvious that the calls were a crank, but the it's so odd that someone would remember this case and just call a random officer.

The NBC (unedited) version has additional scenes at this point. Apparently this mystery caller called a radio station too. Seems like more pointing towards the "crank" theory.

mikem7715
09-19-2008, 08:52 AM
I believe she died in the abortion.Is there a statute of limitations on manslaughter? If a doctor gave an illegal abortion,and someone died,would he be charged with manslaughter or murder? If the statute of limitations was up,perhaps those involved would shed more light.Or,if the police announced that they would NOT prosecute those that came forward with info,it might give the family closure.

There is one other possibility i have often wondered about.What if she had 2nd thoughts about the abortion,and went to talk to the father of her baby,and he got mad that she was having 2nd thoughts and killed her? I wonder if the police know who he is,and have talked to him?

Mastermind
09-19-2008, 11:46 AM
Everything in this case seems straightforward that she died during an illegal abortion and her body was disposed of..

.. but the calls???!!!!

Why would you make prank calls to a police officer that has no connection to the case and what benefit does it have to claim she's alive???

Theory
1. Perhaps someone living in Omaha, who was aware of Judith's demise wanted to open the case up and figured that a missing persons case would attract more attention than a manslaughter case that has run out of it's statute of limitations. Perhaps this person come across the officer at the seminar and figured he would be dilligent enough to follow up on the case.

Drakken
09-19-2008, 11:49 AM
It was a prank, surely some young girls who read or seen something about an obscure case and made a prank call. And it would be logical in that sense to call someone not involved in the case, to ensure that they won't be retraced.

Judith Himes is dead, and the culprit is still at large in Europe. :mad:

Mastermind
09-19-2008, 12:25 PM
1. Why would teenage girls even know a case that obscure that probably didn't even happen in their home town? Why wouldn't they use a local more recent case? Chances are their joke would have fallen flat if the officer wasn;t so interested in the case.

2. I don;t see teenagers doing a prank like this and risking arrest. They still could have traced the calls

3.

sdb4884
11-19-2008, 06:22 AM
1: The rental car under Judy Himes name was located and found in Miami
2: The rental car had traces of blood which indicate the person in the car was bleeding heavily and probably dying.
3: Her body (according to the typed note) was dumped in Biscayne Bay Miami.

You do the math on this the person who sent the note had something to do with or knew the person or persons who did this.

Perhaps the other calls from Nerbraska were also from people who were linked with the disappearence of Himes and did this to throw people off the case, albeit 20 years after it happened.

dynoguy88
11-19-2008, 09:11 AM
1: The rental car under Judy Himes name was located and found in Miami

That's not right. According to the segment, Judith's rental car was found in Atlanta, Georgia. 650 miles away from where she lived.

Whoever was adviced to get rid of the car drove it pretty far away to a random location. I'm just surprised he didn't bother to clean the blood before leaving the car. Maybe they wanted it to look like foul play after the abortion went wrong?

sdb4884
11-19-2008, 09:59 PM
That's not right. According to the segment, Judith's rental car was found in Atlanta, Georgia. 650 miles away from where she lived.

Whoever was adviced to get rid of the car drove it pretty far away to a random location. I'm just surprised he didn't bother to clean the blood before leaving the car. Maybe they wanted it to look like foul play after the abortion went wrong?

Your absolutely right.

soilentgreen
11-20-2008, 11:43 AM
I'm surprised the guy didn't clean the blood off (at least marginally) before driving it that far. Probably hoping someone would steal it, but it's not a vehicle you'd want to be driving when a cop pulls you over.

The calls were undoubtedly a prank; but I wonder how they received access to her case itself (old newspapers laying around, microfiche) or if they knew more about what actually occurred.

cuba_libre
11-20-2008, 05:45 PM
This case haunts me because it just illustrates how it is/was when a woman feels she has very few choices....:(

CanadianUMFan
11-22-2008, 04:15 AM
Regarding the phone calls in the Judith Himes case, one thing I always wondered, if they were indeed a prank, was why these people waited until 25 years AFTER Judith vanished to make them.

Very strange case. The update was indeed creepy and haunting. It's too bad we'll never know what happened for sure.

I just watched this case and they mentioned that there had been a newspaper article about the Himes case in 1989. My guess is that somebody saw this article as the phone calls started in 1990 and decided to have some "fun" with it. I tend to give more credibility to the letter than I do to the phone calls.

dynoguy88
11-22-2008, 10:39 AM
I just watched this case and they mentioned that there had been a newspaper article about the Himes case in 1989. My guess is that somebody saw this article as the phone calls started in 1990 and decided to have some "fun" with it. I tend to give more credibility to the letter than I do to the phone calls.

I'll have to go back and watch it again. But I could have swore that the phone calls were what inspired the article to be printed. Didn't the headline featured in the segment say, "Mysterious phone calls reopen case" or something along those lines?

Mastermind
11-23-2008, 11:23 AM
In regards to the phone calls...

I have 2 theories

1. perhaps they were from anti-abortionists who were familliar with the case and perhaps wanted to get the police involved in the case to punish the doctor for his murder of two lives (Judith and her unborn child) and his "crimes" as an abortionist. Anti-Abortionists probably would be very familiar with this case, even using it as propoganda.

2. Another theory i have is that the calls were from one of the nurses or workers that was there at the time and new of what happened. They may have finally felt guilty or they had a falling out with the doctor and wanted to have the case re-opened against him. Maybe they were at the seminar and where impressed by the officer and felt that he would be dilligent enough to follow up the case.

I believe the letter was from the Doctor himself who wanted to make it clear as to what happened. I think one reason the doctor does not want to come forth is that he has commited other abortions and some other women may have met the same fate as Judith. The doctor may also be involved in other criminal activity as well. He could be a black market plastic surgeon.

mozartpc27
11-23-2008, 08:18 PM
I'm sure the letter is legit.

With respect to the phone calls, it was interesting to learn that there indeed had been a woman who lived in Omaha by that name. Maybe the caller was someone who was just an arm chair detective who wanted it checked out.

Or perhaps it was a crank caller looking to have some fun.

In either event, it doesn't matter much. The mystery that counts is solved to my satisfaction.

sdb4884
12-05-2008, 02:50 AM
Why wasn't Hadju tracked down? he was the key to finding out more about Judy.

The authorities certainly botched this case.

Mastermind
12-05-2008, 01:05 PM
Why wasn't Hadju tracked down? he was the key to finding out more about Judy.

The authorities certainly botched this case.

I respectfully disagree.

She was a missing person. By by the time the authorities arrived on the case and got a beat on Hadju, he had flown the coop to a foreign country.

It's hard enough today to track a fugitive in foreign lands, i can't imagine how much harder it was back then when the case was warm.

Plus, the statute of limitations ran out on the case. It;s not like the LEs are legally motivated.

sdb4884
12-05-2008, 09:13 PM
Okay, but also what about Judy's family? all we saw on the telecast was her best friend. Of course her parents might not have been with us at the time but surely there should have been someone representing her.

In relation to Hadju, didn't they track down the number that led to his residence?

tygre
12-05-2008, 11:15 PM
What a very strange case. I've looked at the other bits I can dig up on this (though not yet on Lexis, only have access to that at work), and there's no exact DOB, differences on the spelling of the last name...odd.

I think it is very likely, if not almost certain, that she did indeed die as a result of an illegal abortion and those involved panicked and dumped her body. Hard to believe now, but not uncommonly, women did get injured and even died from illegal abortions. Many of the providers had little medical training -- the "doctor" in Judy's case is only one example.

I'd love to see some of the original articles from this case. No mention was made on the UM episode of her family, or anyone except the one friend interviewed. Was her family ashamed? Was there something else going on?

MegtheEgg86
05-21-2009, 06:53 PM
Article mentioned and featured on UM. No real revelations here, but still a good supplement to the segment:


Miami Herald, The (FL)



March 24, 1990

CASE REOPENS AFTER MYSTERIOUS CALLS


Author: JON O'NEILL Herald Staff Writer

Edition: FINAL
Section: LOCAL
Page: 1B







Index Terms:
PROBE DEATH


Estimated printed pages: 3



Article Text:

Two mysterious phone calls from Nebraska have prompted Coral Gables police to reopen the "missing person" investigation of Judith Carole Hyams -- unsolved for 24 years.

She disappeared Sept. 14, 1965.

Hyams, then 22, the daughter of a wealthy developer, vanished after she left her job as a lab technician at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Police suspected she died after a botched abortion.

The case was all but forgotten until Tuesday when Coral Gables police Capt. Charles Scherer received a telephone call. Earlier this month, he lectured in Grand Island, Neb., 188 miles
from Omaha.

The caller said he was Steve Brown, the host of an Omaha radio talk show. He said someone called into his show and asked about Hyams. The caller said he knew that Hyams was alive and living in Omaha. Brown left two phone numbers with the captain.

Scherer said he didn't know anything about the case, but would check it out. He called back later that day.

But when he reached the talk show host, Brown said he didn't know what Scherer was talking about. The real Steve Brown denied making the original call.

The captain read Brown the second telephone number. It was Brown's unlisted home phone.

"That really puzzled me," said Brown, manager of station KKAR in Omaha. "I guess maybe 50 people have that number, but I have no idea who made the call to Capt. Scherer. I don't know anything about the case, and I'm pretty mystified."

A second call to Scherer came Wednesday from a woman who refused to identify herself. "She informed me that Judith was indeed alive and living in Nebraska." Nothing else. Then she hung up.

"Because of these calls, we've decided to reopen the case," Scherer said. "We want to see what's behind all of this."

Scherer, a teen-ager when Hyams disappeared, didn't mention the case during his three days in Nebraska.

"I did give my business card to quite a few law enforcement people, that's about all," he said.

Those who have lived with the case for the last 24 years are perplexed by the calls.

"It's so hard to believe," said Judith's mother, Pearl. "It sounds so far-fetched. We don't know anyone in Nebraska. Why would she go there? She was too attached to us."

Sgt. Harry Purcell, now retired from the Coral Gables police department, worked the case. He said Friday, "I really can't believe she's alive because of the way the case just came to a standstill. It certainly is strange the way the calls came in, though."

Coral Gables police have asked authorities in Omaha for help in running down the anonymous tips.

"We have an obligation to look into this," Scherer said.

Hyams was last seen in the hospital parking lot. She was driving a rented Chevrolet Impala.

Police found the car later in Atlanta. It yielded no clues. Her disappearance attracted nationwide media attention.

Police learned that Hyams had recently been divorced and had deposited a $25,000 settlement in a Los Angeles bank. But the money was never touched. Seven years later, when she was declared dead, the money was turned over to her family.

Police also learned that two weeks before she vanished, Hyams had found out that she was pregnant after a test at a medical lab where she gave her name as "B. Keeney."

Four days before she disappeared she met with George Hajdu, a Hungarian doctor once convicted of unlawful medical practice. Police said Hajdu agreed to perform an abortion for $300. It was scheduled the afternoon she disappeared.

Police believe the abortion was performed that day, although Hajdu denied it.

Hajdu became the "prime suspect." In 1967, the state charged him with conspiring to perform an abortion on Hyams. But Hajdu skipped bond -- and hasn't been heard from since.

"We heard rumors from Interpol that he was in Europe, but nothing was ever confirmed," Purcell said. "For all we know, he could be having lunch across the street from the police station right now."

"I would like nothing better than to hear that she's alive," Pearl Hyams said. "I just don't think it's true."

Caption:
photo: Judith Carole HYAMS





Copyright (c) 1990 The Miami Herald
Record Number: 9001210439

mysterymomma
05-24-2009, 12:50 AM
I'm confused. I thought this case was solved when she acknowledged that she was alive. Did I dream that?

TracyLynnS
05-24-2009, 06:44 AM
I'm confused. I thought this case was solved when she acknowledged that she was alive. Did I dream that?

Unfortunately, Judith Hyams hasn't been found, alive or dead.

There's some speculation that the person who called and said, "Judith Hyams is alive and living in Omaha," may have had her confused with another woman with the same or similar name who lived in the Omaha area. It's also possible that the call could have just been a crank.

I think it was that call to the police that re-opened the case, though, and after a bit of publicity, a credible letter was sent stating that Judith had died during a botched abortion (illegal at that time) from a reaction to the anesthetic and her body was dumped to cover up the illegal activities.

sdb4884
06-08-2010, 04:39 AM
The letter recieved by the police department will probably be the only update ever to this case sadly :(

bell83
06-08-2010, 04:57 AM
I'm confused. I thought this case was solved when she acknowledged that she was alive. Did I dream that?


You may be thinking of the Patricia Carlton case. She disappeared, and then was found in California after like 20 years, living under a different name.

baloony
05-24-2012, 03:13 PM
What always got me was the fact that someone called Captain Shear and impersonated a talk show host from Nebraska. Captain Shear had just gotten back from Nebraska where he had gone for a conference. First, why would someone call him and impersonate a talk show host? Second, I do believe that he was called for a reason. Someone knew something about the conference and heard that the Captain of the Coral Gables Police Department was speaking at the conference. Why else would someone from Nebraska phone him? But, why did they wait until he had returned to Florida to call him? Couldn't they have gone to where the conference was being held and spoken with him in private after the event? Also, whoever made the call impersonating the talk show host had to be connected to the mysterious woman caller. Something was definitely up. Someone honestly thought that Judith was alive and living in Omaha. And she may have been. Someone may have known her and heard her speak of a time when she faked her own death and fled the Coral Gables area. Perhaps Judith did end up in Nebraska and got a little more comfortable talking about her past as time went on. I have just always wondered about the whole talk show host impersonation.

baloony
05-24-2012, 03:35 PM
By the way, Steve Brown, the radio talk show host interviewed in this segment passed away in 2008. He was the one who Captain Shear called, thinking that he had called him a few days earlier, when it in fact it had been someone impersonating Steve Brown.

grahambrunk
09-10-2014, 08:49 PM
You know what's perhaps most intriguing about this is that Unsolved Mysteries left out several things I found looking at Miami News newspapers archives online through Google. She had been married and divorced (i know and she was only 22).

What's interesting is that it WAS the Miami News that broke the story in the 60s that she was pregnant and seeking an illegal abortion. Police located this alleged Hungarian doctor who claimed he had knew her from the labs before but that he was not scheduled to give her an abortion (tho lots of evidence supports that he was). The weirdest thing is that she was in fact dating someone at the time, a local dentist named Dr. Lucien Gordon (who is actually still practicing in Miami). He flat out refused to cooperate with cops and often seemed nervous and edgy during this whole situation.

I think the call in Nebraska was a coincidence. An article about missing people was published in 1989 and syndicated to newspapers and she was mentioned in it. So its likely someone had found this. It would not have been hard to learn who Chief of Police in Coral Gables was. It seems like this was rushed to close this case though. This dentist she dated should have been examined more, especially since he is still around. It was Dr Gordon that allegedly set up the abortion with the Hungarian doctor.

The Miami News alleges that Dr Gordon took Judith to Dr Hajdu's Regency House Apartment in Miami Beach. Dr Hajdu had Dr Gordon wait in another room while he performed the abortion.

The newspapers points out she dated lots of men since being single including the last person to see her alive was a colleague at the hospital who had asked her out to have coffee....sounds like anyone coulda been the dad :-/

Search in Google for Miami News and search her name.

TracyLynnS
09-12-2014, 09:30 PM
Wow! I can't believe none of us who search newspaper archives ever ran across this til now. Thanks graham, for sharing and steering in the direction of where to check this info out.