Whatever happened to...Judge Joseph F. Crater - Printable Version
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Whatever happened to...Judge Joseph F. Crater - scarygirl67 - 08-15-2009 05:58 PM
"Judge Crater, call your office!"
This line was used by many comedians and public service addresses ever since the New York judge, Joseph F. Crater disappeared mysteriously the night of August 6, 1930. He was 41 years old at the time.
Joseph Force Crater (Jan. 5, 1889-?) had just been appointed as an associate justice to the New York State Supreme Court by then governor Franklin D. Roosevelt in April of that year. It was speculated by many that he was appointed because of his dealings with the Tammany Hall organization, which held a big stronghold in Democratic political circles. The organization itself was famous for it's corruption.
He was married, and apparently although he had several affairs, he was otherwise good to his wife, and she either chose to look the other way or did not know of his indiscretions. They were at their summer house in Maine in late July of 1930 when Judge Crater received a telephone call that seemed to upset him. He told his wife he was going to have to travel to New York City to "straighten those fellows out"....but never told her who he was talking about. He left and returned to Maine by August 1.
He traveled to New York City again on August 3, telling his wife he would be home in a few days and certainly by her birthday, which was August 9. He had ordered a couple of presents for her, and she said when he was packing to leave, he seemed fine, not nervous or upset at all.
It is known that on the morning he disappeared, he went to his New York office and removed several files. He also cashed over $5,000 in checks that day, as well as withdrawing more than 20,000 in campaign funds. He met his friend, attorney William Klein at Billy Haa's Chophouse for dinner, along with one of his mistresses, Sally Ritz. Crater had purchased one ticket for a Broadway show that evening. He didn't even leave the restaurant until after 9:00 P.M., which was well after the start time of the play....Klein and Ritz said that Crater hailed a taxi outside of the restaurant, and that was the last time they ever saw him. No taxicabs had any record of picking him up however, so all anyone knows for sure is he left the restaurant, and was never seen again. He was officially declared dead on June 6, 1939. His girlfriend, Sally Ritz also vanished several weeks later.
August 19, 2005 Fox News reported of a handwritten letter written by Stella Ferrucci-Good and opened upon her death by her granddaughter, which told her account of what happened to the missing judge. The letter said that Stella's husband Robert Good, an NYPD officer named Charles Burns, and his cab driver brother Frank Burns had killed Crater. She also said his body was buried in Coney Island, under what is now the site of the New York Aquarium. According to the Fox News report I read, Good's granddaughter said the police had told her family that the skeletal remains of five bodies had been found when the aquarium was being built. However, a look at Wikipedia says that police reported there were no records of any such bodies being found there. So there is much skepticism about these claims.
So what happened to him? Do you think it's possible that the woman's letter was true, and he's been buried in Coney Island all this time? Or did the money he withdrew and the disappearance shortly thereafter of his mistress indicate that he disappeared of his own accord? Or.......and this is just a guess I was thinking of......did a certain wife decide that she'd had enough and made sure she got away with it? She did sue several insurance companies, trying to get him declared as dead so she could collect the money.....but apparently she was never declared a suspect. She maintained her husband was murdered because of his involvement with many corrupt organizations.
Anyway you look at it......Judge Joseph F. Crater earned the title of "the missingest man in New York".
couple of links that I used for this along with Wikipedia that I found interesting:
Love to hear any more thoughts on this....what anyone might think about what happened to him....
RE: Whatever happened to...Judge Joseph F. Crater - Haunted - 08-15-2009 10:58 PM
That was a great story scary, there's just so many possibilities. His wife could have decided she was tired of his cheating and had him offed. Or, maybe she didn't know the whole time and had just found out and went ballistic.
Then he could have just been dealing with the "wrong" crowd and they got rid of him. Maybe he found out something they didn't want him to know, maybe he wanted out, or wanted more money, threatened to rat them out if they didn't give him what he wanted and they made him disappear.
Since one of his mistresses disappeared a few weeks later, she could have possible joined him on some exotic island somewhere. Or, she could have also known what he knew that got him killed and the bad guys were just tying up loose ends.
It's probably one of those things that the truth will never really be known. You'd think if they were going to solve it, that they already would have after all these years.
RE: Whatever happened to...Judge Joseph F. Crater - Bracket - 08-15-2009 11:01 PM
It seems to me that he ran off with his mistress. Her leaving later was just a way to mask their relationship, like in a movie when 2 characters meet in a secret place and one leaves first while the second person waits a little while and leaves later, to throw off suspicion.
RE: Whatever happened to...Judge Joseph F. Crater - scarygirl67 - 08-16-2009 12:20 AM
An interesting note.....Warner Bros. Pictures offered a $10,000 reward to Judge Crater if he showed up to the premier of the movie "Bureau of Missing Persons" in 1933.
I wouldn't know where to find it.....but I remember my dad had a picture in his office from Mad Magazine of Lassie finding Judge Crater. The article in Fox News mentioned that.....I always wondered what that was that Lassie found in that picture!
Of course there were unsubstantiated reported "sightings".....from anything to herding sheep in the Pacific Northwest to being sequestered in a mental facility in Missouri. One report even had him running a bingo table in North Africa.
RE: Whatever happened to...Judge Joseph F. Crater - geogirlforever - 08-16-2009 04:48 AM
(08-15-2009 11:01 PM)Bracket Wrote: It seems to me that he ran off with his mistress. Her leaving later was just a way to mask their relationship, like in a movie when 2 characters meet in a secret place and one leaves first while the second person waits a little while and leaves later, to throw off suspicion.
People do that in real life...
RE: Whatever happened to...Judge Joseph F. Crater - Shastar - 08-16-2009 07:15 AM
It could very well be possible that him and his girlfriend ran off somewhere.
Although it could also be that he did find more trouble than he could deal with and while being "interrogated" her name came out and hence she disappeared as well.
I know it says he wife was never a suspect but maybe she also got tired of the affairs... maybe he brought something extra home with him and well... she hired a person to take him out and later to take out the girlfriend.
Very interesting indeed!!
Great post Scarygirl..
RE: Whatever happened to...Judge Joseph F. Crater - CareTaker - 08-16-2009 08:37 AM
An interesting story that I hadn't heard of before. Thanks for posting this