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Pictures From The Hartford Circus Fire 

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  #11  
Old 11-23-2010, 12:11 AM
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Re: The Hartford Circus Fire

The woman in the bottom photo looking straight at the camera gives me the creeps. She seems completely unfazed by her chaotic surroundings, and the black & white lighting give her an almost ghostly look.

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  #12  
Old 11-23-2010, 12:14 AM
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Re: The Hartford Circus Fire


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Old 11-23-2010, 01:21 AM
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Re: The Hartford Circus Fire

That fire started because some dumb ass got the great idea to thin the waterproofing chemical used on the tents with Gasoline to make it go on the canvas easier.
the story with the girl not being identified was they thought at the time the childs mother was killed in the fire most of the men of Hartford were off fighting in world war two at that time.
The show that day was ment to be something special for the children of Hartford instead this happened.

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Old 11-23-2010, 02:38 PM
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Re: The Hartford Circus Fire

Great post!

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Old 11-23-2010, 04:56 PM
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Re: The Hartford Circus Fire

:( Poor child!

According to wiki, because of the picture of the clown trying to put out the fire, the event was named "The day the clowns cried"

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Old 11-24-2010, 06:42 AM
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Re: The Hartford Circus Fire

I listened to the audiobook by Stuart O'Nan, "The Circus Fire". I have read a lot of horror novels over the years, but this detailed account of the true story and its aftermath haunted me more than just about any of them. I would avoid "A Matter of Degree" though. It was penned by one of those assholes who just exploits tragedy to get money and recognition for themselves.

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Old 11-24-2010, 03:52 PM
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Re: The Hartford Circus Fire

Little Miss 1565
interesting read

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Old 11-24-2010, 04:57 PM
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Re: The Hartford Circus Fire

It wasn't a dumb ass's idea to use wax and kerosene or gasoline. That was a standard process of the time to use paraffin and some petroleum solvent as a fabric waterproofant. Even the process used up to a few years ago to waterproof mattresses and fabrics were very flammable.

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Old 11-24-2010, 05:10 PM
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Re: The Hartford Circus Fire

From Wiki.

"The best-known victim of the circus fire was a young blonde girl wearing a white dress. She is known only as "Little Miss 1565", named after the number assigned to her body at the city's makeshift morgue. Oddly well preserved even after her death, her face has become arguably the most well-known image of the fire.

Her true identity has been a topic of debate and frustration in the Hartford area since the fire occurred. She was buried without a name in Hartford's Northwood cemetery, where a victims' memorial also stands. Two police investigators, Sgts. Thomas Barber and Edward Lowe, photographed her and took fingerprints, footprints, and dental charts. Despite massive publicity and repeated displays of the famous photograph in nationwide magazines, she was never claimed. Barber and Lowe spent the rest of their lives trying to identify her. They decorated her grave with flowers each Christmas, Memorial Day, and July 6.[3] After their deaths, a local flower company continued to decorate the grave.[4]

In 1981, Lowe's widow announced that Lowe had identified the child and contacted her family, but they had requested no publicity. [5] In 1987, someone left a note on 1565's gravestone reading Sarah Graham is her Name! 7-6-38 DOB, 6 years, Twin. Notes on nearby gravestones indicated that her twin brother and other relatives were buried close by. [6]

In 1991, arson investigator Rick Davey (along with co-writer Don Massey) published "A Matter of Degree: The Hartford Circus Fire and Mystery of Little Miss 1565", in which he claims the girl's name was Eleanor Emily Cook and that she was from Massachusetts. Davey also contends that there was a conspiracy within the judicial system to convict the Ringling defendants, and that Segee was the arsonist. Prior to writing the book, Davey spent six years researching the case and conducting his own experiments as to how the fire really may have started. He described the original investigation both "flawed and primitive", though he did not work on the original case. Eleanor's brother Donald Cook had contacted authorities in 1955 insisting that the girl was his sister, but nothing came of it,[7] and Donald later worked with Davey to establish her identity. Donald believes that family members were shown the wrong body in the confusion at the morgue. [8]

Various assertions put forth in "A Matter of Degree" have been fiercely disputed by investigators who worked on the case, as well as by other writers, most notably Stewart O'Nan, who published "The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American Tragedy" in 2001. O'Nan points to the fact that Little Miss 1565 had blonde hair, while Eleanor Cook was a brunette. The shape of Little Miss 1565's face and that of Eleanor Cook are dissimilar, and the height and age of the two girls do not match up.

Perhaps most significantly, when shown a photograph of Little Miss 1565, Eleanor's mother Mildred Corintha Parsons Cook immediately stated that this was not her daughter. She firmly maintained that stance until her death in 1997, age 91. Badly injured in the fire, Mrs. Cook had been unable to claim her two dead children, and was too emotionally traumatized to pursue it later. She'd been told that Eleanor was not in any of the locations where bodies were kept for identification. She believed that Eleanor was one of two children who had been burnt beyond recognition and remain unidentified. O'Nan thinks she may be body number 1503. He further points to the differences in the dental records of Eleanor Cook and the records made of Little Miss 1565 after her death.

As O'Nan and others have pointed out, the most likely scenario is that a family claiming a body early on mistakenly identified Eleanor Cook for their own child and she is buried under that child's name. Even when "Little Miss 1565's" picture ran in the papers, they failed to recognize her as their own due to their desire to put the traumatic event behind them. While DNA analysis could end this debate definitively, the logistics of exhuming all the likely candidates for this mix-up rule this out.

With the questions over whether Eleanor Cook is the true identity of Little Miss 1565 still unanswered in the eyes of many, the body was exhumed after the release of "A Matter of Degree" and buried in Southampton, Massachusetts, next to the body of Edward Cook, the brother of Eleanor Cook and a victim of the circus fire himself. In 1992, her death certificate was officially changed from the previous identification of "1565." Since then, the Cook family has raised questions whether the body is indeed that of Eleanor Cook, and some investigators have come to believe that Eleanor's body may have been another of the unclaimed bodies from the fire and not Little Miss 1565. As of 2005, the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Lab is reviewing the case."

I feel she is Eleanor Cook, I also think she will be re-exhumed for DNA analysis and that DNA will be compared to surviving relatives.

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Old 11-24-2010, 06:08 PM
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Re: The Hartford Circus Fire

There were so many inconsistencies with the "identification" that I know if it were my relative, I would have wanted them to be resolved before I felt any closure, but unfortunately it wasn't about the relatives- it was about the "investigators". Eleanor Cook swore to her dying day that Little Miss 1565 was not her daughter, but the amateurs behind the push to have her labeled as such got their way in the end...probably. I haven't read any updates on the case, so I'm assuming at this point it's a matter of practicality- i.e. financial considerations vs. how much do people really care? They got their label- but I and many others who have reviewed the evidence feel that it was incorrect. We may never know.

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