Lost Limbs Foundation

Friday, May 24, 2013

Rudolph Fentz

Rudolph Fentz

In 1950, a man with mutton chop sideburns and Victorian-era duds popped up in Times Square. Witnesses said he looked startled, and then a minute later, he was hit by a car and killed.
The officials at the morgue searched his body and found the following items in his pockets:
A copper token for a beer worth 5 cents, bearing the name of a saloon, which was unknown, even to older residents of the area,
A bill for the care of a horse and the washing of a carriage,drawn by a livery stable on Lexington Avenue that was not listed in any address book.
About 70 dollars in old banknotes, business cards with the name Rudolph Fentz and an address on Fifth Avenue.
A letter sent to this address, in June 1876 from Philadelphia.
None of these objects showed any signs of aging.
Captain Hubert V. Rihm of the Missing Persons Department of NYPD tried using this information to identify the man. He found that the address on Fifth Avenue was part of a business; its current owner did not know Rudolph Fentz. Fentz’s name was not listed in the address book, his fingerprints were not recorded anywhere, and no one had reported him missing.
Rihm continued the investigation and finally found a Rudolph Fentz Jr. in a telephone book of 1939. Rihm spoke to the residents of the apartment building at the listed address who remembered Fentz and described him as a man about 60 years who had worked nearby. After his retirement, he moved to an unknown location in 1940.
Contacting the bank, Rihm was told that Fentz died five years before, but his widow was still alive but lived in Florida. Rihm contacted her and learned that her husband’s father had disappeared in 1876 aged 29. He had left the house for an evening walk and never returned.
Rudolph Fentz

In 1950, a man with mutton chop sideburns and Victorian-era duds popped up in Times Square. Witnesses said he looked startled, and then a minute later, he was hit by a car and killed.

The officials at the morgue searched his body and found the following items in his pockets:

A copper token for a beer worth 5 cents, bearing the name of a saloon, which was unknown, even to older residents of the area,

A bill for the care of a horse and the washing of a carriage,drawn by a livery stable on Lexington Avenue that was not listed in any address book,

About 70 dollars in old banknotes,

Business cards with the name Rudolph Fentz and an address on Fifth Avenue.


A letter sent to this address, in June 1876 from Philadelphia
None of these objects showed any signs of aging.

Captain Hubert V. Rihm of the Missing Persons Department of NYPD tried using this information to identify the man. He found that the address on Fifth Avenue was part of a business; its current owner did not know Rudolph Fentz. Fentz’s name was not listed in the address book, his fingerprints were not recorded anywhere, and no one had reported him missing.

Rihm continued the investigation and finally found a Rudolph Fentz Jr. in a telephone book of 1939. Rihm spoke to the residents of the apartment building at the listed address who remembered Fentz and described him as a man about 60 years who had worked nearby. After his retirement, he moved to an unknown location in 1940.

Contacting the bank, Rihm was told that Fentz died five years before, but his widow was still alive but lived in Florida. Rihm contacted her and learned that her husband’s father had disappeared in 1876 aged 29. He had left the house for an evening walk and never returned.