Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sheffield Lake Mystery Suitcase – July 1941

Here’s an interesting little news nugget from the July 4, 1941 edition of the Lorain Journal. It’s about a mysterious suitcase found in the woods at Stop 91 in Sheffield Lake, which coincidentally is right around where I live.

Sheffield Lake Officer Asks Police Aid.

(By Staff Correspondent)
SHEFFIELD LAKE – After a week of investigation during which he was unable to find any tangible clues, Marshal Henry Miller today turned over to Lorain police a "mystery" which he confesses baffles him.

A week ago Monday, Miller declared, one of his deputies found a suitcase full of clothes, some of them apparently blood-smeared, in the woods just north of E. Lake-rd at Stop 91.

Besides the clothes, the grip contained social security and draft registration cards, CCC discharge and seaman's papers issued to a Donald McQuarrie. All the various cards bore different addresses in Detroit, Buffalo, and Tewksbury, Mass.

Miller expressed a fear of "foul play" when he found a pair of pants to a suit missing and in its stead a greasy shirt and overalls.

In the shirt was a payroll record issued by a Cleveland Triplex Screw Co. employe who since has found to be missing from his home.

Whether the grip was stolen and later disposed of or whether its owner was attacked is still a mystery to Marshal Miller, he said.

I think this scenario would make the basis for a pretty good crime novel. (Maybe someday I’ll take a whack at it.)

I Googled the name ‘Donald McQuarrie’ and surprisingly, it wasn’t as rare as I thought. There’s even online mentions of a few Donald McQuarries meeting their demise, but they took place in the 1800s.

If I get some time, I’ll (groan) check the microfilm in the days and weeks following July 4, 1941 to see if Lorain’s Finest ever solved the mystery.

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