Case 192

The Sodder Children

On Christmas Eve of 1945, while most citizens of Fayetteville, West Virginia celebrated the end of World War Two, Italian immigrants George and Jennie Sodder watched their house go up in flames. 

Initial investigations showed that five of their ten children had died in the inferno, which was deemed accidental, but George and Jennie refused to accept this finding. There were too many inconsistencies, and theories involving kidnapping, murder and arson soon arose. The Sodder’s came to believe their five children survived the fire and were taken somewhere by persons unknown. The question was, why?



Casefile Presents



Research & writing – Jessica Forsayeth

Creative direction – Milly Raso

Narration – Anonymous Host



‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro –

Audio production – Mike Migas 

Scoring – Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn



Logo and website design – Paulina Szymanska




Sodder Children Mystery

George Sodder

Long, Long, Long Sodder Post



The children who went up in smoke  Smithsonian Magazine

What happened to the five Sodder children? – 

Mystery of missing children haunts W.Va town –

Wreaths placed on fire victims’ graves – Beckley Post-Herald

Mysterious fate of five children pondered – The Raleigh Register

Sodder case is dropped by Charleston Detective – Beckley Post Herald

Bones fail to convince father of children’s death, pathologist to report following laboratory tests in Washington – The Raleigh Register

Search for Sodder children renewed; billboard erected at scene of fire – Beckley Post-Herald

Fayetteville fire tragedy remains a mystery after fifteen years  Beckley Post-Herald

What really happened to children? – Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail

The Sodder Family: a Christmas inferno –





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