mystery of sodder children

The Mystery of the Sodder Children

On December 24th of 1945, tragedy struck the Sodder family when a fire killed five of their ten children…or did it?

Show Notes:

When no remains were found, the family started to suspect that the children hadn’t died, but had been kidnapped.  What really happened to the Sodder children that night? Did they perish in the fire, or were they taken away? And if so, why?


Abbott, Karen (Dec. 25, 2012). “The Children Who Went Up In Smoke,” Smithsonian Magazine, retrieved from:

Serafino, Jay (Dec. 23, 2017). “The Enduring Mystery of the Sodder Children’s Christmas Disappearance,” Mental Floss, retrieved from:

Stanton, Audrey (Dec. 24, 2006). “Where are the children?,” The Register-Herald (WV), retrieved from:

Fidler, Julie (Dec. 30, 2019). “The Sodder Family: A Christmas Inferno,” Medium, retrieved from:

Trista (n.d.). “The Sodder Children Vanished Christmas Eve 1945, and the Police Still Have No Idea What Happened,” History Collection, retrieved from:

Jackson, Niles (Dec. 22, 1968). “What Really Happened To Children,” Sunday Gazette-Mail (now Charleston Gazette, WV).

Horn, Stacy (Dec. 23, 2005). “Mystery of Missing Children Haunts W.Va. Town,” All Things Considered, NPR, retrieved from:

Bergara, Ryan and Shane Madej (Dec. 23, 2016). “The Mysterious Disappearance of the Sodder Children,” Buzzfeed Unsolved: True Crime, Season 1, Episode 9, retrieved from:

Stanton, Audrey (Jan. 2, 2007). “Internet Sleuths Awaken 61 Year-Old Christmas Mystery,” The Montgomery Herald (WV), retrieved from:

Horn, Stacy (Dec. 28, 2005). “Long, Long, Long Sodder Post,”, retrieved from:

Lancianese, Adelina (Nov. 6, 2016). “Their fate: Kidnapped-murdered or are they still alive?”, Times West Virginian, retrieved from:

Emmett, Michael (Aug. 20, 1976). “Haunting Mystery: Fayette Woman Still Presses Probe for Missing Children,” Charleston Daily Mail (WV).


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Researched & Written by Kim Douthit

Edited & Produced by Gabi Fiore

Music by Dan Moretti

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