Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Amelia J. Zelko, Illinois, 1957

  1. #1

    Default Amelia J. Zelko, Illinois, 1957

    Amelia J. Zelko
    Missing since September, 25, 1957, from Joliet, Will County, Illinois

    Vital Statistics

    Age at the time of disappearance : 47 years old.

    Distinguishing Characteristics: White Female

    Dentals: available

    A.K.A: Molly

    Circumstances of Disappearance:

    Zelko disappeared from Illinois in 1957. She was a newspaperwoman, running a weekly paper in Joliet. On the same day that Zelko disappeared, a witness claimed she saw some men bury the body of a woman near her home, but Zelko was never recovered.

    All that was found were Zelko's two shoes. When she was in danger, she had told friends she would kick off her shoes and run.

    She had blasted mobsters and political corruption on the front page of her weekly newspaper, The Spectator. On The Spectator's pages, Molly had also actively crusaded against gambling. It is unknown if any of this was related to her disappearance. Zelko was declared legally dead in 1964.
    Last edited by Starless; 06-12-2008 at 08:37 AM.

  2. #2


    Weekend Edition
    National Public Radio
    April 8, 1995


    Susan Stamberg, Host: In the movies the Mob is always burying bodies in cement. But, in real life, a cement sidewalk in Joliet, Illinois, may be just where journalist Molly Zelko is buried and the Mob may be involved. In the 1950s, Zelko waged a one woman war against organized crime for her weekly paper, The Spectator. One night nearly 40 years ago, she vanished. All the police found were her shoes. The case has recently been re-opened after a Mob informant told Joliet police that Molly Zelko was buried in a city sidewalk.

    Investigators using technology the EPA uses to detect buried toxic waste, are now trying to determine if there really is a body buried somewhere under Joliet. John Whiteside, city editor for the Joliet Herald News has written about this case for 17 years. He joins us now. Mr Whiteside, what can you tell us about this woman Molly Zelko ?

    John Whiteside, City Editor, Joliet Herald News: Molly Zelko was a dynamic person in Joliet during the 1940s and 1950s. In that era, when women were still at home, cleaning homes and raising kids, she had entered the man's world and she was a very strong woman.

    Susan Stamberg: And what kinds of articles did she write for the paper ?

    John Whiteside: Well, there was a column that ran down the inside of page 3 called "Thinking It Over" and that's where she took her pokes at people and sometimes, they were very strong. For example, when the mayor of Joliet was convicted of income tax evasion for not paying taxes on some kickbacks he'd recieved on city contracts, his sentence was one year probation, and Molly wrote in that column that the punishment was equal to ten lashes with a piece of wet maceroni.

    Susan Stamberg: Oh, Gee. Yeah, I get that is taking a poke.

    John Whiteside: Yes

    Last edited by Starless; 06-12-2008 at 08:38 AM.

  3. #3


    The Independant
    Saturday, September 28, 1957


    Joliet Illinois (AP) Police investigating the mysterious disappearance of a newspaper excecutive broke into her secret files Friday and found no clues.

    Miss Amelia J. Zelko, also known as Molly , business manager and secretary-treasurer of the weekly Joliet Spectator vanished Wednesday night under circumstances indicating she might have met with foul play.

    The Spectator has campaigned against pinball machines and gambling. Over the years it has taken sides in bitter political campaigns and published personality stories displeasing to the subjects.

    Police said there had been reports about The Spectator office that Miss Zelko kept a secret file of information for future possible editorial use and that she once had told associates to destroy it if anything happened to her.

    Capt. John Dillon had a locksmith open the filing case. The captain reported it contained nothing but did not elaborate.

    Last edited by Starless; 06-12-2008 at 08:38 AM.

  4. #4


    The Hammond Times
    Sunday, October 6th, 1957


    Joliet Illinois (AP) C.H.Peterson, Joliet politician, has revealed that missing newspaperwoman Amelia Zelko feared for her life as long ago as June.

    Peterson, chairman of the Will County Republican Central Committee, said Friday that Miss Zelko told him she feared a bomb might be attached to the starter of her car.

    His story was backed by Miss Zelko's close friend, Mrs. Alice Bergen, Chicago. She accompanied Miss Zelko Peterson's home the night the newspaperwoman expressed her fears.

    Mrs. Bergen said prior to visiting Peterson she and Miss Zelko had watched two men from the window of the office in a parked car not far away with their car lights shut off and "seemed" to be watching the office windows.


    Mrs. Bergen also said she had sold a 17 and a half carat diamond ring to Miss Zelko for $5,000. She said the ring had been appraised as high as $37,000, and she sold it for "personal reasons", she declined to guess where Miss Zelko got the money to pay for it.......
    Last edited by Starless; 06-12-2008 at 08:39 AM.

  5. #5


    Nevada State Journal
    Wednesday Morning, September 17, 1958


    River Forest, Illinois, Sept. 16, (UPI) The decomposed body of a woman, age uncertain, was found today in the forest preserve area near this Chicago suburb.

    Joliet police, contacted by United Press International, expressed interest on the possibility that the body might be that of Amelia (Molly) Zelko
    Last edited by Starless; 06-12-2008 at 08:41 AM.

  6. #6

Similar Threads

  1. Amelia Earhart
    By Starless in forum Historical and Famous Cases
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 05-30-2015, 04:56 AM
  2. John Doe 1957 New Mexico
    By bettybrown1623 in forum NEW MEXICO
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-17-2008, 07:32 PM
  3. Thomas Bowman, 1957, California
    By Starless in forum MISSING MALES
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-23-2007, 10:52 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts