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Thread: Our Lady of the Angels school fire

  1. #151
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    Sr. Seraphica has been described as "feisty" but her former students remember her as being fair but tough.
    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

  2. #152
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    The arsonist features prominently in a book by the facility that rehabilitated him. No Disposable Kids opens each chapter with his story, told bit by bit. He is called Tony in the book. I haven't read this, but I would like to.
    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

  3. #153
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    Good luck, Lisa. I've been wanting to know the identity of this guy since I read the books.
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  4. #154
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    Amazon has copies of Michele McBride's book. I want to get my hands on it A.S.A.P. Used books start from $19.
    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

  5. #155
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    From what I've read on the OLA message board, their former neighborhood is a place that's very dangerous to drive through during the day-don't even think about it at night. I'm hoping that things change for the better. The OLA church was recently restored to its former appearance and the priest at the church hopes to get the former churchgoers to return.
    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

  6. #156
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    I was in Catholic school in Jacksonville, Fl at the time and the rumor got going that someone was going around burning down Catholic schools. Deep thinking ten year old that I was I believed it, especially since our classroom was on the third floor and we didn't have the greatest fire escape capabilities.

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanwench View Post
    Thanks, racingfan. Although my career will be in medical records, I'm still a trained feature writing journalist at heart. My information came from a radio interview with former Chicago Fire Department firefighter Joe Murray, the OLA website and both books by Kuenster and Cowan. Many surviving students recall their classmates (grades 4-7) crying for their mothers.
    That is what gets to me them crying for their mothers...
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer. #METOO

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanwench View Post
    Amazon has copies of Michele McBride's book. I want to get my hands on it A.S.A.P. Used books start from $19.
    I should be getting it today
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer. #METOO

  9. #159
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    If the offer still stands to share the book with fellow hags, I promise to return it after reading. Right now, money is exceptionally tight and I can't buy the book.
    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

  10. #160
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    I should be getting it in from the library soon. Hopefully.
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  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanwench View Post
    If the offer still stands to share the book with fellow hags, I promise to return it after reading. Right now, money is exceptionally tight and I can't buy the book.
    I just got it today. I hear you about money my dad bought this one for me , Yeah I'll send it after I read it I want that promise signed in blood LOL.
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer. #METOO

  12. #162
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    You've got a deal. Since you have my addy, you could send the leg breakers if I don't send it back, but I promise to return the book.
    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanwench View Post
    You've got a deal. Since you have my addy, you could send the leg breakers if I don't send it back, but I promise to return the book.
    I trust ya, I believe you would send it back. As soon as I am done I'll pm you to let you know I am sending it, it might take me a few weeks to finish it I haven't started it yet
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer. #METOO

  14. #164
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    I am almost done with Michele's book. I wanted to finish it last night but was ordered to go to sleep, LOL. She doesn't hold back on telling how she felt and what she went through. How the people treated her when she got out of the hospital, some screamed at seeing her and ran away, others who had children that died, walked up and asked her how come she lived when theirs died, some would tell her she was so lucky to be alive and kept asking her how she felt...
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer. #METOO

  15. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alanwench View Post
    Attachment 10263

    Attachment 10264

    Attachment 10265



    Attachment 10266

    Attachment 10267Monday is the 50th anniversary of this horrible disaster. I found these pics in the Life Magazine archives.
    Fire inspectors look at the area where the fire started, under the staircase on one side of the school. The next view of the school is of the courtyard where an iron gate had to be broken down before firefighters could reach children who were trapped on the upper floor of the left side of the building.
    A badly burned little girl attends class in the newly constructed school in 1960.
    I think that badly burned little girl may be Michele, I'll have to see a bigger picture of it to compare it with the one in the book of her.
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer. #METOO

  16. #166
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    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer. #METOO

  17. #167
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    Excellent find, pksgigi, I didn't know that Richard Scheidt had died.
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  18. #168
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    Thanks!, I didn't know he died either and was just looking for the , was it life that had the photo of Richard carrying out the lifeless body of the boy?. I was trying to find a copy of the magazine to have for my collection.
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer. #METOO

  19. #169
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    Yes, it was Life Magazine that featured the iconic picture of Richard carrying out the lifeless body of John Jacowski.
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  20. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddmanning View Post
    Alan! If you're still around tonight. I messaged you something BIG. Also, you need to clear out your inbox. It wouldn't let me send you a second message cause of that.
    Give up the goods!

    I'm praying someone finds the arsonist. You guys are gonna make me do a 10,987 hour investigation aren't you? (See Station fire thread)

  21. #171
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    I had found the article that the firefighter died as well. He never forgot what he saw.

    And TODD! like LLC said, give up the goods!
    Winners are losers...who got up and gave it one more try ~ Dennis Deyoung

  22. #172
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    I've spent a lot of time looking for the arsonist's name....so spill it Alan!!!

    Has anyone here seen the "Angels Too Soon" documentary? I can't seem to find anywhere to rent/watch it...

  23. #173
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    Greetings everyone! I've enjoyed this site for years but alas, it is the OLA fire that compels me to register and post.

    About the arsonist, the little kid in Mrs. Tristano's class in room 206 was registered under his mother's maiden name at the time. It wasn't until he moved to Cicero (living on South 50th Ave.) that the monster took his step-father's name. He went to St. Attracta and then a public school before being sent off to Michigan for his 'treatment.' His childhood looks like a bad horror film. His mother knew he had issues with matches and would follow him everywhere when she wasn't at work. She even attempted his being seen by some Catholic Counseling Services BEFORE the OLA fire, but that was a lame attempt. This story gripos me like no other and I cannot believe that a tragedy like this occurred in what I consider to be modern times......

  24. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by pksgigi View Post
    That is what gets to me them crying for their mothers...
    Always gets to me too. That's the thing that will have kept the mothers awake as well no doubt
    “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”

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  25. #175
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    Welcome,Timeo!!! So glad you've joined in the fun. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  26. #176
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    Thank you, thank you maryd. I look forward to being amongst kindred spirits.

  27. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timeo Vitae View Post
    Greetings everyone! I've enjoyed this site for years but alas, it is the OLA fire that compels me to register and post.

    About the arsonist, the little kid in Mrs. Tristano's class in room 206 was registered under his mother's maiden name at the time. It wasn't until he moved to Cicero (living on South 50th Ave.) that the monster took his step-father's name. He went to St. Attracta and then a public school before being sent off to Michigan for his 'treatment.' His childhood looks like a bad horror film. His mother knew he had issues with matches and would follow him everywhere when she wasn't at work. She even attempted his being seen by some Catholic Counseling Services BEFORE the OLA fire, but that was a lame attempt. This story gripos me like no other and I cannot believe that a tragedy like this occurred in what I consider to be modern times......
    Welcome Timeo! Wow. Great info. How do you know all this? Impressed.

  28. #178
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    I don't know the name of the arsonist and I've looked for years. If anyone knows, spill it! Here is the link to purchase the documentary. http://www.wttw.com/angelstoosoon
    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

  29. #179
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    Sorry about the clogged inbox. I dumped all the old stuff, so please send the BIG message, I'm looking forward to reading it.
    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

  30. #180
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    I would love to know too! Wasn't many 10 yr old boys in Rm 206. Now we are finding out he went by his mother's name....My brain may explode. Lol.

  31. #181
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    Susan Smaldone, before Dec. 1, 1958

    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

  32. #182
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    Susan Smaldone

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  33. #183
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    Room 211

    "What if the Hokey Pokey is what it's really all about?" Jimmy Buffett

  34. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLC View Post
    Welcome Timeo! Wow. Great info. How do you know all this? Impressed.
    The book "No Disposable Children" goes into some depth on this (name change, family history, attempts at treatment). I don't own the book but the preview on amazon.com offers a lot of info so i read all of the available pages on there!!

  35. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLC View Post
    I would love to know too! Wasn't many 10 yr old boys in Rm 206. Now we are finding out he went by his mother's name....My brain may explode. Lol.

    While I do know a bunch of information on the louse, I do not know for certain of his name. You can get all this from the documentary,books, and the OLA site.


    Quote Originally Posted by LLC View Post
    Welcome Timeo! Wow. Great info. How do you know all this? Impressed.

    Hello LLC and thanks a bunch. I may add that I was impressed with your info and postings on the Station Nightclub Fire.

    As for the OLA info, I had known about the tragedy but never wanted to go there until one day I stumbled upon two photos online (I think you can guess which ones) and was horrified at how bad the tragedy really was. A series of so many mistakes, 'what ifs' and 'if onlys'.... Naturally, I had to go out and buy every book I could on the subject and of course the OLA site it truly wonderful and informative. I think Eric the webmaster truly did a wonderful job as it gives the people involved (I'm not) a place to communicate (including their own private posting section). Fires are one of my truest fears and now that I have kids, it's always on my mind. I highly recommend Michele McBride's book The Fire That Will Not Die as she gives a lot of detail about what it was like to be in room 209 as it all went down and how she handled the aftermath. It educated me on what 'burns' go through and what I take for granted. There was a press photo of her floating about on ebay recently (circa 1979-1983?). Does anyone know of it? There is also another book out or due to be out called Coping With The Aftermath and you can inquire about it on the OLA site.

    The arsonist was a well known creep to the kids in the neighborhood and in a WTTC documentary, the blur on his classroom photo isn't all that effective and you could just see he looked 'off'. Plus, back then children under 13 in Cook County I think couldn't even be prosecuted to the full extent of the law because of their age. Judge Cilella was just in Family Court and felt a lot of heat for the rest of his brief life for his decision not to rule the kid responsible for the fire and have it on record. Even though Cilella was convinced of the monster's guilt, he felt he had to rehabilitate him and not make him a target for the old neighborhood. I wish they got a hold of that kid!

    .....Anyway, I can't imagine going off to parochial school one day, and paying to die. [*shudders*]


  36. #186
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    Sister Champagne removed from classroom

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    Quote Originally Posted by luckyinlove View Post
    The book "No Disposable Children" goes into some depth on this (name change, family history, attempts at treatment). I don't own the book but the preview on amazon.com offers a lot of info so i read all of the available pages on there!!
    Gotcha. Thanks. Now I need that book.

  38. #188
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    Ohhhh you guys are killing me!!!!

    I think we are getting close!

    Someone PM me any info that is GOOD
    Winners are losers...who got up and gave it one more try ~ Dennis Deyoung

  39. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddmanning View Post
    I know the name. But, I promised the dude I got it from I wouldn't share it with alot of people.



    There's a few I might message though.

    EDIT. I messaged 2 of you. You know who you are. Feel free to spread the name to only a few people. I don't want it mentioned on the board. I've got an insider and I'm supposed to call him this weekend to get more info. I cannot ruin this line of trust. I have to find out everything I can about this little bastard.

    -Todd.
    I didnt get a PM?!

    No one will mention it on the board, I am positive of that.

    SOMEONE PLEASE SEND ME A PM!
    Winners are losers...who got up and gave it one more try ~ Dennis Deyoung

  40. #190
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    PM'ed you Lisa.
    Last edited by Dr. Fishhead; 07-27-2012 at 10:44 PM.
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  41. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddmanning View Post
    PM'ed you Lisa.
    Winners are losers...who got up and gave it one more try ~ Dennis Deyoung

  42. #192
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    I would love a PM for investigative purposes. I will not use it on the board or make it public.

  43. #193
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    Taken care of Lucky.
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  44. #194
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    Thanks LLC, most of my info has come from the books and WTTC's documentary as well as the OLA board archives.

    I, too, would love to know the name of this monster. If anyone would like to please PM me, thanks. I know I'm new, but I certainly would NOT go around tooting the name in public- this board or anywhere.

  45. #195
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    I know how to keep secrets, too. If you're so inclined, I'd love a PM as well. Very interested in seeing this mystery solved! Thanks!

  46. #196
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    I would love a pm and I won't spill the beans would like to know more about the little bastard as well, to see if he committed any more crimes when he got older.
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer. #METOO

  47. #197
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    If you would not mind, Toddmanning, I too would like to know--- would not spread it around.
    Knowing that a number of we fellow hags have it is contentment enough--- the knowledge will go on as long as we do.

  48. #198
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    looked for this book No Disposable Children on amazon, they don't have it it won't even come up . Oh and Alanwench you got something coming in the mail, I sent you a pm.
    "My Darling Girl ,when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage." ~Aunt Frances~
    And It Harm None Do What ye will. Wise Intelligent Teacher Courageous Healer. #METOO

  49. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by pksgigi View Post
    looked for this book No Disposable Children on amazon, they don't have it it won't even come up . Oh and Alanwench you got something coming in the mail, I sent you a pm.
    Sorry, it's called "No Disposable Kids" here's a link on amazon http://www.amazon.com/No-Disposable-...I2609NH9RPXSQ2

  50. #200
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    Count me in. This case has fascinated me for several years. I have no intention of spreading this info. I just want to know for my own knowledge, after getting invested in the story...

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