Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who Killed Barbara Gaca?

I am reprinting a portion of this story and linking to the original source because it is a great summation of the events that led up to the death of Barbara Gaca and the aftermath. All rights reserve to the author, Mr. Bak.

In 1955, the slaying of a little girl gripped Detroit. Fifty years on, the perpetrator remains a mystery.

By Richard Bak

On that damp, bleak Thursday when little Barbara Gaca skipped off to school and never returned, she was settled into a routine as comfortably predictable as the route her father, Frank, followed every day for 38 years as a Detroit mail carrier.

Every morning she dressed in her blue-and-white school uniform and black strap shoes, kissed her mother goodbye, then walked the six blocks from the frame house at 14102 Faircrest to Assumption Grotto, one of the city’s largest Catholic parishes. The second-grader attended Mass, had breakfast at her desk, then began a long day of study under the watchful eyes of the nuns. Noon provided a welcome break for Barbara and her younger siblings, Gloria and Robert, who weren’t allowed to watch television until Barbara came home and personally clicked it on. Then they all had lunch with Soupy Sales.

(read more...)



1,000 Scouts Help Hunt For Missing Girl, 7; The Miami News, March 26, 1955

Child Vanishes In Detroit; 'Man In Green Car' Sought; The Schenectady Gazette, March 26, 1955

Detroit Police Search For Tot Said Kidnapped; The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, March 26, 1955

Detroit Police Stage Biggest Hunt For Girl; The Daytona Beach Morning Journal, March 26, 1955

Hundreds Hunt Missing 7-year-Old Detroit Girl; The Meriden Record, March 26, 1955

No Trace Of Child; The Ottawa Citizen, March 26, 1955

Police Hunt Girl Feared Sex Victim; The St. Petersburg Times, March 26, 1955

Search Clues Slim In Hunt For Girl; The Ludington Daily News, March 26, 1955

Tot Missing In Detroit; The Times Daily, March 26, 1955

Detroit Police Believe Missing Child Kidnaped; The Sarasota Herald-Tribune, March 27, 1955

Girl, 7, Kidnaped, Police Agree; The Sunday Press, March 27, 1955

Detroit Police Lack Clues On Missing Girl; The Toledo Blade, March 28, 1955

Fear Tot Is Sex Victim; The Greensburg Daily Tribune, March 28, 1955

No Trace Found Of Girl Missing Since Thursday; The Long Island Star-Journal, March 28, 1955

Police Believe Barbara Gaca, 7, Kidnap Victim; The Ludington Daily News, March 28, 1955

Note Claims Girl Alive; The Windsor Daily Star, March 28, 1955

Police Get Note Saying Missing Girl Is Alive; The Youngstown Vindicator, March 28, 1955

Hunt For Girl Is Intensified; The Prescott Evening Courier, March 29, 1955

Note Flames Hope Missing Child Alive; The Victoria Advocate, March 29, 1955

Note Recieved In Kidnaping Of Detroit Girl, 7; The Lodi News-Sentinel, March 29, 1955

Police Say Four Saw Barbara Gaca Lured Into Auto; The Ludington Daily News, March 29, 1955

Pupils Tell Of Seeing Missing Girl Get Into Car; The Robesonian, March 29, 1955

Tips Fail To Lead Police To Missing Girl; The Warsaw Times - Union, March 29, 1955

Girl's Search Is Stalemated; The Prescott Evening Courier, March 30, 1955

Police Check 'Hoax' Note; The Windsor Daily Star, March 30, 1955

Police Still Without Leads In Disappearance Of Young Detroti Girl; The Schnectady Gazette, March 30, 1955

Ransom Asked For Child; The Greensburg Daily Tribune, March 30, 1955

Tip On Missing Girl Proves False; The Miami News, March 30, 1955

Tips Fail In Case Of Missing Child; The Milwaukee Journal, March 30, 1955

Toledo Motels Checked In Hunt; The Toledo Blade, March 30, 1955

Detroit Child's Body Is Found; The Ellensburg Daily Record, March 31, 1955

Police Seek New Suspect; The Windsor Daily Star, March 31, 1955

Worker Sought For Questioning; The Ludington Daily News, March 31, 1955

Blanket Clue In Fiendish Slaying Of Detroit Child; The Windsor Daily Star, April 1, 1955

Child Found Dead, Raped Near Detroit; The Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, April 1, 1955

Detroit Girl, 7, Found Slain In Lover's Lane; The Toledo Blade, April 1, 1955

Detroit Searches For Madman Who Mutilated Seven-Year-Old; The Victoria Advocate, April 1, 1955

Fiend Hunted In Slaying Of Girl, 7; The Pittsburgh Press, April 1, 1955

Hunt Pressed For Detroit Girl's Killer; The Prescott Evening Courier, April 1, 1955

Hunt Widens For Barbara's Killer; The Windsor Daily Star, April 1, 1955

Michigan Police Press Hunt For Girl's Killer; The Youngstown Vindicator, April 1, 1955

Missing Detroit Tot Found Slain; The Sarasota Journal, April 1, 1955

Print Clues In Kidnaping; The Middlesboro Daily News, April 1, 1955

Schoolgirl Found Dead; Madman Hunted; The Meriden Record, April 1, 1955

Tracks, Prints Being Checked In Girl's Death; The Spokane Daily Chronicle, April 1, 1955

Arrest Suspect In Gaca Slaying; The Warsaw Times - Union, April 2, 1955

Detectives Running Down 800 Tips On Child's Sex Slaying; The Rock Hill Herald, April 2, 1955

Irate Police Press Hunt For Slayer; The Utica Daily Press, April 2, 1955

No Time To Ask Death Penalty; The Owosso Argus-Press, April 2, 1955

Police Check 800 Tips In Child Slaying; The Toledo Blade, April 2, 1955

Police Question Dead Girl's Kin; The Palm Beach Post, April 2, 1955

Question Soldier In Death Of Girl; The Ludington Daily News, April 2, 1955

Soldier Is Cleared In Girl's Slaying; The Milwaukee Journal, April 2, 1955

Soldier Queried In Girl's Death; The Spokane Daily Chronicle, April 2, 1955

Police Press Search For Girl's Slayer; The Victoria Advocate, April 3, 1955

Hunt Continues For Gaca Killer; The Ludington Daily News, April 4, 1955

Man Questioned In Sex Slaying; The Toledo Blade, April 4, 1955

Police Scrutinize Throng At Slain Girl's Funeral; The Schnectady Gazette, April 5, 1955

Suspect Quizzed In Girl's Slaying; The Toledo Blade, April 5, 1955

A City Said Farewell; The Holland Evening Sentinel, April 6, 1955

Hope For Missing Girl Dims As Search Continues; The Oxnard Press-Courier, May 31, 1955

Child Victim Of Sex Slayer; The Robesonian, June 2, 1955

Child, 8, Raped, Beaten And Murdered; The Times Daily, June 2, 1955

Crippled Tot Murdered; Sex Deviate Sought; The Oxnard Press-Courier, June 2, 1955

Polio Victim Dies At Hands Of Sex Fiend; The Williamson Daily News, June 2, 1955

Study Possible Attack-Slaying In Michigan; The Times-News, June 2, 1955

Detroit Takes Steps To Protect Children; The Pittsburgh Press, September 7, 1955


Missing Children Cases Discussed; The Holland Evening Sentinel, January 20, 1956


Gaca Murder Suspect Held At El Paso, Tx.; The Warsaw Times - Union, April 16, 1957

Ex-Con Admits Scout's Death; The St. Joseph Gazette, May 10, 1957

Child Slayer Is Questioned; The Williamson Daily News, May 11, 1957

Fear Detroit Scout Foul Play Victim; The Windsor Daily Star, September 10, 1957


Cop Finds A Break In Unsolved Murder Case But 44 Years later, The Suspect Is Dead; The Detroit Free Press, February 27, 1999


Anonymous said...

Keep the flame alive

Anonymous said...

Who should one contact if they know of someone who had a kidnapping experience around that same time, 3 miles away on Gratiot and 10 mile road that might not have been reported.

the said...

I'm guessing the Detroit Police cold case dept.

Anonymous said...

Recently in Illinois the police after 55 years of looking for a killer of a little girl have convicted an ex-cop. He killed a little girl the same age as Barbara and it was in the same year 1957. Did the police ever find out if there was a connection between the two cases? Illinois isn't very far from Detroit, MI It would be worth looking into. I lived in Detroit and went to another Catholic School in the area and I was the same age as Barbara, this scared my mom senseless.

Anonymous said...

Any updates recently with the Gaca case? The story was mentioned on a website recently. Maybe a lot of cover ups and mis directions were involved at the time?

Anonymous said...

Any updates on this case, recently saw a website that spoke of cover ups and misdirection at the time.

Anonymous said...

Any new to this case. Recently saw a report that claimed this was a cover up and mis direction at the time and some people do know the truth.

Unknown said...

The original article says the Bloomfield Twp Police Dept has jurisdiction over the case now - not sure if the captain mentioned in the story is still working there but I would start by calling the department and asking.