Show Notes: The Disappearance of Judge Crater

Tracy Wilson

Portrait of missing judge Joseph Force Crater. Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

Getting your hands on an intercom so you could say, "Judge Crater, call your office" used to be quite the thing to do. The vanishing of Joseph Force Crater is one of the largest missing person cases in U.S. history. It was the one of the biggest news stories of the 1930s, and it's fueled decades of speculation about what exactly happened to the vanished New York State Supreme Court justice.

In addition to the whole missing person aspect to this case, we also talk about a lot of political scandal and intrigue.

Our listener mail is from John, who writes to us about street names in Perth that are all connected to Zenobia and other ancient historical figures.

For more knowledge: How to Volunteer for Missing Persons

Episode links: The Disappearance of Judge Justice Force Crater

Holly's research:

  • Bryk, William. "The Missingest Man in New York." NY Press. June 25, 2002. http://nypress.com/the-missingest-man-in-new-york/
  • CNN. "Possible Big Break in 75-Year-Old Missing Persons Case." Aug. 22, 2005. Interview transcript with author Richard Tofel. http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0508/22/ltm.02.html
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project. "Tammany Hall." George Washington University. http://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/teachinger/glossary/tammany-hall.cfm
  • Garrett, Robert. "Good Night, Judge Crater, Wherever You Are." New York Magazine. Aug. 11, 1980. Pp. 11-12.
  • History. "Joseph Force Crater Becomes the Missingest Man in New York" http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/joseph-force-crater-becomes-the-missingest-man-in-new-yorka
  • New York Post. "Judge Crater Disappearance Possibly Solved." Aug. 19, 2005. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2005/08/19/judge-crater-disappearance-possibly-solved/
  • MSNBC. "Judge Crater, is that you?" Aug. 8, 2005. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/9006026/#.UtQMyJ5dWSo
  • Quinn, Peter. "Judge Crater, Call Your Office: 80 Years Ago, a New York Enigma Disappeared." New York Daily News. Aug. 6, 2010. http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/judge-crater-call-office-80-years-new-york-enigma-disappeared-article-1.201105
  • Rashbaum, William K. "Judge Crater Apruptly Appears, at Least in Public Consciousness." New York Times. Aug, 20, 2005. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/20/nyregion/20crater.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1389625897-NlDqhP8AqXTqnY9hzaPaXQ

You can listen to Stuff You Missed in History Class via iTunes, Stitcher or the Stuff You Missed in History Class RSS feed. Follow us on Twitter at @missedinhistory, and you can keep up with us on the official Stuff You Missed in History Class Facebook page. We're also on Tumblr and Pinterest.