The Kidnapping of Charley Ross: A Turning Point in Child Safety

TLDR The 1874 kidnapping of Charley Ross in Philadelphia brought attention to child kidnapping and led to changes in how we protect children. Despite efforts to negotiate and exchange ransom money, the kidnappers were unsuccessful and the location of Charlie Ross remains a mystery.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The kidnapping of Charley Ross in 1874 in Philadelphia brought the issue of child kidnapping to the public's attention and changed how we view children's safety.
01:55 Two young boys, Walter and Charlie, were kidnapped in 1874 after being lured into a carriage by two men who had gained their trust over several days of interaction.
03:32 A ransom letter arrived at the Ross home demanding $20,000 for the return of their son Charlie, but the kidnappers misjudged the family's financial situation.
05:24 The kidnappers and Mr. Ross communicated through classified ads, but their attempts to negotiate and exchange the ransom money were unsuccessful, leading to a halt in communication and a lack of clues in the case.
07:04 The search for the kidnappers, William Mosher and Joseph Douglas, ended when they were shot and killed during a robbery, and Joseph Douglas made a confession admitting their involvement in the kidnapping of Charlie Ross.
08:50 Charlie Ross was never found and the location of his whereabouts remains a mystery, despite numerous false claimants and a court ruling in 1939 declaring a man named Gustav Blair to be Charlie Ross, which was later disproven by DNA tests.
10:30 The legacy of the kidnapping of Charlie Ross includes the admonition of not taking candy from strangers and the implementation of modern programs like the Amber Alert system and the Global Missing Children's Network to address child abductions.
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