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George Weyerhaeuser was a pint-sized 9 year old. Dressed smartly in his white button down shirt tucked into his knee-length pants, with his wavy brown hair neatly in place and his easy smile demonstrating his outgoing personality, he was the epitome of the American boy next door. He was the son that anyone would be proud to call their own.
But, George wasn’t just any kid. He was heir to one of the wealthiest families in the country.
Still, his parents wanted George and his sister Anne to have a normal childhood. They lived in Tacoma, and George was sent to the local public school while his older sister went to a nearby Seminary.
It was a Friday afternoon, in May of 1935. When the school bell rang at Lowell Elementary, George took his usual walk to the seminary to meet his sister. The children had been told the family chauffeur would be picking them up that day.
George arrived at their meeting spot 15 minutes early. His sister was still in class, and the car was nowhere in sight. So, he decided rather than wait, he would walk home. He took a shortcut through an overgrown path along the Tacoma Lawn and Tennis Club.
He emerged onto a parking lot along Borough Road, where he noticed a couple of men sitting in a green Buick. One of them got out and hailed George over. He asked whether the bright-eyed boy might be able to give them directions to Stadium Way.
Before George could answer, the man reached out and snatched him up, throwing him into the backseat of the sedan, then covering him with a blanket while the driver hit the gas. And the car and George disappeared.
It was the biggest story since the Lindbergh baby. The youngest member of the wealthy Weyerhaeuser clan kidnapped and held for ransom. The demand letter was blasted out on newsreels, on radio and on the frontpage of newspapers around the country.
Hundreds of G Men from the FBI were on the case. They were determined to hunt down these brazen bandits and to find little George before it was too late.
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