Did Christine Collins ever find her son?
Did any records of the boy ever come up? Did he end up an orphan with a different name only to later come up as Walter? Did she ever have any more children? Was he really one of those kids who got away but ended up getting caught and killed?
- LilituLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Yes, he was murdered inNine-year-old Walter Collins disappeared from his home in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles on March 10, 1928. His disappearance received nationwide attention and the Los Angeles Police Department followed up on hundreds of leads without success. The police faced negative publicity and increasing public pressure to solve the case, until five months after Walter's disappearance, when a boy claiming to be Walter was found in DeKalb, Illinois. Letters and photographs were exchanged before Walter's mother, Christine Collins, who worked as a telephone operator, paid for the boy to be brought to Los Angeles. A public reunion was organized by the police, who hoped to negate the bad publicity they had received for their inability to solve this case and others. They also hoped the uplifting human interest story would deflect attention from a series of corruption scandals that had sullied the department's reputation. At the reunion, Christine Collins claimed that the boy was not Walter. She was told by the officer in charge of the case, police Captain J.J. Jones, to take the boy home to "try him out for a couple of weeks", and Collins agreed.
Three weeks later, Christine Collins returned to see Captain Jones and persisted in her claim that the boy was not Walter. Even though she was armed with dental records proving her case, Jones had Collins committed to the psychiatric ward at Los Angeles County Hospital under a "Code 12" internment—a term used to jail or commit someone who was deemed difficult or an inconvenience. During Collins' incarceration, Jones questioned the boy, who admitted to being 12-year-old Arthur Hutchins Jr., a runaway from Illinois, but who was originally from Iowa. A drifter at a roadside café in Illinois had told Hutchins of his resemblance to the missing Walter, so Hutchins came up with the plan to impersonate him. His motive was to get to Hollywood so he could meet his favorite actor, Tom Mix. Collins was released ten days after Hutchins admitted that he was not her son, and filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department. This aspect of the case is depicted in the 2008 film Changeling, although in the film Hutchins does not confess until after Mrs. Collins has been released.
Collins went on to win a lawsuit against Jones and was awarded $10,800, which Jones never paid.
During the murder investigation, police discovered in the 3 graves (that Sanford Clark had identified to authorities) "51 parts of human anatomy (partial-body) ... those silent bits of evidence, of human bones and blood, have spoken and corroborated the testimony of living witnesses".  While Walter Collins 'whole-body' had never been found, it was his 'partial-body' that allowed authorities, and the State of California, to conclude that Walter Collins had been murdered (coupled with Sanford Clark's testimony at the sentencing hearing of Sarah Louise Northcott).Christine Collins first became hopeful that her son Walter may still be alive after her first interview with Gordon Stewart Northcott (when he was extradited from Canada to the Riverside County Jail Hospital on December 7th, 1928). Mrs. Collins asked Gordon if he had killed her son, and after repeated lies and confessions and recantations, Mrs. Collins concluded that Gordon Northcott was partially insane. Because Gordon Northcott did not seem to know if he had or had not even met Walter, let alone killed her son, Mrs. Collins first gains the hope, that she would cling to for the rest of her life that her son Walter, may still be alive. Just a few hours prior to Gordon Northcott's execution, continuing her search and never giving up hope, Collins became the first woman in more than three decades to receive permission to visit a serial killer on the eve of his execution at San Quentin. In October 1930, Northcott sent her a telegram saying he had lied when he denied that Walter was among his victims. He promised to tell the truth, if she came in person to hear. But upon her arrival, he balked. "I don't want to see you," he said when she confronted him. "I don't know anything about it. I'm innocent." A news account said, "The distraught woman (Mrs. Collins) was outraged by Stewart's conduct - 'All he told me was another pack of lies'- but comforted by it, as well: Stewart's ambiguous replies and his seeming refusal to remember such details as Walter's clothing and the color of his eyes gave her the hope that her son still lived.
There was a boy who came forward 5 years after the execution of Gordon, that authorities initially speculated had been a murder victim at the Chicken-Coop, just as the authorities had speculated about with many other missing boys at that time in the Southern California area. This is how the initial reports speculated that Gordon Northcott may have murdered as many as 20 boys at Wineville. However, Sanford Clark never told authorities about any es
- Anonymous5 years ago
It's a movie. The real Walter Collins remains were presumed to have been found at the ranch. Police claimed they found his remains in order to put a close to it. I worked with the LA County Sheriffs Dept in the records dept. About 3 years ago I was in the archives looking for a file when I came across the Collins case. He was found after living w his stepfather in Mexico where he had ran away to because his mother was allegedly a hoar. She did find him and because he was safe there was no news of it anymore. I remember reading something about The Police Dept paying her to keep quiet after that.
- 5 years ago
No, he was never found. Christine Collins (CC) spoke to Northcott face to face before he was put to death. He denied killing her son, but his answers to her questions were so inconsistent and contradictory that she knew he was lying. She attended his hanging with the hope that he would, at the end, give her some truth and closure, but the rotten scum would not.