Real Name: Georgia Jean Weckler
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
Date: May 1, 1947
Date of Birth: 1939
Weight: 65-75 lbs.
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian female with blonde hair and brown eyes
Details: Considered one of the state's oldest unsolved cold cases, eight-year-old Georgia Jean Weckler returned home from school around 3:15 p.m. on May 1, 1947 and disappeared. She got a ride home from school with a friend's mom and is dropped off on the south side of the road. The young girl grabbed an armful of mail from the mailbox and crossed Highway 12 headed to her rural Fort Atkinson home. It was the last time anyone saw 8-year-old Georgia Jean.
Suspects: At one time, Ed Gein was considered a suspect, but police soon excluded him as a suspect.
Extra Notes: This case never appeared on Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Unresolved. In recent years, the case has been re-opened by Detective Leah Meyer with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. Initially believing that Jean was out picking flowers for May Day, abd she was hurt in the woods and couldn't get home, the investigators adopted a new theory that she had been kidnapped for ransom. They moved their focus to 22-year-old Buford Sennett, a known violent sexually based offender, that fit the M.O. for a crime like Georgia Jean. He had been arrested in northern Wisconsin for murder and rape in late 1947, and he confessed to abducting Georgia Jean for ransom. He shared details about the case that were never released to the media, and the physical description of the suspect in the case matched Sennett. Witness accounts of a car seen in the area where she disappeared lined up with the vehicle he drove.
Sennett soon claimed he and an unnamed accomplice took Georgia Jean to a local hideout, but she reportedly died from an overdose of sleeping pills. He claimed he threw the young girl's body in the Wisconsin River, but Detective Meyer isn't sold on that story; telling us she thinks it's a mix of truth and fiction. His reported hide-out was investigated, but no collaborating evidence was found.
Detective Meyer doesn't believe this crime was planned since it meant the offender just happened to be driving down Highway 12 when Georgia Jean was dropped off after school and decided to take her. Sennett had been paroled after his 1940s conviction, but he was sentenced again for the sexual assault of two young girls in the 80s. He was questioned again about Georgia Jean, but Sennett recanted his previous confession as it was never actually signed. He died in 2008 at the age of 82.
- Georgia Jean on the Charley Project
- Georgia Weckler on the Doe Network
- Georgia Jean on WhyPod
- Georgia Jean on Facebook
- Georgia Jean in the Dauly Union
- Photo Gallery of the case
- Finding Georgia Jean: New lead in 70-year-old cold case
- Janesville Site Searched for Missing Gir
- Georgia Weckler on Find a Grave