Real Name: Unknown
Case: Lost Sister
Location: Kileen, Texas
Details: Seventy-two-year-old Oscar Norton spent most of his life in Newcome, New York, where he and his wife raised their seven children. Oscar passed away in 1985; no one expected that he had hid a secret from his family for his entire life.
The secret would be revealed in June of 1993, when his daughter Bonnie Potter received a call from a woman who was asking for Oscar. She said that she had been told that Oscar was her father. The woman asked if Oscar's mother's name was Eleanor; Bonnie responded that Oscar's mother's name was actually Nellie. As the conversation continued, Bonnie felt less and less likely that the woman had the right Oscar Norton.
She asked the woman if she was African-American; the woman said that she was. Bonnie and the woman assumed that it was a case of mistaken identity and the conversation ended. Bonnie then called her twin sister Connie and told her about the previous phone conversation. Both agreed that it was unlikely that their father had ever met an African-American woman in order to have this child.
Before Oscar was married, he had enlisted in the Army. In the summer of 1942, Oscar was in a motorcycle crash at Fort Hood in Kileen, Texas. In 1983, Oscar was diagnosed with cancer; a short time later, he met with a relative at a bar. He told the relative a side of the motorcycle story that nobody had heard before. He said that while he was recuperating in the hospital, he became attracted to the African-American nurse that treated him. After he was released, the two began dating. Unfortunately, the social climate of the 1940s in Texas did not tolerate interracial dating. In more than one occasion, Oscar and his girlfriend were forced to leave restaurants where they were having dinner.
Oscar revealed to the relative that he and his girlfriend had a baby together. Oscar lived off-base with his girlfriend and daughter for more than a year. Ultimately, their happy times would end in the fall of 1943 when Oscar was transferred overseas. Oscar would never see his girlfriend or daughter again. Unfortunately, Oscar told his story to a racist relative who did not tell the rest of the family for several years. It was not until the relative heard about the phone call that he decided to tell the rest of the family about Oscar's daughter.
When Bonnie thought back to the conversation with the woman, she realized that the Eleanor mentioned was her grandmother Nellie, as "Nellie" is a nickname for "Eleanor". Bonnie and Connie are now certain that the woman on the phone was their half-sister.
Their half-sister was born in 1943 in Kileen, Texas. Her mother was working at a hospital near Fort Hood; unfortunately, all military records from that time period have since been lost. Bonnie and Connie now want to find their long-lost sister. If she is still alive, they would live to find her mother as well.
Extra Notes: This case originally aired on the May 11, 1994 episode.
Results: Unsolved - Sadly, Connie passed away in May 2015.
- Oscar Norton Lost Daughter on Genealogy.com
- Connie Norton Fontaine at Find a Grave
- Oscar Norton at Find a Grave