Edward Howard Maps
Missing since June 21, 1962 from Stroudsburg, Monroe County, Pennsylvania
Circumstances of Disappearance
On June 21, 1962, at around 22:48, firefighters responded to a burning home at 510 Sarah Street in Stroudsburg. Inside, they found the unconscious body of 22 year old Christine Maps, wife of Edward H. Maps, and their 4-month old daughter, Julie Louise.
Christine and the baby were rushed to Monroe County General Hospital, where Julie Louise was pronounced dead on arrival. Christine died the following day of severe head injuries. Investigators found that the oven had been set to 450 degrees and the oven door had been left wide open. There were also about 10 fires that had been set throughout the house.
The two deaths were ruled as murders, with arson intended to conceal the crimes.
Two cars owned by Edward Maps were parked by the house, his wallet and identification were discovered in the living room of the house, but he was nowhere to be found. Within hours of the fire, a warrant was sworn out, charging Maps with arson and homicide. He was almost immediately added to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list, where he would remain for almost five years.
Several sightings of Mr Maps were reported over the years, from Maryland to Turkey to Mexico, but the most credible sighting came on August 7, 1962, when a lone gunman held up the Little Falls (NJ) Savings Bank. He was later identified from FBI photos as Edward Maps. Little Falls is located only five miles from Passaic, NJ, where Maps was born.
Edward Maps was an artist and sculptor, well respected in the art world, who didn’t hold a regular job. Well known for his unusual manner of dress, he was often described as a “beatnik” who would go barefoot in the warmer months and would wear sandals, without socks, during the winter.
At 20 years old, he entered the Marine Corps and served during World War II. He was discharged as a schizophrenic. Whether he was actually schizophrenic or, perhaps, suffered from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), a term that had not yet been coined, his psychological condition was attributed to his wartime service.
In 1967, Edward Maps was removed from the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, at the request of the (then) Monroe County District Attorney. Maps was declared dead on October 21, 1971. The FBI reportedly destroyed Maps’ fugitive file in December 1977.
In 1972 the house, which had become a tourist attraction of sorts, called "Mystery House", was razed. A row of townhouses now occupies the land where the house once stood.
Edward Maps has never been located and the murders of Christine & Julie Louise remain unsolved
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Pennsylvania State Police
Cpl. Thomas C McAndrew
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