When Pearl Corens failed to show up for work on Tuesday February 13 1945, her friends were surprised. Pearl was extremely popular among her fellow workers at the Army Signal Corp desk in the War Department in Washington, DC.
They often went for drinks after work and Pearl was known to love her whisky and dancing. Her co-workers figured a hangover had finally caught up with Pearl but she had never missed a day of work. When she didn’t show up on Wednesday morning they called Pearl’s brother, Grover Walker. He lived in Montgomery County Maryland and regularly spoke with his sister.
Grover tried to call her house but got no answer. When he called his brother in law’s workplace and learned Henry Corens hadn’t been to work for two days, Grover drove the 12 miles to the Corens home in Bethesda, Maryland.
There was no answer at the door so Grover used a spare key to enter the home where he found no sign of Pearl or Henry. He left the house to look for Pearl and returned a few hours later. Grover Walker would later say he felt a sense of relief when he returned because Henry Corens answered the door.
Henry greeted them cheerfully and explained he had taken a couple of days away from work to tend to some things at home. Grover noticed Henry had a black eye but at the time he was more concerned about where his sister was. Henry explained he had no idea where Pearl could be because she had abruptly left two days earlier and he hadn’t seen her since.
Over the next two weeks mysterious notes would leave police perplexed as they searched for the missing war department employee. Then two farmers in Virginia made a shocking discovery.
Justice and the Case of the Corpseless Head. New York Daily News. March 24, 1946
Judge is Grim in Weird Case. The Spokesman-Review. May 29, 1945.
Wife’s Head Found; Husband Held. The New York Daily News. March 1, 1945
Corens Offers Alibi for Bloodstains in Bethesda Home. The Evening Star. May 25, 1945Rice, C. (2018). 45 Murderers: A Collection of True Crime Stories. United States: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road.
Falling Rain by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Source: http://incompetech.com
Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use