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Episode 120 The Disappearance of Alma Kellner

On a cold December day in 1909, eight year old Alma Kellner walked from her parents home in Louisville, Kentucky to St. John’s Church just five blocks away. She promised her mother she would return home after mass butAlma never returned. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance remain shrouded in mystery

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Eight year old Alma was bright and adventurous. Her parents Frederick and Florence Kellner described their daughter as their most precocious child…with an amiable and loving disposition.

The third grader attended St. Mary’s Academy on East Broadway. The Catholic sisters said Alma was a model student with great promise. She was also devoted to her faith. Sister Mary Genevieve said Alma would often steal away from the other children and go to the chapel to spend a moment in prayer.”

December 8 marks the Feast of The Immaculate Conception in the Catholic Church…a holy day of obligation in which believers are encouraged to attend mass.

On this day in 1909, Alma’s mother and aunt attended early mass at St. Boniface Church. This was the church they usually attended. But if they were running late or had other obligations, they would attend St John’s Church. That morning little Alma stayed at home with her baby brother and told her mother she’d attend a later mass St. John’s. St. John’s was so close to the Kellner home that they could see the church spire from the front door.

When her mother and aunt returned home, they helped Alma dress for church. Alma wore one of her favorite plaid dresses….it was cream, tan and brown with green and rose stripes trimmed with pearl buttons and a green collar. She also wore warm black stockings and button-up shoes. Because it was so cold, she wore a red cap and her favorite black and white pea coat.

Alma’s mother watched as her daughter walked toward St. John’s around 9:45 that morning. This would be the last time her mother saw Alma alive.

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Episode Sources


Argonne by Zachariah Hickman. Licensed under a Creative Commons License
Sense of Loss by Purple Planet Music. Licensed under a Creative Commons License
Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Pantherburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use