The Trail Went Cold – Episode 152 – Melvin Horst

December 27, 1928. Orrville, Ohio. Four-year old Melvin Horst leaves his home to play in the neighbourhood with friends, but never returns and a search of the area fails to turn up any trace of him. Over the course of the next two years, a number of different suspects would be arrested after allegations surface that Melvin’s disappearance was a revenge scheme orchestrated by local bootleggers because his uncle was the town marshal and rigidly enforced Prohibition. Two suspects are convicted of Melvin’s presumed abduction before their sentences are overturned while two other men make questionable confessions which cannot be backed up by evidence. Was Melvin Horst actually abducted by criminals who were involved in bootlegging? If so, could he have been passed around and raised under a new identity somewhere? On this week’s episode of the “The Trail Went Cold”, we cover the oldest unsolved missing children’s case in the history of Ohio, a crazy story which captured the entire nation’s attention when it happened.

This episode of “The Trail Went Cold” is sponsored by Native. For 20% off your first purchase, please visit and enter the promo code “cold” during checkout.

Additional Reading:

“Unsolved Murders & Disappearances in Northeast Ohio” by Jane Ann Turzillo

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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.