Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Resurrection Mary: Anna Norkus?

Posts about Resurrection Mary always generate bizarre, poorly-spelled emails, but the ones related to this post have gotten WAY out of hand. Many comments are not being published, and some have been deleted. 


The facts are these: Anna Norkus died in a car wreck on July 20, 1927, about six weeks shy of her 13th birthday. She was not far from Resurrection Cemetery at the time, but would not have actually gone past it (the roads were different then). Recently-uncovered funeral records indicate that she is buried at St. Casimir Cemetery; though some believe there may have been a gravedigging strike forcing her to be buried elsewhere in a temporary, unmarked grave. She is sometimes mentioned as a candidate for the "real" Resurrection Mary, and her story generates some rather frightening emails.

Particular confusion (and heated debate, oddly enough) centers around the exact identity of the other victim of the crash, a man in his 50s whose name is variously given in newspapers as Adam Lepinski, Adam Lepeicki, and Adam Levinsky. I have received MANY emails demanding in no uncertain terms that I state that the person in question was one Adam Litewski, who died July 27 and was buried at Resurrection on July 28. My own research indicates that the Adam Litewski who died that day was not in his 50s in would certainly not have been in the car with Anna Norkus; indeed, he was not even born yet at the time of the accident. He was stillborn a week later.

In fact, according to the Illinois death index, the man was named Adam Lewieki. A 54 year old man who was born in Lithuania (like Anna Norkus's family) now working as a real estate agent in Chicago, residing at 3456 Auburb Avenue, Lewieki is listed as having died in Summit on July 21, 1927, the day after the accident (at the time the newspaper articles on Norkus were written, he was still alive, but in critical condition). He was buried at Resurrection the next day, July 22nd.

His actual identity, of course, has little to do with the Resurrection Mary story, so the fact that it generates so much heated controversy at all confuses me somewhat.

On the surface, Anna seems like a poor candidate for the identity of the ghost. Her recently-discovered funeral record (credit there goes to Ray Johnson, the Haunt Detective), she was about six weeks shy of her thirteenth birthday, and was definitely buried at St. Casimir, not Resurrection. If there was a gravediggers strike at St. Casimir which forced her to be buried in a temporary grave at Resurrection, no evidence has been uncovered, and it wasn't mentioned in her burial records. Witnesses have always described Mary as older than that.

However, there are also stories about a younger girl being hit by a car on Archer - people say that they've crashed into her, then get out to help to find no one there.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

omg.....5421 S Neva is the house I grew up in (In Garfield Ridge)

Anonymous said...
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