New York’s Most Infamous Disappearance

Dorothy Arnold vanished while shopping on Fifth Avenue, triggering a manhunt that continues to this day.

Josie Klakström

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Dorothy Arnold via Wikimedia Commons

Born in 1885 to a wealthy goods importer, Dorothy was one of Mary and Francis’ four children. The Arnolds were considered high society and socialised with New York royalty, including the Rockefellers.

Dorothy was a writer but had found it near impossible to be published in credible magazines. Her family made fun of her failure, and instead, she embraced the socialite life, spending her days lunching with friends and being wooed by suitors.

On the 12th of December 1910, Dorothy Arnold had been shopping on Fifth Avenue, looking for an evening gown for her sister’s upcoming debutante ball. Before heading home, she was seen at Park and Tilford candy store buying chocolates, and further along the street in a book store. She also saw a friend shortly after these stops, and Gladys King confirmed that the pair spoke for a while and that Dorothy was planning to walk through Central Park before she went home.

However, between Brentano’s book shop and Dorothy’s home on 108 East 79th street, the 25-year-old vanished and was never seen again.

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Josie Klakström

Josie is a freelance journo who writes about writing, true crime, culture and marketing. www.truecrimeedition.com