The summer of 1971 was a violent one in Rockford’s history.  It would later be labeled  “The Summer of Fear” by the local newspapers. By summer’s end, there were ten homicides in Rockford, the most for that early in the year in over a decade.

Cemeteries have attracted people for as long as they have existed.  Some are drawn to the place because they have a loved one that has been laid to rest there.  Others want to experience the beautiful statues and artwork left as a lasting legacy. 

There are many mysteries contained in the following story.  For instance, it is not known how long the body had been lying there before someone saw it on June 22, 1944.  People would later state that they had noticed the man stretched out on North Alpine Road as early as 7:00 a.m.  But no one reported it to police until 11:45 when Ed Belin finally called the body in.

When that day was over, Frank Barris would claim that he was not in his right mind on June 20, 1933. That morning Frank spoke on the phone to a young woman named Anna Trenary.   The conversation did not go as Frank had hoped.  When Frank hung up the phone, it was the last thing he would claim to remember for hours.

There was a point in Floyd Leach’s life when he must have felt that he led a charmed life.  He really had it all.  His wife was smart, beautiful and her family was financially well to do.  Her family came from Austria where they were considered nobility.  Floyd had met Alice at Northwestern University where he was studying to be a doctor.  He was charmed in that too.

Ann Bergman and her roommate Rachel had decided to stay at their little apartment on School Street for the evening on August 7, 1962.  At least that was the plan before someone knocked on the door.  As soon as Rachel saw who it was, she knew their quiet night at home was over

Alma Anderson spent the early morning of June 18, 1957 as she often did.  Her son, LaVerne and his wife Lucille had joined Alma and her husband Eric for breakfast before leaving for work that day.  The family lived next door to each other on Oakes Avenue.  People would later testify how close the family …

Andersonville Prison.  That phrase conjures up horrible images of men living in conditions beyond comprehension.  It was notorious even back when it opened.  Any man who was taken prisoner feared being sent there.  Word had spread about the conditions that turned strong men into walking skeletons. The prison’s official name was Camp Sumter and it …

December 22, 1905 started out bright and chilly.  Mr. Enderle was walking down South Main Street shortly after 6:00a.m., when he noticed a man staggering into the Harbough’s Restaurant.  Enderle thought he recognized the man so he pushed open the door.  He found a man that he considered to be a close friend on the …

An article written in the Daily Gazette in March 1886 told the strange story of Goodliff family.  Mrs. Goodliff had suffered for some time with pain in her leg.  The pain eventually grew so bad that couple had to make the difficult decision to have Mrs. Goodliff’s leg amputated.

Most people in this area have heard of the Resurrection Mary story from Chicago.  But Rockford had its own hitchhiking ghost during the summer in 1933.  What makes this story especially intriguing is that the Chicago story was first reported in 1934 or 1935 (depending on the source).

Winnebago County Deputy Sheriff George Bubser thought he had seen it all.  He was the deputy sheriff of the county in 1921, during prohibition.  He had seen murders, suicides, and men who had been blinded by the illegal hooch that was sold on the streets.

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