Stolen from the hospital when he was one day old. Found by the FBI a year later and returned to his parents. Paul Fronczak’s life story is a wild one. But what if that improbable story was just the beginning of an even more improbable story? What follows is an incredible tale about how Paul Fronczak discovered the truth, and what is still unknown.
15. A Mystery Wrapped in an Enigma
Paul Fronczak is not Paul Fronczak. The 50-year old Las Vegas resident grew up believing that he was stolen from the hospital when he was one day old, and then found by the FBI a year later. However, that turns out to be the beginning of the story, not the end of it.
14. Baby Stolen at Hospital
Paul and Dora Fronczak, Chicago parents, had given birth to a son named Paul on April 26, 1964. One day later Mrs. Fronczaks handed her baby to a woman who was dressed as a nurse. The woman left the hospital with the baby and was never seen again. To this day, she has never been identified. The Fronczaks baby was kidnapped.
13. Snuck Down a Back Staircase
The hospital called police after a search of the hospital turned up no sign of him. Investigators determined that the abductor took Paul down a back staircase, left the hospital through the rear entrance and took a cab to the vicinity of 35th and Halstead at which point, the trail was lost.
12. Who Was She?
Investigators believe the kidnapper was not a nurse who worked for the hospital, but was someone who put on the uniform with the intent of stealing a baby. She was described as 35 to 40 yeas old, medium height with graying dark hair, brown eyes and a reddish complexion. She seemed to know staff routines and hospital layout.
11. Baby Left in Front of Department Store
In July of 1965, a baby was discovered abandoned at a New Jersey department store. The FBI investigated this case too and no mother was found. The baby was given the name Scott McKinley and settled in a foster home for one year. However, an FBI agent contacted the foster family a year later with a photograph of one-day old Paul Fronczak. The agent thought that Scott could be baby Paul.
10. Baby Scott
FBI agents took Baby Scott to meet the Fronczaks. This could be your son, don’t you think? They asked the couple. They had no way of knowing whether this baby was their Paul since DNA tests did not yet exist. As Paul recently said, his parents may have had doubts but “mom said the world was watching, and she could either say, ‘No, that ‘s not my son. Put this kid back in the system.’ Who knows what ‘s going to happen to him? And then have regrets because it could’ve been Paul.” So the couple agreed that Scott was Paul.
9. Finding Out Part of the Truth
Paul didn’t know he was part of a famous kidnapping case until he was 10 when he found articles about it in the attic. His parents forbade him from discussing the case. At the time, he thought was a cool story. As Paul got older, however, he started to wonder if he was really Paul Fronczak.
8. DNA Test
Finally in 2009, Fronczak’s daughter was born, and it set him on a new quest to learn whom he was so that he could pass on the truth to Emma. Paul purchased a DNA kit at the drugstore and worked up the courage to ask his parents to take the test. Although they swabbed their cheeks and sealed the envelope, they later called him and asked him not to go through with the test.
7. DNA Results
But Paul decided he had to know. In October of 2012 the results came in – he was definitely not Paul Fronczak. The FBI reopened the kidnapping case. Paul started an exhaustive search for his identity by working with CeCe Moore from DNA Detectives. It took two years to run Paul’s DNA through various databases and check his DNA against other samples and missing child cases.
6. Jewish, Italian and Eastern European
The testing revealed that Paul’s DNA showed Ashkenazi Jewish, Italian and Eastern European heritage. Eventually, they found a woman who had married into the Rosenthal family. She said in her family there was a set of twins who vanished as infants. Detectives found that the story was true. Although the parents of these missing twins had already died, they did DNA testing on cousins from both sides of the family.
5. Jack Rosenthal
Paul’s identity was confirmed: he was Jack Rosenthal, one of the missing twins. But this was a very unexpected plot twist, because he also found out that he had a twin sister, Jill, who has never been found. This left Paul with two lingering questions: where is Jill, and what happened to the real Paul Fronczak?
4. Where is Jill?
Paul is chasing every lead imaginable on Jill, including digging holes on the site where the Rosenthal family lived, wondering if she might have died and been buried on the property. Detectives continue to interview relatives, although they don’t remember a great deal about what happened when the twins disappeared.
3. Rosenthal Secrets
The Rosenthal family kept the twins’ disappearance from the authorities. Jack and Jill were two of five children. The twins disappeared right before their second birthdays. According to relatives, Jack and Jill’s parents lied repeatedly about where the twins were, with each telling their side of the family that the twins wee with the other side. Apparently they removed photos of the twins from their albums and warned relatives not to talk about them.
2. Where is the Real Paul?
Fronczak also feels he owes it to his parents to try to find the real Paul, the baby who was taken from the Chicago hospital by a woman dressed as a nurse. Although the man above thought he could be Paul because he was adopted and their is resemblance, DNA ruled it out. He hopes Paul is alive but is prepared for the worst-case scenario. “I’m trying to maintain this full-time job now and do the best I can & but my heart really is in trying to find Paul,” he said. Paul is working with a production company to hopefully turn his story into a documentary series.
1. Connecting with Family
Although Paul’s father has passed away, his mother is still alive. (She has refused all interviews). He dreams of connecting the real Paul, who he considers his brother, with their mother. In the meantime, Paul connected with an older sister and with cousins living in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.