Helen Marie Voorhees Brach
Helen, approximately 1977; Jack Matlick; Richard Bailey; Ring, possibly Helen Brach's
Date reported missing : 02/17/1977
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 11/10/1911 (109)
Age at the time of disappearance: 65 years old
Height / Weight : 5'10, 200 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A full-length fur coat.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Red hair, brown eyes. Helen's former married name is Littlecock, and her last name is pronounced "Brack." Her ears are pierced.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Helen kept a checkup appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota on February 17, 1977. The doctors there found nothing wrong with her save that she was overweight. After paying her bill, Helen began walking back to her hotel. She stopped at a gift shop and purchased $41 worth of cosmetics and bath towels, telling the clerk she was in a hurry because her "houseman" was waiting. Investigators are not sure what Helen meant; she was traveling alone and no one was seen with her.
Helen did have a houseman named Jack Matlick. A photograph of Matlick is posted with this case summary. He helped run Helen's house after her husband, Frank, died. Frank had been the owner of E. J. Brach and Sons and was one of the world's wealthiest candy producers. He met Helen, a native of Ohio, when she was working as a coat-check girl at the Palm Beach Country Club in Florida.
After their marriAge at the time of disappearance: they lived in Chicago, Illinois during the summer and rented a house in Palm Beach, Florida in the winter. Frank and Helen apparently had a very happy relationship. He died in 1970, seven years before Helen's disappearance. He left her with an estimated net worth of $20 million.
Matlick claims he met Helen at O'Hare International Airport when she flew from Rochester back to Chicago, but the plane crew, could not remember anyone matching her description on the flight that day. They were not interviewed until a significant period of time had passed, however.
Matlick says he picked up Helen at O'Hare and drove her back to her home in Glenview, Illinois. That weekend, Matlick called his wife and said he would be staying in Glenview because he had work to do. This is uncharacteristic of him; he normally lived apart from Helen in a house she owned in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Matlick told police later that Helen had stayed in Glenview that weekend preparing for her upcoming trip to Florida. But friends who dropped by to visit her were told she was unavailable, and Helen did not call anyone, which is uncharacteristic of her.
Matlick said he drove Helen to O'Hare at 7:00 a.m. on Monday without much luggAge at the time of disappearance: or a flight reservation; Helen normally traveled with lots of luggAge at the time of disappearance: and a carefully planned itinerary. She is also a late riser who would not normally fly out so early in the morning. There is no record of Helen flying out of O'Hare that day.
Matlick said Helen signed several checks totaling $15,000 before she left; many of the checks were to his benefit. When investigators determined the checks had not, in fact, been signed by Helen, Matlick changed his story and said he had signed the checks for her because she had injured her hand. Handwriting analysis experts do not believe he actually signed the checks, however, and the signatures were never tested against anyone else's writing.
Matlick's wife said he gave her a different story about Helen's disappearance; he said she did not return from the Mayo Clinic and he was waiting for her in Glenview. That weekend in Glenview, Matlick arranged to have carpeting replaced in one of the rooms of Helen's house, and had two rooms re-painted also. The workers who did the job did not notice anything out of the ordinary about the room. Matlick had the pink Cadillac he'd been driving cleaned and waxed, and the interior shampooed.
Matlick did not try to report Helen missing for over two weeks after her disappearance. The missing persons report had to come from a family member, so he contacted her brother, Charles Voorhees, in Ohio and notified him about his sister's disappearance.
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