The Strange Death of Mary Reeser

The Strange Death of Mary Reeser

On July 1 1951, at 9pm Mary Reeser’s son, Dr. Richard Reeser Jr. had left his mother after a visit. She was alone for the night and decided to enjoy a cigarette before bed. Reeser, who was 67 would not be seen alive again. When the landlady Pansy Carpenter tried to deliver a telegram the next morning, the door to research small apartment on 1200 Cherry Street was warm at the handle and too hot to touch inside. The charred walls still crackled, firefighters burst into a certain smoke filled apartment. Mary Reeser was gone and only a pile of black ash remained.

Police found coil springs from the chair and part of Reeser’s backbone. Her left foot sat in the pile still wearing a black silk slipper. Her skull reports say had shrunk into the size of a cup. Firefighters found evidence of extreme heat, and warped electric switches line the room and lower down the walls were clean and the electric switches look normal. Reeser’s newspaper remained untouched, as well as the sheets on her bed. Mary Reeser went up in flames, without the rest of the room burning. Was is spontaneous human combustion, or another mystery?