"I'm almost certain that they've been missing the boat because they've been showing a boy and he is a boy, but the boy, I believe, was dressed as a girl."
There are several reasons why Bender believes the boy was being raised as a girl. The medical examiner at the time noted that the boy's hair was hastily cut with strands still clinging to his torso. But Bender notes something else: his eyebrows looked like they were plucked. So Bender, who has an 85% clearance rate in helping authorities solve homicides, decided to draw a sketch. A sketch of what this child may have looked like if he was being raised as a girl. Bender is co-founder of the Vidocq Society. A book on his life's accomplishments has just been released by Random House. His colleagues say his theory is not out of the realm of possibilities. "I've been friends with frank for 30 years. Never discount his intuition and his inner sight," said Vidocq Society commissioner Bill Fleisher.
Bill Kelly, now retired, is one of the original investigators on the case. "I would not rule it out. I mean not even for a moment," he said.
Kelly said back in 1957 and 1958, renditions of the child as a girl by a West Coast artist were briefly published in newspaper accounts, but they produced no leads.
He thinks Bender's new rendition may be the clue they've been looking for:
"If he told me to get on the ledge and see if I could fly across the street, I would give it a shot. I would go flying down, but that's how much confidence i have in him, in his forensic knowledge."