New Info Solves a Resurrection Mary Mystery

Tonight, we’ll be recording a podcast about Resurrection Mary – a roundtable discussion with some notable Chicago ghost hunters.

In the process of studying up and refreshing my memory, I found some new info on one of the most popular candidates for the “real” Mary: Mary Miskowski. According to info given to Troy Taylor, Mary Miskowski (or Miskowsky) lived on the 4900 block of South Damen, and was killed en route to a costume party by a hit and run driver in 1930. She was a blonde, and was buried at Resurrection Cemetery. Hence, she (and she alone) met all of the criteria we look for in candidates for the who Mary might be the ghost of.

However, though census data shows that there was definitely a 19 year old named Mary Miskowsky living on that block in 1930, we could never verify her death. There was no mention of the car accident in the papers, no obituary, no mention of her in the death index.

While looking a few things up, I came upon the obituary of John Miskowsky, who died in 1963 (and was interred at Resurrection). The obit gave the names of the same wife and children mentioned in the 1930 census, indicated that this was the same guy – and one daughter was listed as the “the late Mary (John) Sutko.”

So, Mary Miskowsky of South Damen married a man name John Sutko. And from this, we could establish that she was dead before 1963. Just typing her name into the Trib archives didn’t bring anything up, but a Mary Sutko was listed as dying in Cook County in March, 1956. Calling up all the obits from that week brought up the following:

I’ve blocked out a few names because I tend to get really unpleasant emails about Resurrection Mary and don’t wish for her surviving family members to be hassled. The names of her kids and her sisters’ married names aren’t really relevant to establish that this Mary and the one who lived on S. Damen are one and the same.

I’m not sure why this wasn’t more searchable (that’s usually more of an issue when the text is less legible), but the parents and siblings have, again, the exact names of the ones in the 1930 census.  So Mary Miskowsky of South Damen certainly didn’t die in a car wreck in 1930; she died at the age of 45 under the name Mary Sutko.

For a whole lot more information, check out our Resurrection Mary Roundtable podcast episode!