Resurrection Mary: Mary Petkiewicz?

The Haunt Detective recently put forth another possible candidate for the identity of Resurrection Mary: Mary Petkiewicz.


Mrs. Petkiewicz was only 17 when she was killed in an auto wreck on Christmas, 1932. In an accident at 55th and Cicero (the northeast corner of Midway airport), she was crushed to death when a car (driving by the brother of a local beer boss) rolled on top of her.  

Very little about Mary P. is known, other than the fact that her husband’s name was Casimir. No marriage between Casimir Petkiewicz and a girl named Mary is in the Illinois Marriage index. Another girl named Mary Petkiewicz married a man named Stanley Bieszczadt in early 1934, but this seems to be unrelated. The newspaper only tells us that she was a young wife (a few of the retell ins cropping up call her a “bride,” which sort of creates the false impression that it was her wedding night), and that she was 17 years old. Her maiden name is unknown, she doesn’t seem to appear in the death index, and I’m not sure she was buried at Resurrection Cemetery. Perhaps they weren’t actually married yet, and her last name had not actually been changed. However, she’s the right age, certainly existed, and was only a few blocks from Archer Avenue at the time of her death.

It doesn’t TOTALLY line up with the Resurrection Mary story – in the classic version of the ghost story, the driver went to her mother’s house and found that the girl had died years before. Being married, Mary P probably wouldn’t have given her mother’s address as her own in the afterlife. But who knows?


UPDATE: Ray tells me that he’s now determined that Mary P. is not at Resurrection.

Further Update: Albert Petkiewicz, Mary’s great nephew, has confirmed that Mary was married to Casimir, his great uncle. The other folks in the car that night were his paternal grandparents, Alexander and Anna Petkiewicz.

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

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