Janet Barrie had a hard time letting go. Of relationships, possessions, and of baby corpses.
The Scotland native worked in Los Angeles for over 20 years as an in home nurse to Mary Knapp, wife of local dentist George Knapp. When Mary passed away in 1964, Janet didn’t move on – she married the widower. He was 86.
Last month, a steamer trunk Ms. Barrie had apparently owned was discovered inside the storage room of a Westlake apartment building she’d once shared with a roommate.
The current building manager broke open a lock to look inside, finding vintage jewelry, decades old photographs, assorted mementos, a purse, feathered boa, and the stunningly preserved remains of two newborn children. The infants bodies, which police later dated to be around 80 years old, were found inside a doctor’s bag, each wrapped in a sheet, with 1930’s newspapers tucked around them like packing material
Mr. Knapp, 86 at the time, lived to enjoy the nuptials for only 4 years, leaving behind no survivors besides his new wife. Mrs. Janet Barrie Knapp moved to Vancouver where she lived until dying of natural causes in dying just a few years short of her 100th birthday.
The Los Angeles Police Department is now investigating the case to determine the cause of death and if any crime may have occurred. So far, they say there are no signs that the babies had met a violent end.
The LAPD identified the woman in the accompanying photograph as Janet Barrie, and noted the the photo, along with a boa and purse matching those seen in the image, were also found in the trunk.