Gertrude Bishop, approximately 27 years old, went missing from Charlottesville, VA in the summer of 1947.
Gertrude graduated from Lane High School in 1937, and went on to study nursing at the Medical College of Virginia, in Richmond.
After college, Gertrude returned to Charlottesville, and worked as a nurse at Martha Jefferson Hospital. At the time, there was a house adjacent to the hospital, and many nurses, including Gertrude, would sleep there on occasion, particularly if they were on call, or worked late.
It was because of this ‘nurse’s house’ that Gertrude’s parents were not immediately concerned when Gertrude never came home from work one night in the early summer of 1947.
It had been established that Gertrude did work her shift that day, but somewhere between exiting the hospital and arriving home, she disappeared.
Gertrude’s family did not consider reporting her disappearance to the police at the time, out of fear that it would end up in the newspapers and cause an embarrassment for Gertrude, as well as for the family. They were still considering the possibility, later in 1947, that Gertrude had left of her own accord as she had been known to leave in the past for brief periods. In fact, at Christmas of 1946, Gertrude had returned from one of her impromptu trips, possibly to New York City. This time was different. She was never seen again.
Seven years after her disappearance, Gertrude’s mother had an opportunity to have her declared dead, and collect on a life insurance policy – her mother refused, hoping that Gertrude would return one day. She never did collect on it in her lifetime.
The above photo is from her 1940 college yearbook, seven years before she disappeared.