The Boy in the Box: The Unsolved Case of America’s Unknown Child by David Stout (September 2008)

Publication Date:
September 2008
Lyons Press
$13.25 paperback or $9.86 Kindle

Reviewed by:
On April 9, 2013
Last modified:May 17, 2013


The saddest story you will ever read.

The Boy In The Box by David Stout
Buy It Not On Amazon

He was found in a cardboard box on the side of the road in the Fox Chase section of Philadelphia.   He would become known as The Boy In The Box.

No one came forward to claim the little boy who was estimated to be between the ages of four and six. He was obviously malnourished, weighing that of the average two year old.

And he’d been beaten to death.

Who in the world could be responsible for such a vicious act against a precious child?

Some investigators were so distraught they would literally spend the rest of their lives searching for the answer to that question. At the same time, young boys who viewed the flyers around town asking for information would be so touched by the nameless child they would become police officers themselves, hoping they could one day solve the mystery surrounding his death.

In his 2008 book The Boy In The Box, author David Stout recalls the case of the little boy who would later be given the more respectful moniker of America’s Unknown Child and the long, hard search to identify him and find his killers – all to no avail.

Many of the stories I read on a daily basis touch me deeply but none so much as this one. I cried as I read about the fatal injuries to this little boy. I cried as he lay unclaimed at the morgue. I cried as I read about the detectives who visited his grave every year on the anniversary of his discovery.

To sum it up: I cried all the way through this book.

The Boy In The Box is a an excellent book, telling one of the most heartbreaking stories you will ever read. It’s a book that should have never been written but had to be. And not only do I recommend you read it but I strongly encourage you to share the story with others. Hopefully one day soon, before another half century passes and any chance passes, someone, somewhere can name America’s Unknown Child.

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