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West End Baptist Church

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Real Name: West End Baptist Church
Case: Unexplained Phenomenon
Location: Beatrice, Nebraska
Date: March 1, 1950


Details: On the night of March 1, 1950, all 15 members of the West End Baptist Church choir were delayed for various reasons as they readied to leave for practice.

  • Marilyn Ruth Klempl, the pastor's daughter, spilled food on her dress and her mother needed to iron a new one.
  • Herbert Kipf was trying to get a letter in the mail on time.
  • Lucille Jones was too busy listening to a radio program and was late along with Dorothy Wood, whom she was supposed to pick up.
  • Royena Estes and her sister, Sadie, were late because their car wouldn't start.
  • Joyce Black, who lived across the street from the church, was ready but too tired to get up.
  • LaDonna Vandergrift was having trouble with a geometry problem.
  • Mrs. Leonard Schuster would've ordinarily arrived at 7:20 with her daughter, Susan. But on this particular evening, she had to go to her mother's house to help her get ready for a missionary meeting.
  • Because his wife was away, Harvey Ahl was taking care of his two sons. He was going to take them to practice with him but somehow he got wound up talking. When he looked at his watch, he saw that he was already late.
  • Marilyn Paul, the pianist, had planned to arrive half an hour early. However, she fell asleep after dinner, and when her mother awakened her at 7:15, she only had time to tidy up and start out.
  • Mrs. F. E. Paul, the choir director and mother of Marilyn, was simply late because her daughter was. She had tried unsuccessfully to awaken her earlier.

Before practice, Walter Klempl, the pastor, turned on the heat to warm the church and departed. Instead, it filled with gas and exploded. Not a single choir member was harmed in the explosion in what was deemed an incredible coincidence or an extreme miracle.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 3, 1990 episode. It was also featured on Beyond Belief and Urban Legends.
Results: Unsolved. Of the people involved in this case, Harvey Ahl passed away in 1997.

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