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  • Joe O'Connell

On the trail of the Ross Sisters...


Research is a winding road that takes me to locations unexpected.

I have a google alert for the name "Dixie Ross." The other day it gave me details of a Florida murder on Dixie Ross Street. Could it be named in honor of the youngest Ross sister, who died tragically too young? I went to the researchers who said no, but have you seen this photo of the Ross Sisters in Tampa? I hadn't and have seen few photos of them this young, when they were not too removed from near starvation. It made me nail down the moment the Ross Sisters act was born--the Ross family's chance meeting with another contortionist family who would train them. I searched newspapers.com and realized it was in February 1937. This photo is from March 1939. The months in between must have been amazing. My job is to write them.

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