It was on March 22, 1950, that Frank LaSalle was arrested in San Jose, California, bringing to a close a 21-month nightmare for a Camden County girl.

The ordeal began in 1948 when 11-year-old Florence Sally Horner, on a dare, shoplifted a notebook at a Woolworths in Camden. A man grabbed her arm and told her he was an FBI agent, when in reality he was a mechanic named Frank LaSalle, a convicted child molester. He told the little girl that she needed to “check in” with him periodically or he would tell her mother.

In June of that year, LaSalle stopped the fifth grader on her way home from school and told her to tell her mother that she was going on a weeklong trip to the Shore with a classmate’s family. LaSalle took the girl to Atlantic City and the almost two year ordeal began. LaSalle took the girl to Baltimore and then to Dallas; it is believed he sexually assaulted her repeatedly. Their final stop was in San Jose, where Sally was able to finally phone home for help. When authorities caught up to LaSalle, he claimed to be the girl’s father, which was quickly disproven. He was taken into custody, charged, convicted under the Mann Act and sentenced to 30-35 years in prison.

Sally’s life came to a tragic end just a few years later. On a trip back from the Shore, the car she was riding in crashed into the back of a truck, killing the 15 year old. LaSalle died in prison in 1966.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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