Her name was Florence Sally Horner, but everyone called her Sally. She grew up in Camden, New Jersey, and her dad took his own life when she was just 6-years-old.
Her widowed mom Ella was then left to raise Sally and Sally’s older sister Susan all by herself, and it was a struggle for her to make ends meet for their tiny family.
Ella worked herself to the bone as a seamstress, trying to support her girls, and when Susan became pregnant it meant she was about to have one more mouth to feed.
Sally, Susan, and Ella were living in poverty in their home located at 944 Linden Street, and it was a fact that left Sally struggling to make friends.
Sally wasn’t popular. She wasn’t well-liked. And all she wanted was to fit in and have friends. So on June 13th, 1948, 11-year-old Sally thought she could set out to change everything for the better.
She did end up changing the course of her life forever, but in a terrible way that she never could have imagined.
A group of girls that Sally went to school with insisted she had to do something in order for them to let her be part of their circle, and they had a suggestion for how she could do that.
Sally stepped inside of Woolworth’s, which was the biggest chain of department stores at the time, determined to steal a notebook like these girls wanted her to do.
She grabbed the notebook and turned to leave the store, but a 50-year-old man by the name of Frank La Salle caught up with her before she could make her exit.
He told Sally that he worked for the FBI, and she was in big trouble for stealing what she did. Frank explained that Sally could land herself in reform school or be arrested, but instead…he was going to cut her a special deal.