My Fellow Criminologists
Hi everyone, this is Paul. Every once in a while I’ll see a spike in the number of emails I receive on my website. It’s always great to hear from anyone who has come across my story, and it’s especially great when lots of people write at the same time—it makes me feel that my story is still out there, still important to people. And that gives me the strength and encouragement I need to keep going in trying to solve the final two mysteries of my case.
I’ve come to realize what causes those spikes in emails. They happen whenever some TV station replays my 20-20 interview with Barbara Walters from a few years ago. Since it originally aired—and earned 20/20 its highest ratings in two years—it has been rebroadcast dozens of times in different markets. That’s because, as these stations know, my story is a unique combination of true-crime intrigue and real emotional power.
One of the two big reasons I decided to go public with my story in the first place—a decision that caused a lot of pain for a lot of people—was because I needed the public’s help in trying to find my identity. And I was right—my story touched a nerve around the world, and a ton of meaningful tips and clues came pouring in. Even though the Fronczak kidnapping case is, officially at least, still open at the FBI, it was the public airing of my story that helped me put together a team of amazing people that eventually led me to my real identity—after a half century of not knowing who I was. I believe that, going forward, it will be all of the incredible people who follow my story and keep in contact with me who will help me solve the remaining riddles—what happened to my twin sister Jill, and where is the real Paul Fronczak?
That’s why I am always happy to see the 20/20 story re-airing somewhere. I know that it will bring new people, and fresh insights, to my case. Recently, I heard from a reporter in Finland, who told me my case is very popular in his country. I also have big followings in Scotland and Brazil. I don’t know if these connections will lead to anything, but it is nice to know that my story continues to strike a chord with people.
That is the other big reason I decided to go public was the hope that what I went through might help others find the strength and resolve to continue in their searches for the truth. I’ve always said that it would be great for me to be able to solve the mysteries of my life, but it’s just as important for my story to bring comfort and encouragement to people who find themselves in situations just like mine.
Here is just one of the remarkable letters I recently received from someone who saw a re-airing of the 20/20 report:
“Paul, your journey is one of both joy and heartbreak. My birth mother abducted me at age 3 months, changed my name and lived in hiding. After I became an adult she revealed everything to me. I thought I was an only child but found out I have a half brother. My birth father died two weeks before I was scheduled to meet him. I understand some of the emotions, struggles and frustrations you have. From this day forward, you and the real Paul will be in my thoughts and prayers.”
When I read that, I just thought, “Wow.” I understood what it’s like to have your life upended after decades of believing you are one thing, only to learn you are something else. And I was so happy that my story helped this reader reflect on her own journey, and forge this connection with me.
I know there are thousands and thousands of people out there with stories like this, and my dream would be to be able to help them all in their journeys. Imagine if I could put their stories out to the public, just like I put mine? Maybe together, a million amateur criminologists could help each other solve crimes, reunite families and heal broken souls. Wouldn’t that be just amazing?
Anyway, that’s my dream, and I promise I will keep working on making it happen—on solving my own family mysteries, but also those of as many other people as I can. As my favorite TV show, The X-Files, always reminds me, “The truth is out there.” And I have a gut feeling that my fellow amateur criminologists are going to help me find the truth one day.