Death at Sea: Mrs. Benjamin Mozee – Missing Passenger On Cruise Ship – SS Seeandbee July 29, 1940…

Mrs. Benjamin Mozee – Missing Passenger On Cruise Ship – SS Seeandbee July 29, 1940…

Cruise ships are not always the paradise at sea…

Mrs. Frank R. Elliott the sister-in-law of Mrs. Benjamin Mozee said she saw Mrs. Mozee off when she boarded the steamship on the Great Lakes cruise. She believes that Mrs Mozee was robbed, murdered and dumped overboard. The facts support that theory.

Elliott says that when Mozee embarked on the Lake Erie cruise from Cleveland, Ohio to Buffalo, New York, she had a large amount of cash with her and expensive jewelry including three diamond rings.

Cleveland police say the diamond rings were not found in Mrs. Mozee’s cabin, nor on her body when her body was recovered on July 31 at Geneva-On-The-Lake. The cash she brought with her on the cruise was also missing.

Mrs. Mozee’s body was found two days after she was last seen alive, she had two black eyes, as if she had been beaten. Coroner Charles Webster who examined Mozee’s body, said that he doubted the bruises around her eyes were post-mortem or from hitting the water.

Due to the fact that when her body was found, the ship had not reported Mrs. Mozee’s disappearance, the unidentified body was buried without an autopsy in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Mr. Mozee, arriving to identify his wife’s body after it was exhumed, was clearly shocked to learn that the ship did not miss his wife nor report her missing until August 13, 15 days after she disappeared.

O.R. Willard, passenger agent for the cruise line, said the reason the woman was not reported missing for two weeks was because her clothes were laid out on the bed everyday the maid came, making it appear the cabin was still in use.

This of course does not explain why the maid did not notice the bed was already made up each day when she arrived in Mozee’s cabin, having never been slept in for two weeks. Nor does it explain why the maid did not notice the same clothes were on the bed everyday.

A very suspicious fact was the finding that Mozee’s palms of her hands were covered in grease. This lead to speculation that Mozee had been in a crew area of the ship just before or just after her death.

Her death was ruled a homicide and federal agents took over the investigation. There is no record of any arrest, trial or conviction for the murder.

Mrs. Mozee’s husband was Marshall Benjamin Mozee, the former Superintendent Of Schools in Alaska.

Mrs. Mozee was a former nurse.

The SS Seeandbee was the largest and mostly costly inland steamer, on the Great Lakes. Launched on November 6, 1912, Seeandbee was an all-steel ship with a passenger capacity of 1,500 passengers on 4 decks.

In 1942, the Seeandbee was acquired by the U.S. Navy and converted into the USS Wolverine. The Wolverine served as an aircraft carrier training ship in Lake Michigan during World War II and shortly thereafter was scrapped.


About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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