Tag Archives: shoe tree

The Walled Lake Killer and the Shoe Tree


Four children were murdered in Oakland County, Michigan in 1976-1977. The small rural county was paralyzed with fear as a killer preyed upon their children. Folklore has that in the 1970’s the Walled Lake Child Killer would kidnap children from the Walled Lake Amusement park pictured above.


He or she then allegedly took the children to the tree at night where he murdered them, tossed their shoes up in the tree, and buried the bodies in a nearby field. The tale is reportedly an urban legend, but the fact remains that there was a shoe tree and the deaths have never been solved. The killer was never captured. Perhaps he or she moved on to another town.

Yes, I know that these shoe tree posts are a bit of an odd departure for #ThePhilFactor, but stick with me and the mystery will soon be revealed.

The Slab City Tree of Souls (Soles?)


Two nights ago I was on Twitter and posted a tweet that simply said “The Sneaker Tree.” That was it. No explanation or context. Just those three words.

Within minutes @pkninjaz, Jazmin, a complete stranger from the other side of the country sent me the picture above. It is a picture of the Slab City, California shoe tree known as the Tree of Souls.

There are trees like this all over the country and the world. They’ve existed for decades and no one knows how or why they started. Do you know of a shoe tree somewhere near you? Send me a picture and I’ll post it here, on my Facebook and my Twitter. authorphiltaylor@gmail.com