Janice Pockett, 7, was looking for a butterfly she'd caught (in 1977), and was never seen again in Montana

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Normal Janice Pockett, 7, was looking for a butterfly she'd caught (in 1977), and was never seen again in Montana

Post by Nama on Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:23 pm

On a July afternoon in 1973, a little girl set out on her bicycle in a pristine corner of Connecticut. Janice Pockett, 7, was looking for a butterfly she'd caught and left on a rock by the road a couple of days earlier.
"We were driving my mom crazy I remember," said her younger sister, Mary Engelbrecht, who is now 43. "My sister and I had been bickering over something stupid -- a toothbrush,I think."
Janice asked if she could ride off by herself and their mother said yes. It was a big deal, Engelbrecht said, because it was the first time either girl had been allowed to go anywhere by herself.
Janice never returned and 37 years later, the mystery of what happened to her continues to trouble residents of Tolland, a quiet community in the semi-rural suburbs of eastern Connecticut.
Engelbrecht still has vivid memories of the day her sister vanished. She recalls that their mother gave Janice an envelope for the butterfly. She remembers how Janice rode off on her green, Murray banana-seat bicycle.
Half an hour went by, and there was no sign of Janice. Engelbrecht, then 6, remembers walking up the street holding her mother's hand as they went looking for her sister.
They found her bike less than a mile away, abandoned on a dirt road close to the woods.
"We found the bike, but my sister was nowhere," Engelbrecht told CNN. "Police later told us they never found her butterfly, or the envelope either." Connecticut State Police continue to work the case. According to Detective Dan Cargill, a member of the investigative team, police found the bicycle between the rock and the Pocketts' home.
We found the bike, but my sister was nowhere.

"It appeared Janice may have been on her way back home when she was snatched," he said.
Police searched on foot and horseback, and used cadaver dogs to search the woods near the dirt road whether the child's bike was found.
Over the years police and volunteers have continued searching. They say they've gone over every inch of the woods. No evidence related to Janice Pockett was ever found.
"I know in the initial search they scoured the woods for newly-dug holes, but found none," Cargill said.
Janice's bicycle was tested for fingerprints and, more recently, was tested with newer technologies available to investigators. Again, no forensic evidence was found.
Hundreds of potential suspects were questioned; homes in the neighborhood were searched, tips were followed up, and criminal background checks were studies. Still, nothing.
"The dirt road where her bike had been found had tire tracks on it from various vehicles and our investigators followed up, searching vehicles fitting those tracks but again no clues were found," Cargill said.
Leads on possible suspects were followed, but investigators were frustrated by the dead ends.
"There were hundreds of names of possible suspects, but many were ruled out," Cargill said. "Some who are still on the list, we simply didn't have corroborating evidence to substantiate them as suspects."
There were hundreds of names of possible suspects, but many were ruled out.

One potential suspect, now deceased, lived about 20 miles from Tolland at the time Janice Pockett disappeared. His criminal record included prison terms for the abduction and attempted murder of two boys in Massachusetts. And, the man later was convicted of molesting two boys in Montana.
When police searched the man's Montana home, they found fragments of a child's bones, but could not match them to Pockett. The man died in prison in 2008, and the identity of the child whose bones were found remains a mystery.
Janice Pockett's disappearance remains an open investigation, police said, adding that they still receive tips from time to time.
Blonde with blue eyes, Janice was four feet tall in 1973 and weighed 65 pounds. She was wearing blue shorts with an American flag pattern, a blue and white striped shirt and blue sneakers when she was last seen.
Investigators are asking for the public's help. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Janice Pockett or can lead police to the individual responsible for her disappearance is asked to call the tip-line at 860-896-3200.

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Normal Re: Janice Pockett, 7, was looking for a butterfly she'd caught (in 1977), and was never seen again in Montana

Post by janie on Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:14 pm

This is just heartbreaking! I feel so sorry for Janice's younger sister. crying

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Normal Piirainen, Bish cases air on ‘Dark Minds’ Author, profiler interview families

Post by raine1953 on Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:44 am

The cases of Holly Piirainen and Molly Anne Bish, two Central Massachusetts girls who were abducted and murdered, will be featured on the Investigation Discovery program “Dark Minds” this week.

The program will also discuss a possible link between the Bish and Piirainen cases and the cases of Lisa White and Janice Pockett, Connecticut girls who disappeared in the 1970s and have never been found.

Holly Piirainen disappeared from Sturbridge in 1993, and her remains were found a few months later in Brimfield. Miss Bish was abducted from Comins Pond in Warren in 2000, and her remains were found in Palmer three years later.

Crime author M. William Phelps and John Kelly of the New Jersey-based criminal profiling team STALK Inc. comprise the cast of the program, which looks at serial killings and consults with a man who confessed to at least a half dozen murders and is behind bars for life. He is known only as “Raven.”

Mr. Phelps and Mr. Kelly interview families, review available evidence and talk with Raven about the cases, hoping to gain insight into possible suspects.

They also hope that reminding people the cases are unsolved might bring forth new information.

“I’m hoping, and believe me I’m not in this for entertainment value, that these shows are going to jog people’s memories,” said Mr. Kelly, who has worked with the Bish and Piirainen families.

While the program cannot mention the names of men listed as persons of interest in the cases, it clearly delves into the possibility that Rodney Stanger, a former resident of Central Massachusetts, fits the profile.

Mr. Stanger is incarcerated in Florida after killing his longtime girlfriend in 2008. Some have said that a composite sketch of a man Miss Bish’s mother, Magi M. Bish, saw near the pond the day before her daughter’s disappearance resembles Mr. Stanger.

There were also some items, such as hair clips and jewelry suitable for a child or young teenager, that were reportedly found in his trailer home sometime after the killing.

Mr. Kelly believes that the killer in these cases may have kept trophies; items removed from his victims to remind him of his crimes.

The program does present new information from Holly’s brother, Zachary Piirainen, who was with her the day they walked to a neighbor’s house to see a litter of puppies. Mr. Piirainen talks about his struggles since the day he last saw his sister and reveals that therapists believe he may have seen more than he initially remembered.

Mr. Kelly theorizes that the four cases may be linked, especially since the Pockett, White and Piirainen disappearances are very similar.

This marks the second time the show has filmed in Massachusetts. Last year, in its first season, the show profiled the murders of five Worcester women known to work as prostitutes.

The show, the second of eight in this season, is called “Dark Minds: Blonde, Blue-Eyed, and Gone.” It airs at 10 p.m. Wednesday on the Investigation Discovery network.
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