Blonde, Blue-Eyed and Gone
Two girls from Connecticut vanish. Two from Southern Massachusetts are abducted and found dead. Are these high-profile cases connected?
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I interviewed Lisa White’s sister, Aprille Falletti. She owns and operates Aprille’s Danceprints in Ellington, a company Judi built from the ground up in memory of Lisa.
“I’ve always believed Lisa is buried in the woods in Stafford,” Aprille, who was 10 at the time Lisa went missing, told me. Aprille said she sees “a man in a flannel shirt, shovel in hand, standing over my sister.”
I showed Aprille a photo of the Hunter. She explained that Lisa hung out and partied with older boys, even young men (recently uncovered documents tell me Lisa knew “men” from Holland, Mass.). The photo of the Hunter had been taken near the time Lisa was abducted. He would have been in his early 20s. And, same as that description from the 1975 Courant article, the Hunter had a mustache, solid build, and drove a yellow Starfire (a vehicle very similar to a Pinto).
Staring at the photo, Aprille’s lower lip quivered. Her body shook. She backed away and did not speak, placing her hand to her mouth. Tears came. Then: “I know I have seen this guy before … Look at the cold chill coming over me.”
Had Aprille seen the Hunter with her sister?
In my business, a visceral reaction is important. For instance, I showed Aprille photographs of some items recently found in the Hunter’s home, hoping she might recognize something of Lisa’s. She took a moment. “Um … maybe that one. But I cannot be sure.”
I showed her photos of other men connected to these cases. There was no physical reaction.
Aprille went on to explain that her sister had been in Hampden, Mass., and Stafford the night before she disappeared. Lisa was arrested for underage drinking. Documents also connect Lisa to being in Holland, Mass., near this time.
We look for connections. It’s not science. It’s a process of interpretation. If a known killer—and alleged pedophile—lived in the area where a girl went missing, logic tells us he has to be a prime suspect.
The Hunter suddenly left the area soon after Molly Bish disappeared and John Kelly named him publicly as a POI in Molly’s case. Moreover, a few days after the Massachusetts State Police released a sketch of a man smoking a cigarette Molly’s mother Magi Bish saw at Comins Pond the day before Molly went missing, the Hunter put his house up for sale. The sketch is a close match to the Hunter. The Hunter’s little brother owned a yellow Starfire. A second sketch was drawn from the memory of Holly Piirainen’s brother, who had been with Holly on the day she was abducted. The sketch is a facsimile of the Hunter’s middle brother, whose niece and former sister-in-law, when I placed the sketch in front of them, unflinchingly said in unison: “It’s [the middle brother]! No doubt about it.”
|The Hunter and his accomplice? (left) Police sketch of a man smoking a cigarette that Magi Bish saw at the pond where Molly was a lifeguard the day before she disappeared; (right) a sketch based on Holly Piirainen's brother's memory, who was with her on the day she was abducted. The sketches bear a striking resemblance to The Hunter and his middle brother.|
I obtained photographs—of children’s barrettes, hair scrunchies, hair ties, etc.—from a former law enforcement source close to the Bish/Piirainen cases. The items were found inside a trailer the Hunter owned. I call them items, but I believe they’re trophies: personal effects taken from the young women and girls the Hunter raped and murdered. Serial killers often keep mementos to remind them of the rape and/or kill. I was hoping to tie the Hunter to the missing and dead with these photographs.
No one I interviewed recognized any of the trophy items—and the Hunter is not talking. The only hope lies in a cigarette butt found at the scene of Molly Bish’s abduction. I’m told the FBI is analyzing it for clues.
I don’t know that any of these cases are connected. In fact, I have reports that Lisa was seen by a half-dozen people in the weeks and months after she disappeared. But what I do know is that I cannot exclude the POIs John Kelly and I developed—and, chillingly, we could connect another four blonde, blue-eyed girls [murdered in the same vicinity] to these same three men. Indeed, the more we focus on the three brothers, the guiltier they look. We’ve handed our findings over to the Connecticut State Police (who are, I’m told, actively investigating Lisa and Janice’s cases once again) through a source in the Massachusetts State Police.
Now we wait.
My aim is not to solve cases. It is to rekindle interest, hoping that someone remembers something and the information we uncover helps law enforcement move one step closer to identifying a strong suspect.
“Can she see down from Heaven and feel all my grief?” Judi wrote in the days after Lisa disappeared. “If I only knew where she is, I could live with it.”
I was never able to give Judi the answers she deserved. She died before I could even offer our Hunter/siblings theory. But being the believer I am, I know Judi is in a place where she has all the answers she’ll ever need.
For passing along information confidentially regarding the disappearance of Lisa White and Janice Pockett, please call the Connecticut State Police Missing Persons tip line at (800) 367-5678. In the cases of Molly Bish and Holly Piirainen, please contact the Massachusetts State Police at (413) 505-5993. If you'd like to contact M. William Phelps with any information about these cases, or other cold cases, please email him at email@example.com.
For more about M. William Phelps, please visit him at his website.