View Full Version : MA MA - Lynn Burdick, 18, Florida, 17 April 1982
01-29-2007, 07:41 PM
Missing since April 17, 1982 from Florida, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.
Date Of Birth: February 4, 1964
Age at Time of Disappearance: 18 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'4"; 115 lbs.
Distinguishing Characteristics: White female. Brown hair; blue eyes. She wears glasses.
Clothing: Burdick was wearing a McCann Tech school class ring engraved with her name or initials, with a blue stone. She also may have been wearing her "McCann Vocational Technical High School" jacket and carrying her purse.
Circumstances of Disappearance
Burdick disappeared from the roadside convenience store the Barefoot Peddlar where she worked as a clerk. The store was only a few minutes' walk from her residence. She would normally be in the company of a friend or her cousin who owned the store with her husband, but due to unforseen circumstances she was left to mind the store alone that Saturday night. Burdick's last contact was with her cousin, Suzanne, co-owner of the store. Suzanne normally phoned the store every hour to make sure things were running smoothly. Suzanne's last contact with Burdick was 8 p.m., one hour before closing. In the background, Suzanne heard the bell, tripped by the front door, that alerts the clerk that someone has entered the store. "Can't talk," Burdick told her, "got a customer."
A customer walked in 40 minutes later to find the store empty. When police arrived at the store, they found no sign of a struggle. A book Burdick had been reading and a soda she had been drinking were undisturbed on the counter. Her McCann Vocational Technical High School jacket and her purse were gone. So was $187 from the cash register. Working with a paucity of physical evidence, and no witnesses, the authorities concluded that she was abducted. Nothing suggested otherwise. The police reasoned at first that she might have run away but that was soon changed after they discovered there was more cash left untouched under the counter. Lynn would know about this money but her abductor would not.
The best lead centered on a man who had tried to abduct a Williams College student about 40 minutes before police believe Burdick disappeared. The woman fought him off. Later, a police officer recalled seeing a car that matched the suspect's headed on Route 2 in the direction of Florida, Massachusetts, but investigators never got more information on the car or the driver. In 1995, Burdick's father was sent an anonymous letter postmarked from Boston, Massachusetts. The writer said his daughter was abducted and killed and named a man from North Adams as her murderer. Burdick's father would like the person who wrote the letter to come forward and reveal what he knows to the authorities.
06-12-2007, 02:24 PM
Charley Project Details of Disappearance:
Details of Disappearance
Burdick worked part time as a clerk at The Barefoot Peddlar Country Store, a convenience store owned by her cousin, on Florida Mountain in Florida, Massachusetts in 1982. The store was located on the corner of Route 2 and Central Shaft Road, just a few hundred yards from Burdick's family's residence. She had been working at the store for three years. Burdick's cousin called the store at approximately 8:00 p.m. on the night of April 17, 1982 to check on Burdick, who was scheduled to close The Barefoot Peddlar an hour from that time. Burdick told her cousin that a customer had arrived while they were speaking on the phone and she would have to hang up to attend to the person. She has never been heard from again. Another customer entered the store approximately 40 minutes later and noticed that it was abandoned and the door was open. He was familiar with Burdick's family and called them to report her missing. Burdick's open book and half-empty soda were still on the store's counter, but her jacket from McCann Vocational Technical High School and her purse were missing. $187 had been removed from the cash register, but additional cash was still available underneath the counter. Burdick would have been aware of the extra money, but an intruder would not have known about its placement. Nothing in Burdick's life led authorities to believe she left of her own devices. Abduction was always assumed as the reason for her disappearance. One lead focused on an unidentified male who attempted to abduct a girl from the Williams College campus near Florida, Massachusetts that night Burdick disappeared. The intended victim managed to escape, but the attack took place approximately 40 minutes before Burdick was last seen. A police officer believed he spotted the alleged suspect's vehicle traveling towards Florida on Route 2 a short time after the Williams College incident, but the car and driver could not be identified. The Barefoot Peddlar was located on Route 2, placing the suspect near Burdick's location at the time. Investigators received an anonymous letter, postmarked Boston, from a man stating that his daughter had been abducted and murdered by a man in North Adams, Massachusetts in 1995. Authorities are familiar with the suspect named in the letter and pleaded for the letter's author to come forward with more information. North Adams is near Florida and it is believed that Burdick's case could have been connected to the mentioned suspect, but there is no evidence to support this theory. The writer remains at large and authorities do not know if the note was a hoax. The Barefoot Peddlar has been closed since Burdick vanished in 1982. She was a senior at McCann Vocational Technical High School in 1982. Her case remains open and unsolved.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Massachusetts State Police
I remember seeing this on the Doe Network and it mentioning that it might be linked to a serial killer. Does anyone know which other cases this might be linked to? In the '80s and '90s I know there was a child killer from North Adams who was convicted of several counts of abduction and murder but I believe he was located out of the state when this happened.
05-28-2008, 07:46 PM
Are you thinking of Charles Pierce or Nathaniel Bar-Jonah? Bar-Jonah was never actually convicted of killing anybody but it's pretty much a given that he murdered several people.
I was initially thinking of Lewis Lent Jr. when I mentioned the North Adams man (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F07EFD81030F930A35756C0A9629582 60). Given the timing of the letter Lynn's father received, I thought it was possible that he was the suspect named in the letter but further research indicates that he was in NJ when this case happened.
Given the timing of Burdick's disappearance in 1982 and the location (2 hours from either of their "bases"), I think its unlikely that either Pierce or Barr-Jonah would be the ones suspected by police. It is possible that the police may be thinking that it is related to cases in Vermont or New York, since this occured close to the border of both these states.
After looking into this more it appears that a few other cases may be linked to this case.
This woman was found in the same town Lynn disappeared from...
-Kim Benoit, 18, of North Adams, was strangled and found at the bottom of a 50-foot embankment off River Road in Florida on Nov. 16, 1974. She was last seen on Nov. 1.
This woman was abducted at Williams College where some say someone tried to kidnap a coed twenty minutes before Lynn disappeared...
-Cynthia Krizack, 17, of Williamstown, disappeared on Oct. 7, 1976, after spending an evening studying at the nearby Williams College Sawyer Memorial Library. Her body was found a month later in a rocky gorge off Route 9 (Windsor), she had been strangled and bludgeoned.
While researching this I also found a case of a body being disposed in Warwick, MA in 1988. The body was badly decomposed (several years?) and only partially found (legs, arms, torso). It appears that this is probably the body of a white woman. It's a complete long shot but I wonder if it's been compared to Lynn? The body was found at a rest stop on Route 78, which connects to Route 2 in Orange. As far as I know there are no other unsolved cases in Western Massachusetts that happened in the 1980s where the body is completely missing (assuming Lynn was abducted).
This is a very puzzling case that I think still haunts a lot of people in the Western Mass area. It would be great to see a renewed interest.
After researching that Warwick body link, it is clear that the victim in that case is not related to Lynn Burdick since the victim was suspected to be killed in 1989 and was probably a heavier set middle aged woman which Lynn is not. I have started a link on the Warwick body in the Unidentified missing board (http://websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?p=2314231).
The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
October 19, 2008 Sunday
Author details wicked what-if
BYLINE: By Benning W. De La Mater, Berkshire Eagle Staff
SECTION: TOP STORY
LENGTH: 1402 words
FLORIDA -- One of Leonard Paradiso's favorite pastimes was hunting deer in the northern forests of Berkshire County.
Another was kidnapping and killing young women.
And former prosecutor Timothy M. Burke, the man who sent Paradiso to jail for life for the murder of an East Boston girl, believes the two hobbies may have merged.
The author of "The Paradiso Files: Boston's Unknown Serial Killer," Burke can paint a timeline that puts Paradiso in Florida close to Nov. 16, 1974, the day 18-year-old Kim Benoit, of North Adams, was found dead at the bottom of a wooded embankment along Route 2.
Burke, 59, also believes Paradiso dumped his Oldsmobile in Boston Harbor just days after the disappearance of Florida's own Lynn Burdick, the 18-year-old McCann Technical High School senior who vanished from the Barefoot Peddler general store in Florida on April 17, 1982.
The Needham attorney presented this information Thursday night to 65 residents at the Florida Senior Center, including members of Burdick's family.
Paradiso liked to hunt
While there is no evidence linking Paradiso to either case, Burke said the fact that the Boston native visited the Northern Berkshires multiple times should make law enforcement officials curious.
"You had this individual in your midst, starting in 1967," Burke told the crowd. "And anyone who he could get in his car was at risk. Paradiso was driven by an obsession."
A fishmonger who went by the nickname "The Quahog," Paradiso had been involved in a number of assault cases leading up to his conviction of strangling and raping Marie Iannuzzi, 20, and dumping her body in a Saugus marsh in 1979.
Paradiso, 65, died of cancer at a prison hospital this past Feb. 27, just two weeks after the release of Burke's book, which implicates him in a number of unsolved slayings in the Boston area.
A veteran prosecutor
Burke prosecuted 25 murder cases in his time as an assistant district attorney in Eastern Massachusetts, but the details around the Paradiso case stuck with him. He said he wrote the book to help the families whose daughters, he believes, were killed by Paradiso, families who were left with nothing but memories and a lifetime of unanswered questions.
"I understand what it is like for a family to go through this kind of loss, the feeling that there are no answers," he said.
The Berkshire County connection first popped up when Burke was investigating the Iannuzzi murder in the early 1980s. A search of Paradiso's apartment turned up multiple photos of the portly, curly haired man dressed in orange hunting gear and wielding a rifle in the hills around Florida, including one taken near the Summit Motel, now called Giovanni's.
The pictures span from November 1967 to November 1974, the latter of which coincides with the time Benoit went missing and was found dead roughly 3 miles from the Summit Motel.
"We sent a trooper out to Florida to investigate during the (Iannuzzi) trial, but nothing turned up," Burke said.
Locally, police were stymied by the Benoit case, which still remains open. She was unemployed and living with friends in a housing project when she attended a dance at the local Sons of Italy in North Adams on Nov. 1.
The next time someone saw her, she was in the Florida embankment. Soon, leads dried up.
Burke mentioned both Benoit and Florida in his book, and those references were noticed recently by Shelburne Falls resident Lance Gauthier, a construction surveyor who has always had an interest in the two girls' disappearances.
Gauthier contacted Burke six weeks ago to ask if he knew about the Burdick case. "I had no idea this was on the radar," Burke said.
Burke began to compile facts about Paradiso during the time frame Burdick went missing.
It was a Saturday night, April 17, 1982, and Burdick was the lone clerk at a secluded convenience store in Florida that has since been torn down.
At around 8:30 p.m., as her shift was ending, Burdick's parents, Rufus and Dorothy, called the store to see if she wanted a ride. When there was no answer, they sent their son, Brian, to check on her.
Burdick was gone, as was $187 from the register.
To her family, the shy high school senior was not the type to run off. She did not date or drive, and she spent her free time raising money for the disabled. She was scheduled to roller-skate in a cerebral palsy benefit in Pittsfield three days later.
Hundreds searched the woods for days, but she hasn't been heard from since.
It was a story that shook all of Berkshire County and sent people into a panic in Florida, this mountain town of barely 700.
Haunting investigators at the time was the near-abduction and attack of a student in Williamstown less than an hour before Burdick's disappearance.
A dark Ford sedan fitting the description of the vehicle used in the attack was later spotted by a North Adams police officer speeding east on Route 2, toward Florida Mountain and in the direction of the Barefoot Peddler, according to police records. The sedan was never spotted again.
Burke can put Paradiso in Revere on April 15, 1982, when "The Quahog" had a meeting with a parole officer who warned him that if he left the state, he'd be sent back to prison for a previous assault on a female.
On April 22, a 1979 Oldsmobile Cutlass driven by Paradiso during this time was reported stolen from his girlfriend's house. It was one of eight cars and two boats that were reported stolen by Paradiso during a four-year period.
Most were later found torched or submerged in Boston Harbor, including the Oldsmobile and a boat he named Malafemmena -- Italian for "evil woman."
"That's how he destroyed his evidence, he sank it," Burke said. "I have no evidence linking him to these crimes, but I know his mindset. If you follow his pattern, Lynn becomes another potential victim. I wanted the Burdicks to be aware of the info I have."
Several members of the Burdick family weren't pleased to hear Burke's link, though.
Roy Burdick, 75, a pastor at the local Baptist church and a cousin of Burdick's, said the timeline was nothing more than vague speculation.
"I think it's wrong to create a scenario for these people who lost Lynn all these years ago," he said, raising his voice at the meeting. "Now they have to sit there and think, 'Did this happen to my daughter?' the same thing that happened to (Iannuzzi)? Theoretically, it could have been a number of people."
Sue Oleson, another cousin, said the Paradiso info "brings no closure. There are a host of possibilities out there more solid than this one."
The rest of the article can probably be found on Lexis Nexis or News Library, I know I can't post the whole thing here.
It was twenty eight years ago this month when Lynn Burdick disappeared. Someone has to know something about this case. Bumping for Lynn.
Lynn is mentioned in this article:
By Jennifer Huberdeau, North Adams Transcriptthetranscript.com
Posted: 11/03/2012 01:05:05 AM EDT
This article from 1994 resurfaced on the Boston.com website after Lewis Lent confessed to murdering James Lusher this summer. It indicates that in 1994 he was a primary suspect in the Burdick disappearance but I haven't been able to find much else since then about Lent's possible involvement in the case.
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