733 users online (83 members and 650 guests)  


Websleuths News


Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    6,166

    NY - Ethel Atwell, 46, Staten Island, 24 Oct 1978

    Under the documents section of her NamUs page, you can find a couple of older articles as well as the police reports that were filed. It's surprising that nothing besides her keys were found during the initial search. It was extensive and it began soon after the witness called police. Sadly, there hasn't been an update for a long time now. Only references to Atwell are from stories that focus on Rand and she is cited as a possible victim.

    WhereaboutsStillUnknown Posting

    NamUs

    Doe Network

    Charley Project



    Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
    • Missing Since: October 24, 1978 from Staten Island, New York
    • Classification: Endangered Missing
    • Age: 46 years old
    • Height and Weight: 5'4 - 5'6, 156 pounds
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: African-American female. Black hair, brown eyes. Atwell wears dentures.
    • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A long blue coat and black shoes.

    Details of Disappearance
    Atwell was last seen at the Staten Island Developmental Center (formerly called the Willowbrook State School), the institution for mentally disabled children where she worked as a physical therapist's aide, in the New York City borough of Staten Island, on October 24, 1978. She arrived at 6:00 a.m. and parked behind Building 47. Before she could get from the parking lot into her building, Two female employees inside the building heard a male voice outside say "Come on, come on," and Atwell say "No, you'll beat me." Then she screamed.

    The employees called the police after hearing the screams from the parking lot. When authorities responded, they found Atwell's tan pocketbook, one earring, one black shoe, three black coat buttons and half her set of dentures scattered on the ground at the left side of her car, which was locked. Her keys turned up in the woods about seventy-five feet away. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of her; Atwell has never been seen or heard from again.

    Andre Rand is considered a possible suspect in Atwell's disappearance. Photos of him are posted below this case summary. Rand, whose birth name is Frank Rashan, was convicted of the 1987 kidnapping of Jennifer Schweiger, a twelve-year-old girl with Downs Syndrome who was murdered on the grounds of the Staten Island Developmental Center near his campsite, and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He was not convicted of her murder; the jury could not reach a verdict on that charge. In 2004, he was convicted of kidnapping seven-year-old Holly Hughes; the child disappeared in 1981 and was never found. He is also believed to be connected to the disappearances of Alice Pereia in 1972, Tiahease Jackson in 1983, and Henry Gafforio in 1984, among other missing persons' cases. There is speculation that Rand may have been involved with the 1977 disappearance of Audrey Nerenberg as well. All of the victims vanished from the Staten Island area, with the exception of Nerenberg. Rand reportedly confessed his crimes to a cellmate in prison and compared himself to the serial killer Ted Bundy.

    It hasn't been proven that Rand was involved in Atwell's case. She lived in the 80 block of Schuyler Avenue in Newark, New Jersey in 1978. Her presumed abduction remains unsolved.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    755
    Ethel Louise Atwell

    Another employee of the Staten Island Development Center, Shin Lee, had gone missing earlier in 1978, and was later found deceased in a shallow grave on the center grounds.
    I am surprised that murder of Shin Lee is not even mentioned on any of Ethel's profiles. Shin Lee was nurse at the same mental facility as Ethel and they were about the same age. Ethel was hygiene therapist. Shin Lee was found murdered by strangulation and buried in shallow grave nearby facility grounds on August 6, only 2 month prior to Ethel's disappearance.

    Over the years, there has been much speculation that Andre Rand was involved in Ethel’s disappearance, as well as the murder of Shin Lee. Andre Rand worked at the center as well, and is now believed to have been involved in the abductions of several children on Staten Island, beginning in 1972. Ethel Atwell and Shin Lee are the only adults that have been considered victims of Rand, and many have argued that Rand was a pedophile and would not have attempted such an act against an adult.
    So far I have not found any confirmation that Andre Rand worked or was patient of the facility where Ethel and Shin Lee worked or was present there at the same time period. Yes, he did kidnap and murder 12 year old child with down syndrome in 1987 on the grounds of the same facility, his campsite was nearby.

    Another theory was presented the day of Ethel’s disappearance, as another employee of the center claimed she had seen a specific patient, whom she feared, in the parking lot shortly before 6:00am, and as a result, she had been frightened and waited in her car for some time. Another employee, however, claimed that this patient had been in bed until 6:50am.
    Name of this patient is published in police documents attached in NamUs. I will try to attach them here just in case they might disappear one day.

    Sketch of person of interest


    (quotes from https://whereaboutsstillunknown.word.../ethel-atwell/ )

    NamUs documents
    https://www.findthemissing.org/en/do.../download/1245 (pdf file)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    755
    Ethel Louise Atwell


    https://andtheywere.wordpress.com/20...louise-atwell/

    Ethel lived in Newark, New Jersey and commuted to New York Staten Island for work. She left behind her mother, Mary Davis, and 4 sons.

    Andre RAND

    Between 1966 and '68, using the last name "Bruchette," he worked as a physical therapy aide at New York's Willowbrook State School - later renamed the Staten Island Development Center.

    On May 5, 1969, he was arrested in the South Bronx for kidnapping and attempting to rape a nine-year-old girl. Pleading guilty to a lesser charge of sexual abuse, he served sixteen months in prison, winning parole in January 1972.

    Back on the street, Rashan legally changed his name to "Rand," logging three more arrests by the end of the decade for "minor" offenses, including burglary. Along the way, his name was linked with disappearances of several children.
    ---
    A victim of Downe's syndrome, Jennifer was traced to the grounds of the deserted Staten Island Development Center, where Rand had been living for several years in a makeshift shelter of his own design.
    http://murderpedia.org/male.R/r/rand-andre.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    755
    I have just realized this is the same institution featured in well known documentary "Cropsey", by the same makers of Killer Season documentary investigating serial killers. They are members of this forum too.

    It's been 22 years since a creepy drifter who lived in the woods behind the abandoned ruins of a mental institution was arrested for the kidnaping and murder of a 12-year-old girl with Down's syndrome — a horrific crime that soon took on a more ominous tone when the man, 43-year-old Andre Rand, became a suspect in the disappearances of several other Staten Island children over the years.

    The strange case of Andre Rand and the still-missing kids remains one of the biggest mysteries in the annals of New York criminal history, and is now the subject of "Cropsey," a gripping documentary that debuted at this year's Tribeca fest.
    http://rigorousintuition.ca/board2/v...c.php?p=288803

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Europe
    Posts
    755
    Grim history of Willowbrook State School for developmentally disabled children and adults



    The 6,000 children and adults housed at Willowbrook during the State School's peak capacity were "denied their basic right to humanity," she added, noting that prisons allotted 80 square feet per inmate while Willowbrook provided only 35 square feet per resident, "with no place to put a treasured item, no place to put their [personal] possessions."

    When Willowbrook was operational, "there were no background checks" for hired staff, said Ms. Buglioli. "There were people who did very good things, and people who did horrible things."
    ---
    The scandal generated national headlines when it was exposed by Geraldo Rivera, then a relatively unknown television reporter.

    Willowbrook was closed in 1987 and set legal precedents that influenced the deinstitutionalization movement across the country.

    http://www.silive.com/westshore/inde...te_school.html



Similar Threads

  1. NY NY - Staten Island, near 55 Park Ave, WhtFem, 30-45,1109UFNY, Mar'99
    By Gardener1850 in forum The Unidentified
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-02-2017, 02:40 PM
  2. Found Safe NY - Kim Woo, 2, Staten Island, 7 Feb 2017
    By skibaboo in forum Located Persons Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-07-2017, 04:30 PM
  3. NY - Staten Island boy, 9, stabbed on his way to school
    By bettiepageturner in forum Crimes-Spotlight on Children
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-28-2016, 04:55 PM

Tags for this Thread