CANADA Canada - Mario Palermo, 23, Ontario, 12 Dec 1977

Discussion in '1970's Missing' started by ADKGemini, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. ADKGemini

    ADKGemini Well-Known Member

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    Palermo was described to have brown hair and brown eyes. Peculiarly, Mario's Canadian Citizenship Certificate, dated 1964, indicated that he in fact had blue eyes, however, that statement was erroneous. He also had a mustache, and a medium build at the time of his disappearance, as well as 3 moles on his face; each located down the side of his left cheek and jaw. Mario also had very distinctive and prominent ears that seemed to "stick out", and the tip of his ears were pointy in a backwards direction (see gallery below). His mandible and chin were angular, and could be considered "robust".

    Prior to his disappearance, Palermo was a single man living at home with his parents and 3 younger siblings. His home life had become severely turbulent from the late '60s until the day he was last seen. That year, Mario had placed a tape recorder on the table at home one night that his father was drinking excessively. The tape revealed a confrontation incited by Mario, and captured chilling screams and a harrowing struggle as he ran around the house in complete and abject terror, running for his life, while he was being chased around the house repeatedly by his father who was wielding a knife; intent on harming him. The tape in question had since been destroyed.

    His father Giovanni had a severe alcohol problem (until he quit drinking in November 1994), and was a danger to the rest of his family prior to this. Every weekend, they had to board themselves up in a room indefinitely by stacking furniture against the door so that his dad would not break through and harm them. Mario also routinely had to place himself against the door to keep him out. Family believe that he very understandably may have fled due to such conditions, and subsequently, may have taken on a new identity.

    Mario had repeatedly begged his mother Petronilla to move away with him and find an apartment together, as he feared for her life if she were to stay with her husband. Unfortunately, every time he brought it up, Petronilla adamantly refused, telling him that she couldn't leave her family behind. This occurred in 1977, just before he left home.

    Mario had been fluent in both English and Italian languages. According to his siblings, he did not have an Italian accent when speaking English.

    At the time of disappearance, the missing persons report was poorly recorded, and many factors/information had been left out inadvertently, allowing Mario's case to fall through the cracks. Tragically, as a result, his case soon went cold. Research and related items gathered strongly suggested that had this been looked into sooner, he most likely would have been found.

    In early March 2019, Niagara College's Media department, along with a local cable television station, have officially agreed to work with the Palermo family to produce a documentary about his life and mysterious disappearance. This is the first time that Mario's case had ever been introduced to the media and public, in hopes that someone may recognize him or hold information valuable to the search effort. At this time, the upcoming program's exact release date is to be determined, as the production is currently still in its early days.

    Life prior to disappearance
    Palermo was born on September 27, 1954 in Conflenti (village within the region of Calabria), Catanzaro, Italy, approximately two years before immigrating with his parents to Canada. Mario had been baptized (Roman Catholic) in Conflenti Inferiore a few months prior to the move. They settled down in Welland, Ontario, and Mario would soon begin attending St. Mary Catholic Elementary School.

    While in the 7th grade, Palermo joined the Welland School Safety Patrol, which had been run by CAA. As a treat, Mario and 7 of his peers from his elementary school were chosen to attend a school trip to Ottawa, Ontario in May of the year 1967. The trip itinerary included boarding a flight operated by Air Canada to the capital city, a 3-night stay at the Talisman Hotel in Ottawa, and a trip to the House of Commons and Rideau Hall. The children were chaperoned by a Police Constable of the Welland Police Department (prior to the amalgamation into what is now known as Niagara Regional Police Service, or NRPS).

    Mario began high school at Welland High and Vocational School (now defunct) in September 1969, and was known by friends and family to have severe attendance and truancy issues as a direct result of his hospitalization. Despite this, Mario had joined the school's Chess Club in his second year (grade 10), and also competed in Track and Field running relays. Mario is not pictured anywhere in his yearbooks (as he would avoid attending class photos), except for a small picture of him running track, and a group photo of the Chess Club (both in 1970 only), which is listed in the gallery.

    Later, Mario graduated from high school in June of 1973. He was actually scheduled to graduate the year before, however, he had missed a substantial amount of classes, as he had been admitted to the Welland County Hospital for about 1 or 2 months after being formally diagnosed with clinical depression, and underwent countless rounds of shock therapy during his stay. Once discharged, he repeated the 12th grade the following year.

    After graduating high school, he returned to the school to complete an optional 5th year ('grade 13') at Hamilton Collegiate Institute (circa 1973-74) in order to be accepted into and attend university.

    Mario then attended McMaster University in Hamilton, which took place in 1974. In the following year, he also attended Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, where he would soon spend most of his time in the summer of 1976-77. Mario was also part of the Governor Generals' Foot Guards (3rd division, Public Duties Detachment) in the same time period, and at one point, had gone to CFB Petawawa to complete his basic training (BMQ).

    Also, In 1976, Mario had a door sign/plaque belonging to Carleton University that stated "Aerodynamics Research Laboratory". How he was able to obtain this is unknown.

    Prior to his disappearance in late 1977, and after returning home for a short period, Mario had also been working in Welland amongst Niagara College's Theater program at Sacred Heart Church, located on Empire Street, in Downtown Welland, working as a set designer. At the time, the program had been celebrating its 10-year anniversary, and rehearsals were being held every weekend in mid-to-late October 1977. The venue was dubbed "Welland Little Theatre", which is now defunct. Mario also had obtained a copy of a paperback book by Faber Plays before he disappeared, that contained a script for the play "The Real Inspector Hound" (written by Tom Stoppard), and a list of other plays for which a script could be ordered. The book had apparently originated from London, England.

    A date was set for December 13, 1977 for the Niagara College Theater program to put on the rehearsed play at 111 Church Road in St. Catharines, Ontario. It is unlikely that Mario was in attendance, and his name was omitted from the publication.

    He was familiar with, and often relied on using public transportation and hitchhiking to make his way from city to city, and at one point, took shelter at the YMCA of Hamilton (as well as several hostels). He wore upscale clothing, and wasn't your average 'transient' traveler. He typically wore wool Levis' Panatela pants, and button-up dress shirts. He was known to also wear Hushpuppies brand dress shoes, size 9 (US/Canada). His family states that he specifically never wore denim jeans, as they didn't fit his style, and he only ever wore black or other dark-colored socks. Palermo was also known to have a high IQ, and family states that he had an introvert personality type.

    Mario had obtained a slip of paper from a pharmacy in Welland, Ontario, documenting a prescription he had received from a doctor in October 1977, about a month before his disappearance (and around the time that he was working with Niagara College's theater program), for the pharmaceutical drug named chloral hydrate 500mg (prescribed as a sedative to help combat insomnia). At the time that the slip was printed, the prescription still contained 2 refills, and it is unknown whether they had ever been fulfilled or not.

    It turned out that the prescription in question had actually been forged by Mario, in order to obtain the medication for recreational purposes. Palermo had done so 2 separate times in the past, and it soon caught up with him. About 3 days prior to leaving home, police visited the household wanting to speak to Mario. He was then told that the doctor he was forging signatures of was highly considering filing charges for fraud, and the authorities subsequently warned him for the last time that if he was caught doing this again, they would have no choice but to convict him. The doctor later decided to drop the charges.

    He always kept regular contact with his mother over the phone, and it was unlike him to abruptly stop contacting her. After a few days of not hearing from him at all, Petronilla became alarmed and local authorities were alerted. The missing persons report was subsequently filed in January of 1978.


    Mario Palermo
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  2. dotr

    dotr Well-Known Member

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    The Doe Network: Case File 4176DMON
    Case File 4176DMON


    Mario N. Palermo
    Missing since December 12, 1977 from Welland, Ontario, Canada
    Classification: Missing

    Vital Statistics

      • Date Of Birth: September 27, 1954
      • Age at Time of Disappearance: 23 years old
      • Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 5'6" (168 cm); 150 lbs. (68 kg)
      • Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Brown, short hair; brown eyes. Mustache. Medium build.
    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Mario Palermo was last seen in Welland on December 12, 1977.

    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

    Ontario Provincial Police
    1-877-9FIND ME (1-877-934-6363) Toll Free in Canada

    Agency Case Number: 20080095NRPS

    Source Information:
    Ontario Provinical Police

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