NJ NJ - Five Missing Teens, Newark, 20 Aug 1978

Discussion in '1970's Missing' started by CASuzk, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Teresa Larson

    Teresa Larson New Member

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    I am in Northern New Jersey quite often (about 25 years) I have family that has lived there for 60 years... as a matter of fact I stay in the Meadowlands when I go. Newark is by far much worse now than it was back then. Because of all of the gangs etc. You can't even drive down the streets there at night without bullets flying. I have been there many times and it's the ghetto. It's not renovated at all. The Mob would NOT hire a black person to work for them. I know this first hand :) They could have dumped their bodies in Hudson County. Bergan County is some what nicer. Jersey City is also in Hudson County. I don't think the police worried too much about this case because they were black. People there were a lot more prejudice and they still are. I have a good friend that got killed in Newark years ago. He owned a college book store there. They never robbed him. They shot him execution style. We will never know why either.
     
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  2. youshouldveknown

    youshouldveknown Member

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    Why wouldn't the mafia hire strong young black men, that they cared nothing about, to do labor work for them? Think about it - if they leave behind evidence and the police pick them up for disposing of bodies or what have you, there are no ties to the mafia. The evidence would suggest these black kids did the killing. Mafia stays 'clean' and the kids are taken out.. what difference does it make to them?

    All you keep saying is that they wouldn't. They wouldn't hire black boys and that you know for sure. You aren't the only one who knows people in Newark.
     
  3. HesterMofet

    HesterMofet Active Member

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    Even if the boys were not working for the Mafia, isn't there the possibility that whatever they were doing was screwing over the Mafia and they were found out or "caught in the act" and killed?
     
  4. Ms Suzanne

    Ms Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    I really hope and pray they find out what happened to these boys.

    suzanne
     
  5. Stella

    Stella Well-Known Member

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    They do sound like they were nice boys working hard to have a better future. But even the nicest kids occassionally do stuff that their parents never find out about. Kids can fool parents more than you think. I did, my kids did and I'll bet everyone on this board did something "sneaky" at least once in their youth.
     
  6. monkalup

    monkalup Former member

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  7. Tonia

    Tonia New Member

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    This is such a baffling case. I don't believe they all ran away, but who could kidnap five kids all at once? Does it ever show where the contractor said he dropped them off or just that he supposedly dropped each one at their homes. Maybe one person could do something to them if a weapon was involved or some kind of trickery to get them in separate locations.

    Seems like they had no hints that they ran away and no reports from friends that they were thinking about running, so the "ran away" story seems ridiculous from the start.

    Back in '78' the thought was that if you went out with a pack of your friends, parents thought we teens would be much safer that way.

    I think the question here is 'why' would somebody want to murder 5 teen boys unless they witnessed something?? Maybe??
     
  8. rosario

    rosario Member

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    even th ough it has been so much time you would think dateline or 60 minutes etc.. would run stories on these boys. My heart is broken my son is only 11 but to think that 5 sets of parents lost their sons with next to no explanation is mind numbing. The effort or circumstances it would take to overpower or trick 5 teenagers would have to be profound i assume. If it was a kind of disaster of somesort like a elevator shaft, you would think that 5 bodies would have been disovered. Plus i grew up in a very small city but you would also have to assume that these buys has some "street knowledge" about them like building safety, i dont know but it is a double tragedy when families have to suffer first with the loss and then with the not knowing.
    so sad....
     
  9. monkalup

    monkalup Former member

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    I have always wondered if they were not in a vehicle in the water somewhere. In Fla, year after year they pull cars from the canals and rivers. Frequently that is when somebody gets their answers. Lots of water around NJ/NY
     
  10. Teresa Larson

    Teresa Larson New Member

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    I have also wondered about an elevator shaft or them being in the water around Newark some place too. There were and still are a lot of old buildings around the area. There are also lots of lakes, rivers, swamps and the ocean they could be in. The reason I don't think the Mafia had anything to do with this is because they were too prejudice to have a black person work for them. It's one thing to have 1 person come up missing but not all 5 of them. That's what's so strange about this case. Back then white people were very prejudice even the police. If anybody knew anything they might have been afraid to come forward. IMO
     
  11. monkalup

    monkalup Former member

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    I also think of places like the tunnels under the palisades near Edgewater. That one I know people walk through, but how many others were there that are now lost to memory? Such a bewildering case.
     
  12. Nyla4

    Nyla4 Member

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    I don't know about the Mafia and blacks. I've lived in North Jersey my whole life and there was a recent mafia bust. The mafia was doing buisness with a subset gang of the bloods. I don't know what to think about this case. I've never heard of it before reading about it here at ws. Sad, I wish one day it will be solved.
     
  13. bogeygal

    bogeygal Registered User

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    Update on Case: Police may be close to solving

    http://wcbstv.com/local.avenue.five.2.1015230.html

    Uncovering Mystery Of The 'Clinton Avenue Five'
    Family Members Of 5 Boys Who Disappeared 31 Years Ago Have Renewed Optimism Cops Will Crack Case Reporting
    John Slattery NEWARK (CBS) ―

    Authorities believe they are finally closing in on solving a 30-year-old cold case in Newark that resulted in the unsolved disappearance of five teenagers.
    CBS


    Police are hopeful they can crack a major cold case that's gone unsolved for more than 30 years. Five teenagers vanished on a summer day in 1978. And now, as CBS 2 HD has learned, the family members of those missing have new reason for hope.

    Over the last 30 years, Helen Simmons has saved every newspaper clipping she saw on the case, storing them in rolls of protective plastic. They're clips that tell of a mystery never solved, that claimed her nephew, Michael McDowell.

    "After 30 years, you're no longer grieving, but you're wondering," Simmons said.

    Also wondering is Lillie Williams, who has never gotten over the disappearance of her son, Melvin Pittman.

    "All these years, I'm just waiting to get an answer about whether he's dead or alive. I'm quite sure he's not alive," Williams said.

    It was on a hot summer day in August 1978 when five teens, 16 and 17, who'd never been in trouble, disappeared from their own neighborhood. They came to be known as the "Clinton Avenue Five."

    "It's probably the most sensational case this city had in the past, in its history," Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy said.

    Suddenly gone were Randy Johnson, Michael McDowell, Melvin Pittman, Ernest Taylor and Alvin Turner. That day, the five had played basketball at a local park. Some of them then went to their homes to change their clothes before meeting up again at Clinton Avenue and Fabyan Place. They were to help a local contractor, Lee Evans, who was moving. Evans claims they helped him load up his truck with boxes and deliver them at his new house.

    Evans said he then brought the five back here where he'd picked them up. But police say no one ever saw them return. They vanished.

    "There's never been any evidence, no remains recovered, and at this point, this case is still being carried as five missing kids," McCarthy said.

    Evans said he was given a polygraph test, which he passed.

    "Yeah, I passed it," he said.

    But as for the details of that day, Evans did not want to talk on camera.

    "No, I just don't want to talk in public," Evans said.

    None of the five had fingerprint records. Their social security numbers were never used.

    "Thirty years later, we're still working on that case. Our cold case unit is working on that case as we speak," McCarthy said.

    Not only are they working on it, but Newark Mayor Cory Booker said this cold case is heating up.

    "We've made a lot of strides. We found a lot of solid evidence and we're engaged in it right now," Booker said.

    Police will not say what advances they've made, whether its bodies they've located or suspects about to be charged. Whatever it is, the families are suddenly hopeful for a resolution.

    "They've just given us indications that they are close; that they do have leads; that they're following up on leads," Simmons said.

    Detectives have recently met with the families. Angela Williams is Melvin Pittman's sister.

    "You think they will get an arrest? "I know they will [make an arrest," Angela Williams said.

    Whatever the news, and whenever it breaks, the families are not expecting good news.

    "They were murdered, pure and simple," Simmons said.

    But it now seems the final chapter of this long-running mystery may soon be written.

    The search for the five missing teens prompted investigators to search far and wide. They reviewed lists of victims in the Atlanta serial killings in the late 1970s and early '80s; the mass suicides in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978; and the Chicago serial killings of John Wayne Gacy.

    The missing five were not among them.




    (© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
     
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  14. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    Thanks for the update! It would be pretty fantastic is LE actually solved this.
     
  15. lilsister

    lilsister New Member

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    Any new developments? This case has always bothered me and the lack of attention it has received is quite disturbing. Five healthy, strong, young men go missing AT THE SAME TIME and 31 years later we know nothing. SOMEONE must know something but the case needs way more exposure.:furious:
     
  16. bogeygal

    bogeygal Registered User

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    Last update is below in link. LE has re-opened this cold case just a few months ago. If I learn of an arrest or more information, I'll post it here.


    Video report of latest news from May, 2009

    http://wcbstv.com/video/?id=127995@wcbs.dayport.com

    Clinton Avenue Five
     
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  17. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    I'm putting this case here as there is no mention of the boys being found. If more comes out at tomorrows presser I will have this thread moved. Presser at 10am EST.

    RIP Melvin, Ernest, Alvin, Randy and Michael

    2 charged with murder of 5 teens missing since '78

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gBCpUamOSKewbT11l9dRC3OKia-AD9EK56F80

    Two men have been charged with the murders of five teenage boys who were last seen together on a busy street more than 30 years ago.
    The men, whose names haven't been released, were also charged with arson, the Essex County prosecutor's office said Monday. The prosecutor's office did not immediately say how the case was solved.
    The boys, Melvin Pittman and Ernest Taylor, who were both 17, and Alvin Turner, Randy Johnson, and Michael McDowell, who were all 16, were last seen on a busy street near a park where they had played basketball on Aug. 20, 1978. They were with a carpenter, Lee Evans, who routinely hired teens to help him with odd jobs, police have said.

    More at link
     
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  18. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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    Omg.....

    http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2010/03/jersey_city_man_charged_with_m_1.html

    (snip)
    Two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation told the paper tonight that the five teenagers were led into an abandoned house on Camden Street in Newark, where they were locked inside at gunpoint. The house was then burned to the ground

    ******

    What a psychic said in 1996.

    http://blog.nj.com/ledgerarchives/1996/06/psychic_tours_newark_in_myster.html

    “There used to be a house here,” Monti said, pointing to the weeded landscape. “All the boys were here alive that night and there was a fire. But only one of them is buried underground here.”
     
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  19. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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  20. SuziQ

    SuziQ Well-Known Member

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