NY NY - Antonella Mattina, 12, Queens, 16 Jul 1984

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by micnik, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. hawkshaw

    hawkshaw Well-Known Member

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    It is been my experience in mammoth investigations is the more detectives that are involved the less chances there are in solving it. Too many different characters get involved in the case and usually the most dominant detectives force their wills on others and take a case in the wrong direction.

    A case such as Gilgo requires a lot of detectives doing the normal investigative steps. IMO, once the information is accumulated it should be scaled down with only several detectives staying on the case and hope something is going to pop up that means something to a detective that has been working on the case.

    I have seen very big cases go sideways because they are fixed on one theory and refuse to change horses in mid-stream when the evidence takes them in another direction. I have seen this happen in the biggest cases in NYPD history. Trust me when I say that SCPD Homicide is fully capable of solving this case if it can be solved. All it takes is a lucky break and a detective who recognizes that break when he/she sees it.

    In the NYPD Zodiac case a lot of the evidence was ignored simply because other detectives wanted to keep their own theory alive in the hope they would receive the glory if the case was solved.

    The Zodiac Case was solved because a very sharp Detective Sergeant just happened to be involved in an unrelated case. He had the instincts to believe the person they arrested just might be the Zodiac killer. He made sure the person his men arrested had his prints compared to a partial print Zodiac left on a note he left at the crime scene. This had NOTHING to do with INTELLIGENT LED POLICING, it has all to do with an INTELLIGENT cop that had the ability to get the guy's fingerprints taken and compare it to the print we had on file.

    Son of Sam was a fluke just because the detectives had run out of leads and a captain sent his detectives out to canvass a building near the ticket site and see if anything was missed. Had the lady not been in when the detectives went back this case might well be unsolved.

    IN Antollena's case the route she took to the bank was filled with apartment buildings or just too many for 50 detectives to canvass. One of my biggest fears with a canvass is you might come across a person that could offer something and they didn't think it was important to tell you. Or if they did tell you that you would miss it.

    In the above case the investigation centered on one possible suspect. The suspect's uncle was, and still is a big politician/lawyer and the suspect and his family sought him out for advice. It now became very difficult to speak to him because the uncle, a lawyer gave his nephew the right advice not to speak with us. My personal feeling is the kid didn't do it. But the case lost a lot of time chasing this suspect.

    I had a cousin whose son was a serial killer. It was before I went to Queens. The detectives did all the right things and checked the records for Creedmor. Creedmor told them this fellow was at the facility when actually he was on a furlough. He gets caught because some sharp detectives on patrol see him in the street and thinks he is a dead ringer for a sketch they produced. It was the first and I think the only time I believe a police sketch led to an apprehension. When the news of his arrest came over 1010WINS I knew that very instant the sketch I saw was this fellow.

    The Detective Sergeant that was responsible for that arrest was later to become my sergeant at Queens Homicide. He went on to retire and eventually became the Chief Investigator for DA Catterson. When he retired he was bothered with an arrest that was made for a triple homicide because his former team found information about the real killer. He would call the detectives to continue their leads - he was still their 'sergeant' and it didn't matter if he was retired. We got the real killer and the fellow that was arrested was let go after serving more than a year in prison. What made matters worse is when the real killer went to trial the detectives that arrested the wrong man continued to insist they had the real killer despite the overwhelming evidence that he was innocent.

    Take a wild guess who Tom Spota fired first when he took office? If you guessed it was my former sergeant you would be right. You see, Spota can't afford to have a Chief Investigator with integrity in his office.

    I can go on and on.
     
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  2. cpaul

    cpaul Active Member

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    "Sexual Predator Gustav Mengel was released from South Bay Correctional on September 12, 2010. He relocated to Pahokee, Florida and established a residence there. His residence was verified by Det. Kevin Umphrey of the PBSO SPOT Unit on September 14, 2010. Mengel was adjudicated of Sexual Battery/Injury Not Likely, in Broward County on January 18, 2001. His victim is a minor, female. All schools and daycare centers in the area of his residence have been notified of his presence in the community."

    http://www.pbso.org/index.cfm?fromrec=100&fa=SPOTInfo
     
  3. witzah

    witzah True Crime Aficionado

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    So glad this thread exists, and there's recent activity on it. Hawkeye, your contributions have been invaluable.

    I'm the same age as AM, and lived in Whitestone at the time she disappeared. I remember the helicopters over head in the search for her, and the intensity of the search. I resembled her at that age, and got a lot of funny stares walking down the street during that time period. The name Antonella Mattina soon became emblazoned in my memory, and nearly 30 years later I still remember it.

    I moved shortly after her disappearance, and never heard of her remains getting discovered. It wasn't easy to access info back then, certainly not if it wasn't local. I only found out that her skeleton was discovered a few years back, but was horrified to learn that to date it's an unsolved case. I'd assuaged my nerves all these years with the thought that she MUST HAVE been found, and if dead, her perp MUST BE in prison for it.

    Gosh, I hope we can get answers, and if this Mengel (sp?) guy was involved, we can know for sure. This case eats at my conscience, as it was the first missing child case I was ever aware of in real time.

    I'll continue checking this site as time progresses, and hope for a resolution to be found.
     
  4. hawkshaw

    hawkshaw Well-Known Member

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    It was a horrible, horrible, case. I was in the Mattina home hours after she disappeared. Knowing you child is dead, or probably come to great harm is difficult enough, but not to know where that child is 100X worse than you can imagine. I can still hear the mother dry-heaving in the bathroom when she had nothing left to give.
     
  5. bessie

    bessie Verified Insider

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    I remember your posts from a few years ago, Hawk. They remain in the early posts of this thread, and are the reason I became interested in learning more about Antonella's murder. Truly, there really is no way to accurately describe the sadness I feel for Antonella's parents and family. I always have a hard time with this because it seems like anything I say will sound gratuitous, or insincere. So I tend to keep my comments minimal and low key. Does that make sense?

    I've just finished reading the book by authors Kevin F. McMurray and David Paul, Unearthing a Serial Killer, which provides a detailed, close up look at the ruthless, feral killer, Alex Mengel.

    Grunwald clutched his right hand over Mengel's cuffed hands. Mengel countered like a caged animal. Viciously, he twice bit through the lawman's right shirt sleeve, causing open wounds on Grunwald's upper arm and shoulder.


    There's no question that Mengel was capable of the act, but in your opinion as a case investigator, do the timing and circumstances of Antonella's abduction/murder make Mengel a viable suspect? The book provides a convincing argument for it, but I'd like to hear your take. And what do you think about Mengel's brother Gustav, a convicted sex offender? Could Antonella's murder have been a tandem, or conspired act, between the two?
     
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  6. hawkshaw

    hawkshaw Well-Known Member

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    I'll get back to you ....
     
  7. nutz4metz

    nutz4metz New Member

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    Hi Anthony,

    I did so as well, though I have no where near the connection to the case that u do. I grew up and lived in Yonkers for 35 years and was there when PO Stymiloski was murdered by Mengel. According to Authors' Paul and McMurray your dad solved it but at that time, Antonella Mattina's body had not been located and Mengel was dead. Did they try to contact u? The book seems very straight forward and your dad is definitely revered by the writers. http://www.unearthingaserialkiller.com/

    God Bless you and your Dad,
     
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  8. jessr927

    jessr927 Yonkers NY Jane Doe, victim of Robert Shulman

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    I remember Alex Mengel because he kidnapped a woman from my hometown, Beverly Capone. Drove her up north and killed her, and was found with her scalp in his car IIRC.
     
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  9. hawkshaw

    hawkshaw Well-Known Member

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    Funny how this thread popped up again today because a few hours earlier I was thinking about her and the family.
     
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  10. anthonylombardi2007

    anthonylombardi2007 New Member

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    Hawk it truly is amazing.....I just spoke to my fathers old partner two days ago. Im calling him this weekend and picking his brain. I just jumped on here and boom, you posted a month ago
     
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  11. anthonylombardi2007

    anthonylombardi2007 New Member

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    Does anyone here know the current detectives name on this case?
     
  12. anthonylombardi2007

    anthonylombardi2007 New Member

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    Just an FYI there is ALOT of activity happening on this case now. If anyone is still interested
     
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  13. jessr927

    jessr927 Yonkers NY Jane Doe, victim of Robert Shulman

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    Absolutely. Thanks for letting us know!!

     
  14. Annkliendo

    Annkliendo New Member

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    In early 1990 I went to pick up some pictures at the shopping center on parsons and it was raining I started to walk and stoped underneath a tree like half a block from the shopping center and this man stoped his car and asked if I wanted a ride ,I said no ,but he kept insisting, told me he knew me , I kept saying no, he left and came around again insisting, it was a white man he had a brown car milk a sports car , then this same man stoped me by the park on bayside ave , I was waiting for the bus and he wanted to give me a ride again , I saw this man on the park another night he was talking to someone he openthe trunk of his car and took out an arch and arrow he said it was baby ,.
     
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  15. Nick1984

    Nick1984 New Member

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    I just signed up because of this case.

    I lived in Flushing at the time and was around the same age. I remember being shocked this happened so close to home. I remember looking at the missing poster at the corner deli and someone who knew someone and said the family was devastated. It could've been one of us in our small corner of the neighborhood. There was probably a random evil that visited this poor family, and there was no reason why, and I couldn't fathom it.

    Around that time, at the old RKO Keiths, Star Wars was playing again. I'm pretty sure it was before Antonella disappeared, probably an entire year before. I went with my friend. Some child molester tried to get me to go home with him. He followed me to the bathroom. Told me my friend was boring. 'Do you like video games? I have all that stuff at home.' Bought me popcorn and soda. Sat next to me and rubbed my leg during the movie. I didn't know what to do, I just sat there. When the movie was over I alerted my friend and another friend from school who happened to be there, but the guy took off and was gone.

    I look back now and wonder if there was a connection. Probably not, but one can't help but wonder.

    Those were different times then. We weren't aware of predators roaming. We were innocent babes. It wasn't that big a deal, except for how random and brazen this person was. I didn't even tell my parents.

    A conversation with my wife and a subsequent web search has led me here. I never knew the police had found her remains in 1987. May she rest in peace.

    I'm glad there's a corner of the internet committed to keeping Antonella Mattina and this case from being forgotten. Thank you Hawshaw and AnthonyLombardi for insight to that time.
     
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  16. Cinster

    Cinster New Member

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    I've been very interested with True crime (listening to podcasts, watching documentaries) & THIS CASE is one of the reasons. I grew up in Flushing and was a few years older than Antonella and remember her picture up all over town. All the kids talked about it. I had no idea her body was found in 1987 :(
     
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  17. hawkshaw

    hawkshaw Well-Known Member

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    Relating Antonella's case to LISK search for bodies I can tell you we searched a heavily weeded/swampy area with a hand to hand search. A year or so later we hear a body of a female was found in the area we searched - Did we miss this on the search? Evidence suggested the body would have been there when we searched and it was missed.
     
  18. hawkshaw

    hawkshaw Well-Known Member

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    IMO, in cases like the above and most of the other big cases the biggest enemy of the police is the police. Egotists jockeying for power and false recognition and be damned with the truth. It happens in most every case with wide media coverage. Antonella's case was no different. The nephew of a powerful congressman became a prime suspect and in the attempt to make him a suspect all doors for others were closed. I've seen it happen dozens of times. We had another murder case of another 13 year old girl. One detective who was more directly connected to the case tried his damned best to frame an innocent man of the crime. By doing that he put the case on 'hold' until the captain ordered him to stop.
     
  19. Ironbutterfly8

    Ironbutterfly8 Active Member

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    and that pretty much says it ALL.
     
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  20. EricalikeAmerica

    EricalikeAmerica New Member

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    Hello everyone, I recently was told the story of Antonella Mattina by my dad. And the reason why I am writing this post is because my cousin was a prime suspect in the case. I don’t know what I can vs what I can’t post on this forum so I don’t want to continue any further. But if anyone has questions hopefully I can answer them.
     
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