Discussion in '1990's Missing' started by WasBlind, Feb 2, 2004.
I think it's likely that this is what happened.MOO
A rather moving article honoring the near 20-year anniversary of Suzanne's disappearance (March 2, 1998).
One Family’s 20-Year Search for Their 19-Year-Old Daughter Suzanne After She Vanished While Walking from the Bus Stop Back to Her Dorm Room in 1998
Photographer Virginie Rebetz has captured Mary and Doug Lyall’s two-decade mission to find their daughter in a startling photo series titled Out of the Blue
On the night of March 2, 1998, Suzanne Lyall finished a shift at her part-time job and headed back to her dorm room at the University of Albany.
It was just a five minute walk from the bus stop to her room. But in those five minutes, 19-year-old Suzanne vanished without a trace.
Twenty years have passed since Suzanne was last seen on that fateful winter night, but her memory lives on thanks to her heartbroken – but unrelenting – family.
Photographer Virginie Rebetz has captured Mary and Doug Lyall’s two-decade mission to find their daughter in a heartbreaking photo series titled Out of the Blue.
I decided to work on the story of a missing person and create a sort of portrait of her. Make her invisibility present,’ Rebetz explained.
The ‘invisible’ is a common theme in Rebetz’s work. The space that is created by loss and the ‘traces left after a death or an absence’ have always fascinated her.
When a person dies or is missing, this absence leaves a space,’ she said. ‘All my work is about that space. I try to understand and immerge myself into that territory.’
‘I’m fascinated by our need, as humans, of physicality in order to get closure. People often tell me that I am like a bridge between the living and the dead, between the visible and the invisible.’
Mary, 75, decided to let Rebetz do the project because, as she has learned in the last 20 years, more publicity is always better for her daughter.
‘If you don’t sit back and you don’t talk about what’s going on, the case is just going to go cold,’ she said.
Upstate Unsolved podcast
I've been listening quite a lot of the Upstate Unsolved podcast about Suzanne's case. The last episode contains some really interesting information. The host spoke with retired Senior Investigator Jim Horton about the case. Some interesting takeaways.
- During the initial stage of the investigation when Horton was interviewing Suzanne's parents, Rich's mother Donna kept answering the questions, Horton told her to stop answering the questions and allow Suzy's parents to.
- Horton developed a close relationship with the Condon's, He says Donna was the mouthpiece for the family. She bragged about how much Suzy stayed there and stated she was like her mother and that Suzy didn't care much for her family.
- He never got to speak with Rich alone, the mother would always interrupt and wouldn't allow her son to be interviewed without her being there.
- The first time Horton went to Rich's house, there was another girl there and the two appeared to be very close.
- Donna stated that when Suzy slept over she did not allow them to sleep in the same bed, Suzy would sleep in Rich's bed alone, and Rich would sleep with his mother...
- Horton stated Rich did not act like the grieving boyfriend and did not appear to be upset.
- One day Rich showed up at the troop headquarters and went to Horton's office, he was accompanied by the same girl. When asked what he was doing there, Rich just said he wanted to know what was going on, Horton told him he was working. And asked him what he wanted. Rich stated ''Nothing'' and then he and his female companion left.
- Donna paid for the advertisement billboards of the ''Nike man'' without the police's knowledge. When Nike man was located and alibied, he asked Donna to take the billboards down. She however, continued to keep paying for the billboards to the point the NYSP had to tell the advertisement company to take down the billboards.
- When Suzy's ID was found, Donna told Horton that she had previously told Suzy if she was ever kidnapped to drop your things along the way so the police can know your trail.
Oh, and of course the bogus sightings Rich's father Dick called in after her disappearance.
During the summer after Suzy disappeared, Rich's father casually told Horton he had seen Suzy near Albany on his truck route. When asked why he didn't get out of his truck he said that if he had pulled over the police would have given him a ticket. A week later, Dick states he saw Suzy again but he was driving and turning and couldn't stop. Horton gave Dick his state police cell phone and told him to him to call him if he ''sees'' Suzy again. He was put under surveillance. He ended up calling again saying that Suzy is on a bench sitting in front of a Stuarts store. The investigators went to the location and the woman Dick was described was about 80.
I listened to the upstate unsolved podcast over the weekend. It added a lot of nuance to pthe case but no resolution. If anything, it just reinforced my perception that there are clear contradictions in this case that defy any obvious explanation.
When a young woman disappears the obvious initial suspect is the boyfriend/husband. Most often this follows from a violent outburst. If there is a money angle, child custody or other obvious self interest the “ jilted one” may plan a murder or a disappearance. It is relatively uncommon that a jilted lover who has no financial stake in a relationship to make an elaborate plan to murder the jilte. It does happen, however.
The boyfriend, Rich Condon, has a pretty compelling alibi. His friend Justin has established that he was playing an online game with Rich during the period 9:00 to to 10:00pm when Suzanne vanished on her way from the bus stop to her dorm. It is unusual for someone to risk prison to help a friend murder his “ex” for no other reason than simple anger. There were many calls from the Condon residence to Suzanne’s dorm room. We don’t know the times of these calls but they would certainly provide an alibi as well. He did call her parents the next morning to report her missing. Generally, the murderer would want to delay any investigation as long as possible. If Rich did kill Suzanne, what would be the point of making a $2o withdrawal from an ATM later that day? But, the “ old” employer id turning up near the the visitor parking lot looks a lot like a “ plant” and who else would have access to that id?
If a complete stranger snatched Suzanne on her way to the dorm, why would they have hidden the body where it has never been found? Suzanne was a Big Girl who weighed 171lbs. She was capable of putting up a good fight and her body would have been difficult to move any distance. It looks like she was killed by someone she knew but we can not be certain. For whatever it is worth, Israel Keys, a real long shot suspect in this case, said, in a joking/ ironic manner during his FBI interrogation, when asked if he had any particular considerations when choosing a victim, that he would chose victims that weren’t fat because he knew he would have to move them a long distance. It is a good point but I wonder if he made that mistake once.
The Condon parents are a little strange. The mother seems pretty invested in her son’s relationship with Suzanne and the father’s reports that he “ saw “ Suzanne after she disappeared are beyond strange. Still, would parents murder the woman who jilted their son. Seems far fetched but stranger things have happen. I really don’t know what to think.
Karen Wilson also went missing under similar circumstance. She was coming back to Albany SUNY after her job at the Tanning Hut in 1985. There was probably a predator around those years.
Cold Case: UAlbany student still missing after 32 years
2013 a guy tried to abduct 2 students, could be connected??
UAlbany Attempted Abduction Suspect Potentially Connected to Missing Albany Area Students
I don't know much about this case, but at least from a geographical standpoint, Keyes is not THAT much of a long shot.
It's not 100% clear, but Keyes may have lived in New Jersey in 98, and Albany is in between NJ and his property in upstate NY (which he bought the previous year).
Also when he joined the army in July 98 he was processed out of Albany, so even though it's not confirmed, and I'm not sure exactly how army processing works, it would seem to me that he was likely living somewhere in the general area around the time Suzanne disappeared.
It probably wasn't him, but the likely proximity around that time definitely makes it worth considering.
so how did NIKE guy have the ATM password?
A point to clear up:
There is no reason to believe Nike Man knew the password.
There was a “stand alone” ATM that someone used to withdraw $20 from Suzanne’s account. There was no camera recording who used it.
Around the time the ATM was accessed, a number of people made purchases at the counter. Any of those people could have used the ATM or someone could have used the ATM without making a purchase. Nobody remembers anyone using the ATM.
The was a camera recording everyone who made a purchase at the counter. Albany PD was able to identify everyone who was at the counter at that time except the guy with the Nike hat. Everyone else as questioned and cleared.
Because the Nike Guy did not come forward for months in spite of a lot of publicity and having his picture in the paper, TV news and eventually billboards, he became a serious Person of Interest. When he finally came forward, he denied that he used the ATM or had any involvement in the case. It turned out that he had a prior rape conviction. He was questioned extensively by detectives and His background underwent a full investigation. Nothing was found linking him to the case and he stood up well to the interrogation. While he couldn’t be definitively cleared, His status as a suspect was downgraded and the investigation moved in other directions.
Thank you for this information!!