Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Murder of Molly Anne Bish

This is a open cold case in which a young girl who worked as a lifeguard at a local swimming pond, vanished in 2000 and her remains were discovered 3 years later, around 5 miles from where she was abducted.   Molly Bish, just short of her 17th birthday, when her mother dropped her off at Commins Pond in Warren, Massachusetts.  She was soon noticed missing, and an intense search was carried out but there was no sign of her.  The day before, when Mrs Bish dropped off Molly at the pond, she spotted a man sat in a white car, and thought he was a bit suspicious.  After the disappearance of Molly, she gave a description that fitted two men that became persons of interest for the Police, but this was years down the line.

    The spot where Molly worked was out of sight from the carpark, so to know that a young girl worked there, would have meant local knowledge.  Plus, she vanished in a very short time span, which indicated the assailant could have been waiting.  Again, indicating familiarity with the area and the people.  It was not until 2003 that remains were found in a wooded area in Palmer, Massachusetts, known as Whiskey Hill.  A hunter had come across a blue bathing suit towards the end of 2002 and mentioned it to somebody.  Later, they connected it to the disappearance of Molly.  She had been wearing a blue bathing suit.  Molly had been found.  She was buried in August 2003.

    A couple of suspects emerged.  In 2005, a man from Connecticut who had been charged with attempted kidnapping, was closely looked at by Police, but ruled out.  Then a man who resided in Florida, was convicted of murdering his girlfriend.  He had previously lived near Warren, Massachusetts, for 20 years, then moved to Florida, one year after Molly`s disappearance.  This man is called Rodney Stangers.  He resembles the composite drawing provided by Mrs Bish, he also knew Commins Pond, Whiskey Hill, and had access to a white car.  He was questioned over this and the 1993 murder of 10 year old Holly Piiaianen, who vanished whilst she was staying with grandparents in Sturbridge.  Her remains were found months later in October 1993.

    In 2012, forensics linked a man called David Pouliot to the crime scene through DNA but the problem was, Pouliot had been dead since 2003.  He remains at present a suspect.  But theprevious year, in November 2011, private eye Dan Malley from Massachusetts, named a man called Gerald Battistoni, serving time for the rape of a young girl, as another suspect.  He is said to resemble the sketch also.  When he heard he was now a suspect in the murders of Holly & Molly, he attempted suicide.  This could be interpreted as the actions of a guilty man, but he has not been formally charged, so he is still just a suspect.  But it was discovered that Police had not bothered to submit evidence for DNA testing for a year, so the Bish family raised the roof.  Police submitted the items for testing.  There is an explanation for this.  Battistoni is a Confidential Informant for the Eastern Hampton County Narcotics Task Force.  Was it thought that it was better for him to serve time for rape rather than a possible whole life sentence for murder?  It is not unusual for Police to turn a blind eye to murders that involve informants.  They have done over here.  We all await the test results that may clear these two crimes up.