Shattered Lives Radio recently featured the cases of three missing girls from Tolland County, CT. Appearing on the episode were family members and investigators who updated listeners on their latest efforts to solve the cases and return the girls to their families.
When we think of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, it was a different time as compared to 2016. Living life was less complicated, free-spirited, trusting, even innocent. And yes, there was turmoil and a revolution of change all at the same time! There was the Vietnam War raging, civil rights marches in the south, an explosion of creative expression from the music world – the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, folk music, Woodstock, campus protests, marijuana and psychedelic drugs to “free the mind” and “flower power.”
On the home front, in our neighborhoods and backyards, our parents never gave a thought to shady people lurking in the shadows or those not to trust. We were sent outside to play, perhaps for the entire day, but you had better be back for supper!
No one locked their doors. Children went off on their own and DID accept rides from strangers. They ran away from home. They hitchhiked to their next destination down the road, in a fearless, invincible way. Those children were classified as juveniles, they ran away, probably to return in a few hours, so why worry? They were arrested for truancy, underage drinking and the like. No doubt children were abducted, molested, and were also victims of human trafficking (although this term would not evolve for many years).
So where did three young girls from Eastern Connecticut, specifically Tolland County, the Vernon- Rockville area, or those visiting the area, fit into this backdrop?
Debra Spickler was 13 years old from Mystic, CT visiting her aunt in Vernon CT. Last seen on July 24, 1968, at Henry Park, Debra and her cousin were walking towards the area of the local swimming pool. The two girls became separated. Debra’s cousin looked for her afterwards, but she has never been seen again.
Janice Pocket was 7 years old in 1973. She left her house at 3 p.m. on her bike, to retrieve a butterfly she had left under a rock. Her mother retrieved her bike about a half mile away, but Janice was never seen nor heard from again.
Lisa Joy White, 13, lived in Vernon, CT and went to visit a friend in the Rockville section of Vernon in the evening of November 1. 1974. After visiting her friend Lisa began walking up Prospect Street towards the center of Rockville alone. That was the last time she had been seen.
No physical evidence has ever been identified in any of these three cases which span from 1968 to 1974. The only piece of evidence, which was located in Janice Pocket’s disappearance, was her bicycle which was unable to be processed.
The Cold Case Squad meets as a group monthly and has uncovered dozens of leads and tips with thousands of old documents to review and electronically scan.
As part of their evidentiary search, they are most interested in obtaining any photos or videos taken during the summer of 1968 in the location of Henry Park, in Vernon, CT, particularly depicting landscape and people in the background at events occurring in the park where Debra Spickler went missing.
Any information will help build the culture of this time frame.
The public should be assured that this is an open-ended, ACTIVE investigation in which all possibilities will be considered. In addition, a collective $150,000 Reward is being offered for information.
Guests Appearing on Shattered Lives Radio
- Daniel Cargill- Retired Ct State Trooper; Lead Cold Case Analyst; Tolland County Cold Case Squad;
- Lt. William Meier, Vernon Police Department; Began as 2014 Investigator with the Tolland County Cold Case Squad;
- Janelle Candelaria- Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Department of Criminal Justice, Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, Rocky Hill, CT;
- Mary Engelbrecht- Younger sister of Victim Janice Pocket;
- Aprille Falletti- Younger sister of Victim Lisa Joy White
Contact with information:
To send material contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media from the Families of the Tolland County Missing Girls and Contact Information:
Mary’s Facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/Janice-Pockett-missing-since-July-26-1973-110441258981451/
Aprille’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/Lisa-Joy-White-age-13-missing-since-November-1-1974-788363764535343/
- Anonymous Tips 860-870-3228 or E-mail – email@example.com
- 860-872-9126- Vernon Police;
- 860-896-3230 – Connecticut State Police
- www.donnagore.com/ Ladyjustice
“Every missing person is somebody’s child”
(Monica Caison, Founder of the Cue Center for Missing Persons)