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Queens Chronicle

The killings of the Crimmins children

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Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012 10:30 am

The name Alice Crimmins isn’t that well known today, but almost 47 years ago she was vilified as the Susan Smith of her generation. Her children, Eddie Jr., age 5, and Missy, age 4, vanished from their garden apartment in Kew Gardens Hills at 150-22 72 Drive on July 14, 1965 — victims of an alleged kidnapping.

Crimmins was once very much in love with her handsome husband, Edmund. But he was working longer hours, started drinking, developed a paunch and double chin and was no longer paying any attention to his wife. She started seeing other men in her need for approval and attention.

Several days after being reported missing, little Missy was found strangled. Later Eddie was also found dead but too decomposed to show a cause of death.

Crimmins, of lower class, overly teased hair and too much black eyeliner, was tried in the media for her female promiscuity, not the actual homicides. There was never a shred of physical evidence to connect her to the murders. Still, she was put on trial and found guilty in May 1968.

Then high-profile attorney Herbert Lyon took on the case, and Crimmins was released 24 days after the conviction, remaining free for three years, until a second trial in 1971. She was convicted then too and imprisoned.

Crimmins was paroled in November 1977. She had married her long-time millionaire boyfriend, Anthony Grace, and moved away to Boca Raton, Fla. to live in anonymity. However, since his death (of natural causes) there have been sightings of her back in Queens and on Long Island.

Despite the conviction, the deaths of her children remain for many one of the most puzzling of Queens’ unsolved mysteries.

Another look at the Crimmins case appears here.

Welcome to the discussion.

9 comments:

  • ColoKat5 posted at 10:07 pm on Sun, Mar 18, 2018.

    ColoKat5 Posts: 1

    I was young when this happened, but remember my parents discussing it. We went to church twice every week-it's what people did back then. Alice Crimmins only crime was that she was lonely and stuck at home with 2 little kids. As so many mothers of that time frame-her husband went out drank, played cards, did his thing-she stayed home and parented. Her kids escaped out the windows numerous times. That was known. The way she handled her grief was alcohol-most likely pills-like tranquilizers. The holier than thou Catholic police officers NEVER looked for anyone else. Even back then there were serial killers-and pedophiles. Just not as many nor as well acknowledged. I think Alice Crimmins was railroaded for something she had nothing to do with. Just because she was an unhappy wife-when men in uniform felt she should be grateful for the life her hubby provided for her. Her grieve was private to her-some are public grievers-some are not. She was probably in shock for months-something that is now dealt with in Grief Counseling and Support Groups. Her case was a travesty of justice and I hope to God that she has gone on to live her life in spite of losing 2 children to some pervert killer. Call it what it was-INJUSTICE! 40% possibility it was even her estranged spouse trying to get out of paying child support and alimony!
    God bless you Alice Crimmins Grace for the suffering at the hands of the public, the police, and the unkind and inhumane people around you. I do not believe that you hurt your children and that you were inhumanely and unfairly treated because you didn't fit the norm of grief or behavior. [sad][sad][angry]

     
  • mary posted at 12:59 am on Wed, Feb 1, 2017.

    mary Posts: 1

    This article is over a year old, but I want to comment. I was born several years after this murder, and I have never lived in Queens. After seeing the television show about this murder, it did occur to me that possibly the wife of some man that Alice Crimmins was having an affair with could have killed her children or perhaps had someone else do it? Did anyone ever consider this? Wasn't Alice Crimmons having an affair with a married man?

     
  • No1sazzaj posted at 10:32 am on Sun, Oct 25, 2015.

    No1sazzaj Posts: 1

    I watched the film "A Question of Guilt" on Friday night there and to be completely honest this story truly has me gripped. After thinking about it all, I agree that the investigation by the police and court system was very shady and wasn't handled properly. It was more based on unconscious bias and personal opinions regarding her lifestyle which made it a very messy case. However, my gut instinct does tell me that she and her partner Anthony murdered those children as she wanted the high life and to keep living life as the whore she was, excuse my language there. The whole case just wasn't handled right at all from the beginning nor was she fairly trialed, especially with a jury that was all males and the witnesses were unreliable too. On technical legal terms, the verdict should be Not Proven as the prosecution had no solid evidence whatsoever that proved her guilt, however her Defence was useless and couldn't prove she was innocent of the crime. I doubt however this would have ever been taken to court today. Stories like this are exactly why fair trials for every suspect is very important and why it is important not to let personal opinions or prejudice ever take over the course of justice which the police unfortunately did. I have no doubt in my mind this woman and her partner were guilty as sin but just weren't trialed or prosecuted lawfully or fairly. I also didn't think she was a good mother and didn't set the example she was supposed to nor did her behaviour throughout the case do her any favours. Some very bad acting. I rest my case there. [wink]

     
  • quartermoon posted at 12:17 am on Thu, Feb 12, 2015.

    quartermoon Posts: 2

    Having read the previous posts now, I just want to add that having grown up in Queens in that era - I wouldn't say she was "low class" either. Perhaps tbe prosecutors wanted to give that impression. Queens then as now (maybe a little less so now) for the mostpart was working class. The LeHarve Apartments were brand new fairly exclusive towers back then that perched out over the East River. They were thought of as pretty high class by my friend's dad who worked there every day. As for women in the work force at that time, Eric is right - few options, especially if your husband worked all day and you have two small kids. Bartending for a couple of hours a night would bring in pretty good dosh. It was a different time. My parents never left me alone at that age but believe me, it was done. People were not as righteous about children in many ways in those days. There didn't seem to be as much angst in general and people didn't expect bad things to happen. Cases like this one and then the Sharon Tate murders probably had an impact on that naivety! As an aside: In the photo you've posted Alice is carrying a Mantilla. Women used to cover their heads with these when they went to church.

     
  • quartermoon posted at 11:56 pm on Wed, Feb 11, 2015.

    quartermoon Posts: 2

    I grew up in Queens. I was eight when this happened. Alice Crimmins was the stuff of nightmares to me. I didn't even know children COULD die until this happened. I remember the pictures in the paper every day. My best freind's father used to deliver mail to the family when they lived in the LeHarve Apartments in Whitestone. I think as I got older I gleaned that the general concensus was that one of her "connected" boyfriends had the children killed to get them out of his way. The presumption was that this was with her blessing.

    I will have to find one of the books written on the trial, etc. Was she just another woman tried by the length of her hemline or was she really one of those rare monsters - mothers who kill their babies for their own convenience?

     
  • Jack L Glasser posted at 11:48 am on Sat, Jan 24, 2015.

    Jack L Glasser Posts: 3

    Alice Crimmons, do I remember her! Yes they made it look like she was the killer but s she wasn't. Wow, I remember she was living in Kew Gardens and I would flip if I ever ran into her face to face on the street! I think I'd ask her for her autograph!

     
  • Eric1008 posted at 1:51 pm on Wed, Jan 14, 2015.

    Eric1008 Posts: 1

    I was almost 12 the summer the Crimmins children went missing. It was a horrible crime. I think there were two separate funerals, as it took a while to find Eddie. Lil Eddie and Missy are buried in Saint Raymond's. I've never believed Alice touched a hair on her childrens' heads. The manner in which this article was written is indicative of the overtly biased coverage that savagely smeared Alice. She was judged by the hypocritical morals of the day. She was not 'of lower class'. Irish Catholic.... What...? She did what any beautiful, young, estranged mother of two would do. She got a job as a barmaid. It was 1965, not 2015. A high school educated woman's best hope was secretary. Did she leave the kids asleep at home sometime...? Yes. I still view her as a responsible mother. That kind of parenting was viewed very differently 50 years ago. I have always believed that she was very skillfully framed. Ed, Sr. was not involved either. I cannot wait for my afterlife, so I can learn exactly what happened. They should be 54 and 53....

     
  • mwol posted at 1:26 am on Mon, Dec 22, 2014.

    mwol Posts: 1

    the case was so complicated. and where ever alice is today, I was very young but i remember you, and all those people who hated you. i never knew why and have grown up thinking about you. if you could read this if you could speak to me

     
  • frank1181 posted at 12:55 pm on Sat, Sep 6, 2014.

    frank1181 Posts: 1

    Ron Marzlock writes "Crimmins, of lower class", that comment blew my mind. I am sure they don't teach that at Journalism school.