Vernon-Tolland Three – Between 1968 and 1974, three young women vanished from the towns of Vernon and Tolland, which are located far apart in Connecticut. Debbie Spickler, Janice Pockett, and Lisa White have all vanished.
The podcast Crime Junkie, titled “INFAMOUS: The Vernon-Tolland Three,” interviews those engaged in the investigation to determine whether or not their cases are related and to speculate on what may have occurred all those years ago. We have your back if you wish to understand more about the unique scenarios. Thus, let’s begin at the beginning.
“In the late 1960s and early 1970s, multiple young women and girls go missing in the Vernon-Tolland area of Connecticut. For years, investigators have wondered if these seemingly unrelated cases might share too strong a connection to be ignored. Three, in particular —Janice Pockett, Lisa White, and Debbie Spickler—bear striking similarities to each other, and have become known as the Vernon-Tolland Three.”
When Did Deborah Spickler Disappear?
Debbie (Deborah) Lee Spickler was born in Groton and Stonington, Connecticut, in a little village named Mystic. In 1968 when she was 13 years old, she visited her aunt in Vernon, Connecticut. The family spent their vacation on July 24 at Henry Park, located at 120 South Street in Vernon. The girl has not been seen since she was last observed approaching the park’s swimming pool near Foxhill Road.
Apparently, the girls did not bring towels to the pool, so one of the adults had to return home to retrieve one. Debbie was nowhere to be found when she returned to the location where she was expected to wait. According to her relatives, she had never previously fled or committed a crime. Debbie sent a postcard to her mother on the day she disappeared, assuring her that she was in good health and that she had been a great assistance to her extended family.
She was last seen wearing a white sleeveless top, self-made dark green patterned shorts without pockets, and white sneakers without laces. The young woman stood 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighed 125 pounds, and had brown eyes and hair. Investigators assume Debbie’s abduction is related to the disappearances of two other girls who disappeared four and five years later in the same region, around the same time, and under similar circumstances. However, there is almost little publicly available evidence concerning the case.
Janice Pockett Disappearance
Janice Kathryn Pockett came into the world in Tolland, a small town on the rural borders of eastern Connecticut. In the summer of 1973, when she was just seven years old, she asked her mother to let her retrieve a butterfly she had caught and released on a rock along the road. On July 26, 1973, Mary Engelbrecht, Janice’s younger sister, was six years old when she watched in astonishment as Janice rode away on her green Murray banana seat bicycle.
Mary stated in retrospect, “I recall driving my mother insane. My sister and I were arguing over a toothbrush, of all things, when I urged her to stop. It was the first time their mother had ever allowed Janice to go alone, and it was a big deal, according to her. Their mother also provided Janice with an envelope to return the butterfly. The girl did not return after a half-hour of waiting, so her family began seeking for her.
Less than a mile from her home, her bicycle was located on a gravel road amid some woods, less than a mile from her residence. The Connecticut State Police devoted untold hours and resources to solving this case over the years, including searching the whole wooded region on foot, on horseback, and with cadaver dogs and attempting to obtain fingerprints from the abandoned bicycle. Charles Pierce, a paedophile, admits to the murders of Janice and Angelo Puglisi, age 3, in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Although it was a promising lead, the authorities did not take him seriously as a suspect because no graves matching his description had ever been found. In the year 2000, child bone fragments were discovered in the garage of convicted child abductor Nathaniel Bar-Jonah in Great Falls, Montana, providing investigators with additional information. In 1973, when he was only 14 years old, he resided approximately 20 miles from where Janice currently resides. He was accused of murdering a second child.
Janet was initially believed to be the owner of the bones, but he was dismissed as a suspect after it was determined that they were unconnected. Janice disappeared while wearing a striped pullover, blue sneakers, and a pair of navy shorts with an American flag design. She was approximately 4 feet tall, had blue eyes, and weighed approximately 65 pounds.
Lisa White Disappearance
Lisa Joy White’s disappearance on 1 November 1974, more than six years after Debbie Spickler’s disappearance, was another tragedy for the town of Vernon. Following her recent arrest for underage drinking, her mother reportedly placed her on house arrest. Lisa left the house after her mother departed for work at 4:30 p.m. to meet a friend two miles away on Prospect Street in Rockville, Connecticut.
A friend of Lisa told police that she saw her arrive home at 7:30 that evening. She was last spotted around 8:00 PM on Prospect Street in Vernon, Connecticut. The circumstances surrounding her disappearance are just as enigmatic as Debbie and Janice’s. The girl was last spotted wearing a denim or jean jacket and green jeans. She had strawberry shortcake-coloured blonde hair, blue eyes, and a little chicken pox scar on her forehead.
Are The Girls Found? Are Vernon-Tolland Three Girls Dead?
Unfortunately, all three girls are still missing and no new update about them. The Vernon-Tolland Three, also known as Debbie Spickler, Janice Pockett, and Lisa White, vanished between 1968 and 1974. Authorities in each jurisdiction expended substantial time and effort exploring leads and interrogating persons in an effort to solve the cases. In October of 2014, the Tolland County Cold Case Team was founded due to the growing interest in these three cases.
Upon analysing all three incidents, the authorities claimed to have identified a connection. The authorities update the age-progressed photos of the three victims they disclosed to the public every few years. In three different cases, Governor Dannel P. Malloy authorised a total of $150,000 in rewards for information leading to the girls’ location or the perpetrator’s arrest (s).
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