Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Alice Crimmins Case

Shock and Aftermath

The jury came back with the harshest possible verdict: guilty of first degree murder in Eddie, Jr.s death and first degree manslaughter in that of Missy. Many in the courtroom burst into tears. Alice sobbed, Dear God, no! Please, dear God!

Her mother, Alice Burke, wailed, Sweet Jesus, no! Not again!

John Burke, her brother, said, She didnt kill her children. She didnt kill them.

Her ex-husband Edmund Crimmins cried, This isnt justice, as tears streamed down his cheeks.

A male spectator, who had sent Alice a greeting card with the message, Were with you, Alice only the day before, shouted, They ought to kill the jury! as he fell into tears.

Herb Lyon appeared stunned in defeat, saying, I guess I convinced everyone but the jury.

The second trial of Alice Crimmins ended and Crimmins went to prison for what was assumed would be the rest of her life.

She had served more than two years behind bars when she was released in 1973. The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in Brooklyn reversed her conviction in Eddie Jr.s case, ruling that there was no evidence of murder. It also reversed the manslaughter conviction in Missys case because Demakos' assertion that she doesnt have the courage to stand up here and tell the world she killed her daughter suggested that a defendant who exercised the right to refrain from testifying was admitting guilt.

The DA appealed both rulings; in the meantime, Alice was free on $25,000 bail. Then in February 1975, the Court of Appeals upheld the reversal of the murder conviction but reinstated the manslaughter conviction and sent her back to prison.

Even that was not the end of the Crimmins saga. In 1977, a New York tabloid broke the story that she was participating in a work-release program and, like other inmates in the program, she was allowed every other weekend free. She had also been permitted to marry Anthony Grace.

The newspaper showed Mrs. Alice Grace with her husband on board a yacht. The next day its cover featured another picture of the furloughed Mrs. Grace about to step into her husband's white Cadillac. New York politicians cried out that she should not be paroled but in Nov. 1977, after more than three years of imprisonment, she was released. Although free, she still wanted vindication, but her appeal for a new trial was denied and the courts ruled that she could appeal no further.

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