Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Alice Crimmins Case

Catholic Cop and the Made-Up Mom

At the station house, one detective immediately wanted the case of the missing children. He was Detective Gerard H. Piering, a thirty-something father of six who sported an out-of-style crew cut and yearned to make second-grade detective. He and his more easygoing partner, George Martin, met both parents at the mother's residence.

That residence was a ground-floor apartment in a working-class development of red brick called the Regal Garden Apartments. The Crimminss home was modestly furnished but neatly kept.

The window of the Crimmins apartment (POLICE)
The window of the Crimmins
apartment (POLICE)
The window of the children's room was wide open, and a carriage was underneath the window. It appeared that Missy and Eddie had either been enticed out of the window or, as they had done before, crawled outside on their own.

When Piering saw Alice Crimmins, the strait-laced Roman Catholic was instantly taken aback: her children were missing yet this mother was neither sobbing nor hysterical. Rather, she was heavily made-up and sharply dressed, looking chic and sensuous in tight toreador pants and a flower-print shirt and high-heeled white shoes. Her short red hair was elaborately teased. By his own recollection, Piering disliked her on sight, thinking, "she looks like a cold bitch to me." He told Martin, You interview the guy. Ill take the bitch.

Missy Crimmins was discovered a few hours later in a vacant lot. She had been strangled to death. Detective Piering was informed that the body of a little girl matching Missys description had been found but did not immediately inform the parents of the daughters death. Rather, he decided to give the mother whom he suspected a sort of test.



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