On July 14th, 1965, two children were reported missing from their apartment in Kew Gardens Hills, a known middle-class neighborhood in Queens. Police received a call from a worried mother, who claimed that her two children had disappeared. The children included a four-year-old girl who went by the adorable name of Missy even though her name was actually Alice Marie Crimmins after her mother, and a five-year-old boy, Eddie Junior after his father. According to the woman on the phone, she had absolutely no idea where the two children had gone.
Exactly what police feared
When police arrived on the scene, they noted that the location of the disappearance was a garden-level apartment. This low-level apartment had perfect access to the outside, making it possible that the children had wandered off on their own, or worse, that someone had snatched them up and carried them off. Immediately, authorities started a search for the children with police hoping for the best and fearing the worst. Ultimately, the search yielded exactly what police feared. Missy, the adolescent daughter, was found dead that very day with evidence of strangulation on her tiny neck. Five days later, her brother Eddie was also found, though the cause of death could not be determined because of the state of decay that the body was found in.
Murdered out of spite?
It was apparent that the children had been murdered, but it was up to the police to determine who had carried out the horrible deed. Immediately, all eyes were on Alice Crimmins, the mother. Though you might find the idea of a mother killing her children unimaginably terrible, the media at the time did not think this was the case. As police began to look into the situation further, they discovered a variety of information about Alice Crimmins that had them wondering if perhaps she had killed her children out of spite.
The first thing that police were quick to uncover was the fact that Alice Crimmins, wife of Edmund Crimmins, was reportedly seeing other men. Immediately, the police and the media went to work painting the image of Alice Crimmins as a promiscuous woman who would do anything for the attention of men. The story then began to speculate, was the murder a ploy for attention?
Big hair, don’t care
At the time, Alice Crimmins was the perfect sort of woman to be slandered by the media. Despite her middle-class neighborhood, she was a lower-class woman that did not fit in with the ideals of middle-class society. She was reported to have worn heavy makeup and had wild hair that made her stand out in any room. The media set after her as a made-up promiscuous woman who would do anything to make men look. Many people believe that her real crime in all of this was simply being a free sexual agent who did not fit into the mild womanly ways of middle-class society.
She would do anything
As police began to investigate the infidelity claims, a bolder story began to emerge. The general belief was that Edmund Crimmins was no longer delivering in his husbandly duties. Reports stated that he had not only begun to work late into the evenings, leaving Alice alone with the children, but also that he had started drinking and wasn’t paying his needy wife any attention. In the media, Alice was portrayed as a woman who would do anything to get back at her husband for leaving her alone whether it was cheating or even killing her own two innocent children.
The real problem with this case is that there was no actual evidence that connected her to the murder of her children. Though she was charged and found guilty of the crimes nearly three years after the murder of her kids, it was almost immediately overturned. For a few short and sweet years, Alice Crimmins was given her freedom before she was given a second trial and found guilty again. Nearly seven years later, Alice was released on parole and has lived out her remaining days with her boyfriend.
Before Casey Anthony
Alice Crimmins is often referenced when people mention Casey Anthony. In many ways, there are some similarities. There is simply no denying the fact that the media loses their minds every time they believe that a mother has harmed her children. While it is terrible, it does leave open potential for incorrect assumptions to be made. No one will ever really know the truth, but the law has already spoken.