Cropsey

Today I saw the documentary film Cropsey on Netflix. It tells the story of the disappearances of several children and one young adult in Staten Island in the 1970s and 1980s and Andre Rand, the prime suspect. There’s Alice Pereira in 1972, Holly Hughes in 1981, Tiahease Jackson in 1983, Henry “Hank” Gafforio in 1984, and Jennifer Schweiger in 1987. (There’s also Audrey Nerenberg from 1977, but she didn’t disappear on Staten Island and isn’t mentioned in the film.)

Only Jennifer’s body was ever found, and there was insufficient evidence to prove murder. Rand was convicted of Jennifer’s kidnapping and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. In 2004, he was convicted of kidnapping Holly and got another 25 years to life.

Hank didn’t really fit the profile of Rand’s other victims, since he was male and 21 years old. But he was mentally disabled and functioned at the level of a young teenager, and he lived very close to where Holly disappeared from. In fact, as Cropsey shows, at one point just after Holly’s disappearance when a TV reporter was talking about her case, you could see Hank standing on the street right behind her.

The documentary is really good and I highly recommend it. Needless to say, I got a few bits of information for the Charley Project off of there.