The name Alice Crimmins isn’t that well known today, but almost 47 years ago she was vilified as the Susan Smith of her generation. Her children, Eddie Jr., age 5, and Missy, age 4, vanished from their garden apartment in Kew Gardens Hills at 150-22 72 Drive on July 14, 1965 — victims of an alleged kidnapping.
Crimmins was once very much in love with her handsome husband, Edmund. But he was working longer hours, started drinking, developed a paunch and double chin and was no longer paying any attention to his wife. She started seeing other men in her need for approval and attention.
Several days after being reported missing, little Missy was found strangled. Later Eddie was also found dead but too decomposed to show a cause of death.
Crimmins, of lower class, overly teased hair and too much black eyeliner, was tried in the media for her female promiscuity, not the actual homicides. There was never a shred of physical evidence to connect her to the murders. Still, she was put on trial and found guilty in May 1968.
Then high-profile attorney Herbert Lyon took on the case, and Crimmins was released 24 days after the conviction, remaining free for three years, until a second trial in 1971. She was convicted then too and imprisoned.
Crimmins was paroled in November 1977. She had married her long-time millionaire boyfriend, Anthony Grace, and moved away to Boca Raton, Fla. to live in anonymity. However, since his death (of natural causes) there have been sightings of her back in Queens and on Long Island.
Despite the conviction, the deaths of her children remain for many one of the most puzzling of Queens’ unsolved mysteries.