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Queens Chronicle

The killings of the Crimmins children

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Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 11:42 am, Thu May 10, 2012.

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.

Welcome to the discussion.


  • quartermoon posted at 12:17 am on Thu, Feb 12, 2015.

    quartermoon Posts: 2

    Having read the previous posts now, I just want to add that having grown up in Queens in that era - I wouldn't say she was "low class" either. Perhaps tbe prosecutors wanted to give that impression. Queens then as now (maybe a little less so now) for the mostpart was working class. The LeHarve Apartments were brand new fairly exclusive towers back then that perched out over the East River. They were thought of as pretty high class by my friend's dad who worked there every day. As for women in the work force at that time, Eric is right - few options, especially if your husband worked all day and you have two small kids. Bartending for a couple of hours a night would bring in pretty good dosh. It was a different time. My parents never left me alone at that age but believe me, it was done. People were not as righteous about children in many ways in those days. There didn't seem to be as much angst in general and people didn't expect bad things to happen. Cases like this one and then the Sharon Tate murders probably had an impact on that naivety! As an aside: In the photo you've posted Alice is carrying a Mantilla. Women used to cover their heads with these when they went to church.

  • quartermoon posted at 11:56 pm on Wed, Feb 11, 2015.

    quartermoon Posts: 2

    I grew up in Queens. I was eight when this happened. Alice Crimmins was the stuff of nightmares to me. I didn't even know children COULD die until this happened. I remember the pictures in the paper every day. My best freind's father used to deliver mail to the family when they lived in the LeHarve Apartments in Whitestone. I think as I got older I gleaned that the general concensus was that one of her "connected" boyfriends had the children killed to get them out of his way. The presumption was that this was with her blessing.

    I will have to find one of the books written on the trial, etc. Was she just another woman tried by the length of her hemline or was she really one of those rare monsters - mothers who kill their babies for their own convenience?

  • Jack L Glasser posted at 11:48 am on Sat, Jan 24, 2015.

    Jack L Glasser Posts: 3

    Alice Crimmons, do I remember her! Yes they made it look like she was the killer but s she wasn't. Wow, I remember she was living in Kew Gardens and I would flip if I ever ran into her face to face on the street! I think I'd ask her for her autograph!

  • Eric1008 posted at 1:51 pm on Wed, Jan 14, 2015.

    Eric1008 Posts: 1

    I was almost 12 the summer the Crimmins children went missing. It was a horrible crime. I think there were two separate funerals, as it took a while to find Eddie. Lil Eddie and Missy are buried in Saint Raymond's. I've never believed Alice touched a hair on her childrens' heads. The manner in which this article was written is indicative of the overtly biased coverage that savagely smeared Alice. She was judged by the hypocritical morals of the day. She was not 'of lower class'. Irish Catholic.... What...? She did what any beautiful, young, estranged mother of two would do. She got a job as a barmaid. It was 1965, not 2015. A high school educated woman's best hope was secretary. Did she leave the kids asleep at home sometime...? Yes. I still view her as a responsible mother. That kind of parenting was viewed very differently 50 years ago. I have always believed that she was very skillfully framed. Ed, Sr. was not involved either. I cannot wait for my afterlife, so I can learn exactly what happened. They should be 54 and 53....

  • mwol posted at 1:26 am on Mon, Dec 22, 2014.

    mwol Posts: 1

    the case was so complicated. and where ever alice is today, I was very young but i remember you, and all those people who hated you. i never knew why and have grown up thinking about you. if you could read this if you could speak to me

  • frank1181 posted at 12:55 pm on Sat, Sep 6, 2014.

    frank1181 Posts: 1

    Ron Marzlock writes "Crimmins, of lower class", that comment blew my mind. I am sure they don't teach that at Journalism school.