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The Root of all Evil

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

A generation is defined as all the people of about the same age within a particular family. There are three immediate generations known as children, parents, and grandparents. In our families there are generations that we all long to know more about. In a general curiosity, we ask questions about our ancestors before us. What if you find out your ancestors were not the kind of people you hoped they would be. Darkness gloomed over the family name, and connecting the dots to missing and murdered girls in the small area where the family grew up. This story tells about the disappearance of one sister as well as another uncovered murdered. One woman leading the way to uncover the truth about her family's history.

I would like to thank Tina LaRosa, the niece of Irene LaRosa and Susan LaRosa. She knew about her aunts in her childhood. As she grew older, she found out more details about the family dynamic and learned the full story about the disappearance of Irene and murder of Susan. She wants who is responsible for these crimes to come to light and wants more than anything to bring answers to her family that were left behind.

Irene LaRosa (missing since March 1971)

Irene LaRosa was born on April 10, 1953, to Nathan and Irene LaRosa, in Connecticut. The family lived in Ellington, Connecticut. She was one of eleven children in the LaRosa household. When the children were young, they were separated and shuffled to different foster care and group homes. The parents, Nathan and Irene were not fit to take care of their children. Both were young and always wanted to party. Based on their lifestyle the home was never kept up and the children lived in filth. The mother described as "horrible" to her children, had no love to give them. Irene, who was only one year old at the time, was sent to an orphanage. Lady of Rose Hill orphanage. In the 1920s, Our Lady of Rose Hill Orphanage opened in New Britian Connecticut. The structure was built on top of a hill overlooking forty acres of farmland. The orphanage was only open for forty years and closed its doors in the mid 60’s due to abuse allegations.

Somehow the children were brought back home to their parents. Irene was around twelve years old when she was reunited with her parents and moved back into the Ellington home. Irene was enrolled at Ellington High School but would later be signed out at the age of sixteen. (Tina is unsure who signed her out to this day) Irene was a singer at the Villa Rose in Monson, Massachusetts, and Crystal Lake ballroom in Ellington. On the outside Irene was bubbly and fun but Irene’s home life was suspected to be a dark one. Decades after her disappearance bits and pieces would come out that her brothers Nathan and Bob were assaulting her, (Nathan was later convicted of rape, against his stepchildren). Irene hoped after her birthday, when she turned eighteen, she could pack up and leave the family behind for somewhere with more light, California. Irene and a close friend planned to flee to the golden state together. Sometime in March of 1971. Irene walked away from her family’s home and vanished. When her friend noticed her absence, being a concerned friend, she asked the LaRosa brothers. They told her Irene had run away from home. Her friend knew the trouble at the family home but was upset her friend would take off without her. She waited for a long time for Irene to show up to grab her. Irene never came and she slowly faded into a memory. In 2016 Tina, Irene’s niece, took it into her own hands to file a report on her missing aunt. There was no report made when Irene did not return back in 1971, nor was there ever one until Tina stepped in. Irene would not be the only LaRosa to go missing.

Susan LaRosa (Murdered in 1975, remains found in 1978)

In 1975, Irene’s sister-in-law, Susan LaRosa, went missing. Susan was married to one of the LaRosa boys. Bob LaRosa. The couple married in December of 1971 and quickly had three children. The couple had a tumultuous marriage. On June 22, 1975, Susan left the family home to walk to the nearby convince store. This trip was routine for Susan, as she used the payphone to call her mother every day. Susan never returned back, and Bob called the police the following day to report her missing. Police did take a statement from Bob who told the story about Susan leaving the convenience store, but Susan’s oldest child had something different to say. She was only two at the time of her mother’s disappearance, but she told police then that her father, Bob, hit her mother on the head with a pipe and she fell and never got up. She also stated that a man came and grabbed her mom and put her in the car. Susan was never seen alive again. (present day, her daughter still maintains this story) Susan’s remains were discovered in July of 1978. She had been missing for three years and she was recovered in a wooded area about a mile away from home. Susan died due to a skull fracture. Due to the gap in time and loss of any evidence the police attempted to charge Bob with his wife’s murder, but the charges never stuck. There has never been another suspect in the death of Susan.

This is unfortunately where the stories end for Irene and Susan but in speaking with Tina, she believes that all of the missing and murdered girls in the area are connected. Personally, I can agree with her. There are too many “coincidences” to overlook. There is also a witness to many of these cases, a guy by the name of Barry. Barry was Bob LaRosa’s friend back then although today he claims to not even really know who Bob was. I think he has given too many details to connect the dots and he may have realized that a little too late.

The first three cases are well covered and are known as "The Vernon/Tolland Three."

Janice Pockett (missing 1973)

Janice Pockett was a seven-year-old from Tolland, Connecticut. Janice was last seen leaving her family's home on Anthony Road in Tolland, Connecticut on July 26, 1973. She planned to ride her metallic green bicycle, which had a bell and a banana seat, through the neighborhood to search for a butterfly she'd caught and left on a rock a few days earlier. She was carrying an envelope to carry the butterfly in. It was the first time she'd been allowed to go out by herself. She never returned home and has never been seen again. Janice's mother found her bike half an hour later, on Rhoades Road near a wooded area less than a mile from her residence. The butterfly and envelope were never found. Authorities believe something happened to Janice after she had picked up the butterfly and was on her way home. An extensive search of the area failed to locate her. Janice, who had blond hair and blue eyes, was last seen wearing Navy blue shorts with a design, and a blue and white striped jersey.

Lisa White (missing 1974)

Lisa White was a thirteen-year-old from Vernon, Connecticut. Lisa was last seen in Vernon, Connecticut on November 1, 1974. The night before her disappearance, she'd been arrested for underage drinking and her parents grounded her. After her mother went to work at 4:30PM, Lisa snuck out to visit a friend on Prospect Street in Rockville, Connecticut, two miles away. After her visit, at 7:30PM, Lisa began walking home. She never arrived and has never been heard from again. Lisa left a note for her mother saying she was in love with an older boy and "you think I'm a little girl, but I'm not." According to her sister, she associated with older boys and some men. The police initially believed she'd run away from home, but foul play is now suspected in her case. Lisa lived approximately two miles from Prospect and was on foot that evening. Lisa had blond hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing green pants, tan work boots and a denim jacket. Lisa also lived down the road from the LaRosa residence.

Debra Spickler (missing 1968)

Debra Spickler was a thirteen-year-old girl from Mystic, Connecticut. At the time of her disappearance. She was visiting her aunt and uncle in Vernon, Connecticut when she disappeared on July 24, 1968. She was last seen at Henry Park in the 100 block of South Street, walking with a cousin from Foxhill Drive towards the park's swimming pool. The two girls realized they didn't have towels, and Deborah's cousin went to get some. When she returned, she couldn't find Deborah. Debra lived in Mystic, Connecticut, but was staying with relatives in Vernon at the time of her disappearance. She was last seen walking alone in the direction of the Henry Park swimming pool. At the time she went missing, she was wearing green polka dot shorts, a white sleeveless shirt, and white sneakers.

There is a $50,000 reward (in each case) being offered for any information leading to an arrest and conviction in all three cases.

Patricia Luce (murdered 1978)

Aside from the three more well-known cases there is also Patricia Luce, a Rockville teenager. Patricia dropped off by her younger brother at a 7-Eleven store near her home. She is never seen alive again. Seven months later her skeletonized remains are discovered by two walkers near an abandoned gravel bank on Hodges Road in Marlborough. She has been beaten and murdered. Her case is currently unsolved.

Stephanie Olisky (murdered 1975)

Stephanie Olisky was found lying on the main road in her hometown of East Windsor, CT. She passed away three days later in the hospital from head injuries. She is believed to have been thrown forcibly from a moving car. This is perhaps the biggest of Barry’s clues. Barry admitted to Tina to abducting a young girl of the road, sexually assaulting her, and throwing her on the sidewalk in Windsor, around this time. Her case is currently unsolved.

Kathleen Terry (murdered 1974)

Kathleen Terry was a twelve-year-old girl, in July of 1974. Kathleen left her home to ride her bicycle down a wooded road in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. She was later found beaten. Her case is currently unsolved.

What happened to all of these girls? They were all so young with their whole lives ahead of them before evil snuffed it out. Were there multiple predators on the loose in the area for many years? Or is only one family to blame? Barry told Tina “If any of the girls were anywhere, they would be…in a well” and gave her the address to the old LaRosa property, where the family's home once stood. Police have conducted searches on the old property, but nothing has turned up. There have been multiple suspects in each case but nothing concrete enough to put the final nail in the coffin. What if for decades law enforcement were looking in the wrong places and at the wrong people? The families of the victims deserve to see justice. I believe Tina is on the right track, she just needs one piece to fall into place. Were her ancestors the root of all evil?

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that."

Please like & follow the Facebook page set up by Tina for her aunt Irene LaRosa

Tina also has a YouTube channel where she discusses these cases and dives into her family history.

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I found it very well written. I am thankful evaporatethemissing took the time to help with these cases . I like how the writer payed attention to the small details. I am very thankful people are willing to help me discover what happened to these girls .

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