The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 4, 1975 · Page 28
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 28

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Thursday, December 4, 1975
Page 28
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Palm Beach Post, Thursday, December 4. 1975-B5 By IAN GLASS Cm Newtpaptri WrlMr Sue Billig never gives up. This melancholy, raven-haired, gaunt-eyed woman out of a Flemish painting endlessly searches for her bouncy, 18-year-old daughter who vanished mysteriously nearly 21 months ago. It is too much to suppose, Sue's husband Ned readily admits, that Amy Billig is still alive. "But all I want is the proof," says Sue, "so that I can go where she is, say a few words, and weep over her grave." So the search goes on. Amy's room in the Billigs' tree-shrouded home in Coconut Grove remains as it was: There is the flute, the guitar, the record player, a wide range of books, a toy dog and piglets, a Tony Scornavacca among the paintings on the wall, a note on the mirror that says, "I'm somebody." There is nothing rare about a missing teenager. The Dade County's Missing Persons Bureau has the names of 175 of them on file. What makes Amy Billig's case special is the fanatical dedication of her mother. Every telephone conversation she has had relating to the experience is on tape. Every clue, every step, and names, names, names all are recorded in notebooks. Amy did not run away, says Sue Billig. She was abducted. "Amy was a rare girl," said her friend John Carlin Massey, a photographer. "I just loved her, her amiability. You couldn't have turned her nature around and made her run away." The Billigs' tragedy is known throughout the country. A poster hangs in the door of their art gallery, The Dimensions. It has Amy's picture and statistics: 5-5, long brown hair, brown eyes, 102 pounds, last seen wearing a blue miniskirt. Friendly commercial pilots and stewardesses have taken the posters and distributed them in dozens of cities. They have even been printed in Spanish. The result: telephone calls by the hundreds. All ending in frustration. Some of the calls have been obscene, some sick, some cruel. Charles and Larry Glasser, 16-year-old Miami Beach twins, tried to extort 130,000 ransom frnrn the Billigs in return for Amy's safety. They didn't have her and are on probation. Friends and sympathizers set up an Amy Billig Fund. At one point, it reached $14,000. It has nearly all gone spent on private detectives, on trips and as hopeful bribes. Two former Miami policemen said they could find Amy, took $1,500, and were not seen again. There is a strong belief that Amy became the captive of a motorcycle gang. So her mother, over the months, ingratiated herself with members of groups like the Outlaws and the Pagans, a dangerous past-time. To a point, they would be helpful; then, cultishly, clam up. What happened to Amy Billig? On the evening of March 4, 1974, she went to a girlfriend's house to watch TV. There were seven other people there. Amy returned at 4:30 a.m., to her mother's annoyance, for her daughter had to get up at 7 to go to Adelphi High School, where she was due to graduate in three weeks. (She did, in absentia.) At 11:50 a.m. on March 5, she called her father at the gallery, asked if she could borrow $2 to have lunch with two friends, Kirk Kaplan, who was about to leave for Orlando, and a girlfriend named Cathy. Sure, said Billig. She sounded happy. Amy stood at the corner of Poinci-ana and Main Highway to thumb a lift for the mile into the'Grove. "Not a good habit," her mother said, "but everybody does it." Construction workers saw her at the intersection. She waved to someone. She did not turn up for lunch. She seemed to have taken nothing with her, not even her purse. And she left a void in a once-happy family, which includes a 17-year-old brother, Josh, and Shawn, a 5-year-old dog of indeterminate origin. "This, said Ned Billig pathetically, "is the first horrifying thing that has ever happened to us." Married 28 years - they met when Sue was a band singer and Ned played trumpet with a jazz combo the Billigs left New York for Miami seven years ago. To get away from the violence, they said. The first tangible lead came 10 days after Amy disappeared. A woman who called herself Susan Johnson, but conceded that was not her real name, phoned the family. She sounded frightened. Anr shf ssi.i nfafl "HH Bwih cycle gang. She repeated the same message to Miami police Sgt. Mike Gonzalez, who was working on the case. Two days later, a hitchhiker named David Fleming found a camera belonging to Amy, with her name on it, at the entrance to Florida's Turnpike. Did she throw it out as a clue? and why did she have it with her in the first place. She was rumored to have been seen in Fort Lauderdale with the Outlaws. Then the Outlaws moved to Orlando. By the time Mrs. Billig got to Orlando, the Outlaws had left after a bloody fight with the Pagans. She visited a filthy, ramshackle house in Orlando' where the gang supposedly stayed. She took pictures of the place, showed pictures of her daughter to neighbors. Two said they recognized Amy as having been there. Sue then ainly checked topless clubs in the area, where gang members were known to She .Can't Give Up on Hissing Daughter 'There Is a Difference Between Being Told Amy Is Dead and Knowing She Is' down said Amy had been the prop erty of one gang cmef for a while, but he had sold her off to someone else. While being her own detective Sue was seeking help wherever she could. She wrote to President Nixon. He turned the plea over to FBI Director Clarence Kelly, who replied that there was no evidence Amy had been abducted and she should have faith "in your local authorities." She says the local authorities have been apathetic at best. It took them five months, she said to get Amy's fingerprints from her bedroom. By then, they were unclear. Police said there was no need to get the fingerprints before Sue had evidence Amy had been with the motorcycle gang in Orlando. They said they have done a thorough job on the case. "Something like this." Mrs. Billis said, "changes the whole fabric of your life. We have no social life. We used to, go out a lot. Then we'd say, 'What are we doing here?' People don't invite us out because we say no." It is easy to move both Sue and Ned Billig to tears; they lie waiting to erupt at soft remembrances. "People say we must live, that life goes on. I don't even know my daughter is safe in death. That's a finality. She could be in pain; or, somewhere, rain is falling on her body. Even now, every time I go out, I keep looking for her . . ." Recently, Mrs. Billig took her agony to Elizabeth Nachman, a psychic and clairvoyant who supposedly has the power to perceive ob jects that are hidden or are at great distances. She took a diary and bracelet belonging to Amy to Nachman, who knew nothing of the Billigs' problems, certainly none of the clues. In two sessions, one of them away from Mrs. Billig's presence, Nachman said she felt Amy had freely accepted a ride that morning of Marcn 5, out snortly afterwards, her decision had become irreversible. Five other people involved had her strung out on drugs for some time, the psychic said. Their route took them to Pensacola, Atlanta a city previously mentioned to Sue Louisville, then somewhere in Colorado. When she became troublesome and decided she wanted to return home, Amy was beaten, said Nachman. she became suicidal and took something which caused internal bleeding. And in the wilderness near where California, Nevada and Oregon meet, Amy died from one last beating by her "owner," the clairvoyant said. Nachman told Mrs. Billig softly, "I'm afraid you will never find your daughter." A captain in the Sheriff's Office in Reno said when he heard the story, "A body could lie in that area for years and never be found. That's desolate country, all mountains and sagebrush and no human beings." ' There is a difference," Mrs. Billig said defiantly, "between being told Amy is dead and knowing she is dead." by CfifAP Expert Fitting By Miss D. Hamm, R.N. Certified Surgical Fitter For Information Call: 832-0100 SCHMIDT'S breast form no ho Kami to irritate through clothing filth; toft, canning foam bat; hugt body contour! comfortably liquid in vacuum responds to slightest motion, leeli natural MOHSSIOem HAMACY, INC., 417 Cl.mqli. Slre.1, Wwt Him tech, Flo JJ401 20off boys' tops and jeans. 1975 jCPtnily Co Merry Christmas Trom jurennev Sale 2.40 A. Rag. $3. Crewneck shirt with contrasting stripes on shoulders Polyestercotton knit in blue, tan or green tor sizes 3 to 7 Sale 3.60 B. Rag. 4.S0. Jeans in a long-wearing blend of polyester cotton Navy, tan or green. Regular and slim sizes 3 to7 Cs!a o on C. Rag. 2.75. Photo-print shirt of polyestercotton knit Assorted action prints in blue, tan or green for sizes 3 to 7 Sale $4 D. Rag. $5. Dress jeans of durable polyestercotton. Assorted patterns in blue, tan or green Regular and slim sizes 3 to 7 Super Denim Solids Qflio Ann ssr$;,o7re9orsiim'Refl$51 WCIIw TfiVW Husky sizes 10 to 16, Reg. $7, Sizes 8 to 16. reg. or slim, Reg. $6 Sale 5.60 E. Boys' western style flare leg jeans of 12-oz. polyestercotton super Denim'. Made to take the roughest, toughest wear. In denim blue, navy, brown or green. Super Denim Fancies Sale 5.20 nus.y slits D 1U IO, ney. I.&V, Sale $6 K. Sizes 8 to 16, rag. or slim, Reg. 6.50 F. Boys' fancy jeans of polyester cotton super Denim Flare leg styling. Assorted patterns in blue, brown or green. JCPenney iGfi H-SIs lim Charge it! It In quick end mi are lo .hop bargain on the tpot Neil lime you're a JCPnn( cnargt carq application real Ctwncet era, you cin charge the 20 off great holiday girls tops and pants. Sale 7.41 Reg. 9.50. Girls' long sleeve shirt jacket of polyester. Placket front with yoke. Navy, green or pink, 7 to 14. Sale 6.40 Rag. S8. Girls' high-waist jean of woven polyester, flare leg, extended tab waist. Solids, 7 to 14 regular and slim. e m m - ) it mmmr P'ckup. v Tf II . .VamlM '..TaajW Sizes 3 to 7, reg. or slim, Reg. 5.50, Sale 4.40 G. Long sleeve print sportshirt with long point collar. Easy-care acetatenylon in bright colors and patterns. Sizes 8-18 H. Western-style sportshirt with fancyquiltedor embroidered cuffs, front and back yoke Solid color bodies No-iron polyestercotton Sizes 8-18 Sale 520 Reg. 6.50. Long sleeve print shirt in Arnel triacetate nylon blend Assorted colors Sizes 7 to 14. Sale 5.60 Rag. $7. Brushed Super Denim jeans in polyester cotton Flare legs, zipper Iront, high tab waist with two snaps Assorted colors Sizes 7 to 14 SaleM Reg. $5. Angel sleeve smock with assorted togetherness' prints front and back Easv-care polyestercotton Sizes 4 to 6X Sale 4 Rg. $5. Brushed Super Denim pants in polyestercotton. Elastic back, extended tab waist, zipper fly Assorted colors. Sizes 4 to 6X

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