Skip to main content
The largest online newspaper archive
A Publisher Extra® Newspaper

Hartford Courant from Hartford, Connecticut • 168

Publication:
Hartford Couranti
Location:
Hartford, Connecticut
Issue Date:
Page:
168
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

A8 THE HARTFORD COURANT: Monday, September 11, 1989 Unsolved slaying ated still investig I. J. X' 1 1 1 4 if 1 1 1 1 1 k'my ill Continued from Page 1 a stopwatch. He watched as Jack Hubball and William Paetzold, both lead crimin-alists with the state police forensic crime laboratory, played the roles of assailant and victim, respectively. Hubball, sweat drenching his creen shirt oursued Paetzold a short distance across the ninth level of the dingy cement garage, up a flight of steps to the 10th and top level, and then around an iron grate and into a narrow stairway beside an elevator 1 shaft Paetzold narrated as they reached the steps on which Penny Sena's blood-drenched body was found July 16, 1973.

She had been stabbed to death. "Turn around. Thrust Fall Down. Get blood on your hand. OK," Paet-, zold said, as he stood ud in the stair well.

His partner had doubts. "I still think we did it too fast," IJubball said. So they did it again. And again. And again.

The scripts they referred to were witnesses' statements of-what they saw and heard that after-noon in the garage. Those statements conflict, and the prime reason for the re-enactment was to test the reliability of what witnesses said they saw against what was physically possible. Investigators want to attach some time sequence to what happened between 12:43 p.m., when a numbered parking ticket was spit out of a computerized entry 1 system on George Street, and 12:51 p.m., when that same ticket now smeared with blood was handed to an attendant by a man exiting the garage on Frontage Road. That man is believed to be Penny Serra's killer. For three years between 1984 and 1987 suspicion focused on Anthony Golino of Ham-den, who was arrested in 1984 and charged with her death.

Two weeks into his trial, court-ordered blood tests revealed that Golino could not have committed the crime. Golino sued the city and the New Haven Police Department, alleging false arrest and a pattern of harassment that taxed him finan cially and emotionally. The CBS weekly news program "Sixty Minutes" did a segment on the case in early 1988. John Serra, undeterred by allegations of a police cover-up and the false arrest of Golino, continued to pursue law enforcement officials with a vigor he found missing in their investigation. He wrote Chief State's Attorney John J.

Kelly two years ago this month, asking that his office take i I Associated Press Hungary to go to any nation that would admit them. They are among about 7,000 East Germans who were hoping to leave for the West. Eat Gennans at tlw Zugligat camp In Budapest rais their arms In Jubilation Sunday night after teaming they would be allowed to leave 'J The Hartford Courant MTI and broadcast by Foreign Minister Gyula Horn on television, said that there are an estimated 60,000 East Germans currently vacation ing in Hungary. As to how long the Hungarian bor- ilar mill ha remain nnm tha rafnrm." minded Horn said: "I cannot determine a date, how temporary it will, be. One thing is certain, it will be longer than 24 hours, Miles 'J Berlin Roland "iMGermany -O Bonn KJv Vczechbs lovakilv, "Tm? vs Budapest '1 pf Hungary Germans low the entry of all East Germans, whatever the nature of their travel documents.

For a past week, a fleet of buses and railroad coaches, arranged by West Germans officials, has been standing by in Austria near the Hungarian border to transport East Germans who might be allowed to depart- In Vienna on Sunday night, the Red Cross said that 60 buses would be sent to Budapest and Balaton early today to collect about 3,600 refugees. The Hungarian statement made it possible for East Germans to leave with their cars by far their most valuable possessions. Many, fleeing illegally in recent weeks, had to leave cars and all other belongings behind to make their escape across the frontier. Under West German law, all East Germans are deemed to be citizens of the Federal Republic. The Hungarian announcement, divulged by the official news agency Hungary Continued from Page 1 couldn't.

"It's a great feeling but also a sad one," Dieter Hoffman from Dresden told reporters at the frontier. "No matter what things were like there, it's still home." The televised announcement of the Hungarian decision sparked the exodus by an estimated 7,000 East Germans from refugee camps in Budapest and Lake Balaton toward the Austrian border, a drive of about three hours. Some of those without cars hired taxis in Budapest to take them to the border, where they then crossed on foot Sources said the Hungarian decision could prompt many more East Germans, now vacationing in Hungary, to take advantage of the open frontier, making it the largest single flight from a communist, country since the Berlin Wall went up in 1961. A daily average of more East Germans crossed into freest ast West Berlin in the days immediately preceding the start of construction of the wall which was supervised by Honecker, then a lower-ranking official In all, about 3.5 million East Germans fled to the West between the end of World War II in 1945 and 1961. West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who had fled to the West in 1952 from his home in East Germany, warmly thanked the Hungarian Communist regime for opening the border.

For its part, the East German government reacted angrily, de-' nouncing the Hungarian decision as an "organized trade in humans under the guise of humanitarian considerations." The Hungarian decision further, soured relations with its Warsaw Pact ally, and contact between Bu-dapest and East Berlin was additionally threatened by the lack of a time limit on Hungary's open border with Austria. Austria had said that it would al- The Metropolitan District Commission (Hartford) owns more than 24,000 acres but has no plans for selling off large tracts. It is studying the feasibility, however, of using 551 acres in Glastonbury for a regional recreation complex. I Loophole in program over the investigation. Kelly did, in conjunction with New Haven State's Attorney Michael Dearington.

Both were on hand Sunday, with inspectors from their offices, to look for answers that have eluded them and to wrap up another phase in an investigation that seems as far from being closed as it is from being fruitful. "We're doing this because it's the only thing we haven't done," Kelly said several weeks ago of the re-enactment. While Paetzold and Hubbard were preparing for their mock pursuit, inspectors tested how fast a car could reach the Frontage Road exit which no longer exists from the 10th level of the garage. Although the sound effects were dramatic, the re-enactment was marked more by the tedium typical of a complex Investigation. Dr.

Henry C. Lee, director of the state police forensic crime laboratory and world-renowned for crime-scene reconstruction, made his way from one key location to another, jotting notes and occasionally frowning at discrepancies. While the passage of time has produced innovations such as the use of "genetic fingerprinting" in criminal investigations a method tried with little success in the Serra case, it also has eroded memories and erased landmarks such as signs and doors that used to be in the garage. Lee used crime scene photographs' that appeared sepia-toned with age to park a car at the correct angle and attempt to properly locate the bloodstains of 16 years ago, recreated in red spray paint Sunday. It was not an exact science.

Notes from New Haven police who investigated the crime mention a bloodspot on the landing of the seventh floor stairwell of the garage. There are actually two landings adjacent slabs of concrete. "Just put the marker anywhere along here," Lee instructed a staff member. "It's difficult," Lee said. "So many years and there are no signs." "The horrible thing is, I wish that today we would solve this case," Lee said.

"I think we probably won't." But for John Serra, who is not given to false hope, Sunday brought some sense of satisfaction. Standing with his daughter, Rosemary, and his fiancee and nephew, Serra said he appreciates the hard work evident Sunday. "It makes me feel better," Serra said. "For the time being, I have to be satisfied. We never know what tomorrow brings." New Britain's water department owns more than 5,800 acres, including about 3,300 acres in Burlington, where the department wants to develop 35 acres for housing but environmentalists want the land preserved.

Ansonia-Derby Water Co. owns about 3,800 acres and is in the process of selling off 928 acres; 96 acres have been sold for an industrial park and 150 acres are to be sold for a golf course. The New Canaan Water Co. wants to sell 213 acres. Bridgeport Hydraulic Co.

owns about 18,000 acres and plans to sell some 2,700 acres over the next two decades. SOURCES: General Assembly's Task Force on ered surplus, no longer needed to ensure adequate supplies or the purity of the water. "All of the 2,700 acres eventually will be sold if we are permitted to do so, and it would be over at least a 20-year period," said Frederick A. Ian-notti, company spokesman. The Ansonia-Derby Water which owns about 3,800 acres, last month sold 96 acres to the towns of Ansonia and Derby for use as an industrial park and has.

sold 140 acres in Bethany, said John Crawford, company chairman. Crawford said the company has a contract to sell 150 acres in Seymour for a golf course. "We don't really have to seek buyers," Crawford said. "Enough interest is shown in the land because of the attractiveness of these particular holdings. "They're large pieces that have been well maintained.

It's also why we think the municipalities and the state would be attracted to them," Crawford said. Bought for $100 an acre or less decades ago, water company lands now are worth thousands of dollars an acre; in some cases an acre can sell for tens of thousands of dollars. The state Department of Public Utility Control must approve land sales by investor-owned water companies and decides, on a case-by-case basis, the sharing of proceeds, between customers and shareholders. Meehan argues that the depart-. I flee convicts letting The state's recent announcement that it will buy a 382-acre valley in Trumbull from the Bridgeport Hydraulic Co.

and preserve the land highlighted the issue of water company land sales. The fate of thousands of other acres remains undecided. Will they be preserved or developed? rr- 1 The South Central Regional Water Authority (New Haven) owns about 25,000 acres. Since 1983, 1,055 acres were sold but 946 of those acres were sold to the state or municipalities or local and trusts for parks or open space. LJ TRUMBULL The Pequonnock Valley is being purchased by the state and the municipality for $9,275 million under the state's Receration and Natural Heritage Trust program; ft is the first large purchase using the trust fund.

ruiure of lands indoiibt Water companies' selling of acreage topic of concern Continued from Page 1 acres at a total cost of $17.5 million. -About 5,000 acres with a price tag of 26 million are "in the pipeline," being reviewed for possible purchase, Carothers said. With land prices high, state environmental officials know that state money for open-space acquisitions is limited. They must choose lands carefully, weighing factors such as forestry and fishery values, or the need to protect uncommon wildlife species or a rushing stream. Undeveloped water company lands, which have served for decades as havens for hikers, fishermen and wildlife, are prime candidates for preservation.

Selling that land has been debated in several areas of the state. Earlier this year in Burlington, for example, where New Britain's municipal water department owns 3,300 acres, the department wanted to sell 35 acres it deemed surplus so that 19 houses could be built Local environmentalists, wanting to preserve the land, opposed the development plans. A survey earlier this year by a legislative task force on water company land sales showed that other privately owned or publicly owned utilities planning or considering land sales include: the Ansonia-Derby Water which has begun shedding 928 acres; Waterbury's municipal water department, which may sell 220 acres; and the New Canaan Water which plans to sell more than 200. acres, including 42 acres for development. The New Haven-based South Central Regional Water Authority and the Hartford-based Metropolitan District Commission, both publicly owned, have no plans for large-scale land sales to developers.

And their policies are to offer limited parcels only to Investor-owned water utilities, such as Bridgeport Hydraulic and Ansonia-Derby, are more apt to sell land, Meehan said. Bridgeport Hydraulic Co. owns about 18,000 acres in Fairfield, Litchfield and New Haven counties, -i About 2,700 acres of that are consid- -1 A Continued from Page 1 program often means criminals sentenced to years in prison serve only weeks or days. Bailey pushes an arrest warrant across the conference table in his office at the Hartford criminal courthouse. Prepared by a parole officer, the warrant details the dis-' appearance of a woman convicted of risk of injury to a child and sale of a hallucinogenic substance.

Carmen Rodriguez, 33, was sentenced to two years in the women's prison in Niantic May 10. On May 25, she was released to the custody of her mother in Hartford. On June 15, she failed to report to her parole officer, according to the warrant. When correction officials called, they discovered the telephone had been disconnected. When they visited, no one was, home.

The parole officer has not heard from Rodriguez. But is she in the same category as Frederick Merrill, the convicted rapist and burglar who has frustrated officials with his daring escapes from Canadian and Connecticut prisons? Judge Richard J. Stanley, the presiding judge in the court that handles less-serious crimes for the city of Hartford believes a convict can be charged with first-degree escape if the Correction Department has fully documented the person's disappearance. "If that's the case, I think the statute covers it," Stanley said. "I don't have any problem with that I have a problem with someone getting six months and serving six days and then escaping" from home release, he said.

"I had one of those this morning." A conviction for first-degree escape carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. "If they're sentenced to 10 years, I don't know how much time they'd actually serve," Stanley said. Correction officials and prosecutors say not all judges think the same way. Christopher L. Morano, a prosecutor in the court that handles Hartford's cases, said some escape warrants receive a judge's signature with no problem.

The warrant for Rodriguez, for example, later was signed. But some judges refuse to sign the warrants unless investigators have a witness willing to say that the convict has fled the area, Morano said. Connecticut law states a person is guilty of first-degree escape if it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he or she escaped from a correc- But some judges refuse to I sign the warrants unless investigators have a witness willing to say that the convict has fled the area, Morano said. tional institution, a halfway house, a community residence, a work detail or school, hospital or mental facility, work release or educational program, or furlough. Supervised home release is not mentioned.

"Nowhere in the law does it say it's an escape if he doesn't report in," Morano said. Nor can the violator be charged with violation of probation. Convicts are not legally on probation until they serve their full sentences, minus the good time allowed under state law. Morano says one solution would be for the Correction Department to classify prisoners on home release as being on furlough. Then an inmate who failed to report could be considered in violation of the letter of the law.

"If we're going to use community home release, then I think we've got to update the statutes to deal with it A good example is the escape situation," Morano said. fc Members of the law enforcement community disagree on how serious the problem is. Correction department spokesman William E. Flower said about 11 percent of prisoners on home release violate conditions of the program. Of those, about half are charged with another crime while on home release, and about half commit some technical violation of the conditions of their release, such as failing to report to the parole officer.

As of Sept 1, there were 4,105 convicts on home release out of a total inmate population of 13,684. Hans Fjellman, chief of parole services for the Correction Department, estimated that officers apply for 50 to 70 escape warrants a month. "There are, at times, depending on the individual circumstances, judges who will request additional information. Overall, the state's attorneys and judges have been very cooperative," he said. There were more problems a few years ago, he said.

''It was new to state's attorneys. It was new to judges. It wasn't at an unusual for us to have a problem," rjeuman said. Counsel, water utilities. DeCarli, who heads' the conservation and preservation division, said he doubted the state would have bought the Trumbull land without the town's help.

That kind of cooperation definitely will be needed if more large, ex- pensive parcels are to be preserved, DeCarli said. "It helps us tremendously, especially if you have a progressive town like Trumbull, which values open space." In this case, Trumbull residents, who had become accustomed to hiking in the valley and fishing in the Pequonnock, wanted the land preserved and were willing to pay for it First Selectwoman Morag L. said that more than 90 percent of the 2,200 residents who answered a survey were willing to help pay for the purchase. Much of the valley came into Bridgeport Hydraulic possession when P.T. Bamum was president of the company from 1877 to 1886.

The man who thought a sucker was born every minute also had the foresight to know acres of land were not made every minute. A small dam was built in the valley and Trumbull Pond existed as a reservoir there from 1878 until the dam was breached in the 1930s. There were plans in the 1940s and 1960s to flood the valley again for a reservoir but they did not go forward. Since the early 1970s, the valley has been an important study area for biologists specializing in inverte brates, particularly beetles. Water Company Land Sales, State Consumer ment's policy of allowing the gains to be shared has served, since its adoption in 1982, as an inducement for water utilities to sell land.

He wants ratepayers to receive the gains and believes the department's policy should be to help maintain undeveloped land in keeping with the DEPs goal of preserving open space. The state Department of Health Services must approve the sale of all water company lands, and under department rales, there are three categories of water utility land. Class I and II lands are within watersheds and are important in-maintaining the supply and the purity of water. Class III lands, which can be sold without the department's approval, are outside an active water supply area; for the most part these are the lands deemed surplus that are likely to go on the market Under state law, a neighboring water company has the first purchase rights if a water company wants to abandon a source of water. The municipality in which the land is located gets the second chance, and the state the third.

If all pass it up, the land can be put on the open market Many communities, especially in the eastern part of the state, cannot afford to' buy land or do not view preserving open space as a priority. Furthermore, state law does not require municipalities to preserve these lands when they are given the option to buy, said Dennis P. De-Carli, deputy DEP commissioner. i I I. r..

Get access to Newspapers.com

  • The largest online newspaper archive
  • 300+ newspapers from the 1700's - 2000's
  • Millions of additional pages added every month

Publisher Extra® Newspapers

  • Exclusive licensed content from premium publishers like the Hartford Courant
  • Archives through last month
  • Continually updated

About Hartford Courant Archive

Pages Available:
5,372,189
Years Available:
1764-2024