Feature film examining the existence of films in which people are murdered on camera and the culture surrounding them. Through interviews with former FBI Profilers, Cultural Academics, and ... See full summary »
Paul von Stoetzel
Larry C. Brubaker,
The BBC gives over a whole evening to an 'investigation into the supernatural'. Four respected presenters and a camera crew attempt to discover the truth behind 'The most haunted house in ... See full summary »
In March 1963, a black mass was held at a ruined church in Clophill, Bedfordshire by a coven of dark witches. Tombs were looted, animals sacrificed and human bones arranged during a macabre... See full summary »
First, I'm a native NYC'er. I grew up in Manhattan, and remember this (and the Willowbrook exposé of Geraldo Rivera).I remember Holly Ann Hughes disappearance, and a lot of the stuff presented in CROPSEY. Also, I went to one of the 'Jewish Sleepaway camps, up and down the Hudson Valley' in my case, it was Camp Equinunk, where kids DID hear stories of the 'Cropsey Maniac' from our counsellors (to this day, I HATE the woods). I also lived in Staten Island for about 6 years.
Having said all that, this is ONLY about the DOCUMENTARY - NOT about horror movies, etc. JUST about what's presented.
Personally, it's been a long-time since I heard any reference to Cropsey. I heard the 'Cropsey Maniac' stories in camp during the late 70's - so, that urban legend's been out there for years.
The documentary opens up a wound that engulfed both Staten Island, and NYC'ers as a whole. ANY town, ANY city where such a (similarly) unfortunate event took place can identify with the story.
Did André Rand do (all) the killings? After watching this, I can't say.
YES - he's a VERY 'strange' man, but, as one person in the documentary said, does being 'weird' MEAN you're a killer? As a reporter for the S.I. Advance pointed out, (after the murder of Jennifer Schweiger) one paper said a 'drifter' had been caught, with 'drifter' being 'shorthand' for 'undesirable, not normal.'
Mr. Rand DID feel he was 'on a mission' to 'save families' of the 'burden' of having disabled children,' but, what exactly did that 'mission' entail?
The cops (here in NYC we're constantly bombarded with the NY Post constantly calling NYPD 'heroes')are civil servants, doing a job. Yes, there ARE good ones - but, there ARE bad ones as well. NYPD has (had) a history of making the crime 'fit' the criminal, and, as the two defense attorneys of Rand point out, a lot of the evidence (in the Holly Ann Hughes trial) was circumstantial.
I think the film makers have opened up a sad time here that NYC'ers remember. A story of a ghoulish time here, and have (hopefully) encouraged the POSSIBILITY of bringing this tale of horror here to an eventual resolution.
Considering their budget,and resources, the film-makers made a valiant documentary, using archival news reports, and interviews - both past and present - with NYPD detectives, family members and others connected with Staten Island/Cropsey, examined and retraced these events.
Ultimately, HAS Cropsey been caught (Rand)? DID the murders stop AFTER his 1st conviction? Or, did THAT murderer continue (and, maybe STILL is killing), only the capture/imprisonment of Rand 'solved' the cases for NYPD - and they never bothered to investigate further? CROPSEY leaves us with the thought that - maybe - one day - Rand will talk, and with that an end. But, now - more than 20+ years since Rand was arrested, this sad, horrible time still is left to dangle. For the families of those children (and, perhaps others), Staten Island, and, NYC as a whole.
It's a mystery that only André Rand can help illuminate (and perhaps solve), but as of this time, he isn't, so one can only wait. And hope.
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