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Cropsey (2009)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Crime, Horror | 25 April 2009 (USA)
2:14 | Trailer

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Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.


1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joshua Zeman ...
Barbara Brancaccio ...
Bill Ellis ...
Himself - Professor of Folklore, Penn State (as Dr. Bill Ellis)
Dorothy D'Eletto ...
Herself - Archivist & Researcher
Himself - Reporter (archive footage)
Karen Schweiger ...
Herself - Jennifer Schweiger's Mother
David Navarro ...
Himself - Former Newscaster
Donna Cutugno ...
Herself - Founder, Friends of Jennifer
Ralph Aquino ...
Himself - Retired Detective, NYPD
Bobby Jensen ...
Himself - Retired Detective, NYPD
Ernie Anastos ...
Himself - Reporter (archive footage)
Andre Rand ...
Himself - Suspect
Jim Callaghan ...
Himself - Former Editor, Staten Island Eagle
Jim Dolan ...
Himself - Reporter (archive footage)
Theresa Doyle ...
Herself - Searcher for Jennifer


Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Truth is Terrifying. See more »


Not Rated

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bauk  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,305 (USA) (4 June 2010)


$35,456 (USA) (16 July 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Was awarded Hammer to Nail's Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at 2009's Tribeca Film Festival. See more »


Barbara Brancaccio: Despite constant threats by state officials to stay away from Willowbrook, Donna and the Friends of Jennifer kept going back.
Donna Cutugno - Founder, Friends of Jennifer: This area had been covered thousands of times by volunteers, by police, by dogs, but in that time one gentleman came across an area that he noticed had clay balls. Up on top like someone patted down and then this was all, you know, pushed back over with the trees, it was just a little spot that he noticed the clay balls. And that's what made us go back, or made him go, ...
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References Father Knows Best (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

I'm still on the fence about this documentary.
30 October 2010 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

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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