Michael C. Dooling

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" Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time it's enemy action."

Ian Fleming, Goldfinger



“But O for the touch of a vanished hand,

And the sound of a voice that is still!”

 Alfred Lord Tennyson, Break, Break, Break  


Three young women, all last seen hitchhiking, all disappeared.  Two of the disappearances are the oldest, open cold cases in their respective states.

Paula Welden, a resident of Stamford, Connecticut and student at Bennington College in Vermont disappeared in 1946 after hitching a ride to walk a portion of the Long Trail.  Her disappearance sparked the largest search in Vermont’s history.  She was never found.

Two states away, Connie Smith of Wyoming left a Lakeville, Connecticut summer camp in 1952 and was last seen with her thumb extended trying to catch a ride to the village center.  A nationwide search resulted in hundreds of leads but not one solid clue as to what happened to her.

But there was another case involving a young woman . . . the details of which lay buried in old newspaper articles from more than seventy years ago.  Her disappearance was eventually treated as a lost-in-the-woods case by police, ignoring information from several witnesses who saw her thumbing a ride.

Several years before Paula Welden disappeared, Katherine Hull was visiting her grandmother in Lebanon Springs, New York and decided to go for a walk.  She was seen by at least three people hitchhiking along Route 22 but was never again seen alive.  Seven years would pass before a group of hunters came face-to-face with her skull, perched in the crotch of a tree, off a lonely road outside of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

What happened to these three young women?  Might the cases be related to one another? Who could have perpetrated crimes against these, and perhaps other, hitchhikers along New England’s border with New York State?

Video clip about CLUELESS in NEW ENGLAND


Hardcover, 236 pp., contains  32 photographs, maps and satellite images


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Michael C. Dooling

P. O. Box 1047

Middlebury, CT  06762


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