Five Unsolved Halloween Mysteries
Steven Craig Damman — 1955
Steven and Pamela Damman disappeared on Halloween in 1955. Their mother, Marilyn, had left them outside a bakery in Long Island while she ran inside to get some bread. When she came out they were gone.
Seven-month-old Pamela was found, still in her stroller and unharmed, a few blocks away. Two-year-old Steven was never seen again.
Shortly after the disappearance, a student at Queens College in New York City sent three letters to the parents asking for ransom. They tried to comply, but it turned out to be a hoax. The man knew nothing about little Steven.
Two years later an unknown child was found dead in a cardboard box in Philadelphia. He was known as “America’s Unknown Child” and “Boy in the Box.” The little boy had blond hair and blue eyes just like Steven. They even had matching scars. This was before the use of DNA so x-rays were used to compare the two. Steven had an arm fracture at one time so they had x-rays to compare. The boy in the box did not have an arm fracture. In 2003, DNA was used to reconfirm that the young boy in the box was not Steven.
In 2009, a man in Michigan claimed that he was Steven, but DNA ruled him out. Damman family was originally from Iowa, but Mr. Damman was in the Air Force stationed in Long Island. A few months after the abduction he left the Air Force and the family returned to Iowa. The parents divorced two years later. The dad stayed in Iowa and the mother moved to Missouri.
If anyone has any information regarding this case they are urged to call the Nassau County Police Department at 516-573-7000.
Ronald Sisman and Elizabeth Platzman — 1981
Ronald Sisman and Elizabeth Platzman were murdered in their Manhattan apartment early on Halloween in 1981. They were both beaten and then shot execution style. Their apartment was thoroughly ransacked.
At first the police thought the murders might be drug-related, but that motive was eventually ruled out.
The investigators received a tip from a prison informant that an inmate had predicted the murders weeks earlier. That inmate was David Berkowitz, the infamous “Son of Sam” killer.
Berkowitz had killed six people and wounded seven others during his killing spree in 1977. It was speculated that he was part of a satanic cult and he had not committed the 13 attacks by himself.
Berkowitz had told the informant that his cult was planning on going to a residence near Greenwich Village on Halloween and performing a ritualistic murder. They planned on trashing the place to cover up any evidence.
It was never definitely proven that the murders were committed by the Son of Sam cult and the case is still unsolved.
Chaim Weiss — 1986
Chaim Weiss was a 15-year-old rabbinical student at Torah High School, a Jewish Orthodox Yeshiva. He lived in a dormitory on East Beech Street in Long Beach, New York. In 1986, on the morning after Halloween, his body was found in his dorm room.
When Chaim failed to appear at Sabbath morning prayers, administrators went to check on him. What they found left them shaken. He was dead from a single blow to his skull. The weapon has never been recovered.
There were some odd things about the discovery of the body. It was placed on the floor, a window was opened, and a memorial candle was in the room. These are all Jewish traditional rituals. Chaim did not have a roommate. There was no sign of a struggle nor was anything missing from the room.
There were initially two suspects. One was a mentally ill man and the other was a janitor at the school. Both were ruled out fairly quickly. Initially the rabbis would not cooperate with the police investigators. They would not speak to police until the end of Shabbos (Jewish Sabbath) which didn’t end for ten hours after the discovery of the body. The theory is that the brutal murder was carried out by a faculty member or another student.
In 2012, the case was reopened and 100 former students were interviewed. When the crime first occurred 140 students were interviewed and they all claimed to know nothing and each asked for a lawyer. Forty students took polygraphs, but no suspects or motives were found.
Detective Captain John Azzata, Nassau County Homicide Department, believes somebody, somewhere, knows what happened to young Chaim Weiss. If anyone has any information relating to this case, even if it seems trivial, please call 800-244-TIPS or contact Detective Azzata directly at 516-573-7788. There is a $25,000 reward.
David Stone — 1988
David Stone was a successful stock market analyst with a stable career in Tucson, Arizona. He was into the New Age movement that was popular at the time, but everyone agreed that he was sane and had a sharp mind.
During a Halloween party at his house in 1988 he got into an argument with one of his guests that turned violent. People who knew David said this behavior was completely out of character for him. He got in his car and left.
He was seen by several people sitting by his car on Highway 80. It appeared he had headed into the desert on foot. A few people claimed to have seen him that day. A farmer said he saw him walking across his property and thought it was strange because he was not dressed for the cold weather. He also said David was muttering something about being “in search of the beast.”
On November 5, his car was found a little ways off the same road where it had been seen earlier. Searchers headed north from the car and found two pyramids that had been constructed out of rocks. The pyramids were surrounded by a triangle. David’s Rolex was found on the ground next to one of the pyramids.
They continued on northward and after about three miles they found a number pattern commonly used in stock analysis called a Fibonacci sequence. It was scratched in the soil, but it ended with the number 18 and the Fibonacci sequence normally ends with 21.
Bloodhounds tracked David along Highway 80, but his trail ended about 13 miles of where he had abandoned his car.
When his car was searched by his family they found a bizarre note. It read, They think the WORD is in the safe. Six knives in Rob’s room. Yous buys your tea and yous take your chances. Halloween.
Four years later in 1992, two hikers found his remains. There was no sign of foul play and to this day no one knows how or why he died or what caused his crazy behavior.
Hyun Jong Song — 2001
Hyun Jong Song, known as Cindy to her friends, disappeared from her apartment during the night of Halloween in 2001.
Cindy was raised in Seoul, South Korea and moved to Virginia to live with relatives when she was 15. After graduating high school she went to Pennsylvania State University. She was scheduled to graduate with a degree in integrative arts in the spring of 2002.
Cindy went to a Halloween party with friends Stacy Paik and Lisa Kim at the Player’s Nite Club on West College Avenue dressed as a bunny rabbit. She left the party around 2:00 a.m. and went to a friend’s place. At about 4:00 a.m. another friend dropped her off at her apartment on West Clinton Avenue. She was said to be “mildly intoxicated” at the time. That was the last time anyone ever heard from her.
Four days later her friends became worried when they realized no one had heard from her. Her backpack and cell phone that she always carried were in the apartment. The only things missing were her keys and her purse. Cindy had told no one about any plans to take a trip.
There were no signs of a struggle or any kind of foul play. There was no activity on any of her credit cards after her disappearance.
The police looked into the possibility that her disappearance was drug-related after finding entries in her diary mentioning marijuana and Ecstasy. However, it didn’t appear she had used any drugs the night she disappeared and that theory was eventually abandoned.
Any information regarding the disappearance of Hyun Jong Song should be called in to the Ferguson Township Police Department at 814-237-1172.