Community Bulletin Board
- Love a Lilac
- Improving Air Quality
- What's Happening in Waterbury and Beyond
- TURN to a Historian at the Litchfield Historical Society
- A Night at the Boys and Girls Club
- Call for Hall of Fame Nominations
- President Trump Signs Two Esty-Authored Bills
- Safety Classes at Railroad Museum
- College Scholarship Opportunities
- Take Your Child to the Library Day
- Markley and Zupkus Town Hall Meeting
- Click It Or Ticket Enforced Over Holiday Season
Billy Smolinski Jr. and his dog Harley before he vansihed in 2004.
Today, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), as well as U.S. Congressmen Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.) introduced Billy’s Law, also known as the Help Find the Missing Act – legislation that would close loopholes in our national missing persons systems.
By John Murray
Ten years after his 31-year-old son vanished from Waterbury, Bill Smolinski Sr. uncorked a raw emotional speech last night during a Missing Persons Vigil held on the Naugatuck Green. When Billy Smolinski disappeared on August 24th, 2004, his family had trouble getting the Waterbury PD to take the report of a missing adult male seriously. Frustrated, the family had little choice but to search for Billy themselves. The results have been nightmarish.
The annual “Night of Hope,” the official Connecticut Missing Persons Day, will be held on the Naugatuck Town Green on Sunday, August 25, 2013. A Night of Hope is held each year in honor of William “Billy” Smolinski (pictured here) who went missing from Waterbury on August 24, 2004.
Paula Bell, left, and her parents, Bill and Janice Smolinski, at the vigil on the Green in Naugatuck.
(Editor’s note - A vigil was held on the Naugatuck Green, August 26th, to mark the 8th anniversary of the disappearrance of Billy Smolinski. Congressman Chris Murphy, Waterbury police chief Michael Gugliotti, CT’s Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz, the Smoliniski family, and Waterbury Observer publisher John Murray all spoke. The following are the remarks Murray delivered at the vigil)
Photographs By John Murray
While much of Connecticut enjoyed another glorious summer day in New England, I spent most of mine trying not to vomit as I closely read through the verdict in the civil trial between Madeline Gleason and the Smolinski family. The lawsuit, filed by a named suspect in the disappearance of Billy Smolinski, took six years, tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and three days in court. After all of this, Superior Court Judge Thomas Corradino ordered Janice Smolinski and Paula Bell to pay Madeline Gleason $52,000 in damages for allegedly harassing her, defaming her, and falsely accusing Gleason of having anything to do with the disappearance of Billy Smolinski.
Billy Smolinski Jr. vanished from Waterbury August 24th, 2004.
Story By John Murray
Seven and a half years after Billy Smolinski Jr. disappeared from Waterbury, Connecticut, the local police department is taking another look at the case. The new development was triggered when Billy's parents, Bill and Jan Smolinski, met with Waterbury Police Chief, Michael Gugliotti, on March 22nd.
"The Smolinskis asked me a lot of questions that I had no answer for," Gugliotti said. "I wasn't involved with the investigation seven years ago, but it was a complete disaster. We need to find answers to their questions."
Janice and Bill Smolinski inside New Haven Superior Court.
Column by John Murray
That’s how you spell backwards, backward.
And that might be the best way to describe the civil trial of Madeline Gleason versus Janice Smolinski and Paula Bell taking place in New Haven Superior Court. It is so backwards, it is insane.
Here’s the background.....
When serious leads aren't followed up by law enforcement, Bill and Jan Smolinski scour the woods for the remains of their missing son Billy, who was murdered in August 2004.
Story and Photographs By John Murray
Picture the murder of Billy Smolinski as a crystal vase. Hold it in your hands. Spin it around. Now drop it on the kitchen floor and watch it shatter into a thousand pieces. Each shard of glass represents a clue into who killed Billy on August 24th, 2004. When patched together the vase reveals the gruesome truth of who murdered Billy, and why. The vase points to the spot Billy is buried in the Naugatuck Valley.
Re-Introduced In Congress
Congressman Chris Murphy (left) and Texas Congressman Ted Poe (right) have joined forces to co-sponsor “Billy’s Law”. Murphy said the collaboration on missing person legislation is unusual, as the two men, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, rarely agree on any issue. Janice Smolinski is pictured in the middle. Photo by John Murray
Last year’s effort to pass Billy’s Law flew through the House of Representatives, but like hundreds of other bills, was gummed up in the United States Senate. Time expired on the bill when the calendar year changed, forcing legislators to re-introduce it in 2011.
Angry At A System They Trusted To Help Find Their Missing Son, Jan and Bill Smolinski Seek Federal Reform
Story By John Murray
Fire makes steel.
For Jan and Bill Smolinski a fire of angst and pain engulfed their lives after their 31 year old son Billy vanished six years ago. The fire is so hot it could shatter friendships and destroy their marriage, Left alone, the fire would consume them.
Story By John Murray
Billy is dead.
That's what his parents think.
After 18 months of tirelessly searching for their missing 32 year old son, Janice and William Smolinski now believe Billy is dead.