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
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.
Janice Smolinski applauds U.S. Congressman Chris Murphy's comments about 'Billy's Law", the federal legislation that was triggered by the disappearrance of her 31-year-old son, Billy, eight years ago.
Story and Photograph By John Murray
Eight years after Billy Smolinski vanished from Waterbury, Connecticut, his family continues to seek answers to what transpired on the night of August 24th, 2004. Billy was involved in a love triangle and had left a threatening message on the voice mail of his male rival. It was the last telephone call he ever made.
When Billy disappearred his family immediately reached out to the Waterbury Police Department for help. They were told to wait for three days, and even then the local police were sluggish to investigate the disappearance of an adult missing male. Terrified, the Smolinskis organized their own search parties and hung thousands of missing person flyers all across western Connecticut. When hundrds of posters were vandalized and destroyed in and around Woodbridge, the Smolinskis entered the lion's den. They discovered that Billy's former girlfriend, Madeline Gleason, was the person destroying the posters. Woodbridge was where Gleason worked, and was the home of the married politician, Chris Sorensen, who had been the other male in the love triangle.
Billy Smolinski Jr. vanished eight years ago and his family's relentless search to find answers has led to his mother Janice, middle, being arrested, and his mother and sister being sued.
Story By John Murray
The Smolinski family is headed to New Haven Superior Court today in what may be the final chapter in a bizarre civil lawsuit filed against them by a named suspect in their son's disappearance. Billy Smolinski Jr, vanished from his life on August 24th, 2004, and when local law enforcement were sluggish to respond to pleas for help, Billy's family and friends launched their own search.
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.