Monday, October 5, 2009

Who Killed Debbie Makel?

36 years ago tonight,8 year old Debbie Makel rode the bus home from Dry Tavern school on a Friday evening.Her books were found at the house but Debbie was gone.After phoning friends and neighbors,an announcement was made at the Jefferson-Morgan football game and the search began for Debbie.The Rices Landing Fire Department,PA State Police,the local Boy Scout troop...everyone searched for Debbie....
I'm stretching this post over the next few days to collect more photographs and talk to people involved with the search.This happened about one month before my sixth birthday...so my memory of the event is faint.But everyone else in Rices Landing knows where they were when the search was on until she was found.

A article on the 30th anniversary of the murder:



16 comments:

  1. Boy am I glad you are writing about this subject, which I always thought to be taboo in Rices Landing. Anyway, I have a bunch of newspaper clippings on the subject if you want them.
    Randi

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  2. http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1499

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  3. MY grandmother knew little Debbie she went to school with my uncle Ive heard about this all my life Ive always thought it was so sad...I hope this case gets solved someday

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  4. Chip. was just talking about this with my mother the other day. She has some great insight being she was working at the Rices Landing Post Office during this horrible time in our fine borough. She was interviewed by the State Police after reporting a barge worker asking some odd questions a short time after the incident. As you know, I'm a few years older than you Chip, played ball with Debbies brothers and was at the Football game that had the announcement. It was a strange time. First time I can remember not being allowed to go out by myself. Let me know if I can be any help to you. Doch

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  5. Thanks,Doch!
    Evan,Danielle and I are actually putting together a documentary type thing about this case.As you can imagine,we're checking our facts carefully.I'd love to talk to your Mom about this as I have several other people that want to give insight.It seems our blog has spawned new interest in the case.We're not trying to place blame or solve the case,just telling a story that has layed dormant too long.I'll contact you soon...

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  6. I SEEN HER GET OFF THE BUS DEBBIE WALK TO THE BACK OF THE BUS. I SEEN THE JUGGER. I SEEN HER BROTHER .HIM AND OTHER KID WENT INTO THE CORN FILED. THERE WAS ALSO A 55 OR 57 CHEV NEAR BY .HE STOP IN THE ROAD AND WAS ACTING STRANGE. OF ALL THE STORY IVE READ TIMEING OF THE JUGGER AND BROTHER GETTING DONT ADD UP. AND THERE WAS A GREEN CAR SITTING IN PUNKEN RUN WE CALL IT THE HOLLOW .AND ALSO THERE WAS A MAN IN THE WOODS BELOW HER HOUSE WITH A HUNTING DOG ABOUT AN HOUR BEFOR DEBBIE GOT HOME I HOPE THIS HELPS

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  7. anyone ever think of contacting one of those shows on tv these days like cold case or one of those shows on id to pick up the case

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  8. Rumor has it someone attempted to get Unsolved Mysteries to do it and they were interested,then the person who proposed the idea recieved a threatening message to leave it alone...Take that with a grain of salt.This story is touchy to cover beacuse of its nature.I can tell you we recieve MANY emails about the case.I can also tell you there are holes in the story as it was reported in 1973.We at SWPARE are not attempting to solve the case or disrespect the family.We are simply telling the story of a little girl and the fact someone got away with murder.

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  9. I grew up using the same bus stop. It was years later but my parents were always very protective of me being there.

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  10. I really would like to see this case solved as this was a little girl who didn't deserve what happened in our hometown are. Yes it would be wonderful to see this on Unsolved Mysteries; whoever was threatened hopefully the police were notified. I was a teenager when this happened to Debbie; I remember some of the search; helicopters searching and lots of people; police and all others who helping. Yes it does sound like a lot of holes in the story or as if someone was covering up something. Unsolved Mysteries would be wonderful....as for something like this happening in Greene County was just not heard of before.

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  11. A friend of mine just moved to Rices Landing and just informed us she has a ghost, and her neighbors have seen a blonde ghost with pigtalesin her yard, so we started thinking of who it could be, and I remembered Debbie. Just got on line to see if we could find anything and thanks to you we got alot of info. I'm so glad you are doing this, if it is her ghost maybe someday she will have closer. I wish you all the best, and will follow your progress, if I find any facts will let you know. Tread carefully, not sure who is involved with this cover up. God bless

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  12. Thank You.We receive a LOT of feedback on Debbie's story.It is delicate subject matter and we do our best to treat it with the respect it deserves.For many years it was almost taboo to discuss in Rices Landing so we try to stick to the facts and let folks form their own opinions.As far as ghost sightings,I don't know what to tell you.While we don't want to turn Debbie's story into an urban legend (kids having séances,etc)we can put you in touch with some close friends of ours who do paranormal research.You can contact us by the email link.We're not done covering Debbie's story...look for new posts this fall.

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  13. My brother was on the search team. Since we grew up there, he knew the woods and fields like the back of his hand. He had searched the area where she was later found, and said nothing was there when he covered the area. He felt someone placed her body there later on. Please don't ever let this story fade away. Someday, somehow, this crime will be solved. . . .

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  14. I just recently started to read about the case. I know this seems trivial but here's what I found. Reading the Newspaper I found in 1973- It said her grandfather left a bowl of plums on the front steps. In 1980 a newspaper says her grandmother left the fruit. In 2003 it said a "friend" left the fruit. So is this simply human error as time passes? Or is there something with the fruit? They said they found the fruit moved and her school book in the house. But they noticed her pink purse was missing as well as a green sock and another item. Was this purse an item she ALWAYS carried? Just stupid little questions (probably have no meaning to the case)that have been swirling around my little brain.

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  15. I have been watching this tv show called cold justice on tnt. Cold cases can be submitted for this agency to review, but law enforcement has to invite them to do so.i suggest we all call the state police or email them . hopefully to renew the case and maybe tv spotlight will generate new leads.

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  16. I have seen that and wondered the same thing.Honestly,I don't know if the powers that be would be interested/cooperative. I believe (and many agree) that there are folks who just want this case to 'go away'. I'm not saying that to be dramatic but believe it to be true. I'v sort of stepped away from this story for awhile to focus on other thing but I will continue with part four soon. The nature of the story dictates that I have my facts straight and I don't want to throw it together for the sake of a post update. Thanks for following....stay tuned.

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