April 26, 2008

Smiley Face Graffiti

According to retired NYC detectives Kevin Gannon and Anthony Duarte who first investigated these cases, smiley face graffiti has been found at 25 of the 33 cities where these deaths occurred.

What we know
We know that smiley face graffiti has been found in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Albany, Vermont and Pennsylvania.

Not all of the graffiti pictures have been made public. And of those made public, in some cases, it has only been disclosed which state the graffiti was found in and not which case it with which it can be associated. View undisclosed graffiti.

The remaining graffiti has been reported by the news media to be linked to the following cases:

12/22/07: Josh Szostak, Albany, NY
In the Josh Szostak case, a white smiley face, which was dismissed by police as being unrelated, was found on a tree.

02/05/08: Nicholas Garza, Middlebury, VTAccording to an e-mail I received from Nick's family, they knew about the Smiley Face Killer theory a few days before the story went national in April and had been working with an investigator who had been trying to make a link between these missing men for nearly 8 years. After hearing about the graffiti, the next day, they searched along the riverbank in an area where dogs had already picked up Nick's scent and found a smiley face with a three pointed crown. Local police were informed and because of immense media pressure, they erased it, saying it had been there for some time. Police do not believe it was related to Nick's disappearance. The Garza family has met with detectives Gannon and Duarte (the two former NYPD cops who first found the link with the graffiti) a number of times and they are investigating Nick's case.

Nick disappeared less than a month after Tommy Booth from Woodlyn, PA. A smiley face with a three pointed crown was also found near where he disappeared.

01/19/08: Tommy Booth, Woodlyn, PA
After watching a 5 Eyewitness News investigation about the Smiley Face Killer Theory on Good Morning America, Ridley Township Det. Scott Willoughby, who worked the Tommy Booth case, asked his detectives to take another look behind Bootlegger's Bar, where Booth had last been seen. "When they went down into the area where we thought he went into the water, they noticed the graffiti and they noticed this smiley face painted on the wall," said Willoughby. The smiley face, which had slash marks for eyes and a 3-pointed crown on it's head, was on the wall of the bar under the party deck, just 30 feet from the creek. Police said they had never seen this kind of graffiti in Ridley Township before. Detective Willoughby has sent photos of the Ridley Creek graffiti to retired detectives Gannon and Duarte (who discovered the smiley face link). He also contacted the FBI, even though they've looked at the other cases and dismissed the possibility of a link.

Bloggers have also posted photos online of other graffiti found in the area, including these two smiley faces found behind the bar. These unofficial photographs were taken by Megan.Kelley51 on Flickr.

Smiley Faces with HornsThe words "evil smiley faced man" was found at one crime scene. (It has not been disclosed which one). Detective Gannon reported to the New York Post that "nine of the 22 faces were drawn with horns - like an "evil, happy, smiley man."

New York Post

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