A factfinding Grand Jury into the investigation of the disappearance of Louise Pietrewicz.
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Louise Pietrewicz, a Cutchogue, NY mother was last seen in October 1966. At the time, Mrs. Pietrewicz was seeing a Southold Town Police officer, Bill Boken, who had a violent history and an assault arrest for beating his wife. Instead of prosecuting Boken on that charge, town officials signed off on having him committed to the Central Islip Psychiatric Hospital. No physician was present to determine if he was, in fact, mentally ill, nor was there any history of him being mentally ill. Boken’s confinement to Central Islip abruptly eliminated any possibility that he could be arrested on charges related to Louise’s disappearance. His official status as a mentally ill person raised a potential impediment to any criminal proceedings as it created uncertainty about his ability to assist in his own defense; then, as now, a fundamental right of any defendant. These unprecedented actions – and the silence that followed are damning evidence that Louise was simply written off or covered up. Why that was so then, and why town officials acted as they did, is a question that still hangs in the air. The community in which Louise lived did not rise up on her behalf to demand answers or support a young girl who’d lost her mother. And town officials, who had the legal and moral responsibility to find those answers and offer that support, showed little or no interest in providing either. Interviews with people who knew and worked with these officials at that time paint a damning portrait of men who behaved like entitled members of a small-town good old boys’ club, holding down elected and patronage jobs and controlling access to dozens of others. They mattered. Their club mattered. Keeping the club and its privileged membership going mattered. Unraveling the story of what happened to Louise Pietrewicz did not. At that time, power and politics ruled at both Southold Town Hall and police headquarters. Strict procedure often took a back seat to cronyism. It wasn’t until 1968 that the town police department began to operate in compliance with the 1967 New York State Civil Service Law. By that time, all records in the town regarding this open case were 'purged' as evidenced by the FOIA request submitted by Louise's own daughter.
A Grand Jury needs to be impaneled to track down the actual police reports regarding this case, and all the interviews conducted by the investigators.
This "Missing Person" matters, even now. Her daughter needs closure.
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