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N.Y. Daily News – From Casey Anthony to Alice Crimmins moms on trial mesmerize

Posted by 4love2love on July 1, 2011

PATRICE O’SHAUGHNESSY

Thursday, June 30th 2011, 4:00 AM

Alice Crimmins (l.) captivated the public's attention during her trial for murder in the 1960s in the same way that the Casey Anthony trial fascinates the country.

News Archive and Red Huber/AP

Alice Crimmins (l.) captivated the public’s attention during her trial for murder in the 1960s in the same way that the Casey Anthony trial fascinates the country.

An attractive twenty-something mother, accused of killing her daughter so she would be free to party. She showed no emotion when her child’s body was found. Her case is a media sensation. A parade of lovers testify about her wild lifestyle. Court pundits say she’s guilty of being a bad mother, but it doesn’t prove she’s a murderer.

Forty-six years ago next month, there was Alice Crimmins, who was to the New York tabloids what Casey Anthony is to cable TV and the Internet this summer.

I remember buying the Daily News each morning for my parents and seeing Crimmins in the paper, in fashionable outfits, boufant hair, flawless makeup – and demonized.

She kept the city riveted all through the summer, after her two kids vanished and turned up murdered.

Her daughter’s funeral was held at St. Raymond’s Church on E. Tremont Ave. Our family priest, the Rev. Michael Gannon, said the Mass, and shooed photographers and cameramen away from the grave at St. Raymond’s Cemetery, where Edmund Jr. was also buried later.

Crimmins, 26, was called strawberry-blonde, titian-haired, flame-haired, shapely, a sexpot, a swinger. The sexual revolution and the women’s liberation movement were just starting, so she was villified for her numerous boyfriends and time in nightclubs.

Crimmins was born and raised in the Bronx, attended Catholic schools and met and married her husband here.

She had two children with Eddie Crimmins, and they were in a custody battle when Alice Marie, 4, and Edmund, 5, disappeared from their ground-floor Queens apartment on July 14, 1965.

Alice Marie was found within hours in a weeded lot a half-mile away; Edmund a mile away, five days later.

Cops said she was unusually calm, even cold. When shown Alice Marie’s body, Crimmins did not cry. But there was no solid evidence against her.

Anthony, whose daughter, Caylee Marie, 2, was reported missing on July 15, 2008 – a month after she was last seen – and her body was found in December in woods about a mile from their Orlando home.

Anthony, quickly dubbed “tot mom” by Nancy Grace, was revealed to have competed in hot-body contests, working as a shot girl at a bar, dressed in miniskirts and pushup bras while Caylee was missing.

Prosecutors are trying to get a first-degree murder conviction against Anthony, 25. But an autopsy could not pinpoint how Caylee died.

Cops said Anthony did not “show any obvious emotion as to the loss of her child.”

But she lied and changed her story so many times, while Crimmins never wavered.

Significant ink was used on Crimmins – Daily News files have 25 folders of newspaper clippings on her, with several others for her husband and kids.

A half-century after she was in a Queens courthouse, the trial of a murderous mother still fascinates.

Would-be spectators form long lines daily at the courthouse in Florida for Anthony’s trial, and millions are watching all-day coverage on Court TV, reading about it in newspapers and magazines, getting news flashes on Twitter.

Maybe it’s the stream of home videos of Caylee – so alive – that have fixated people on the case. Alice Marie and Edmund Jr. smiled, frozen in black-and-white photos.

In 1968, a jury of 12 married men found Crimmins guilty of manslaughter in her daughter’s death. It was overturned. Then in 1971, she was convicted in both kids’ deaths. It was reversed, but in 1975, the manslaughter conviction was reinstated, and she was in prison until 1977.

The big question now is if Anthony will take the stand, as Crimmins did.

But there is no question that, unlike Crimmins, Anthony will never be able to fade into obscurity.

poshaughnessy@nydailynews.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/bronx/2011/06/30/2011-06-30_mothers_on_trial_mesmerize.html#ixzz1QttnEev7

© Copyright 2011 NYDailyNews.com

 

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