Janice Kathryn Pockett

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Top Two Rows and Bottom Left and Center: Janice, circa 1973;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 47 (circa 2012)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: July 26, 1973 from Tolland, Connecticut
  • Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  • Date Of Birth: October 15, 1965
  • Age: 7 years old
  • Height and Weight: 4'0, 65 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Janice has a gap between her front teeth.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: Navy blue shorts with an imprinted American flag design, a blue and white-striped pullover shirt and blue sneakers.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Janice was last seen leaving her family's home on Anthony Road in Tolland, Connecticut on July 26, 1973. She planned to ride her metallic green Murray bicycle, which had a bell and a banana seat, through the neighborhood to search for a butterfly she'd caught and left on a rock a few days earlier. She was carrying an envelope to carry the butterfly in. It was the first time she'd been allowed to go out by herself. She never arrived home and has never been seen again. Janice's mother found her bike half an hour later, on Rhoades Road near a wooded area less than a mile from her residence. The butterfly and envelope were never found. Authorities believe something happened to Janice after she had picked up the butterfly and was on her way home.

    Janice was one of five people to disappear in the general area during a ten-year time period; another was Lisa White. All of the missing were female; they ranged in age from 7 to 20 years old. Two of them were found deceased years after their disappearances but the other three, including White, remain missing. It is not clear whether the cases are related.

    The late Charles Pierce, a pedophile who was suspected in many child disappearance cases in New England throughout the 1950's - 1970's, confessed to Janice's murder. He claimed to have buried her in the Lawrence, Massachusetts area near an unidenitified boy who was another victim. The boy was thought to be Angelo Puglisi, a Massachusetts child who vanished three years after Janice in 1976. Neither of the supposed graves has been discovered.

    Another twist in the Janice case came in 2000, when the bone fragments of a child were discovered in the garage of Nathaniel Bar-Jonah, a man charged with the 1996 abduction and presumed murder of Zachary Ramsay in Great Falls, Montana (the charges were later dismissed due to lack of evidence). Janice's name surfaced in connection with Bar-Jonah when his criminal past came to light; he had served a prison sentence for the abduction and attempted murder of two boys in Massachusetts in 1977.

    Putting the possible scenario together, investigators learned that Bar-Jonah lived in Webster, Massachusetts in 1973 when Janice disappeared. Webster is only 20 miles away from Tolland, Connecticut, which is Janice's hometown. He would have been only fourteen years old when Janice vanished, but Bar-Jonah had already allegedly strangled a playmate by that time. There have been additional accusations that Bar-Jonah practiced cannibalism in recent years. He was found guilty of two unrelated counts of child molestation in Montana in February 2002. Bar-Jonah, whose given name was David P. Brown, claimed he was innocent of all charges against him. Authorities also investigated the possibility that he was involved in the 1997 Wyoming disappearance of Amanda Gallion. Amanda is classified as a runaway, but her Social Security number has not been used since 1997 and there is suspicion that she met with foul play.

    A handwritten list of names entitled "Lake Webster" was discovered in Bar-Jonah's possession in December 2001. Some news reports stated that Andrew Amato was among the children featured in the list, but this is untrue. Andrew disappeared from Webster, Massachusetts in 1978. No one has been able to tie him to Bar-Jonah. DNA testing conducted in 2001 on a bone located in Bar-Jonah's Montana garage proved that it was not part of Zachary's Janice's, or Amanda's remains. Andrew's DNA was not compared with the bone. Bar-Jonah was never charged in connection with any of the other disappearances. He died of a blood clot in a Montana prison in April 2008, at age 51.

    Charges have not been filed against any person regarding Janice's disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.

    Pierce Bar-Jonah
    Left: Charles Pierce; Right: Nathaniel Bar-Jonah

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Connecticut State Police
    860-685-8000

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    Source Information
    Connecticut State Police
    The Boston Globe
    The Great Falls Tribune
    APB News
    Court TV
    CrimeNews 2000
    The Billings Gazette
    The Worcester Telegram and Gazette
    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    Connecticut's Unsolved Mysteries
    The Hartford Courant
    NamUs
    CNN
    Unsolved in the News
    Facebook Page for Janice Pockett
    Naugatuck Daily News

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    Updated 11 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated November 13, 2013; picture added.

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