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Assumed Deceased: Mary Badaracco - CT - 08/20/1984

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#1 Linda

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 02:28 PM

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Mary Badaracco

Case #:  A84277483
Name:  Mary Badaracco
Alias:  Mary Poo
Address: Sherman, CT
Height:  5 ft. 7 in.
Weight:  145
Age:  53
Sex:  F
Eyes:  Brown
Hair:  Brown
Complexion:  Dark
Race:  White
DOB:  3/11/1946

Homicide Victim

Mary Badaracco has been missing since August 1984 and is believed to be a homicide victim.  She was last seen at her residence in Sherman.

There is a $50,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for her disappearance and/or homicide.

If you have any information concerning Mary Badaracco, please telephone the Connecticut State Police Western District Major Crime Squad at Troop A in Southbury.

Connecticut State Police
Western District Major Crime Squad

#2 Linda

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 02:29 PM


Woman awaits clues in mother's cold case

Sept. 27, 2007

Newton (WTNH) _ The daughter of a woman who's been missing for more than 20 years is speaking out.
Beth Profeta is eager to see if items being dug out of a yard in Newtown will lead to her mother.

Its still a very active scene as investigators continue digging in a Newtown backyard.  They're trying to find clues connected to a cold case.

It was August 1984 when Profeta's mother, Mary Badaracco, 38, disappeared from her Sherman home, her wedding ring left behind.  Now Profeta waits to see what, if anything, is found.

"I'm shaking, I'm hopeful, I'm scared and its all rolled into one," says Profeta.  Its been 23 years since Mary Badaracco disappeared from her Sherman home.

Profeta says the tip that led investigators to the yard on Farrell Road was the first ever break in the case.

For eight days detectives have been digging, basically destroying a recently landscaped backyard.  Police say several vehicles have been unearthed.  Beth is hoping they find more

"We need her remains for that closure," says Profeta.

The current homeowner is not connected to the case but is cooperating which is something Beth is grateful for.

"I'd really like to thank the homeowner," says Profeta, "and maybe someone can help her put her fountain and yard back when this is all done."

There is still a $50,000 reward in connection with info leading to arrest and conviction in the case.

#3 Linda

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 02:49 PM


Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Mary, circa 1984;

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: August 19, 1984 from Sherman, Connecticut
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: August 11, 1946
Age: 38 years old
Height and Weight: 5'7, 145 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Mary's nickname is Mary Poo. She has a surgical scars on her abdomen due to a gallstone operation and an appendectomy. Mary has psoriasis on both of her knees and elbows. Her ears are pierced. Mary was a chain smoker at the time of her 1984 disappearance. She wears front dentures. Her right thumb is scarred as the result of four previous stitches.

Details of Disappearance

Mary was employed as a barmaid in Sherman, Connecticut in 1984. She had a stormy relationship with her husband, Dominic Badaracco, and left him for short periods of time in the past. Mary's adult daughters from her previous marriage reported her as a missing person on August 31, after they had not been contacted by their mother since the 19th. Dominic claimed that he saw Mary for the last time on August 20, when she packed all of her belongings and left their residence in the 20 block of Wakeman Road. None of Mary's personal items were located inside the house by her daughters. Her 1982 Chevrolet Cavalier was parked outside of their home, however. The windshield on the driver's side of the vehicle had been smashed. Mary's car keys and her wedding ring were placed on the kitchen counter. Dominic claimed that he gave Mary $100,000 to leave their residence and as an informal settlement. He maintained that she simply packed her things and left after receiving the cash. Her daughters had a close relationship with Mary and other loved ones stated she would never leave the vicinity without sharing her plans.

Divorce proceedings for Mary and Dominic took place in August 1985, nine months after she vanished. Mary was not represented at the hearing and Dominic continued to insist that she left their home after receiving his cash offering. There has not been any evidence of the cash or any trace of Mary's belongings since her disappearance.

Mary's case was upgraded from a missing person's case to that of a homicide in 1990, six years after she disappeared. Investigators received a tip from an informant that Mary was killed after members of The Hell's Angels' motorcycle gang issued a contract on her life. Dominic's son Joey, who has a criminal record, is a member of the gang. The tip has never been confirmed and Mary's case remains unsolved.

Some agencies may list Southbury, Connecticut as the location of Mary's disappearance.

Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Connecticut State Police
Texas Department Of Public Safety

#4 Linda

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 03:02 PM


Posted Image

Name:Mary Edna Badaracco
Classification:Endangered Missing Adult
Alias / Nickname:Mary Poo
Date of Birth1946-03-11
Date Missing:1984-08-20
From City/State:Sherman, CT
Age at Time of Disappearance:38
Gender: Female
Height:67 inches
Weight:145 pounds
Hair ColorBrown
Eye Color:Brown
Identifying Characteristics:Large surgical scar from appendix removal, four stitches on right thumb.

Circumstances of Disappearance:
Unknown. Mary was last seen at her residence in the vicinity of the 20 block of Wakeman Rd. Her husband stated that when he returned home from work, she was missing. Most of her belongings were also missing, although her vehicle was still at her residence with the windshield smashed in. Foul play is suspected. A $50,000 reward is being offered by the state of Connecticut for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Mary's disappearance and/or homicide.

Investigative Agency:Connecticut State Police
Phone:(203) 267-2200
Investigative Case A84277483

#5 Linda

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 03:05 PM

Tribute to Mary Badarcacco


#6 Linda

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 03:07 PM


New tip, search in 'cold case' of missing Sherman woman

September 21, 2007

State police detectives were digging for clues this week in connection with a 1984 missing person case believed to be a homicide. Mary Badaracco, 53, disappeared from her Sherman home 22 years ago and hasn't been seen since. Lt. J. Paul Vance, state police spokesman, declined to comment about what police are looking for at a site in Newtown along I-84. A $50,000 reward has been offered by the state for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

"It is a search for evidence, not a body," Vance said. "When we get a tip, we follow it up." Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Western District Major Crime Squad at 800-376-1554.

#7 Lizy39ish



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Posted 15 November 2007 - 01:37 PM


Angel hugs n Blessings!

#8 Kelly


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Posted 05 December 2007 - 06:38 AM


Cold Case: Mary Badaracco
Police Ask Public For Help


There were new questions on Tuesday about the death of a Connecticut mother.

Open Case: Mary Badaracco

It's been 23 years since Mary Badaracco's two daughters saw their mother alive. Police don't know where she went and haven't found her body. Despite that, they've labeled her disappearance a homicide, NBC 30 News reported.

NBC 30's Amanda Raus spoke with Badaracco's daughters, who said they were still searching for answers in this cold case killing . In August 1984, Badaracco mysteriously disappeared, and her husband, Dominic, said she took $100,000 and left him, leaving her car and a wedding ring behind. Badaracco's daughters, Sherrie Passaro and Beth Profeta, didn't find out about her disappearance until a week later.

"I got a call from my stepsister, Donna -- Dominic's daughter," Profeta said. "She took me out to lunch and told me that my mother was gone."

"I was at the house when he told me," Passaro said. "Her car was still in the driveway with a smashed front window through the driver's side window. My first thought was, 'How did she take off if she didn't have her car.'"

Passaro said little by little, things began to add up. Passaro said she noticed there were no longer family pictures hanging at her mother's Sherman house. Even though she said her stepfather, Dominic, told her and Profeta not to report their mother missing, they went to the police.

Dominic Badaracco went for a divorce soon after his wife's disappearance, NBC 30 reported. Since she wasn't there, Dominic got their house in Sherman, and one in Danbury. NBC 30 went to Badaracco's Sherman home, but he didn't come to the door.

Both women said they think someone made their mother disappear. They said there was a core group of people who were protecting the person who harmed Mary Badaracco. State police said they think the same thing.

"Someone that may have a little bit of information, some conversation they may have had with her before she disappeared, something someone heard from another person," said Lt. Paul Vance of the Connecticut State Police.

Police said they have made progress. In September, police searched a back yard on Farrell Road in Newtown, searching for the car Mary left behind. Though they won't give specifics on the case, but they said they are beginning to answer some lingering questions.

Anyone with information in Badaracco's disappearance was asked to contact the Western District Major Crime Unit at 1-800-376-1554. Police said tips could be anonymous.

Video: http://video.nbc30.com/player/?id=192245\#videoid=192245

Kelly Murphy, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
President and Founder,
Project Jason

Please help us in our mission as a 501 c 3 nonprofit: http://projectjason....y-campaign.html

If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.

#9 Linda

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Posted 01 April 2008 - 08:42 AM


April 01, 2008

The Missing -- A Weekly Expose of Lost Souls -- Issue 7

In this week’s edition of "The Missing," we revisit the mysterious disappearance of Mary Badaracco, a 38-year-old resident of Sherman, Connecticut, who went missing in August 1984.

"I need this issue resolved ASAP. Twenty-three-years of my life have gone by, and this has truly been a nightmare for me, as well as my family," Mary Badaracco’s daughter, Beth Profeta, said in a recent e-mail.

On Aug. 23, 1984, Beth’s stepfather, Dominic Badaracco, called Beth’s sister, Sherrie Passaro, asking her to come over to talk about their mother. When Sherrie arrived at the house in which her mother and stepfather lived on Wakeman Hill Road, she noticed her mother’s car, a 1982 Chevrolet Cavalier, was sitting in the driveway. Curiously, the driver’s side windshield had been smashed. Badaracco told Sherrie that her mother had run away, taking more than $250,000 dollars of their money with her. As evidence, he pointed out that her clothes were missing, and her wedding ring and car keys had been left behind on the kitchen counter. Oddly enough, all framed photos of Mary that had once hung inside the house were also missing.

Investigators initially believed Mary had left to get away from her husband. It was no secret that their marriage was troubled. Mary had left in the past, and her coworkers later said it was not uncommon for her to have a black eye following an argument with her husband. Mary’s daughters have also made similar statements, claiming that their stepfather was violent and abusive.

"My mother made a mistake. She made the very bad decision of ever getting involved with Badaracco," Beth said. "At the time of this decision, my sister and I were only about 3 and 4 years of age. When they married in 1970, we then suffered right alongside our mom during the entire 14 years of her marriage. Although she tried, our mother never knew how to get us away from him. We’d leave after another very violent episode, and he’d find us every time and literally drag us all back. My sister and I told the police when we filed our mom’s missing person’s report back in 1984 that she was a battered wife throughout the marriage. We also made them very aware of the fact that we, too, were in fear for our lives, as we had defied Badaracco’s orders to “tell no one.”

When police questioned Badaracco, he told them he had last seen Mary when she left for work on Aug. 20, 1984. He said that when he returned home, her car was in the driveway, but she was nowhere to be found, and her personal belongings were missing from the house. Because the police had few leads, their work on the case quickly came to a standstill.

Approximately nine months after Mary’s disappearance, Badaracco appeared for a divorce hearing before Judge John J.P. Ryan. Mary was not at the hearing. Court documents listed her whereabouts as "parts unknown." During the hearing, Badaracco told the court that he and Mary had worked out the details of the divorce before she left and that she had agreed to let him keep the home in exchange for the amount of cash she had taken with her. As a result of Badaracco’s testimony and because Mary did not appear in court, Judge Ryan granted Badaracco the divorce and gave him the remainder of the couple’s property, including the house and motor vehicles.

Mary’s missing person file continued to collect dust until 1986 when police received a tip from a former member of the Bridgeport chapter of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang who was in the Witness Protection Program. The informant said he had heard another member of the gang discuss "hitting Mary Badaracco." Police questioned the person the informant identified, but he denied any involvement, and the case again went cold.

An August 2000 issue of the Hartford Courant states that Badaracco’s son from a previous marriage, Joseph "Joey" Badaracco, is "an acknowledged member of the Hell’s Angels." The article also indicates that Joey served time in prison for arson after hiring two men to firebomb a bar in 1989. Nonetheless, neither Joey nor his father has ever been named as a suspect in Mary’s disappearance.

Because of the dogged determination of Beth and Sherrie, police reclassified their mother’s case as a homicide. Since that time, there have been a few promising leads, but the case remains unsolved.

"As these years go by, I still ask the very same questions, and still no one answers me. I want to know, I have the right to know, I demand to know what happened to my mother," Beth said. "Why is no one being held accountable? I’ve worked very hard to get mom’s case where it is today. I’ve spent every spare ounce of energy trying to do right by my mother, to not let this crime be forgotten. I need to know when will someone step up and do the right thing? My children and I are always afraid because we know the killers are roaming the streets."

Despite the lack of leads in the case, Mary’s family remains dedicated to uncovering the truth. In addition to taking part in the investigation, they maintain a Web site on the Internet dedicated to the case, and they have created a profile about Mary’s disappearance on MySpace.com.

According to Beth, a $50,000 reward is being offered to anyone who provides information leading to Mary’s whereabouts.

"And to those who will not come forward, may GOD forgive you when your day comes and you are held responsible for your actions," Beth said. "Will this secret you have been keeping be worth it?"

Anyone with information is asked to contact Troop A at 1-800-376-1554 or 1-203-267-2200.

#10 Denise


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Posted 25 April 2008 - 03:18 PM


Troopers make arrest in case of missing Sherman woman

April 25, 2008

DANBURY, Conn. - A Danbury man is facing a misdemeanor charge in the homicide case of a Sherman woman who disappeared in 1984.

Ernest Dachenhausen was charged Friday with interfering with police. Troopers searched the backyard of his former home in Newtown last September for clues in the case of 38-year-old Mary Badaracco. She has never been found and was declared legally dead in 1991.

Investigators initially believed Badaracco ran away from home. At the time she was about to split up with her husband. But state police reclassified the case as a homicide in 1990.

A $50,000 reward is still being offered in the case.

The 65-year-old Dachenhausen is being held on a $75,000 bond and is due in Danbury Superior Court on Monday. Dachenhausen has said that he knew Badaracco's husband but had nothing to do with her disappearance.

#11 Linda

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 09:26 PM


Arrest Made In Long Unsolved Slaying Of Sherman Woman

April 26, 2008

- Sherrie L. Passaro last saw her mother alive in August 1984. Since then: no body, weapon or trace of Mary Badaracco, age 38 when she vanished.

Passaro, who always suspected foul play, welcomed news Friday that state police had made an arrest in connection with Badaracco's disappearance, classified since 1990 as a homicide.

"It's been so long," Passaro said. "There has never been an arrest. We're cautiously optimistic."

State police charged Ernest Dachenhausen, 65, of 4 Hillside Road, Danbury, with interfering with police, a misdemeanor. Police in September excavated the backyard of Dachenhausen's former Newtown residence and found buried cars, Lt. J. Paul Vance confirmed Friday.

Vance did not specify what troopers were searching for or what led them to charge Dachenhausen seven months later. He cited sealed court documents in one of the state oldest cold-case files. For years, police have believed that there are those who know precisely what happened to Mary Badaracco, but have remained silent out of fear.

"We did discover some good information, some good leads," Vance said. "We are continuing the investigation."

Dachenhausen is being held with bail set at $75,000, pending arraignment on Monday in Superior Court in Danbury. Dachenhausen said in September that he knew Badaracco's husband, but had nothing to do with the disappearance.

Danbury police initially believed Mary Badaracco ran away from home as part of an agreement to split up with her husband, Dominic Badaracco, a Danbury businessman. The case was reclassified a homicide in 1990, and Mary Badaracco was declared legally dead in 1991.

Mary Badaracco, a barmaid known as "Mary Poo," was last seen at her home in Sherman. She left behind her car keys, wedding ring and an occasionally abusive relationship with her husband.

Nine months after Mary disappeared, Dominic Badaracco went before a judge and said he and Mary had been planning a divorce. Mary, he said, agreed to leave and give up the home in return for ....approximately $100,000."

Passaro, 45, said she and her sister, Beth Profeta, both of Danbury, have not had any contact with Dominic Badaracco, their stepfather, since the days after their mother's disappearance.

She said Dominic asked her and her sister not to report their mother missing, but they did, anyway, sensing that something wasn't right.

"We knew something bad happened to her," Passaro said. "I know my mother, and there's no way she would just leave. She didn't just drive away and never come back. Nobody believed that. The police obviously don't believe that or they wouldn't be doing what they're doing."

In 1985, an informant in the federal witness protection program said the Hell's Angels had killed Mary Badaracco under a contract ....hit."

In 1990, Dominic's son, Joseph "Joey" Badaracco, went to prison on an arson conviction after hiring two men in 1989 to firebomb a bar owned by a rival of his father. Joey Badaracco was an acknowledged member of the Hell's Angels. Police at the time refused to say whether he was a suspect in his stepmother's disappearance.

Passaro said the recent activity in the case is encouraging.

"We're going on almost 24 years," she said. "The arrest is a huge step for me and my sister. We've been very vocal with the police."

#12 Linda

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 04:15 AM


Man arrested in Badaracco probe posts bond


DANBURY - A city man arrested as part of an ongoing murder investigation was released on a $10,000 bond shortly after his arraignment in Superior Court Monday.

Ernest Dachenhausen, 65, of Hillside Road, was charged with interfering with police as part of the probe into the disappearance of Mary Badaracco from her Sherman home in 1984, according to authorities. Badaracco's disappearance was later ruled a homicide.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney John H. Malone from the Chief State's Attorney's office said during the arraignment that Dachenhausen gave information to investigators that was "contradicted by physical evidence" in the case.

Dachenhausen owned property in Newtown around the time of Badaracco's disappearance that police excavated last year. Neighbors said investigators removed three vehicles from the property during the excavation.

Police said several items were seized as evidence during the excavation and that detectives have developed several leads in the case.

Dachenhausen, who was originally held on a $75,000 bond after his arrest Friday, declined to comment when leaving the courthouse. He is expected to return to court May 12.

#13 Linda

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 01:36 PM

From the Family of Mary Badaracco
For Immediate Release

~Healing Service/Rally Stop is to be held @ The lourdes Shrine in Litchfield, CT~

Sunday, August 24th, 2008 ~ To begin promptly at @ 10 AM


Please feel free to visit this daughter’s promise to her mother

The daughter’s of Mary Badaracco cordially invite you to join them as they remember and honor this beautiful soul that tragically disappeared from their lives 24 years ago.

We will gather on sacred land to pray for justice as well as a few miracles!

This Healing Service is in conjunction with the CUE Center For The Missing (Community United Effort) NC.

As Mary Badaracco’s case is being profiled in their “On The Road To Remember Tour - 2008”


#14 Linda

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 10:29 AM


Take on Life: Unsolved Badaracco murder case still hurts


Some anniversaries are marked with candlelight dinners and plane tickets. They are cause for celebration, moments to inhale life in deep, delicious gulps.

Other anniversaries, like the one Beth Profeta observed this week, are just the opposite. They are licenses for pain, moments when it's impossible to inhale anything.

Profeta should know.

It's been 24 years since she lost her mother, Mary Badaracco, to a cold-blooded killer. Although the Sherman woman's body was never found, police declared her a homicide victim in 1990.

"How would I describe how I feel?" Profeta said Tuesday. "It's primal. I wake up every single day and I miss her. But I know deep in my heart (police) are within reach of breaking this thing wide open.

"If the right person would just come forward and give us what we need, I could bury my mother and move on. Until then, it's just hard. It's the hardest thing I've ever faced.

"Every day I think, this could be our day for a miracle. And then I try to think what I can do to speed up the process."

On Sunday, Profeta and her family will hold a memorial service at the Lourdes Shrine in Litchfield. The event is billed as a healing service, a chance to get the word out about Mary Badaracco and the thousands like her who are missing -- and feared dead -- in the United States.

The service is one of 30 stops that representatives of the CUE Center for Missing Persons will make on a two-week tour. The North
Carolina-based organization, founded in 1994, gives grieving families a reason to believe beyond the odds, beyond the years.

According to Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance, Mary Badaracco's case is very much open. There's no reason to give up now.

"We are actively working on this case and following each and every lead that we receive," Vance said Tuesday in a voicemail to The News-Times.

There were no hiccups of hesitation in his voice. Vance spoke with the kind of quiet confidence that comes when leads turn into interlocking pieces, even after 24 years.

Granted, there are still holes in this puzzle. But not for long, not if witnesses with good eyes and better ears finally show the courage to step forward.

"We believe there are people out there with information," Vance said succinctly.

Profeta believes it, too. And the admission is tearing her up inside.

"To know people can actually live with themselves without coming forward, to know they can actually look at themselves in the mirror, is very hard for me to deal with," she said.

A year ago, the state police dug a hole in a Newtown backyard as part of their investigation into Badaracco's murder. Vance called it "a rather large excavation" in his voicemail Tuesday.

When the job was completed, state police had pulled out at least one motor vehicle and several pieces of physical evidence. At the time, they said "detectives have developed several leads and have developed information in this homicide as a result of that excavation."

And yet, the Newtown excavation is nothing compared to the hole in Profeta's heart, the one that never seems to heal.

In April, police moved another step closer to solving her mother's murder when they arrested Danbury's Ernest Dachenhausen and charged him with interfering with an officer in relation to the 2007 excavation. Dachenhausen owned the Newtown property at the time Badaracco disappeared.

The state police are getting closer. Beth Profeta can feel it.

Next August will be the 25th anniversary of Mary Badaracco's disappearance. The acknowledgment is nearly too much for Profeta to bear. But the alternative -- the questions, the emptiness, the uncertainty -- is even worse.

Beth Profeta deserves better. More importantly, so does her mother.

#15 Denise


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Posted 24 August 2008 - 06:01 AM


Daughters still hope for closure in mother's disappearance

SHERMAN - The specter of something gone terribly wrong hung over the home on Wakeman Hill Road in the waning days of August, 1984.

Sheryl "Sherrie" Passaro wanted to believe the explanation her stepfather, Dominic Badaracco, offered for her mother's disappearance on Aug. 20 that year. He said he had arrived home from work to find Mary Badaracco and $100,000 he had stashed in the house gone, along with most of her belongings and her three protective German Shepherds. He said he had found her wedding ring and car keys on the kitchen counter.

Passaro, of Danbury, said he told her not to go to police. His attorney would handle everything, she recalls him saying.

Passaro walked through the house. Eerily, photographs of herself, her mother and her older sister, Beth Profeta of Torrington, had been removed from frames that hung empty on the walls. She recalled a conversation she'd had with her mother 12 days before she disappeared. Dominic had a girlfriend, her mother had said. She'd found makeup on his shirt. Her mother said she had met with a lawyer about filing for a divorce.

Also, after 14 years in a relationship her daughters describe as abusive and tumultuous, Mary Badaracco admitted to her daughter "she was living in fear."

She had plenty of reason to leave, daughters Passaro, then 21, and Profeta, then 20, reasoned. Both said they had witnessed their stepfather unleash his rage at their 38-year-old mother. Both tell stories of bitter fights, and of being shuttled off to neighbors only to return and find their mother with black eyes and other bruises that went unmentioned.

The daughters reported their mother as a missing person Aug. 31, 1984, at the Southbury state police barracks. A trooper asked for basic information but not an extensive interview. Police spoke to her husband, but no foul play was suspected and the case therefore was given a low priority.

Profeta remembers a trooper asking why she had picked busy Labor Day weekend to file the report.

'Sometimes you just hit a brick wall'

A quarter-century later, what happened to Mary Badaracco remains a mystery. Since 1990, her case has been listed as a homicide, largely the result of pressure a Danbury lawmaker put on the governor's office.

Occasionally, as they will this weekend, her daughters mark the anniversary of her disappearance. Their hope for answers is undiminished, but circumstances allow their worst fears to fester.

After the daughters filed their missing person report, state troopers Peter Warren, detective Thomas "T.K" Brown and Sherman's resident trooper Ralph Pliego were assigned to the case. About Sept. 1, police went to the Sherman home, which is surrounded by 3.5 hilly, bucolic acres. Sherman, population 4,100, sits near the top of Fairfield County at the tip of Candlewood Lake wedged between New Milford to the east, and the New York state line to the west.

Pliego said he found Mary's car, a 1982 Chevrolet Cavalier, still parked outside, at the end of the property's long driveway. The front driver's window was smashed inward, shards of glass strewn on the driver's seat.

"Dominic said he smashed her car's windshield because he was angry his wife had left with a boyfriend and his money," said Pliego, now of South Carolina, who retired after 23 years as Sherman's resident trooper in 1997.

The car was never seized or inspected for clues to her disappearance.

"Suspicions grew that a crime had been committed as time passed and there was no sign of her, or of anyone who took her and all of her belongings from the house. Most of these cases turn out to be family related; but I had a town to run and only escorted the detective to the house," Pliego said. "You'd have to ask him why the car wasn't seized."

In those first days, Trooper Brown noted, the case wasn't considered a crime, and police said they lacked probable cause to seize evidence. The only obvious possibility of a crime was the missing $100,000, and Dominic Badaracco did not want to report it as stolen or pursue charges against his wife. "There weren't many leads to follow," Brown recalled, "and we were being pulled away to help with other cases."

"Sometimes you just hit a brick wall," Brown said.

In a report filed with state police four days after Mary Badaracco's disappearance, trooper Pliego said he found a woman named Joan Perrone living in the house with her daughters. Badaracco insisted to police his wife had left many times before and always returned, but Perrone had moved in, less than a week after his wife's disappearance became known. Badaracco told police he had moved in with his sister, Patty Jennings, of Danbury, and rented the house to Perrone, whom he later married.

The car with the smashed window eventually disappeared.

For years there was no trace of a new life, no weapon, no body.

The case went cold.

The first break came in 1986 when police received a tip from an informant in the federal witness protection program. The tipster, someone associated with the Bridgeport chapter of the notorious Hells Angels motorcycle gang, told detectives that Mary had been "whacked" by two members of the gang.

Detective Nick Barone, called to assist, interviewed the tipster at the Metropolitan Correction Center in New York City.

"The witness said that Joseph Badaracco and Steve Kendall had whacked Joe's mother for the father," Barone wrote in a report about the interview. "The witness said Mary Badaracco had threatened to tell police incriminating information about her husband."

Joseph Badaracco is Dominic's son. He was interviewed, but cut the interview off on the advice of his attorney, Heidi Winslow, the same attorney employed by his father.

Kendall, then serving time at the Allenwood Federal Prison in Pennsylvania, declined to be interviewed by police but he did agree to submit to a lie-detector test. The examiner said Kendall failed the test, that he was lying when he said he had never seen Mary Badaracco, and when he said that he did not know if any Hells Angels had murdered her.

Copies of documents pertaining to the interview appeared in Profeta's mailbox in 1993, while she was pressing police for information under the state's freedom of information law.

Police again sought out Dominic Badaracco. In what was his fourth interview with detectives in six years, Badaracco told police to stop harassing him.

'Years of abuse, of chaos'

Mary Smith was one of a dozen siblings. Her father worked at the Danbury Hat Factory, and her mother was a homemaker. Mary attended Danbury High School, and dropped out to marry her sweetheart, Gary Passaro, at 16. They had two daughters by the time she was 18, and divorced a year or two later.

Profeta doesn't remember much about the years spent drifting from place to place while her mother found work as a bartender and housecleaner. "She would stay up all night drawing sketches and paintings, trying to get lost in another world," Profeta recalled.

Her mother could be playful and tender, and always honest. "I remember once when she ran over a chicken. She stopped to pay the owner for it," her daughter said.

At 145 pounds, with dark-hair and a round face, Mary was known as warm-hearted and feisty. She had learned her way around tough bar crowds and was smitten by Badaracco after meeting him in one of several bars he owned. He had presence, and lots of cash - keeping wads of big bills in one pocket and small denominations in the other. Their relationship moved quickly. Mary believed she had found her salvation when they married in 1970 and moved to Badaracco's Danbury home with Dominic's three sons and daughter from a previous relationship. She quit working to care for the extended family.

But the families didn't blend. Beth said she and her sister were always regarded as "Mary's children."

Bitter fights erupted and grew violent, the daughters said.

"When anything upset him, he would take it out on her," Passaro said. "There were years of abuse, of chaos, and constant fights."

At times, mother and daughters fled together to a friend's home. Profeta keeps a copy of paperwork from a June 29, 1973, emergency room visit in Danbury when Mary was treated for bruises to her face. It's a record of the abuse the daughters witnessed but their mother never reported to police.

"There would be yelling and screaming. One time Dominic went crazy over the phone bill and ripped the phone off the wall," Profeta said. "We would leave, but he would always come looking for us. My mother knew the tone and when to send us out. When things got really bad, she would leave with us. He would always find us and bring us back."

The Badaraccos lived for 13 years in Danbury. After the children had grown and left, Dominic paid $114,000 cash for the house in Sherman on Nov. 1, 1982, and spent a year renovating it. He put it in his wife's name, and encouraged her to call it her dream home.

Mary returned to work cleaning houses. She now had a granddaughter to spoil. There were gardens to plant, and deer that took food from her hand in the private, woodsy yard. Her daughters hoped her marriage had improved.

Six weeks before she vanished, Mary added Dominic's name to the deed.

On Aug. 29, 1984, two days before the daughters filed their missing person report, Dominic's lawyer, Winslow, filed motions for divorce based on abandonment.

Winslow, now a Superior Court Judge in Danbury, declined to comment for this story.

Dominic told police Winslow had met privately with his wife. He claimed his wife had agreed to turn over the house in exchange for about $100,000. The divorce was granted in May 1985, following a hearing in Danbury Superior Court. Dominic said under oath his wife had left without a trace Aug. 20, 1984.

For reasons which aren't clear, Mary's name wasn't removed from the deed until 1991 to free the title, about the time Profeta hired an attorney to have the divorce overturned and her mother's interest in the property turned over to her. Her efforts failed. In 2001, Dominic turned the house over to Perrone.

In 1990 the case was classified as a homicide after Profeta won support from former state representative Lynn Taborsak, who lobbied to have the case re-evaluated. A $20,000 reward was offered, an amount which increased to $50,000 in 2000 when police said they had new leads.

Taborsak said she was pressured not to ask questions because the case involved the Badaraccos. Dominic Badaracco and his sons were rumored to be dangerous, Taborsak said. In 1990, Dominic's son Joe served 41 days in prison for spearheading a 1989 firebombing of the Carriage House, a bar owned by one of his father's rivals. He was an acknowledged member of the Hells Angels. Contacted for this story, Joe threatened a lawsuit if his name was mentioned, and responded with expletives when asked what he recalled of his stepmother.

A brother, Dominic Jr., died in a bar shooting at Danbury's Tortilla Flat restaurant in 1997.

Taborsak said she was threatened after getting involved.

"Someone delivered a message to me second hand through my son from one of the Badaracco sons, warning me for my own good to keep my nose out of it or I would end up hurt," said Taborsak, who said she never reported the threat to police.

'A wound that won't heal'

The case lingered and was turned over to Major Crime Squad detectives in 1999 "because it was unsolved," said Lt. Paul Vance, the state police spokesman. Vance declined to provide further details, describing the case today as an active investigation.

Only one arrest has ever been made in connection with the investigation, in October 2007. Ernest Dachenhausen, a Danbury resident, was charged with interfering with an officer. Dachenhausen, 66, of Hillside Avenue in Danbury, was acquainted with the Badaracco family and was friendly with Joseph Badaracco. He also owned a home on Farrell Road in Newtown where police, armed with a search warrant, showed up and excavated a six-foot-deep, 50 foot long trench. They had reason to believe cars were buried on the property, and thought one of them might be Mary's Cavalier. Several vehicles were removed, but the missing Chevrolet was not found.

Dominic Badaracco, 73, still lives in the Sherman home with Perrone.

Badaracco answered his door last month with a smile, but when asked about his missing ex-wife, he said "no comment," and slammed the door shut.

Profeta said she has faith that detectives now assigned to the case can solve it.

"She wouldn't have left us, and not her grandchild, without contacting us," Profeta said. "It's a wound that won't heal. It's torturous every day. I need to know what happened and bring her home."

#16 Linda

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 05:05 AM


Badaracco homicide case widens with New Fairfield search


NEW FAIRFIELD -- The investigation of a woman's disappearance 24 years ago -- now considered a homicide -- picked up steam Monday as police used ground-penetrating radar to search a property near Ball Pond.

Lt. J. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the Connecticut State Police, confirmed that investigators were executing a search warrant at a home on Sunswept Drive in connection to the Mary Badaracco case.

Badaracco disappeared from her home in Sherman in August 1984.

"We are using specialized equipment and checking on leads and information developed to date," Vance said. "We are not prepared to say anything further at this point until the work is complete."

The Sunswept Drive home being investigated Monday was built shortly after Badaracco's disappearance, according to local land records. A building permit for the home was issued in September 1984.

At least two state police detectives and several technicians were seen Monday using ground-penetrating radar equipment to search the property around the house. Investigators also appeared to be using an electromagnetic imaging device.

Dozens of red flags were placed around the house before the work was completed.

Joseph Novella, a local developer who built the home, said he was contacted by police about a year ago and asked about subcontractors who worked there.

"One of the subcontractors is under suspicion for something," Novella said, adding that police investigators didn't give him any names. "They're obviously looking for something hidden up there."

He added that there is a "short list" of subcontractors who worked on the site, including Ernest Dachenhausen, a local excavator, and Badaracco's stepsons, who did much of the siding work on the home.

"We never had any problems or disputes on the site," Novella said. "We had a good relationship with Ernie (Dachenhausen). He did most of the site work for us."

Dachenhausen was arrested in April and charged with interfering with police as part of the probe into Badaracco's homicide. Dachenhausen owned a home on Farrell Road in Newtown around the time she disappeared.

Last September crews working with the state police excavated the backyard of that home and removed several vehicles buried on the property, witnesses said at the time.

During his arraignment hearing in the spring, Senior Assistant State's Attorney John Malone said Dachenhausen gave police information that was "contradicted by physical evidence" in the case.

On Monday, Dachenhausen reaffirmed his innocence during an interview with The News-Times. He said he doesn't know anything about Badaracco's disappearance.

"They wasted their time up in Newtown and they'll waste their time up there (in New Farfield)," Dachenhausen said. "When I get through this I'm going to sue the state and those detectives for what they are doing to me."

The case against Dachenhausen remains pending.

Mary Badaracco's daughter, Beth Profeta, said the most recent development in the case renews her hope that justice will be served. Profeta was 20 when her mother disappeared.

"Any little crumb restores my faith and hope," she said. "I feel like the detectives are ready to solve this case. I'm thrilled."

There were no developments in the case for nearly 20 years, Proferta said, so the detectives now investigating it have been "a blessing and an answer to our prayers."

"Everything that is being found now could have been found 20 years ago if they just looked," she said. "It is real detective work that is finding this information."

Ground-penetrating radar, according to State Archaeologist Nick Bellantoni, can find a variety of features underneath the surface. Bellantoni has assisted state and local police in past investigations that involved use of the technology.

He said the sled-like device, which is pulled along the ground, uses short wave radio signals to locate solid objects under the surface, including metal pipes and coffins, as well as soil anomalies, such as a hole previously dug and filled in.

"For example, if there are only skeletal remains, it wouldn't pick up the body, but it will record the disturbance or the burial feature," he said. "Basically, what it does is say there is something under the surface that is an anomaly. To find out what that anomaly is would require further excavations."

He added that investigators using ground-penetrating radar often use flags to determine the grid of the search area. They may also be used if anomalies are found that warrant further investigation.

Vance said the owners of the home on Sunswept Drive have been extremely cooperative with investigators.

Stephen Logan, who owns the home, declined to comment Monday.

Vance urged anyone with information in the case to call state police at (203) 267-2200.

#17 Kelly


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Posted 09 September 2008 - 10:13 PM


Police analyzing sonar tests in Badaracco murder investigation

By Brigitte Ruthman

NEW FAIRFIELD - State police are analyzing the results of ground piercing sonar testing conducted Monday as part of an ongoing search for clues in the Mary Badaracco murder case.

Detectives working with officials from the Office of State Archeology conducted a grid patterned search of the area immediately surrounding a two-story colonial home at 2 Sunswept Drive in the hopes of finding buried objects that could be linked to the case. They are currently working to identify areas of interest several feet below the surface surrounded by disturbed soil, state police spokesman Lt. J Paul Vance said.

Information developed as part of an ongoing investigation by detectives assigned to a cold case unit  lead them to the home which is part of a subdivision built within weeks of Mary Badaracco's disappearance. Badaracco's husband Dominic said she vanished Aug. 20, 1984 with money taken from the home. Her car, a 1982 Chevy Cavalier, was found in the driveway with a smashed front window, but it, too, disappearance before police could seize it as evidence as part of a missing persons case. The case was reclassified as a homicide in 1990.

Kelly Murphy, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
President and Founder,
Project Jason

Please help us in our mission as a 501 c 3 nonprofit: http://projectjason....y-campaign.html

If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.

#18 Linda

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 03:01 PM

Project Jason Profile

Name: Mary Edna Badaracco

Classification:Endangered Missing Adult
Alias / Nickname:Mary Poo
Date of Birth:03/11/1946
Date Missing:08/20/1984
From City/State:Sherman, CT
Age at Time of Disappearance:38
Race: White
Height:67 inches
Weight:145 pounds
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color:Brown

Identifying Characteristics: Large surgical scar from appendix removal, four stitches on right thumb.

Circumstances of Disappearance: Unknown. Mary was last seen at her residence in the vicinity of the 20 block of Wakeman Rd. Her husband stated that when he returned home from work, she was missing. Most of her belongings were also missing, although her vehicle was still at her residence with the windshield smashed in. Foul play is suspected. A $50,000 reward is being offered by the state of Connecticut for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for Mary's disappearance and/or homicide.

Investigative Agency:Connecticut State Police
Phone: (203) 267-2200
Investigative Case #:A84277483

Print a Poster: http://www.projectja...yBadaracco.pdf

#19 Kelly


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Posted 11 October 2008 - 10:20 AM

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Kelly Murphy, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
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Project Jason

Please help us in our mission as a 501 c 3 nonprofit: http://projectjason....y-campaign.html

If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.

#20 Kelly


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Posted 13 December 2008 - 10:55 AM

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Kelly Murphy, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
President and Founder,
Project Jason

Please help us in our mission as a 501 c 3 nonprofit: http://projectjason....y-campaign.html

If you have seen any of our missing persons, please call the law enforcement agency listed on the post. All missing persons are loved by someone, and their families deserve to find the answers they seek in regards to the disappearance.

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