CROPSEYUnited States-2009

Directed by Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman

Written by Joshua Zeman

When you think of the Boogeyman, what comes to mind for you? Is it a childhood image of a faceless being that sneaks into your bedroom at night and turns those clothes you threw in the corner into a living, breathing embodiment of evil? Maybe your boogeyman is Michael Myers with his unfinished Captain Kirk mask, his 1000 yard stare and that butcher knife. How about Freddy Krueger? Now there’s a boogeyman for you; a burned child molester with razor sharp knives for fingers.

For the families of Jennifer Schweiger, Holly Ann Hughes, Hank Gafforio, Tiahease Jackson and Alice Pereira the boogeyman may or may not be Andre Rand. When I say ‘may be’ I mean that there is enough circumstantial evidence to show that Rand is the abductor and possible killer of these children. When I say ‘may not be’ I mean that Rand isn’t about to open his mouth and proclaim his guilt. That’s where “Cropsey” comes in. “Cropsey” is a documentary about the crimes, the trial and the aftermath of the case against Andre Rand. Was Rand a child murderer? Was he a pawn in the game of a satanic cult that trafficked in children? “Cropsey” the documentary gives us the information but allows us to form our own opinions as to Rand and his alleged crimes. But I don’t see a documentary about a possible child abductor/child murderer; I see an opportunity to help the families of the victims to have closure. A detective is quoted as saying that when a child is murdered and their body is found that at least that family has a place to visit their body. However, when a child is kidnapped and they have no idea whether they are alive or dead the family will continue to believe that their child is alive until the evidence proves otherwise.

I don’t intend to rate “Cropsey”. Instead, let the drops of blood represent the missing children and the hope that their families will find closure one way or another.

Holly Ann Hughes-Missing since July 15, 1981. She was 7 years old at the time of her disappearance. Her body has not been recovered. 

Hank Gafforio-Missing since June 9, 1984. 22 years old at the time of his disappearance, Hank had the mentality of a 15 year old. His body has not been recovered.

Tiahease Jackson-Missing since August 14, 1983. She was 10 years old at the time of her disappearance. Tiahease had a learning disability. Her body has never been recovered. 

Alice Pereira-Missing since July 7, 1972. She was five years old at the time of her disappearance. Her body has never been recovered. 

Jennifer Schweiger-Missing since July 9, 1987. Her body was found a month later. She had Down’s syndrome.

It is not for my benefit that I list these missing children. I didn’t come away from “Cropsey” as a critic; I came away as a concerned person who wants to help these families find closure. If you have any information regarding these children then please feel free to contact the numbers below. Thank you.

Richmond County District Attorney’s Office (718)-876-6300

Donna Cutugno, the Friends of Jennifer (718)-698-4053

*Note: The disappearances all occurred on Staten Island, New York


Was awarded Hammer to Nail‘s Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at 2009’s Tribeca Film Festival.

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8 thoughts on “CROPSEY

  1. Nice write up. I didn’t care for the film myself. Outside of feeling bad for the children who fell victim to these crimes, the film didn’t have an adverse effect on me. Truth be told, I half suspected the film to be false in terms of the story and have yet to look the incidents up for verification. And I likely won’t due to the film not really effecting me like it has others.

    • The children are real and they are still missing. The film didn’t frighten me in the way that I feel the filmmakers would have wanted; but it did leave me feeling bad for the families and that is why I wrote the review that way I did. Thanks for commenting, Mike.

  2. Nice! Perfect way to present the film (my first netflix flick) Can you imagine playing in those woods? Being taken to those woods? Awful…very tasteful way to spread the word on a must see documentary, and perhaps continue the healing and closure for the families. I bow to you, good man!

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