Clueless in New England: Unsolved Disappearances of Paula Welden, Connie Smith


Three young women, all seen hitchhiking, all disappeared. Two of these unsolved disappearances are the oldest cold cases in their respective states.

Paula Welden, a resident of Stamford, Connecticut and student at Bennington College in Vermont disappeared in 1946 after hitching a ride to walk a portion of the Long Trail. Her disappearance sparked the largest search in ...

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Three young women, all seen hitchhiking, all disappeared. Two of these unsolved disappearances are the oldest cold cases in their respective states.

Paula Welden, a resident of Stamford, Connecticut and student at Bennington College in Vermont disappeared in 1946 after hitching a ride to walk a portion of the Long Trail. Her disappearance sparked the largest search in Vermont's history. She was never found.

Two states away, Connie Smith of Wyoming left a Lakeville, Connecticut summer camp in 1952 and was seen trying to catch a ride to the village center...and then she was gone. A nationwide search resulted in hundreds of leads but not one clue as to what happened to her.

But there was a case a few years earlier relating to another missing young woman...the details of which lay buried for many years. Katherine Hull was visiting her grandmother in Lebanon Springs, New York, went for a walk and was seen hitchhiking. She was never again seen alive. Seven years passed before a group of hunters came face-to-face with her skull off a lonely road outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

With 21st century eyes, Michael Dooling takes a fresh look at these three cases and puts them in context of modern psychological and geographic profiling. Using knowledge gained from the only case in which any remains were found, he sheds new light on what might have happened to the other two young women.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780962742439
  • Publisher: Carrollton Press
  • Publication date: 6/8/2010
  • Pages: 236
  • Sales rank: 1,470,479
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael C. Dooling is a historical writer, antiquarian bookseller, and a news librarian for the Republican-American in Waterbury, Connecticut. He is the author of two previous books - An Historical Account of Charles Island and Milford Lost & Found - and has written articles published in historical journals and magazines. His writings have appeared in Naval History, The Log of Mystic Seaport, Sinclair Lewis Society Newsletter, and Writer's Digest.

Michael has a Master of Arts degree in psychology and puts this background to good use in Clueless in New England. His present work merges meticulous historical research with modern technological resources and good old-fashioned detective work.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 30, 2010

    A New Perspective On Old Mysteries

    A very good expansion of the baffling "Long Trail" disappearances which have become legend in New England. Michael Dooling not only recounts those disappearances, but shows through newspaper accounts, eyewitness reports, and his use of modern day psychological profiling that the most famous of those disappearances, Paula Welden, may have been connected to two others, several years before and after Paula went missing.

    The geographic area in which the disappearances of a young girl from a summer camp in Northwestern Connecticut in the early 1950s, and that of a young woman near Pittsfield Massachusetts in the late 1930s, forms a straight north/south line between four states (NY, VA, MA, CT) that border each other, or have the same highway routes in common with the last sighting of Paula Welden. Could one person, over a period of two decades, be responsible for the disappearances of three women hitchhikers within a contiguous area of mountain trails in the Green and Berkshire mountains?

    The earliest case of the three, the seemingly off-the-face-of-the-earth loss of Katherine Hull, eventually resulted in the discovery of skeletal remains several years later near Pittsfield. Did the perpetrator learn from his first mistake, and take better care in disposing of the bodies of Paula Welden, and that of CT camper, Connie Smith, so no one would ever find them again?

    Dooling's analysis of the characteristics and habits of a possible serial killer makes it hard to discount that one person with a car, and vast knowledge of the roads and terrain along those roads, could have terrorized and murdered three innocent young women hitchhikers thumbing their last rides.

    I enjoyed the historical background that the author gave of the different locales involved, especially that of Bennington College in the 1940s, as well as the description of each missing woman by her friends and relatives. It made each woman become the girl-next-door instead of a statistic.

    I recommend this book to those who love a good mystery, and accounts of true crimes.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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