I’ve been watching with more than a passing degree of curiosity as the saga of Baby Hope unfolds in New York. If you’re not familiar with the story, Baby Hope was an unnamed and unknown young girl whose body was found in a blue picnic cooler near the side of a Manhattan highway back in 1991. Police at the time were mystified because no one had reported a child missing and no one came forward to claim the child’s body.
It was a complete mystery but rather than let the child be buried on New York’s Hart Island (that’s another story for another day), investigators chipped in, bought a headstone with the name Baby Hope and had her buried in St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx. That gravesite is about 25 feet from my parents’ headstone so I’ve often visited with Baby Hope over the years. It’s impossible not to notice, with all the small figures, flowers and notes for information at the site.
Now, the police — thanks to their dogged work on the case — have received a tip that should clear up the mystery once and for all and the poor child — certainly a victim of abuse and neglect — will be buried under her real name. You can read more on the investigation here. The police seem convinced they’ve found her mother and are searching for her father. Because of the statute of limitations, the only crime left to charge anyone with is murder and the investigation is continuing.
Coincidentally, I visited another cemetery the other day — the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, one of the most famous and beautiful cemeteries in the country. It’s such an interesting place with so many well-known figures buried there (the composer Leonard Bernstein and infamous politician Boss Tweed are among the interred), that the cemetery runs trolley tours. I kid you not. Last weekend, I took one such tour because the mausoleums were open and you had the chance to walk inside. What a treat! Not your typical fall weekend but….while there, I took a few photos.
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