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Sylvia Alice Lwowski, age 22, disappeared from Staten Island, New York on September 6, 1975.

She had planned on going to see a movie at the Island Theater on Richmond Avenue, with her fiance.   At the time, movies such as Jaws and Rocky Horror Picture Show would have been showing.

Reports state that she left for her movie date and never returned.

Her fiance would later state that he and Sylvia had argued, which resulted in Sylvia throwing her eyeglasses at the dashboard and running from the car.

There is very little ‘official’ information available on this case.  A good friend of Sylvia’s has come forward to discuss her disappearance, under certain expectations of anonymity.  For the purpose of this blog entry, I’ll call her Lauren.

Lauren had been with Sylvia earlier in the day that she disappeared.  They had gone shopping, and at roughly 4:00pm, Lauren dropped Sylvia off at home so she could get ready for her date.  Sylvia seemed to be in good spirits, and was looking forward to going to the movies.

In the early evening, Sylvia’s fiance picked her up as scheduled, and they drove off, presumably headed to the movie theater, which was about ten minutes from her home.

At approximately 10:00pm that night, Sylvia’s fiance appeared in front of Lauren’s home.  He rolled down his window, and angrily stated that he and Sylvia had gotten into an argument, and that she’d gotten out of the car near the Staten Island Mall, telling him she’d take the bus home.  He asked Lauren to pick Sylvia up at the bus stop, before abruptly driving away.

Lauren and her father drove around the vicinity of the mall, but did not see any sign of Sylvia.  At this point, they assumed that she’d gotten on a bus during time that it took them to get there.  They returned home.

At approximately 10:30pm, Sylvia’s fiance arrived at Sylvia’s home, and spoke with her family about the fact that Sylvia had gotten out of the car.   Sylvia’s mother quickly headed for the Staten Island Mall area, and drove around without locating her.

She attempted to file a missing persons report, but was told that she needed wait until Sylvia had been missing for 24 hours.

After filing a missing persons report the following day, the Lwowski family found that the case was being handled as nothing more than a ‘voluntary missing’ adult case.

A couple weeks after Sylvia’s disappearance, Sylvia’s mother hired a private investigator.  We do not know the identity of this investigator, but Lauren, and Sylvia’s surviving family would be interested in speaking with him.  If anyone has access to Staten Island yellow pages from 1975 and can scan a copy of the ‘Private Investigator’ category, I’d be grateful!

Lauren contacted Sylvia’s fiance by phone on a couple occasions following her disappearance, and was told never to call him again.  He was completely unwilling to answer any questions.  It is not known if he was ever questioned by law enforcement.

The only other potential clue that has surfaced, is that Lauren had given someone a ride home from Manhattan some time after Sylvia’s disappearance, and it turned out that this individual was acquainted with Sylvia’s fiance.  This individual stated to Lauren that Sylvia’s fiance had her engagement ring in his possession.   According to the police report, the ring was missing along with Sylvia.

There is much speculation that Sylvia’s fiance knows something about her disappearance, and there is doubt as to whether they ever went to a movie at all that night.   If it is true that her fiance had the ring, it would imply that either there was a break-up (as opposed to just an argument), or that the ring was retrieved at a later time.

There is a possibility that Sylvia did return the ring during an argument, threw her glasses at the dash, and exited the car, only to fall prey to serial killer Andre Rand.   The location where Sylvia was last known to be is in the scope of Rand’s ‘comfort zone’.   I find it unlikely, however, because Rand preferred young children, or those with mental disabilities who he perceived as vulnerable.   He was reportedly rather standoffish with other adults.

If Sylvia’s fiance did harm her, I find it unlikely that it happened on Richmond Avenue, near the Staten Island mall.  It’s a busy area, and a commotion would have been noticed.  It would be more likely that they were never near the mall, and instead went to a hotel or a lover’s lane where an altercation occurred.

Otherwise, I’d have to think it was premeditated – meaning that from the mall, he’d made up his mind that he was going to harm her, and drove her someplace secluded.

It’s also worth noting that the movie theater was approximately 10 minutes from Sylvia’s home.   An average movie is 90 minutes, plus 20-30 minutes accounted for in drive time – that still leaves 2-3 hours.  (Sylvia had been picked up between 5-6pm, and her fiance appeared at Lauren’s house at 10pm.)

Sylvia is a native of Germany, but had been in New York for most of her life.  Her parents have both passed away without ever learning their daughter’s fate.   Sylvia’s mother kept all of Sylvia’s engagement gifts in the hope that she would someday return.   Sylvia loved animals, gardening, and collecting seashells.   She was a member of the Wagner College band.

Sources:

Charley Project

Websleuths

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10 thoughts on “Sylvia Alice Lwowski

  1. A couple of thoughts on Sylvias case. The fact LE basically won’t investigate this case and didn’t back then makes me think the fiance is either connected to LE or to the mob. The fact that she was reported missing with the ring but the fiance has the ring makes no sense. The fact that she wore glasses but the fiance says she threw the glasses also makes no sense. I read everything I could find about the case which is’nt much and I found the fiances name. I started researching the fiance and was able to find that he has stayed in the same area this whole time so it would be easy for LE to go speak with him again, so why won’t they? He also married and had 2 sons. Interestingly though when you google his name one of the pages that comes up is a link to a mob page.

    • Just to clarify, if Sylvia did get out of the car willingly, it’s possible that she gave him the ring, if there’d been a break-up. She was reported missing with the ring by her mother, which only confirms that she was wearing it when she left the house.

      • Why wouldn’t the fiance mention the ring though? If it was just an argument and she threw her glasses and got out of the car that’s one thing but an argument that ends with her giving a ring back or him taking it back seems a lot more serious. Also he doesn’t mention it. It’s one of her friends that finds out about the ring. Strange! I do want to mention I really like your blog! You have cases I’ve never heard of and now I’m very interested in. Keep up the good work!

  2. The fiance lived on Staten Island at the time of Sylvia’s disappearance then moved to Long Island. A mutual friend said he knew the fiance and was told that he was in possession of the ring after her disappearance. Also, the were going to a movie at around 4:30, then at 10:30 went to Sylvia’s best friend before he went to her parents house to mention what happened. The movie was supposed to be approx 1 hour 45 minuets, what did he do with all that time?

  3. Joanne-interesting about googling the fiance’s name, although I have not seen that link-it doesn’t come up when I google his name. I don’t think we know for sure that he didn’t tell her parents about getting the ring back, do we? I wish Sylvia’s parents were still alive so some of these questions could be answered

  4. Today is Sylvia’s 62nd birthday-she’s been missing for just short of 40 years. A half-a**ed attempt to find her was made in 1975 by her family and 1 friend, and that’s it? The police (I think) convinced her family that she took off to parts unknown, even though there was no evidence that she was out there somewhere, and now…she’s been forgotten. This makes me so angry

  5. I wouldn’t doubt for one second that the fiancee killed the poor girl.

    I call bullshit on the whole “Threw her glasses onto the dashboard” nonsense! That’s just stupid, I have many friends and family members who wear glasses and have seen them all get pretty angry or pissed many times, even saw some of them in fist-fights, yet I have NEVER seen ANY one of them EVER throw their specs, not even once!

    More like they ended up on the dash of his car AFTER he slapped them off her face!

    She’s probably buried under clay pit road (the dirt trails), or in clay pit park somewhere, or under the landfill. or was thrown into the old swamps behind the mall, or under some of the buildings that were built well after 1975 on land the mod owned, like all those bodies they dug up from under the concrete floor in that gas station at the corner of Jewett and Post aves that has been closed up since the late 1980’s, as those were spots where all the little mobster punks and thugs would almost always dump their kills in the days before cameras were all over!

    Anyone who grew up on the Island knew that info well and also knew it was NOT just “rumored stuff”!
    How many bodies was it that the feds and nypd dug up from clay pit park during that big ass search/dig they did back in the early 90’s which started after one underling and his entire family all got busted than he flapped his lips and told them who was buried where to get a lighter sentence for himself!

    And it was pretty dumb to even mention Andre Rere, he only “nabbed” kids, not grown women, and he preferably stalked and nabbed retarded kids from areas on the north and east shores who wouldn’t know to fight back, kick, or scream for help!, Although he would frequent the old Willowbrook Woods which the city freely GAVE to the JCC that owns the city to build on (most of that acreage is a jew/dot head neighborhood with a different name these days) which was “near” the mall, the mall was absolutely NOT in his “Comfort zone” as it is too open, too well lit and has too much traffic!

    Old man Andre was always creepin around on a bicycle in and around neighborhoods from Pt Richmond, Westerleigh, West Brighton, New Brighton, Elm Park, Mariners Harbor, Arlington, St George, Stapleton, Clifton, Rosebank, Arrocar, and a few others, I’d always notice that guy all over those areas for years either from a car or bus I’d be riding in or when out bike riding, he was always on a bike, never walking anywhere, even though I saw years later that he rented a garage from the dad of a guy I knew and kept an old VW bug hidden in it that was filled with junk.

    He also used to pedal right past where a bunch of pals and I would all hang out a lot over in Pt Rich on that big ol’ milk truck bike he rode, he always gave a few of us the creeps.

    One time he actually stopped and asked if any of us had change of a dollar or a quarter for a pay phone and was all hyped up and sweaty and it wasn’t even that hot out and as he came closer to us the smell of pee and “gymnasium” (u kno what I mean!) only got worse and he just kept staring down at my girlfriends juggs like he had never seen any before!
    It creeped her out so much that she yelled something at him and yelled at me to take her home! lol

    So, If anything, that old bum was certainly guilty of not using some “Right-Guard” or washing his stinky tighty-whiteys that probably could get up and walk away all on their own and being an old dirty perv who had a “taste” for ‘tards! lol

    We had all the “famous” look-alike bums out here on the Island too!
    There was the bum who looked just like a dirty Santa Claus who we naturally called “Santa Bum” who was always around the ferry, never seen that guy with even one sock or shoe on any foot!
    There was the one who looked just like “Snuffy Smith” from the comic strip, even had the same nose and hat, we’d see that guy walking EVERYWHERE on the island, mostly in Pt Rich where we knew he lived, but even saw him walking around Tottenville at 3am one time!
    There was the “Elvis Presley” bum who had the Elvis haircut, sideburns, etc. he was always around Pathmark and whenever we’d see that one we’d all yell out “THE KING”!
    There was the one who looked just like “Kenny Rogers” that was always rummaging around the Plaza and Pathmark, we called him “The Gambler–Who Lost” and the old hunched over lady bum who had whiskers and looked like a cat, and yeah, naturally everyone called her “Catwoman” and would go “MEOW” at.

    My friends and I would see all of them bums, hobo’s, rummies, whino’s, junkies and old hoarder nutters just about every day and then some, the bums were kind of like our daily entertainment on this dumpy rock! LOL

    There was also the perpetually happy old guy who was a huge Yankees fan that pushed a shopping cart full of junk everywhere that looked exactly like “Curly” from the 3 Stooges, always wore a NY Yankees hat, jacket and a big smile and even had a US flag and Yankees flag attached to his cart that we’d call his “Cadillac”, he always had a radio tuned to a Yankees or Rangers game.
    And there was the old Asian lady who pulled her cart full of junk around everywhere, all day, every day, at least she was funny, she’d stop you once in a while (or try to) and talk to you in half busted English/half busted Korean for at least 10-15-30 minutes, you never really understood a damn thing she was saying, but at least she was always happy, smiling, harmless and laughed a lot, we always called her Mrs. U-Haul! lol
    Then there was the one who looked exactly like Lou Costello to a “T”, he always had a Yankees hat, jacket and backpack!

    And EVERYONE knew “Billy Dribbles!” who foamed at the mouth like a rabid racoon and always used his famous “Oh Shit, Moe!” for every story or sentence! LOL

    Good Times for some, sad for others I suppose!

  6. I wonder where Sylvia is-there is absolutely no evidence that she is out there, living her life (no SS activity, no drivers license renewal)-and as far as possible suicide goes, well, it’s a lot more common for murder to happen with no body being found, than it is for suicide-you can’t easily hide your own body. Her fiance should have talked to the police, but it appears that it wasn’t in his best interest to do that. I hope, for her brother’s sake, that she is found someday

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