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December   4

Duryea Case Still Open

Phil Read writes in today's Star Ledger about the 10-year anniversary of the murder of Ethel Duryea, a 59-year-old emergency room nurse who was shot and killed while walking her dog on Maolis Ave in Glen Ridge. A chilling memory for those who lived in Glen Ridge at the time.

The bizarre case was never solved. Speculation at the time ranged from rumors of a gang iniation rite to murmurs about a Mafia hit (Duryea supposedly had a son or son-in-law in law enforcement).

A decade later, Read reports, Glen Ridge Police Lt. Mark Dailey is still trying to solve the case. If you have a tip call him at 973.748.8400 ext 113.

December 4, 2005 in Scooped by Phil Read, Again | Permalink


I remember reading an article at the time that speculated on a connection between Mrs. Duryea's shooting and an investigation of billing (I believe)at East Orange General Hospital. Does anyone know the outcome to that? Also what was her husband's occupation? I know he predeceased her; but he may have become aware of something that the perpetrator feared had been told to his spouse.

Posted by: verve | Dec 4, 2005 1:36:43 PM

We lived in GR during the time this happened. I remember being absolutely shocked that a murder could occur in our isolated, safe, crime-free (or so we wanted to believe) neighborhood, but I also remember being terribly frustrated and frightened that the local police seemed utterly unable to deal with a murder investigation. They really did not know how to proceed and therefore simply didn't. I still find it extrodinary that after 10 years there is not a single lead in this weird case.

Posted by: howiesgrl | Dec 5, 2005 9:21:45 PM

Fortunately in your community -homicides are a rare occurance-

Unfortuantely, sometimes that rarity shocks the officials involved in the case, as well as, the public. And sometimes mistakes are made when attempting to save the life of the victim.

While familiar with the case due to proximity no one but those involved know what that box may contain-the evidence and the names within it-

And as with many cold cases the answers may be sitting right there within it.

Climate and circumstances regarding safeguarding the scene have caused many a case to go wayward- as noted in the news piece.

Nothing however is absolute, but some cases aren't always solved and may never be--but be sure that inside that box lies the answer, as well as, the hearts of those involved--including the lead detective's.

Easy to sit in judgement though isn't it, try working one, it doesn't always flow as easy as an episode of CSI.

Posted by: cstarling | Dec 5, 2005 10:18:27 PM

"but I also remember being terribly frustrated and frightened that the local police seemed utterly unable to deal with a murder investigation. They really did not know how to proceed and therefore simply didn't."

The local police rarely deal with murder so they would not be experts on how to do so. That is why in this county the local police don't deal with it on their own. They work in conjunction with the county homicide unit from the Prosecutor's Office and resources such as the State Police forensics lab. Unfortunately they have much more experience in these matters. They knew how to proceed with what they had and I'm sure they did all that was possible. I'm also sure they had leads but leads give you a beginning to a case, or lead nowhere. Most murders are pretty easily figured out but not this one. With luck, guilt, greed or revenge involved maybe this will be solved one day. But to suggest that this was "simply" shelved? That's being clueless.

Posted by: stealth | Dec 6, 2005 12:37:21 AM

That "quid pro quo" can also work. Correct cstarling? :)

Posted by: stealth | Dec 6, 2005 12:44:33 AM

Yes,ty stealth;)

Posted by: cstarling | Dec 6, 2005 7:56:15 AM

I live in Bloomfield and our house was broken into not long after we moved here (back in 1988). Luckily we lost nothing major since we didn't have anything valuable in the house, to speak of.

The perpetrator broke in through a basement window and then broke into the main part of the house by smashing the door leading into the kitchen from the basement. They propped the door back up in place but there were pieces of splintered wood all over the floor. The cops arrived, including a detective, who looked around and asked us "How did they get in?" Pointing to the smashed door, we said "that way." Sure didn't give me a lot of confidence in their detective powers and sure enough they never solved the crime! I think most suburban towns are not big on solving anything difficult. I hope the Bloomfield police have improved somewhat since then though!

Posted by: mauigirl52 | Dec 6, 2005 5:53:35 PM

Or petty as in your lose was nothing of value-did you follow up with the detective?-Did you pick up a report for insurance purposes?-What would be difficult about finding a burglery suspect?

Did they take photographs or dust for fingerprints? Did you request it?

Again did you follow up?

An officer shows up at the front door correct? They ask "how did they get in?" you originally stated they broke in through the basement window. How does the detective know the condition your house is in unless they ask your perception of the point of entry.

Again they don't brush pass you in your home, then drop to their kness and sniff out the details through like bloodhounds-too much television has made a group of unrealistic and misinformed public.

Was there anything taken that could be traced back to you items of jewlery-serial numbered items?

Plus that was almost 20 years ago-so your point then is what? You've lived safely and without incident since-Godbless.

Posted by: cstarling | Dec 6, 2005 8:25:38 PM

Right now, Astor place (right around the corner from the Duryea murder site) is closed by police investigating a "crime scene"

Posted by: The Great One | Dec 7, 2005 3:50:07 PM

I am very upset to see that my mom was just remembered as a case number. It still hurts to read articles about her. My family has suffered a great loss. I can't explain how difficult it still is. We don't know anything at all. No one from the Essex County Prosecutor's office has ever reached out to us-we call them. No news. When I call them they don't know what to say. Just that its a cold case. I guess they are working on it? After Det.Tim Braun left the procecutor's nothing has been accomplished that I am aware of. In the meantime, I will at some point have to explain to her grandchildren why she is not here with them.
My Son remembers her as if it were yesterday. He was four. My one daughter was 2 and my other daughter 5 months. My son is now 13. He talks of the night his granmother slipped on the ice and died. (he hasn't been told yet) I can't bring myself to tell him she was murdered. It's not how my mother would ever want them to learn of her death. So I simply avoid it for now. I think all they should know is how wonderful she was and that she is in our memories not a case number. My life was shattered by this evil monster who took my mother away that night. I try not to be bitter but it is difficult to say the least. I have to deal with not knowing who did this. I have to deal with finding out as well. It is not fair. I stay strong for my mom and I do not falter. I believe she would not want me to keep grieving but it is difficult when there is no closure. When I think of her I hold my head up I cry a few tears and remember only the good times. She loved my kids. I visited her a few times wach week. She was not "elderly" She was very energetic even though she went thru cancer therapy. I loved to watch her spoil my kids with attention. She loved every momnet with my kids. For some of you who are concerned, my father installed awnings and custom designed them. He died 5 weeks after my son was born. My husband brought our newborn into the hospital under his shirt. My dad said "He's really a beauty" My husband is a Lt. in the State Police. There is no connection between what happened to my mother and anything to do with my husband in law enforcement. I have 2 brothers, Mark who has 2 young boys named Jared and Ryan. Steve, who has a young girl named Grace and a young boy named Danny. My mother now has 4 more grandchildren she will never see and touch and spoil. My mother was loved by many, disliked by none. She loved the color green. She loved doing impersonations. Her favorite song was "In The Still Of The Night" Most of all she loved Christmas. she has a brother, my Uncle John, she had a sister, my Aunt Mary who died just 3 days after my mom did. I was so distraught from the death and taking care of babies and answering questions from everyone that I could not even attend her funeral. The hardest thing to do was smile for my children on Christmas morning after losing my mom just a few weeks earlier to a horrible crime. That was hard to do. My mom enjoyed her life. She was content. She was at peace. She did not hold a grudge. She was independent and strong. She was a pillar to many poor souls that entered that Emergency Room where she worked. I went to the hospital to see if I could get her 30 year pin and the hospital administration told me I couldn't have it because she didn't work there 30 years full time. When my brothers and I were just babies she worked part time. So I guess they couldn't make an exception for her. I explained, "If she was not murdered, she would have been here for 30 years." They would not budge. I didn't ask for a diamond watch,I simply wanted a token of what my mother spent her whole life doing-taking care of others for 30 years. They were very insensitive. It was very insulting to my brothers and me as the hospital she gave so much to would not give back. However, as time has passed, I like to believe my mom was thanked by many of her patients and appreciated by her coworkers.
I don't need a pin to remember my mom. I just simply remember only the good times.

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