John F. McCullagh

(09/28/1954 / Flushing)

Somebody knows


It goes back forty summers to a hot August night.
This cold case I'm working with no end in sight.
The girl, Leslie Zaret, was last seen alive
At the Pioneer tavern, she was standing outside.
Main Street runs North- South on Queensboro Hill.
She was ten blocks from home on that night she was killed.

She accepted a ride- was it someone she knew?

A Janitor found her- cold naked and dead
In a schoolyard in Bayside, the old reports said.
She was raped with a hairbrush, no semen was found.
The girl had been strangled, but hadn't been bound..

If the killer was male- was he impotent too?

The victim was pretty, with long Brunette hair.
She never came home and her parents despaired.
My cops cleared the boyfriend, her ex- boyfriend too.
Still we always believed it was someone she knew.
She attended John Bowne, a high school nearby.


Was the killer a classmate? She was too young to die.

Her class graduated, now grown old and gray.
Most stayed in town although some moved away.
Some have passed on and are taking their rest
But none died liked Leslie with her neck tightly pressed.
People will talk, surely some must suspect
I think someone knows something
about poor Leslie's death.
Please come forth from the shadows, help me solve this crime.

Leslie's waited for justice for a very long time.

Submitted: Saturday, August 16, 2014

Topic(s): Murder


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A cold case murder from August 1974. The P.O.V. is of a detective in the cold case squad

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