Apropos of my piece
yesterday about Edgar H. Smith, the sociopath and murderer William F. Buckley helped spring
from prison, The Washington Post’s obituary [Edgar H. Smith 1934–2017,
September 24, 2017] omits the details of the crime. It says only that the Smith’s first victim, Vicki Zielinski had an “ill-fated encounter” and that Smith “beat her to death. “
The New York Times, which carried a piece
as well, tried to describe Zielinski’s horrible murder. But it, too, failed, except to note that her skull was completely crushed.
Five minutes of Googling divulges the horrible truth. From Crime magazine
In the first book written about Victoria Zielinski's murder, the author argued that Vickie's parents bore some responsibility for the tragedy. They should have called the police as soon as their daughter Myrna reported her sister was missing, shortly after nine. “[Had] the police been notified..... Vickie might be alive today. But Mrs. Zielinski waited for three and a half hours [before searching for her], during which time her daughter's fate was sealed.”But the author knew for a fact that this wasn't true, that even if her parents had started searching right away, it was too late. He knew it wasn't true because the man who wrote those lines was the man who killed her. Before her mother even began to wonder where she was, Vickie was running for her life down an unlit country road, trying to get away from Edgar Smith. But he was a 23-year old man, and she was a young girl, only five feet two inches tall, and he caught her, struck her on the head with a baseball bat, and dragged her back to the sand pit. She was dead and discarded by 9 p.m. ...Vickie's body was carried away to the funeral parlor, where the medical examiner noted that her skull was completely “decerebrated” — she had been hammered so savagely with a large rock that all of her brains had slipped out. He also found bite marks on her right breast, but no other signs of sexual assault. Vickie Zielinski died a virgin. …Now that it was light outside, Tony and Mary Zielinski resumed searching the neighborhood for some trace of her. Suddenly, Tony Zielinski hit the brakes. He spotted a shoe, a girl's penny loafer, at the side of the road. The couple jumped out of the car and started searching the side of the road. Almost immediately, they found a flowered headscarf. It was stiff with blood. "Call the police,” Tony told his wife, who ran to the nearest house. Zielinski searched in the bushes and sparse woods, not yet in leaf, until Mary returned, but he found nothing more.A few minutes later, Captain Ed Wickham of the Mahwah Police Department joined them. The three continued searching on foot along Fardale Avenue, which dead-ended at a sandpit. At the entrance to the sandpit, they found Vickie's red gloves. Then Tony saw rocks with blood on them. A whitish material, which he would later learn was his daughter's brains, was splattered in clumps over the rocks and sand and dirt.Mary Zielinski later testified, Then I looked over at my husband and he said, “There she is.”Their daughter lay crumpled on the banks of the sandpit. Her thick brown hair was matted with blood and caked onto what was left of her skull. Her face was destroyed, a bloody red pulp. Her sweater was pushed up around her neck and her bra was pulled down around her hips.
The body lay face up in what Mr. Zielinski described as a “jackknifed position,” the legs crossed over the torso so that her feet and upper body were both parallel with the top of the dirt mound. Victoria's face had been destroyed. Where the teen’s face had been there remained an unrecognizable bloody area (so unrecognizable that Mr. Zielinski later testified that when he discovered her body, his daughter was lying face down.) The County Coroner later reported that most of Victoria's hair was missing along with the back of her skull.Her right eye was destroyed, her nose and cheek bones had multiple fractures and most of her teeth were loose in the remains of her mouth. From the neck down, the body had one notable injury: A bruise on the right breast later determined by the County Coroner to be the result of teeth marks. Her dungarees remained intact, fastened with a wide black leather belt. There were some deep scratches on her lower back, just above the belt clearly visible in the photographic evidence of record. Her Ramsey High School Jacket lay adjacent to her body. Her sweater was pulled up around the area of her neck and her brassiere pulled down near her waist. One strap of the brassiere was broken. The body had one thick white sock barely touching a foot; the other foot was bare. Her skull had been smashed by repeated blows with two large rocks which were found stained with blood and human tissue in the vicinity of the girl's body. In addition, her brains were scattered “for seven or eight feet along the bank” according to Mr. Zielinski’ s testimony, and there was a “scuffled.” area near the southern base of the mound where the weeds and brush looked recently disturbed. Above that area towards the mound's top, the victim's heart shaped silver locket, loafer, blood matted hair, and the two large boulders covered with type “O” blood (Victoria's blood type) were found within an approximate 12 foot radius.
And the Post called this an “ill-fated encounter.” At least the Times’ headline
got it right about Buckley. He was duped.
Of course, he didn’t suffer any consequences for being wrong. Smith’s next
victim paid the price