Unsolved: Part One | Molly Bish & Holly Piirainen

(Molly Bish. Photo credits: Top 2 pictures - crimeonline.com / Bottom left: boston.cbslocal.com / Right: Who Killed Molly Bush Facebook page

I was originally going to focus on one unsolved case for this post but it led me down another path because of the possible connection to another murder and during my research I came across some other unsolved crimes. I thought it would be an interesting idea to write about some of the cases I have been looking into this week which remain unsolved.

As this would end up being an extremely long post I've decided to split it into two parts. Hope you enjoy and let me know if you would like me to do some more posts which are a combination of different cases. Leave some comments below or come and find me on social media

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So let's get right to it and please remember to bare in mind that some details included in the posts may be distressing.

Originally I was just focused on covering the Molly Bish case which was brought to my attention by the awesome and amazing Shilo Pace and he brought up some other cases that I had either not known about or had previously looked at a while ago. I will also be talking a bit about the Highway Of Tears in this two part series as well.

What Really Happened To Molly Bish? 

Molly Anne Bish was born on the 2nd of August in 1983 to parents John and Magi in Warren, Massachusetts in the US. Molly was from a respectable family, her mother worked as a probation officer and her father as a school teacher. She had a sister and a brother, Heather and John Jr.

Molly had a close relationship with her family and as she grew up she had dreams of working with children.

She was a warm, caring person who often felt empathy for others. When she was 10 years old she heard that a young girl from Massachusetts had gone missing and as a way of showing some support for the girl's family, Molly wrote a heartfelt letter telling them that she was keeping the young girl who's name was Holly Piirainen (who was also the same age as her) and the family in her prayers.

''I am very sorry. I wish I could make it up to you. Holly is a very pretty girl. She is almost as tall as me. I wish I knew Holly. I hope they found her'' - (Part of Molly's letter to Holly Piirainen's parents)

She was a pretty blonde haired, blue eyed girl who was very athletic and a bit of a tom boy. She loved to play soccer, basketball and softball at school. She was also serious about her studies and worked very hard at school, she was also an honour student.

With a close family, a lot going for her at school and in a happy, steady relationship with her boyfriend who she'd recently attended prom with, Molly seemed to have the world at her feet.

In the summer of 2000, Molly had just started a job as a lifeguard at 'Comins Pond', her brother, John Jr had previously worked there himself as a lifeguard. It was a beautiful place that people would often hang out at and still do today, it's not unusual to find married couples having their pictures taken there as it looks so peaceful and picturesque. She had only been working there for a week when her parents had to go through the beginning of their worst nightmare.

On the 26th of June, Magi Bish was giving her daughter a lift to Comins Pond to start her shift when she noticed a man sitting in a white car in the parking lot close to where Molly's lifeguard post was. She noticed the man had a moustache and wondered why he was sitting there. She later told the police that he looked to be around 50 years old and was smoking a cigarette. The man was glaring at her and watching Molly. Magi decided to stay until the man had left the parking lot. Molly didn't seem to be bothered about the man. Magi soon put it out of her mind.

(Comins Pond: Picture credit: dailymail.co.uk)

The next day, at around 10:00am (on the 27th of June), Magi did the same routine of driving Molly to Comins Pond to start her shift. She didn't notice anything unusual and didn't recall seeing the man in the parking lot that she had seen the day before. Molly got out of the car and told Magi that she loved her. Unknown to Magi, that was the last moment that she would see her daughter alive.

As people started to arrive at the pond, some of the parents noticed that Molly wasn't at her station. One mother went over to check Molly's post and found that her towel, whistle and other items were still there along with a First Aid box which was left open. The lady spoke to Molly's boss who then contacted the police who didn't take it seriously, they assumed that she had just went off with her friends and that she would return later.

As time went on and there was still no sign of Molly, the police contacted her parents. Molly's family were in a panic and went to the police station only to be told that they thought it was just a case of Molly being a typical teenager, wandering off with friends but Molly's family and boyfriend felt deep down that something was wrong and decided to try and look for her themselves.

As the family went looking for Molly, they noticed that she hadn't taken her shoes with her meaning that Molly had gone barefoot. They informed the police of this and they began to take the matter seriously. Everyone was wondering what had happened to Molly. next to Comins Pond is a little track that goes through to a cemetery. Some people wondered if she had been threatened by someone with a knife and had been forced to walk the path to the cemetery.

There was also the thought that Molly had possibly drowned but the family didn't believe this to be the case as she had always been a strong swimmer. The police decided to do a search just in case and after several hours they found nothing and called off the search until morning.

The next day the search continued and Magi told the police all about the suspicious looking man who was in the parking lot the day before Molly went missing. The search for Molly Bish was to become the largest and most expensive search for a missing person in Massachusetts history.

The police left no stone unturned during their search and investigated every tip that came in but sadly they resulted in nothing.

In 2003, someone contacted the police to inform them that there had been a sighting of Molly in Florida. They were in the middle of preparing to take the investigation there until they were contacted by a retired policeman who believed that Molly and Holly Piirainen's cases were linked.

It was another set of strange circumstances that the same girl who Molly had written a letter to the parents of when she was 10 years old, was now connected to her in this tragic, heartbreaking way.

What Happened To Holly Piirainen?

Holly Kristen Piirainen was a cute, blonde haired, blue eyed 10 year old girl who went missing in 1993 after visiting her grandmother's house with her brother in Massachusetts. What really happened to Holly has remained a mystery for years, all that was found at the time she was missing was one of her shoes at the side of a road.

At some point during the visit to her grandparents house with her brother, the pair decided to go to a neighbours house as they had some puppies. After seeing the puppies, her brother returned to the grandparents house but Holly was nowhere to be seen.

(Holly Piiranien. Picture credits: boston.cbslocal.com

A search took place and sadly, two months later the poor girl's remains were found.

Nobody was ever charged with her murder but in 2012 the police announced that DNA at the crime scene had been linked to a man called David Pouliot. David died in 2003. As of 2019, there seems to be no recent updates on this case but I will keep a watch on it.

During the search for Molly Bish, her family became close with the parents of Elizabeth Smart. Elizabeth was kidnapped in 2002 at the age of 14 by Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee. The pair held the poor child for nine months before she was finally able to get away and returned to her family.

Seeing Elizabeth come home to her family and start to rebuild her life again, gave hope to Molly's family that one day there was the possibility that she would return.

Worst news was to come when a piece of material which looked similar to Molly's blue bathing suit was found in a wooded area in Palmer. After testing the material the results came back to conclude that the material was part of Molly's bathing suit. The police conducted a widespread search of the area immediately and found 26 bones that were identified as belonging to Molly. It was devastating. Molly's remains were found just five miles from her home.

Once the police were finished with testing Molly's remains, they were released to her family to gave her a proper burial on what would have been her 20th birthday.

In 2004, Magi and John collaborated with the Anna Maria College to set up The Molly Bish Centre in tribute to their gifted and beautiful daughter.

As in the case of Holly Piirainen, nobody has been arrested or faced justice for what happened to Molly. There was a man who was under investigation in 2005 but that soon fell away.

In 2009, a man by the name of Rodney Stanger came on the police radar as he had been convicted of murdering his girlfriend of over 20 years. Rodney had lived in Massachusetts for 20 years but moved away a year after Molly was reported missing. The sister of the lady he murdered actually contacted the police to inform them that Rodney had a car fitting the description of the vehicle police were interested in tracing in the Molly Bish case.

Rodney knew the area where Molly went missing and was said to have spent time around the area that Molly's remains were found. He also closely matched the description given to the police by Magi of the man in the parking lot the day before Molly disappeared. Rodney was also questioned about the Holly piirainen case but as of yet, he has not been charged in either cases.

In another strange turn of events, a man named Gerald Battistoni (aka confidential informant #62 for the Eastern Hampden County Narcotic Task Force) was under investigation and his name was put to the police by a private investigator (Dan Malley). When word quickly spread to the newspapers that he was a suspect in the murders of Molly and Holly, Gerald tried to take his own life.

Gerald was already serving time in prison for committing a sickening sexual assault on a young girl in the 1990s and his criminal record stretched as far back as 1980. He was said to have been in the area where Molly's body had been found and his appearance matched the description given to the police by Molly's mother. Dan Malley, together with the Bish family were looking into DNA testing to be done to find out if Gerald Battistoni was Molly's killer. The investigation came to a halt when Gerald died in hospital in 2014.

Molly Bish and Holly Piirainen's cases remain unsolved as of October 2019. I will be keeping an eye out for any updates. 

In the next two parts of my unsolved series, I'm going to be talking about the 'Highway of Tears' and in particular, the Maddy Scott case. I will also be covering the Melanie Melanson murder.

RIP Molly & Holly x 

Thank you for checking out part one, hope to see you in part two x

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The Dark Side of The Internet: The Amanda Todd Story 

The Story of Bible John

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  1. I hope they have the right person so the family can have some closure and peace. Unfortunately, the person of interest is dead but, he was a Lifeguard when she disappeared

  2. I hope they have the right person so the family can have some closure and peace. Unfortunately, the person of interest is dead but, he was a Lifeguard when she disappeared

  3. Great article by the way.