At a glance:
A compact, focused documentary about a string of child murders on Staten Island in the 1980s
Our review (with spoilers):
Staten Island, New York, the dumping ground the city’s garbage (and for corpses from mob hits) also was somewhat of a dumping ground for deviates, perhaps – or maybe they just had their fair share. In the mid 1980s, one or more of these crazed people was kidnapping and killing children. Their preference was for kids with mental handicaps. If the killer was Andre Rand, the man arrested and convicted of two of the murders, then the reason was that he felt that the children were not wanted and that they were better off dead. Rand’s crazed ideas were formed because he worked for a time at a horrific mental institution and saw this first hand. Rand may or may not have been the killer; he never admitted to it, and the body of the second girl (and of the other murdered children) was never found.
Directors Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman capture the sense of community on the island by using new and archival footage. Their vigilant efforts to interview Rand showcase their dogged documentarian pursuit of facts.
Rating: 3 of 4
Other reviewers said:
"Brancaccio and Zeman don't offer any easy answers, merely throwing all of the many issues of the story of Cropsey into a melting pot of danger, terror, and secrecy."
- Brian Tallerico (Movie Retriever)