Thanks to a large, earmarked donation from elderly local socialite and philanthropist Mitsy Pattison-White, Hamptons Police Department detectives are digging into a deep backlog of past crimes, including several well-known, unsolved cases going back decades.
The newly instituted HPD Cold Case Squad came to fruition after Pattison-White offered a $1 million grant to the department if, and only if, they use it to re-examine these previously closed, unsolved cases. Among them, the squad’s benefactor has demanded police discover who destroyed a prized statue in her front yard back in 1987.
“We are incredibly grateful to Ms. Pattison-White for her kind donation,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch said this week, “and we will use these new resources to get to the bottom of the egregious act of vandalism that still haunts her more than three decades hence.”
In addition to finding the vandal who destroyed Pattison-White’s statue, the Cold Case Squad has officially reopened four other cases that have long frustrated the department.
“First, we intend to learn who wrote ‘Virgil Is the Frog Boy’ on the East Hampton overpass over Route 114 in the 1970s,” Hirsch said. “The failure to identify this perpetrator has gone on far too long, and getting some justice would stop the ongoing stream of copycat crimes which have plagued our overpasses, including the reprised ‘Virgil Is Still the Frog Boy’ a few years back.”
The second crime is personal for Hamptons Police, according to Hirsch. “We’re going to find out who kidnapped Manny Quinn,” he said, describing the famous mannequin police would put in a parked cruiser to deter speeders. “We saw Manny as one of our brothers,” Hirsch continued. “He was kidnapped twice in the 1990s and eventually left to rot in the town dump—it wasn’t right what happened to him, and many of our older officers still struggle with the memories of finding Manny that way, trashed like refuse.”
A more recent case that needs solving, Hirsch says, has to do with a life-size giraffe statue left in an East Hampton Village nature trail in 2016. Detectives failed to learn the origin of this nearly 20-foot statue or how it was put on the trail. “This case just drives us crazy,” Hirsch said. “We’re glad to have the extra resources to throw at it and, hopefully, get us some answers.”
Finally, Hamptons Police are also seeking to identify the person who spray-painted “Die Yuppie Scum” on a Bridgehampton ice cream shop in the 1980s. “This was not helpful for local tourism,” Hirsch recalled. “That person needs to be caught.”
Look for more developments in these Hamptons cold cases as the squad does their work.