A teenage lifeguard is abducted and her mother may have seen the suspect.

Molly Bish

Police sketch of suspect

CASE DETAILS

Molly’s possessions were left behind

For the Bish family, the perfect getaway from the urban violence of their old Detroit neighborhood was Warren, Massachusetts, population 4,800. Molly Bish was only a year old when her family moved here. Fifteen years later, she landed her first real job as a lifeguard at a nearby pond. Magi Bish is Molly’s mother:

“Molly was very proud to be a lifeguard. She worked very hard for that and she did get this position at the Warren Pond. It’s a beautiful location. But it’s surrounded by woods and it is somewhat isolated.”

On June 27, 2000, Molly’s seventh day on the job, her mother Magi drove her to work.
Three hours later, she received an alarming phone call:

“I got a phone call from the local police who said that there had been no lifeguard all day and that Molly’s belongings were on the beach.”

The search turned up nothing

Magi rushed to the pond. She found her daughter’s sandals, chair, and lunch sitting on the beach, but no Molly. Molly’s father, John Bish Sr.:

“It’s hard for me to describe that sinking, hollow feeling you have as divers are looking for your daughter, as dogs are combing the woods and police officers are searching and interviewing people. And I almost immediately began to think that something really horrible happened.”

According to Chief Ronald J. Syriac of the Warren Police Department, no clues were left behind:

“Molly’s chair, her lunch bag, her first aid kit and the 2-way police radio was right there,  intact, undisturbed. So we have no clues whatsoever.”

Magi was convinced her daughter had been abducted and suddenly realized she might have seen the man responsible at the pond the day before Molly disappeared:

“We pull up at the pond. And there’s a vehicle parked in the parking lot right next to our car. There’s a man sitting in there smoking. I somehow just feel uncomfortable. I looked at this man.  He doesn’t nod and greet me. And I just felt uneasy. I did not want to leave Molly with this man.”

Jeanne carefully sketched a portrait

Maggie escorted Molly all the way down to the beach and expected the stranger in the late model white car to be gone when she got back:

“And lo and behold, I think I’ve been gone a reasonable time, but this man who was in this vehicle, is still there. I’m very upset that he’s still there. So I lock eyes with him.  I am giving him a stare, trying, I guess, to maybe scare him away. He returns the stare and just boldly stares at me, just, cocky as all… He just squinted his eyes and he stared at me, and just kept smoking and he didn’t seem to care.”

Fearing for her daughter’s safety, Maggie waited for the man to leave. The following day, Magi once again went with her daughter to the swimming hole. This time the man was nowhere to be seen. Instead, there was a truck unloading sand for the beach.

“When I saw the sand truck I realized that they were businessmen in town and I felt that I could leave Molly and it would be okay.”

But Magi never saw Molly again. The police investigation focused on the man in the white car.  The sand truck driver had seen a similar car in the parking lot just moments before Molly and Magi arrived. On the other side of the pond is a cemetery. A worker there also saw a white car later the same morning. A path leads from the graveyard to the swimming hole. Molly’s father suspects this is where his daughter was abducted:

“It’s my fear that this person parked at that path, went to the pond and had taken Molly through that path, into his car and out of the cemetery and down the road.”

A composite sketch based on Magi’s description produced no solid leads. Desperate for information, Magi took action:

“We came up with the idea that an e-mail chain would be a wonderful explosive way to make more than one person, you know, get this picture, and keep sharing it with others.” 

More than 35,000 people were e-mailed pictures of Molly. A web site devoted to finding her received thousands of hits. But a year passed without a single solid lead.

Magi contacted a sketch artist, Jeanne Boylan, who had worked on the Unabomber and Polly Klaas cases. Jeanne agreed to try to create a more accurate drawing of the man in the white car. For nine hours, the two women chatted as Jeanne carefully sketched a portrait. Finally, the drawing was complete. But Magi still felt something was missing, and Jeanne worked hard to render it:

“I stayed up fairly late that night using my own hand as a model, creating the image of the hand holding the cigarette and then added that to the drawing. And I think that was just sort of the finishing touch that really brought everything into focus.”

The drawing unnerved Magi Bish:

“When I saw the completed picture with the cigarette I had instant fear. I mean, it was him. You know, the eyes. It was this cockiness. It was this look.”

Update:

Three years after Molly Bish disappeared, her remains were found about five miles from Warren Pond. The case remains open and active. The police have no suspects, just several persons of interest. There is a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever took the life of Molly Bish.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season twelve with Robert Stack and in season five with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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29 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I grew up in warren, molly was several years older than me so I never really knew her personally. My sister and I were swimming at the pond the day she was abducted. We were interviewed by police, and we didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, other than the fact that there was no lifeguard. The whole town was never really the same after that, and I still remember seeing her mother at a vigil a few days afterwards and giving her the biggest hug and crying with her. Somebody out there knows something!

    Reply

  2. Anonymous

    Had to read up on this case, as it was brought to my attention by a stranger, with a hammer, in their hand yesterday, around sunset time. There can be many comments made, however the one posted by “Johnny,” is the comment that makes the most sense. In briefly reviewing some information, did the DNA that was looked at last summer, confirm anything. Just remaining aware for my own safety. Yet, as was said to my by another: “if anyone, anyone, brings up the Molly Bisch case, start walking. They never found who did this.”

    Reply

  3. Rae

    I find it very odd Molly worte to Holly’s family about how she was sorry and wired things when their daughter went missing and killed in about the same area. And say something along the lines in her letter that she hoped they found her body. Very odd. Then six yrs later Molly is taken. And both the Stranger brother’s were very close in each case. And dipped out after Molly’s murder. One report says on brother was homeless living in the woods another says they lived down town by the Y where she hung out. It’s all very humbled which is it? All the same three men have been indicated in Holly and Molly’s deaths. Someone has to know something other then the dead gf sister……

    Reply

  4. Irma

    The person who took this child must of had some sort of weapon, cause she had a radio and did not use it, or she could have been a distance from her radio which made it impossible to call for help. so the only thing we have is a picture. I wonder if the police took her items and check for finger prints. It sounded like the item were layed out in fine order.

    Reply

  5. Nicole

    I lived in Warren at the time Molly was kidnapped, and I remember how my siblings and I were no longer allowed to even play in our backyard without adult supervision. Such a sad story, and all of the suspects in the case have already died. Recently, a private investigator found a pair of weathered, tattered boxers under a log in the woods near Palmer that match the boxers Molly was wearing when she disappeared. As of right now, only 26 of her bones have been retrieved along with her bathing suit, so DNA will be hard to pick up. Hopefully the family finds closure, thanks to new advances in forensic science.

    Reply

  6. Brad

    Do they know how she was murdered(shot,stabbed,beaten,strangled)? Was she raped? Surely if she was raped there would of been DNA. Not much info out there known to the public

    Reply

    • Emily

      All that was found of Molly’s body were some bones and a very badly weathered bathing suit. Even if there was DNA by the time they found it, it would have been destroyed.

      Reply

  7. Bryan

    Such a sad case. Any updates or DNA evidence? I pray for this family

    Reply

  8. LUIS FREEH

    DID SHE *NOT* HAVE A BOOIE! ( THAT DARK ORANGE FLOATATION DEVICE WITH A ROPE AND STRAP! SHE COULD GAVE EASILY SMACKED THE PERSON IN TTHE HEAD KNOCKING THE OUT WITH IT! WEAR IS IT? TWO ABDUCTOR’S/MURDERER’S ATLEAST!

    Reply

  9. Anonymous

    My nana gets a phone call from her ex any time Molly bish or holly a case is on the news or on the anaversiry of their murders.

    Reply

  10. Nancy

    How my heart breaks for the Bish family after all these years. What happened to Molly is so sad. The only joy is knowing that in death, her parents will reunite with her. But in the meantime, it is so important that this does not happen to anyone again. I think this problem will increase because of websites devoted to garbage out there. Don’t put ideas into the heads of the sickos out there. Stop Internet porn !! We are floating ideas out there that will encourage people with sick minds.

    Reply

  11. Anonymous

    Who do you contact if you have a tip

    Reply

  12. Johnny

    This case should never have happened. Molly was failed at several turns. Don’t understand why the employers would put a 15 year old girl by herself in this isolated Warren Pond location. She probably received a small salary. They could have teamed Molly with a male life guard. Safety in numbers and they could have worked together. There should be a police officer stationed there or guard on site to help with fights or thefts that could occur in these areas. Maggie protected her daughter and tried to scare off the man but should have demanded the employers had a guard or police presence at the pond. Her intuition was right. Molly should still be alive instead she was a victim of a predator. Maybe, the killer would have abducted the male life guard too if there was another one working there…It would have been tougher to control 2 people. Hope Molly’s killer is captured and case solved soon.

    Reply

    • Kathy

      Johnny – I, too, wondered why those in charge would allow a 15 year old girl to work by herself in such an isolated location. There should have been 2 or even 3 other people working with her. Who would have thought though…

      Reply

  13. Dwava

    State of mass was so scared when this hit … I remember parents locking there kids up for the rest of that season including my own mom…. So sad

    Reply

  14. jen

    she didn’t drive away that day. she stayed until the man left, but I agree…I would totally blame myself, all the way to my own grave.

    Reply

  15. Cali

    What mother would leave her daughter alone with a suspicious person parked there and drive off and leave her in that creepy lake with no one around ? If I was mom I would blame my self to my grave. Have to daughters my self and son and shame on you blame yourself .She says how she did not want to leave her with this man ? How she stared at him to scare him what ? how she walked her and when she came back he was still there o so drive off good choice . The way she explained how she felt about the man makes no sense sounds like she made it up so she would not look stupid for driving away.

    Reply

    • Demollysher

      When she left she Molly the day of the abduction the man was no longer there. How was the mom to know that he would return. Nobody even knows for sure still if it was him. The mother shouldn’t be blaming herself and people like you who just want to break her even more should go do other things with their lives because this mother has been through the unthinkable and you could not understand her pain unless you too have lost a child.

      Reply

    • sue smith

      Do you not think this mother is already sick with remorse? Shame on you for such an extreme level of cruelty and lack of empathy. I feel for your children having a mother with such a sharp and nasty tongue. SHAME ON YOU!

      Reply

    • Anonymous

      She didn’t leave her. She waited till he left. Watch what you say. I know this family. You have no clue what they have been through. Shame on you. She didn’t leave Molly there alone with that man.

      Reply

  16. hebry

    There is a 15 min session with molly bush on YouTube she came threw a ghost box search for para ghosters YouTube page

    Reply

  17. Brenda

    This is such a sad case. I remember watching the story on, I believe, ID TV. I hope the family is healing and in a better place.

    Reply

  18. grahamclayton

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We allow third-party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our web site. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g., click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you. These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information. To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice or to opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit networkadvertising.org. Your use of the site constitutes your agreement to accept cookies, beacons and third-party advertising. Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for third-party ads.

ARTICLE 1. Personalization
1.1 We may use the contact information you give us to better tailor your Website experience to your interests, and to send you information about Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. and its services as well as promotional material on behalf of some of our partners. We may use other information that you provide to us to show you content in which you may be interested and to display the content according to your preferences. We will also share this information within Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. in order to enhance your experience on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. Websites.
1.2 In addition, we may share this information with advertisers or other third parties that are not part of the Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. family on an aggregate or other basis that does not disclose your identity or contact information.

ARTICLE 2. Online Surveys/Contests
2.1 From time to time, we may conduct online surveys and contests. These may ask you for contact information (like name or email address) and demographic information (like zip code or age).
2.2 We may use this contact information from our surveys and contests to provide you with information about our company and promotional material on behalf of some of our partners, and to contact you when necessary.

ARTICLE 3. Shopping/Commercial Services
3.1 This Website may offer shopping services, which may be offered by us or by a firm that operates a store under contract with us. If our Website offers shopping or other commercial services, you will use a customer order form to request information, products, and services. The order form will ask you to give us contact information (like name or email address), financial information (like account or credit card numbers), and demographic information (like zip code or age).

3.2 We will use the financial information that you provide to bill you for products and services. By giving our Website your credit card and related personal information, you are authorizing our store to give that information to the merchant and credit card company in order to confirm and fulfill your order.

3.3 We will use contact information from the order form to fulfill your orders. We may also use contact data to get in touch with you when necessary. We will not otherwise use or distribute your financial information without your prior approval.

ARTICLE 4. Public forums
4.1 This Website may make available chat rooms, blogs, forums, message boards, and news groups. Please remember that any information that you disclose in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information. Information disclosed by you or by others enters the public domain and may be freely used by any other persons or entities using the site.

ARTICLE 5. Information Sharing With Third Parties
5.1 From time to time we may enter into a special relationship with another company that is not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. to provide additional features at this Website. These special relationships may include “powered by” partners, business partners, sponsors, and co-branded sites (referred to here as “co-branded pages”). These might include, for example, pages that share our name and that of another entity. You should look for a specific privacy statement on any such co-branded page. Any personal information that you provide when signing up at one of those co-branded pages may be shared with our third party partner. You should also check our partner’s website for information regarding its privacy policies.

5.2 Also, the nature of some features of our Website may require that we share personal information about you with persons or companies outside of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. For example, this may occur at a feature that enables you, via our Website, to ask questions of persons or entities that are not part of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. By responding to those features of the site, whether by email or direct entry of information on our Website, you are consenting to our transferring that information to such persons or entities.

5.3 With respect to specific registration modules, like contests, we may disclose personal information collected, and we may post a conspicuous statement on the registration module to the effect that we will be disclosing the information collected with third parties.

5.4 Finally, we may share any of the information collected from you with these other non- Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc companies in an aggregate basis. The aggregated information is not linked to any information that can identify you.

ARTICLE 6. IP Address and Log Files
6.1 We may use your IP address to administer our Website, to help diagnose problems with our server, to analyze trends, to track users’ webpage movements, to help identify you and your shopping cart, and to gather broad demographic information for aggregate use.

ARTICLE 7. Cookies
7.1 This Website may use a standard technology called a “cookie” to collect information about how you use the Website. Cookies reside on your computer and help our Website to recognize your computer’s browser as a previous visitor. This information allows us to customize delivery of information. For example, our Website may use cookies to save and remember registration information or preferences that you may have set while browsing the Website, to keep track of your shopping cart, to ensure you don’t see the same ad content repeatedly, to deliver content specific to your interests, and to save your password so you do not have to re-enter it each time you visit our site. We use cookies only to gather information as indicated in this policy.

7.2 In addition, on occasion our site may also set a “session cookie” which helps us administer the Website. The session cookie expires when you close your browser and does not retain any information about you after it expires.

7.3 Finally, we may also use an ad network provider to help present advertisements on this and other Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. websites. This ad network provider, like other advertising service vendors, uses cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies on the hard drive of your computer to serve you advertisements tailored to interests you have shown by browsing on this and other sites you have visited, and to determine whether you have seen a particular advertisement before and to avoid sending you duplicate advertisements. In doing so, the provider collects non-personal data such as your browser type, your operating system, web pages visited, time of visits, content viewed, ads viewed, and other clickstream data. The use of cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies by these ad network providers is subject to their own privacy policies, not ours, and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. assumes no responsibility for the collection or use of such information.

ARTICLE 8. Banner Advertising
8.1 We have contracted with an ad-service to place banner advertising on our Website. All of the data provided and generated by the ad-server software remains in our possession. This feature of our Website may, on occasion, set “cookies” on your computer. Any information collected or stored by the ad-service or the cookies is treated in the same manner as other information described in this statement.

ARTICLE 9. Children’s Personal Information
9.1 Consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act:

9.1.1 This site does NOT collect, use, or disclose personal information (including online contact information) of children under the age of thirteen (13).

9.1.2 In the event that a child under the age of 13 attempts to register on our site, we will NOT accept the registration and will delete information received from the child.

9.1.3 In the event that a child posts personal information in a public forum such as a chat room, we will attempt to delete that information once we become aware of it.

ARTICLE 10. Security of Your Personal Information
10.1 Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. employs reasonable security measures consistent with standard industry practice, for information collected through this Website. We believe that we have adequate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of the information we collect on our Website. We also use internal protections to limit access to users’ personal information to only those employees who need the information to perform a specific job.

ARTICLE 11. Sale or Merger
11.1 If this Website is sold to, or merges with, another company not owned by Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc., you should expect that some or all of the information collected from this Website may be transferred to the buyer/surviving company. If so, CMP will seek to obligate the acquiring company to use any personal information transferred by this Website in a manner consistent with this statement, but cannot guarantee that it will be able to impose that requirement or that the acquiring company will comply.

ARTICLE 12. Legal Process
12.1 You should be aware that Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. may be required to disclose your personal information to the government or third parties under certain circumstances, such as in court or regulatory proceedings.

ARTICLE 13.  Contacting the Website

13.1        If you have any questions about this Privacy Statement, the practices of this Website, or your dealings with this Website, please contact us at: unsolved@unsolved.com.

ARTICLE 14.  general information

14.1        Choice of Law:  This Agreement and the Additional Terms shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of California , as it is applied to agreements entered into and to be performed entirely within such state, without regard to conflict of law principles.

14.2        Choice of Forum:  You agree that any cause of action you or Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. brings to enforce this Agreement and/or the Additional Terms, or in connection with any matters related to this Website and/or the Privacy Statement, shall be submitted to arbitration in the County of Los Angeles, State of California, United States of America in accordance with the commercial rules and regulations of the American Arbitration Association then in effect (as amended herein), provided that said arbitration shall be heard before a single arbitrator, who shall be a retired judge, selected pursuant to such rules and regulations, and shall be conducted on an expedited basis and in confidence. The arbitrator’s decision shall be controlled by the terms and conditions of this agreement and any other agreements I may enter into with you, and shall be final and binding, and shall provide for each party to bear its own costs of arbitration and attorneys’ fees.  Each party expressly waives any right to a jury.  Judgment upon the award of the arbitrator may be entered or enforced in any court of competent jurisdiction. 

14.4        If any provision of this Agreement, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or for any reason unenforceable then such provision shall be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that matches, as closely as possible, the original provision, and the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.  The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.  Unless expressly provided otherwise, this Agreement is the entire agreement between you and Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. with respect to the use of this Website and shall not be modified except in writing, signed by an authorized representative of Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc.

ARTICLE 15.  European Union and Other Foreign Nations

15.1        This Website is governed by and operated in accordance with the laws of United States of America and is intended for enjoyment of residents of the United States.  Cosgrove Meurer Productions, Inc. makes no representation that this Website is governed by or operated in accordance with the laws of other nations.  By using this Website and submitting any personal information, visitors from outside of the United States acknowledge this Website is subject to U.S. law, consent to the transfer of personal data to the U.S., and waive any claims that may arise under their own national laws.