Thursday, August 11, 2011

Joe Helt Case: New Developments

What do a New York private investigation firm and a former schoolmate of a missing person have in common? The ability to take a very cold case and make it hot!

In 1987, Joe Helt a senior in high school was out for the evening with his friends Kelly Diaz, Wade Marks and John LaForge. Joe Helt never made it back home. The friends were never interviewed. So it was interesting when a former New York police Lt. Robert Rahn, now a private investigator with Management Resources, Limited of New York was told he was "forbidden" to interview the 3 whom each returned all warm and snug to the beds late that morning.

At a minimum they were a witness to a chain of events whereby, Joe Helt would never again surface. From the "Justice for Joe's facebook page run by former classmate turned missing person advocate, Gina Schuster, she makes an amazing find, the truth in print. Below is a discovery from a 1987 interview:

1987 Times Herald Record articles published in the days after Joe's disappearance, we've uncovered an inconsistency which is HUGE. Something that is going to help us BLOW this case WIDE OPEN from VARIOUS angles!!! And here it is:

Joe was discovered to be missing when he never showed up for his 5pm shift at the Napanoch Auction Barn on Saturday, January 17, 1987. His boss, Vic, called Joe's mother, Lee Ann, after 5pm (closer to 5:30 pm) to ask her where Joe was because he never showed up for work. It was at this time that Lee Ann discovered, after making several calls, that Joe was in fact missing. We have verified the time frame directly with Vic.


In an article printed in the Times Herald Record newspaper from Tuesday, January 20, 1987 entitled "Buddies Join in Search on Ridge" (see below), John LaForge told the reporter, Jo Galante, the following:

"Saturday afternoon, Laforge retrieved his Subaru. At about 3:30pm, Marks called LaForge with the news that Helt hadn't returned home."

"Later, when Helt failed to report to work at the Napanoch Auction Barn, his mother notified Ellenville Village police."



Apparently when the Ellenville detective working the invisable investigation learned Gina had released this information, he was less then thrilled. Perhaps due to the fact lip service was about as far as this case ever went, until recently.

Now, because of the former New York Lt. Robert Rahn, the New York Times is about to run a story about Joe Helt's case. And this is only the tip of the iceberg for this case. Last week I posted the blog after we aired Joe's case on the Roth show:

After the show new information surfaced. In the spirit of this open case and to maintain the integrity of, in my opinion, the invisible investigation, someone's conscious may have finally been relieved after 24 years.It seems in 1987 there was a lot of drug activity, not so much where the boys "say" the car stalled the night Joe Helt vanished, but in an area someplace in Rockland County.

Is is possible that Joe Helt was savagely beaten to death?
Is it possible that a fairly large drug deal went south?
Is it possible Joe Helt paid with his life?
Is it possible politicians and others covered or hushed the case into silence?
Is it possible a then police officer on the case now a chief of police was involved somehow in the drug ring?
Is it possible the now chief of police has knowledge of where Joe Helt might be buried?
Is it possible that one of the boys with Joe Helt that night whose family property was adjacent to where they torched the 17 -year old's body and scattered the bone's on the connecting property?

It seems that the town of Ellenvillle provides many wonderful services to its' community of approximately 4,135 according to last years resident numbers. Investigations don't appear on the list of importance. Maybe it would be if the only person in charge of the criminal hen house didn't have their hands dirtied themselves going back to 1987. Perhaps the US Attorney's or Inspector General's offices requires a visit? Especially when the corruption could be a result of other activities?

To listen to the broadcast of the Roth show go to the link below:
If you have additional information about this case please visit and provide your confidential tip or call 1-800-490-2267.


Justice For Joe said...

Susan, THANK YOU for once again helping us not only get Joe's story out there, but for digging deeply into Joe's story, the REAL story, and getting deep down into the HEART of what truly needs to be discussed in his case!

Anonymous said...

I just recently started following this case and after 24 yrs I would say something was covered up. Probably a police officer back then had something to do with it. Its sad for the family. And I pray the REAL truth comes out.

Anonymous said...

I have never been a fan of the Ellenville Police Dept - I think they are and have always been crooked and there has been evidence on more than one occasion...I am so happy there is finally someone taking the time to investigate this properly.

Anonymous said...

Kelly Diaz killed Joe... Everyone knows this in their heart, had the police conducted a proper interview they would have known. I hope he burns in bell for what he's done.

Anonymous said...

this is a shame that the police would cover up something like this but i tell you this you can not hide behind the truth god will bring this to justice.i hope and pray that there will be closer on this.

Anonymous said...

Obviously this cover-up is a case of who u know, not what u know. Govt corruption.

Anonymous said...

enough of the police cover up BS!! not one of those kids knew or had anything to do with the police or any politicians families, aside from being arrested that is!! the only cover up was the one they pulled off.. stop with the conspiracy theroy crap, it makes you look crazy!

Anonymous said...

I know of a highly secret little place that would make a great stash for a body quite close to where the car was abandoned. I wonder if anyone else can guess where I might be thinking.

pamela said...

the three with Joe should have been interveid,why were they not ,they no more and not telling,find him give family closure

pamela said...

the three with Joe should have been interveid,why were they not ,they no more and not telling,find him give family closure

Anonymous said...

I STILL know about a little place near where the car was abandoned where someone could stash a dead body for a loooong time.

Anonymous said...

There are some "what ifs" expressed in the initial paragraph that seem to be quite detailed. Does the person who wrote have some concrete reason to believe that these things are true? These things have apparently not been said in such detail anywhere else online. What does this person know and why don't they express more so that other people will support these ideas if there is such strong evidence?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous who says they know of a place that a body could be hidden...Maybe you should share this with Beth. If you want to help, that would be the honorable thing to do.Any and all theories are welcome..

Anonymous said...

could a cover-up also be the reason y the chief of police & head of narcotics (PM) has KNOWN K.D. is a major drug supplier in the area, and also breeds pitbulls for purposes of fights to the death yet he has gotten away w it ALL THESE YEARS to date? Could the 2 of these ppl share a common knowledge? blackmail? ..."If you tell on me, ill tell on you?"......

Anonymous said...

Why can't the Department of Justice be contacted. They should look at going to the federal level if the local and state isn't helpful. Joe's civil rights have definitely been violated. Also consider a large reward because when all else fail you can always count on someone to sell the guilty one out for money. The fact that the people involved and those that know what happened could keep this on their chest for 24 years tells you what sort of people you are dealing with.

Helen Crary Beloit said...

Maybe a complete detailed investigation of all of the law enforcement in Ellenville is in order..Starting with the narcotics department and see how many arrests for drugs and paraphernalia have been made whom.. how much drugs were reported and maybe each individual that was charged with the 'drug' crime should be individually interviewed and asked to tell EXACTLY how much drugs they truly had on their persons when caught...The reason I say that is If a 'dirty cop' caught me and confiscated 1 full pound of Marijuana but I know but could not say..Hey that dude really took 2 pounds from me..but IF I say anything my charge and punishment could be worse so I have to keep my mouth shut. Give those caught with the drugs a NO more charge guarantee which states..'you have already been charged and processed and NO MORE charges can be EVER added if you tell us the truth about how much you really had. But keep that promise NEVER add to their charges may get a real story here..because of the guaranteed immunity from additional charges for telling the truth.. new information may become of these interviews!!

Helen Crary Beloit said...

Where is that place where a body could be stashed for many years that still exists??

Anonymous said...

Dirty Cops then ,Dirty Cops NOW!As a parent with children that knew and loved Joey and went to school with him, I can remember the heartbreak that beautiful family went through. He was a good kid NOT a drug user! I do however think the police of those days, covered up or protected others involved. I don't think any of those cops are still around. Someone said the now police chief P.M. was involved back then, I think he is too young to have been a cop then,could he have been on the case then? I can say this, the Ellenville police Chief P.M. and the Ulster County asst.DA need to be replaced. They don't know how to do their job. Not to mention the Judge who is very RUDE to people Mr.P. At this time there are quite a few cover ups going on in that dept. The truth will come out some day.

Anonymous said...

What would Ellenville Police have to do with Joe's investigation? Not their jurisdiction. NYS Troopers are the ones who investigated the case(BCI Frank Sticco Sr). And all 3 were interviewed the next day and just recently they were interviewed again by new NYS BCI Investigators. All 3 of them had taken a polygragh test and all 3 passed. Not considered suspects in the case. People should get their story straight before you try and make others look evil. Shame on you all, Karma will catch up to you for making up these horrendous lies. God Bless You All !!!!

Rachel said...

I have no need to keep my name quiet like you cowards do. Hey Anonymous on Aug, 15th 2011 you wrote "Kelly Diaz killed Joe... Everyone knows this in their heart, had the police conducted a proper interview they would have known. I hope he burns in hell for what he's done." How come you don't put your name coward??? Don't want to be implicated in a defamation suit? You people are pathetic. Stop sitting home and watching episodes of CSI thinking that you are smarter then the police. The police have and still continue to interview these guys. They comply with every question and passed a polygraph. They answer to the police. Not to you people who played clue as a kid and now think your a detective. It is what it is and say what you want. Keep hiding behind Anonymous and keep taking down anything that is posted in favor of these guys. You people keep hiding. Only people hiding the truth are Gina Schuster (when someone post something in defense of the guys, she takes it down).

Nick said...

Ive been researching this case for some time, why doesnt anyone fail to mention that one of the 3 persons involved father was a judge? Hmmm....sounds fishy....what your town needs to an full force FBI leaves until they solve this and the body is found.....its that simple.....whomever is involved police wise or justice wise should be canned for not getting this done 20 something years for the three that were involved put them in a room one on one with me..ill get some put the fear of god in them, and anyone else involved....tell you what if that was my kid, no one wldv gotten away with that....i wldv put justice in my own hands...and for anyone that defends those 3 assholes is just as bad and guilty in my book.....yeah I said it.

Anonymous said...

Let's stop with all the drama. They were "interviewed" for 8 straight hours. They also passed the polys that the police administered. Maybe, like countless others, he just disappeared on the mountain. Stop harassing the kids who did nothing. It is 27 years later and the truth then is still the truth now.

Dana said...

Do we know if the car was ever searched for forensic evidence?

Were the last 3 people to see him searched for physical evidence?
WHY was Mount Cathalia not too long after the dissapearence demolished? Was it ever searched for physical evidence?

MANY people explore that are and after 25 years something should have turned up if Joe was there. It seems plausible he was moved/transported to another area one way or another. Is it plausible a teen buzzed on alcohol may have attempted to walk home...yes. BUT, there would have been some sort of evidence somewhere. If he was bloody in any way there would have been evidence. Is it possible a fight occurred and and he was pushed off of a ledge? this would make finding his body or clothing potentially nill, even after 25 years if he fell somewhere there is no access to.. There are many questions for sure....I for one think the 3 people he was with SHOULD be re-questioned. Why did ones father send him away so soon after this happened?

Caligirl said...

Dana, I read some of the information that his family posted over the years and here are some answers to your questions.

The car was never searched for forensic evidence. The person who owned the car, I can't remember his name right now, he had a friend use his personal truck to pull the car out. A friend of Joe's said that this person went up twice to get the car out. First time was very early in the morning. Second time was a bit later, and his friend did help him get the car out.

The three boys were never searched for physical evidence. They were viewed as witnesses and nothing else. Later on they were called persons of interest, but the years had gone by at that point.

It is really bizarre that this town never searched the ski lodge property or buildings for evidence. It is really suspect that they had it burned down just months after Joe disappeared. I don't understand it.

I really agree with you that if he had gotten lost and fell somewhere or if he had gotten into a fight and was bloody, there would have been some sort of sign of him. It is possible that he was confused, stumbled and fell into a crevice somewhere. I don't think he fell somewhere because the story doesn't add up.

Also, one of the boys last with him called one of the others much earlier in the day, long before anyone knew Joe was missing, and told him that Joe was nowhere to be found. How could they possibly know that he was missing several hours before even his own family knew he was missing. I read somewhere that he had a job, was scheduled to work the next day, and when he missed that early evening shift, the company reached out to his mother to find out where he was. That was the first time anyone knew he was missing, that is except for two of the three last with him who had talked about his disappearance hours earlier.

I read that many people gave information and expressed their fear of retaliation, therefore refused to give a notarized statement to police.

There was one girl who did give a notarized statement a couple of years ago and she had a conversation with one of the three boys last with Joe a few days later in school. He told her that there was a fight and one of the people there pushed Joe and that he fell down the mountain. She did an interview with CBS news in NYC. Her name is Schwartz, but I can't remember her first name.

I also read a lot of posts on articles. After she gave a statement, there were a couple of people connected to Joe that night who really harassed her and wrote horrible things about her. Someone keeps harassing her, saying she needs to prove her statement and take a lie detector test. My thought is that I've never seen a case where a person of interest is allowed to harass a witness. The person of interest is given a lie detector test, not the witness. But this person who was harassing her should call Steve Wilkos or Dr Phil and set up a lie detector for themselves and this girl. If they're so sure this woman made a false statement they need to man up and prove her wrong. Take a lie detector test about her statement, something that was never done before.

This is one of the most bizarre cases I've ever read about. It makes me so angry that people have been attacked for making statements, for sharing information and even so scared that the won't make a statement even though the information they have could really solve this case.

I think that some of the issues with this case were just a case of an overwhelmed small town police force that had no idea how to handle a case this big. I think that they just didn't know the proper channels to go through. I also think that there is some sort of suspect stuff going on in the background. This is simply a case of a small town mystery, one that some people have worked really, really hard to keep secret. There are definitely answers there. But some people want to hide the fact that they had something to do with harm coming to Joe.

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