Almost five decades later and Mary Beth Heinz’s murder is still unsolved and her sister Jeanne Heinz is still determined now more than ever to get answers about who murdered her.
“In 1972, I was 12 and Mary Beth was 21,” Heinz said. “I was never really told what happened to her at the time, which of course was understandable, but the more I learned as an adult the more I questioned what happened and why it was never solved.”
Mary Beth’s body was discovered on May 10, 1972, near a creek in Rockville Centre. She had been strangled and had abrasions on her neck and face. Mary Beth worked as a live-in nanny and would come home to her family in Mineola on weekends by taking the bus. Mary Beth was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was young and suffered from grand mal seizures.
“She left work Friday night and was not found until five days later,” Heinz said. “One of the newspaper articles stated that she was found dressed, but missing her shoes and pocketbook. That would be very strange since she was an epileptic since childhood and would have always carried her medication. The next month another woman’s body was found at the same spot. I always felt strange about the whole thing. My father was a retired NYPD [officer] and it fell to him to solve the case. I can’t even imagine what it was like for my parents at the time. In the ’80s, I worked with a few NCPD detectives who said they investigated the case and told me,
‘I don’t want to know’.”
After Heinz’s father died in 1994, she tried again to get eyes on the case, but still received no answers. In January 2019, Heinz ordered her sister’s death certificate and sent a FOIL request to the Nassau County Police Department for more information.
“I picked up the death certificate and autopsy report, but the e-mail response from the NCPD was a denial for information [for the FOIL request], but provided me with a number to call.”
After speaking with members of the NCPD and leaving three separate messages, Heinz still hasn’t gotten anywhere about her sister’s case.
“Mary Beth was a super sweet person with a huge kind heart,” Heinz said about her sister. “She loved all the underdogs, children and animals. She always had pet turtles at our summer home in the Poconos and spent endless hours babysitting other people’s children. She always did her hair just perfect and wore matching outfits right down to the jewelry. Although she was often shy, I think it was because she knew she was different and that was much harder then, than it is now. She never knew when she was going to have a seizure or how those around her were going to respond. I like to think she thought, ‘Dang, if I’m going to have a seizure I am going to look good.’”
Heinz urges others that if they have any information about her sister’s murder to call the Nassau County Police Department Homicide Division at 516-573-7788.
“I want people who knew her in Corpus Christi and Mineola High School to remember the good person she was and to finally know what happened to her,” Heinz said. “Mary Beth was a person with epilepsy, who suffered greatly because of it, but it never stopped her. She deserved the same great life as many of us have. Her life was cut short and no one will give me any answers as to how or why or who.”