Key Publishing Company

James P. Naughton


Whatever Happened To The Pecords?
Whatever Happened To The Pecords?


This book is a TRUE mystery of a missing family, the Pecords, who vanished from their home on a Friday evening in early fall of 1959. It is not a CRIME STORY; it may turn out to be one, but not at this time. They were the last remote stop on the author’s paper route, located 50ft from the Connecticut River. Parts of the theme and the era have similarities that were evident in the movie STAND BY ME which was set a year later in 1960 based on the fiction novella, “The Body” by Stephen King.

Instead of calling the police, he called two buddies to conduct their own investigation and nearly got killed. The book is also a memoir in a sense that the author allows the reader to peer into the 50’s era in his hometown, by utilizing the nervous flashbacks he experienced and recorded afterward, during a run for his life. Because of a sworn oath between the author and his teenage friends, he was unable to tell his story till now.

As a coincidence, a relatively new college, Goodwin College, purchased the missing family’s home and invited the author to do a tour of it, one last time. They acknowledged that they had planned to tear it down in order to build a “cottage” for hosting off-campus meetings on the site. They shared with him how the street he grew up on got its name, Colt Street. (The missing family’s home was also the last house on the street.) The fact that the house was part of a ferry landing set up by Samuel Colt (Colt 45) was incredible. Mr. Colt also lived at the landing while a mansion was being built for him across the street also overlooking the Connecticut River. If you log into, you can maneuver a telescope on the peak of the building to view the surrounding area…

Some readers have criticized that “The book was not a true crime story” and it is not, although it might be at some time in the future. Others said that, “We didn’t do enough investigation in regards to where the missing family might have gone”. Please keep in mind that we were all age 15 at the time, roughly the same age as the kids in the movie “Stand By Me”, which was set one year later in 1960. The town’s police department records were destroyed 10 years later, apparently standard procedure. Later on, when we requested help from the FBI, I doubt they took us seriously. It was obviously a different era.

In discussing the story with the editor of the town newspaper, The Gazette, Bill Doakes. He informed the author, that there were a number of unsolved missing persons in town since the mid 1900’s. I know it sounds implausible that these situations exist, but they do. Initially, and for a long time after the “incident”, the boys kept a low profile. They were young and just plain scared that they might be implicated in a crime, especially having found a hidden wall safe’s door swinging open and “empty” in the house. In fact, we agreed to never discuss it with anyone, unless all three were to agree.

Please note: The search for the Pecord’s is still going on primarily by the readers and classmates from East Hartford, Conn. Bits and pieces continue to flow in and will be published on the website of near future. If you have something to add or questions to ask, please feel free to go to this website and press the “Contact Tab” and forward them.

From the Author

Some readers have been critical of such things such as they felt that the book is not a real crime book and they are correct, as you can read in the book’ description page on Amazon and Barnes noble. Also, some felt we didn’t do enough investigation regarding the missing family. Please keep in mind, we were all age 15 at the time; roughly the same age as the kids in the movie, "Stand by Me" set in 1960, one year later.

Initially and for a long while after the "incident" we kept a low profile, spoke to no one. We were plain scared and afraid that we were going to get implicated in a crime, especially having found a hidden wall safe swinging open, EMPTY! "In the Pecords house." In fact, within hours of our experience, we agreed to never discuss it with anyone without the others permission. Although I was told recently by one of my high school class officers that I told her that someday I was going to write a book about a family that disappeared from paper route in ’59. So I guess (we) weren’t cases in the history of the town. I know it sounds implausible that these situations go unresolved, but sometimes they do. It’s a fact of life.

You might have also thought as I did that by now, someone, a relative or a close family friend would have come forward, considering all the publicity the story has received all over the state. We are still waiting.




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St. Mary's Class of '59

(click on image to enlarge)
St. Mary's Class



Copyright © 2013 James P. Naughton