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Review: Cropsey (2009)

cropseyDirected by Barbara Brancaccio and Joshua Zeman

Everywhere has its myth to scare kids away from the bad places. Along the border, it’s La Llorona¬†near water. In England, it’s the boggart on the moors. On Staten Island, it’s Cropsey at the abandoned asylum. But this unnerving documentary asks: What if Cropsey is real?

The starting point here is the trial of Andre Rand, charged with the 1987 abduction and murder of 12-year-old Jennifer Schweiger on the sleepy island. But just as the community started to connect him to more missing children, and this puny outsider filled the mythical role of Cropsey for the local kids, filmmakers Brancaccio and Zeman aim broader. Their Staten Island isn’t a leafy suburb off Manhattan, but a polluted dumping ground and a secret burial ground for mob corpses.

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