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Connecticut Paranormal History and Legends

Old Trinity Church & the Michael Ross Mystery
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Old Trinity Church Brooklyn, CT and the Michael Ross Mystery

 

For everyone who investigates the paranormal, this story here is a prime example as to why I decided to start this webpage. When in comes to old Ghost stories, False histories are made up all the time, and Old Trinity Church in Brooklyn, CT is a fairly new one, but very false one. If people in the paranormal field want to be taken seriously, then stories like these have stop, and everyone has to do their homework better. Before you post anything on your website about haunted history, PLEASE! Make sure the information is correct. It only makes you look foolish, and it opens the door for everyone else not to take your work seriously. Even a 5 year old can debunk this story, and the more I see it posted online, the more it really aggravates me.

 

What’s the story that people are talking about? Well it all starts with a story of a little church named Old Trinity. Outside Old Trinity is a graveyard. The story that’s going around is that the church is haunted due to the work of Michael Ross, a serial killer in the early 1980’s. Supposedly, the graveyard became haunted after Ross murdered a young woman (or women) here and used this place to dispose of their body’s. The story varies from website to website, some say one woman, some story’s say 3 women. He then used their blood to write on the outside of the church walls “I Love Little Girls” and the area has been haunted with ghosts ever since.

 

Now, I can’t say for a fact that Old Trinity is haunted. I’ve never been there, and I don’t plan on going there because it’s quite a car ride from my present location in Bristol. What I can tell you is this, there is no truth what so ever about Michael Ross ever being to this place, let alone killing people and leaving there body’s here. I can remember the time of when Michael Ross was finally caught in 1984, and what kind of news it created, news that lasted for 21 years after.

 

Michael Ross was born on July 26, 1959 to Daniel and Pat Ross in Brooklyn, CT. He was raised on a farm and his childhood was described as a very unhappy one. His parents were said to have gotten married after she became pregent. Pat was said to have hated the farm life, and after having four children she eventually ran off to North Carolina with another man. When she returned home to Connecticut she was sent to Norwich mental hospital, talking of suicide, and then confessing to doctor’s that she often beat her children. Michael’s sister said as a child, he would take the brunt of his mother’s anger.  He was also said to have been molested by his uncle who would often watch him. When Ross was older, and worked on his father’s farm, he was known to have killed chickens by strangling them with his bare hands.

 

As Ross attended high school he became a very smart kid, having an IQ of 122 and still working on his father’s farm. In 1977 he attended Cornell University and studied agricultural economics. It was in his senior year at College that his killing spree had started. In 1981 the body of Dzung Ngoc Tu was found dead in a gorge, and in March of 1982, 16 year old Paula Perrera was found in Wallkill, NY. These murders remained unsolved until his confession to a psychiatrist in 1987.

 

Now here is where the story of Michael Ross and the Old Trinity Church get twisted around. His killing spree in Connecticut starts with the murder of Tammy Williams Jan 5, 1982. Her body was found after his confession to investigators in a swamp off route 6 in Brooklyn, CT (No where near the church). The murders continued, June 15, 1982 with Debra Smith Taylor of Griswold. She was found in a cornfield in Canterbury, CT.  Then in November 1983 Robin Stavinksy of Norwich was found dead on the grounds of Norwich State Hospital, her purse was found in a river in Preston. Then getting bolder, Ross on April 22, 1984 kidnaps two 14 year old girls, April Brunias, and Leslie Shelley both of Griswold. He drives them to Beach Pond RI where he commits the murders, and then takes there bodies to Preston, CT where he disposes of them in a culvert. Finally on June 13, 1984 Ross commits his last murder, that of Wendy Baribeault of Jewett City. Her body was found buried in a stone wall on route 12, not to far from her house.

 

 He was caught in late 1984 and arrested by investigator Michael Malchik. While investigating the murder of Wendy Baribeault he talked to witnesses that said they saw Wendy get kidnapped in a blue Toyota. Malchik, then started to interview blue Toyota owners in the area, which brought them to Ross. Prompting Malchik to ask more questions, Ross then pretty much gave himself up. On July 1, 1987  Ross was convicted of 4 of the 8 murders, and was sentenced to death by lethal injection.  His execution took place on May 12, 2005.

 

As far as the church goes, Old Trinity Church is an Episcopal Church. It was built in 1771 by a man by the name of Godfrey Malbone. It was placed and is still currently on the national list of historic places. In the 1920’s church membership planted some hemlock trees in the back of the church in the shape of a cross. This apparently was done to make its identity known as a church if ever the country was bombed. Despite popular belief, the church is still open Wednesday and Sunday 2p – 4p. In recent years due to the internet stories going around, the owner of the church has said that they welcome new members, but no paranormal groups, and anyone caught trespassing will be arrested.

 

Again in closing, don’t always believe what you read on the internet. Hopefully the truth to more of these false stories comes to light. Remember, the Michael Ross murders didn’t take place all that long ago. It’s bad enough when someone loses a loved one in such a horrific way, but to use their name to make a place seem spookier is just plain wrong. I’m sure the families of the victims don't want to read about their loved one's that were  murdered are haunting a place that is no where near the murder seen. So if the paranormal field is to be taken seriously by anyone not involved, we got to get the real facts, no matter how uninteresting it is…

 

 

 

 

- I deserve whatever I get but to the friends and
families of my victims. They have been hurt enough by my actions in the past.  They should not be needlessly hurt further now.

                                                                      Michael B Ross

                                                                                                                                                                   

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Arrest Photo of Ross 

References
 
1. Profile of serial killer -- Michael Ross / By Charles Montaldo / Published by About.com / http://crime.about.com/od/deathrow/p/michael_ross.htm
 
2. Michael Bruce Ross / Published by Clark Prosecutor / Ross #966 /  http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/death/US/ross966.htm
 
3. Old Trinity Church / Brooklyn Schools W
 
4. Michael Ross / By Dave Parkinson & Tracy Lamourie / CCADP / Posted May 17, 2005 / http://ccadp.org/michaelross.htm