Richard Petrone: Missing Since February 19, 2005

Tonight I am filled with a rage…
and an anger so hot that I want to scream at the heavens WHY…WHY…Why did this happen to two such beautiful people ? What vile creatures committed such evil upon such decency? I want to wrap my hands around their throats and squeeze the pitiful life from them. These creatures of darkness should know one thing for sure… once the lie is told and the deed is done it can never be untold or undone but ripples and multiplies through time until it strikes the awesome majesty of truth. The perpetrators of this evil must necessarily live in constant fear every minute of their wretched lives while the hammer of truth pounds away at them every day with a momentum they cannot imagine. The truth, embodied in the FBI is merciless, unrelenting, and inevitable. So while I may have moments when my spirit weakens I still know with my whole heart that time and the FBI are on our side and that ultimately the truth will prevail and we will never cease our quest for justice.
Richard Petrone, October 15, 2005

A birthday wish from Richard’s father:
August 29, 2005 … the anniversary of your birthday… a day that should be a celebration full of laughter and good cheer. Sadly that won’t be the way we mark your day. Instead there will be a private Mass celebrated by Fr. Rossi to honor you.

Memories of you and your impact and influence on our lives, my life, fill our minds everyday… everyday memories of you… your passion, your joy, your smile, your laugh, your loyalty and integrity, your devotion to your family and friends, most of all your Angela… your angel. I think of your struggle to teach her what you learned from life so that she could avoid your mistakes…every father’s burden.

I remember the day you came into our lives…
you were so perfect, beautifully perfect and for the first time in my life
I felt pure and unconditional selfless love for this tiny angel.

And then I remember the day you came into our lives. Looking back now your mother and I were children ourselves. The first time I held you, you were so perfect, beautifully perfect and for the first time in my life I felt pure and unconditional selfless love for this tiny angel. On that day, at that moment you were the meaning of love. That is what I choose to celebrate today.

Memories of you… and our days together at the rink and on the road playing hockey. Playing is too casual a word for your approach. It was not a game to you but an epic struggle. You lived and breathed and even dreamed hockey. Watching you during those years are surely some of my sweetest memories. My favorite photo of you sits on my desk as I write these words. You are 12 years old sitting in the locker room in your Gladiator uniform, soaked with perspiration after a tough loss staring away in space. It’s that spirit and drive I celebrate today.

Memories of you… at the shore… swimming, fishing, crabbing and hanging on the boardwalk. Everything I do with Robbie is a rerun of what we did. Every fishing line I bait, every crab trap he pulls up, every wave he rides is a like you all over again. Many times he sees the tears in my eyes and knows they’re for Uncle Rich. More often though I think back and cherish the hours we spent together on our all night fishing trips aboard the Starlight in Wildwood. Back then you were too young to haul up your own line – but you stayed with it each year until you did. But it’s those earlier years when you were 8, 9, and 10 that I remember best. You were always filled with wonder then and seemed to be able to ask questions all night long as we sailed. You never lost that sense of wonder and that is what I celebrate today.

I think back and cherish the hours we spent together
on our all night fishing trips aboard the Starlight in Wildwood.

Memories of you… and the music. Indescribable… your love of music transcended everything and included everyone. It was your touchstone and your reference point. It was the love that never disappointed, never judged, always pleased and was always there for you. So much of you was music. Five years old 1974 and playing Born to Run on air guitar. Thirty years later we still stood and shouted fists in the air:

Tramps like us
Baby we were born to run

But there was another line in the song that I always watched you sing at concerts that made me hopeful for your future. Hopeful because you sang it with such meaning… and passion

Someday girl I don’t know when
We’re gonna get to that place
Where we really wanna go
And we’ll walk in the sun

I will try to celebrate that hope today. That indeed you are walking in that place in the sun.


From Rich’s Aunt Lisa:
“On the day that you were born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true, so they sprinkled moondust in your hair of gold, and starlight in your eyes of blue.” The Carpenters… I remember, although I was only six years old at the time, Grandmom Petrone’s proclamation that Marge had delivered the most beautiful baby in the world. This was a point of view not to be argued with, for the opponent would lose. After several years of being blessed with several more grandchildren, Grandmom still maintained the philosophy that there is still no one to compare with her first born grandchild Little Richard. Thankfully, from Christine on down to the rest of the other eight grandchildren, none of them required therapy due to this view point. Today, I will celebrate your inner beauty as well. If inward beauty is defined by the friendships we maintain through our lifetime, then you my nephew, are truly a beautiful man. Your friends demonstrated such loyalty, comraderie and generosity during the past six months it was truly overwhelming. If inward beauty is defined by family, then again, my nephew, you truly are a beautiful man. You would beam with pride in how your parents, sisters, and daughter Angela have maintained an unwaivering belief that the truth will prevail, have maintained dignity, during times where dignity would not be an option, for the honor and respect of their son, brother and dad. Yes, I was only six when you came into this world and it is with my six year old mentality that I will celebrate you. Everyone is entitled to their own version of heaven, so as I indulge in mine, I see you and gramps, somewhere to the south of the pearly white gates, crabbing off of a pier, enjoying the day. I hope that you are in a place as beautiful as you are.

All of my love,
Aunt Lisa