South Florida

Experts: Releasing goggles in Bochicchio murders a good move

By Jerome Burdi, Sun Sentinel

January 26, 2010

Boca Raton police took a positive step in releasing photos of evidence in the Town Center murders Monday, experts say, even if it was two years after a mother and young daughter were found shot to death at the mall.

The bodies of Nancy Bochicchio, 47, and her 7-year-old daughter, Joey, were found in their parked SUV on Dec. 12, 2007. Their hands were bound with plastic ties and at least one of them had her eyes covered with blacked-out goggles.

On Monday, police released an image of those goggles, asking for the public's help in identifying them.

Police have had almost 2,000 leads in the case that was aired on America's Most Wanted. But no arrests have been made, and no suspects named.

Putting evidence out to the public can reap benefits, experts say.

"The lifeblood of any investigation is information," said Vernon Geberth, a retired New York police commanding officer of the Bronx Homicide Task Force and author of Practical Homicide Investigation.

The Unabomber case is a perfect example, said Richard Mangan, a criminal justice professor at Florida Atlantic University.

The Unabomber had the FBI frustrated after killing three people and injuring at least 22 in a 17-year bombing spree that began in 1978. With no solid leads, the FBI turned to the media and published some of Unabomber's Manifesto. David Kaczynski recognized his brother Ted's handwriting and turned him in.

Release of the goggles photos is the same as federal investigators releasing Kaczynski's Manifesto, Mangan said.

"Somebody may give [Boca Raton police] a call who knows someone who had glasses that were similar, and then they have a new lead."

The goggles appear to be a cheap, indistinctive pair, possibly from China, said Sassafras Zellar, co-owner of Misfits Central Eyewear, a Michigan goggles supplier.

Though releasing evidence sooner may have helped, Geberth said, releasing it later also has benefits.

"Over time, cases do go cold but relationships change," he said. "Maybe a person's mad at somebody and the police get a tip."

Police ask that anyone with information about the manufacturer or sale of the goggles, or any other information about the case, call Detective Jeff Clare, 561-338-1246, or Crime Stoppers, 800-458-8477.

Staff Writer Peter Franceschina and Staff Researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.

Jerome Burdi can be reached at or 561-243-6531.