Helping orphan piece past together

Helping orphan piece past together
Investigations on Colleen's murder continue
Former police detective Harold Pegg,69, who investigated the murder of Colleen Turzynski's family very vividly and still has photos of the crime scene. He is now trying to get Ms Turzynski copies of the home videos that police seized as as evidence.

SINGAPORE - Among items gathered by investigators at the New Jersey apartment in which the family of Ms Colleen Turzynski was murdered were video tapes, lots of them, showing everything from birthday celebrations to family members counting the money her grandfather had saved.

Mr Harold Pegg, 69, a retired police officer who investigated the case some two decades ago, recalled watching hours and hours of footage as he looked for clues as to what happened that day.

"We searched through all the tapes, looking for anything that would tell us anything about anything," he said. "They videotaped every event that happened in that house, whether it was a party, a holiday."

Mr Pegg told The Sunday Times that he is now trying to get some of these videotapes out of the police archives so that he can share them with Ms Turzynski, whose search for her Singaporean family members has touched the hearts of so many.

He has been so moved by Ms Turzynski's tragic tale that he is doing all he can to help her piece her past together. "I have made a call to the police department in Clifton, New Jersey. I have to get the OK from the prosecutors office," he said, although he is not sure how long it will take. "A friend of mine still works up there. I don't think they will release all of it but they can transfer some onto CDs for her."

Mr Pegg said the tapes ultimately did not play a key role in the investigation, although they did raise some troubling questions.

For one thing, he is convinced that at least one videotape is missing - the one showing who was in the apartment on the day in 1990 when Ms Turzynski's Singaporean mother Lee Kui Yin, 39, her Polish father Kazimierz Turzynski, 35, and grandfather Mieczyslaw Turzynski, 61, were stabbed to death.

Police discovered the bodies only one week later when neighbours complained about a smell, and were stunned to discover 17-month-old Colleen had survived a week alone in the apartment by eating Cheerios and drinking water from the toilet bowl.

Mr Pegg said he concluded that the family had had a celebration in the apartment on that night and may have shot footage.

The family attended a St Patrick's Day Parade on the day of the murders and stopped at a tobacco store to buy cigars. Based on some open bottles of alcohol found at the scene, he is sure it was no ordinary night in the working-class Turzynski household.

"It was pretty obvious something was going on that night, and it was pretty obvious they would have taped it because they taped everything else," said Mr Pegg.

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