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Friday, November 6, 2015

A Game of Hide-and-Seek: the mysterious death of John Fiocco, Jr.

A Bad Hangover

On March 25, 2006, John Fiocco attended an off-campus party with his friends and returned to crash in a girl's dorm room with two other TCNJ students. He was last seen at around 3am. When the students awoke in the morning, Fiocco's shoes remained, but Fiocco was not in the room. His roommate reported him missing at 3pm the next day, though he was told an investigation could not begin until Fiocco had been missing for 24 hours.



Investigators traced back the drunken antics of Fiocco and searched the dorm, Wolfe Hall. Rumors ran wild.
On March 28, Fiocco’s blood - a lot of blood - a “voluminous” amount of blood - was found in and around a dumpster, and investigation focused on a trash chute that led down to the compactor. Investigators even ran a camera down the chute, but refused to comment on what they did or did not find. The idea, of course, was what Fiocco either voluntarily or involuntarily was stuffed down the chute. People strongly questioned whether a human body would fit down the chute; one student described the door as "spring-loaded" and leading into a "two-foot-by-two-foot space."  
After a few months, word was spread that investigators were searching for anyone who had information on a late-night game of hide-and-seek.
I distinctly remember reading an interview with the garbageman who ran the compactor before emptying the dumpster into his truck. A red substance oozed from the dumpster as they ran the compactor. He joked with his coworker that it looked like blood, but the two thought nothing of it. It turns out it was actually Fiocco's blood. I can't find a record of this quote, which I remember reading in a local paper, but it brought out an important question that we'll touch up on later: was Fiocco still alive when he entered the dumpster? Did the garbageman kill him when he activated the trash compactor?
The investigation then turned to searching the landfill where TCNJ’s garbage was brought to. After some time, Fiocco’s body was found there, badly decomposed.

A Mysterious Death

“It was probably drugs,” one of my friends told me. “TCNJ is close to Trenton; it’s essentially Trenton, but nobody wants to talk about that because it’s such a nice school. It was a drug deal gone wrong. People get into that stuff, you know.” John was a well-known, well-liked kid. A typical freshman, gregarious and friendly. It wasn’t known that he had been involved in anything shady, but you never know. A kid like that could easily get mixed up with coke or something, and a dealer from Trenton visits the dorm, there's some unpaid debts, and there you go.
Was it the drunken game of hide-and-seek? Did he climb into the garbage chute to hide, and wind up falling into the dumpster?  It turns out that no blood was found in the garbage chute.  Did Fiocco willing climb into the dumpster?  And why?  
Was it the compactor that killed him, then? There was a motion-activated sensor in the compactor that would periodically crush the garbage when it got too full.  It could have been triggered by the entry of Fiocco’s body, instantly crushing him.
Or - perhaps more reasonably, but something no one wanted to consider - was he not alive when he climbed in the dumpster? And was the killer someone from TCNJ?

A Manic John Doe

In 2008, Fiocco’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school:
The court documents cited “gross negligence” on behalf of the College. Examples include 16 daily hours of open access to Wolfe Hall; failure to ensure the doors to Wolfe Hall and its compactor room were locked; open access to the compactor room; and allowing individuals to enter Wolfe Hall without signing in at the front desk when sign-in was required.
Source
In 2011, Fiocco’s parents dropped a bombshell: they alleged a TCNJ graduate had murdered their son:
Attorneys for Susan and John Fiocco Sr. made the bombshell revelation as they argued against TCNJ’s motion to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the school by the couple. The attorneys said the graduate, who was never charged and was identified in court only as John Doe, sneaked into Wolfe Hall dormitory through lax security measures and killed Fiocco, 19, of Mantua, who had gone to sleep drunk. The attorneys accused TCNJ of gross negligence and asked a judge to send the case to trial.
Source
They specifically stated that for an hour and a half that night, the doors to the dorm had been propped open.
While there are no direct links to the crime being a homicide at all, and no direct links linking John Doe to the crime, there seems to be a bit of circumstantial evidence:
While there was not enough evidence to charge John Doe with Fiocco’s death, there is plenty to link him to the crime, the lawsuit argues.
He had a history of mental illness, was on campus the night Fiocco disappeared and has no alibi for the late night hours in which Fiocco disappeared, according to the complaint.
Weeks before Fiocco’s disappearance, John Doe had been committed to a mental health facility where he was diagnosed with manic depressive and bipolar disorders, the suit says.
On the weekend Fiocco disappeared John Doe was not taking his medication and was acting “manic and bizarre” according to family members, it alleges.
Two days after Fiocco disappeared John Doe was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital for a second time, according to the suit.
John Doe allegedly confessed to at least two people, one of whom contacted police, O’Hearn said.
During an interview with attorneys for the Fiocco family, John Doe’s mother allegedly said her son routinely left the house at all hours of the night and was regularly on the TCNJ campus, according to O’Hearn.
The woman said that when she heard about Fiocco’s disappearance and learned that blood was found in the garbage bin she wondered where her son had been that night.
Source
Police did say that John Doe was one of the hundreds interviewed by police, but would not comment any further on the nature of that interview.
Of course, being mentally ill and needing psychiatric care doesn't make one a murderer, nor does it make one any more likely to be murderous than anyone else. The fact that the mother was suspicious lends some credence to this idea, but again, being "manic and bizarre" and leaving the house late at night doesn't mean you're guilty of homicide.
Did John Doe even know Fiocco? How did he get in the dorm room without waking anyone else up? Why is there no evidence of a struggle or a fight? If Fiocco was killed before he was placed in the dumpster, where is the blood?
In 2012, the Fioccos and TCNJ reached a settlement with a payout of $425,000. As a result, the case would not be going to trial, and Fiocco’s death remains a mystery. No criminal charges were ever brought against John Doe.

Other sources

3 comments:

  1. I had a insight on John Anothy Fiocco Jr. back in the middle of 2006,after I had called on his spirit and ask God if so can his soul tell me what happen to him. I really could not believe I could talk to people souls but I had thought to myself,lets try this and I had fell to sleep and started dreaming and some one was calling it is me John and could I contact his parents he miss them and is sorry for the hurt and pain he cause them.John spirit had told me that he like me like a part of the family and wanted me to call him Johnny,and no I am not crazy but I have a gift and for me to be careful of people I trust and his soul came from the spirit world up high,like Heaven.John wanted me know that the off campus party was the clues surrounding his death, when he was killed by fake friends and set up for the 711 kill. person of interest Frank Patrick and William Patrick Weber ( The Frank Patrick Award )

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  2. I have not heard from John spirit , since the last time I had a insight on Shane body being pulled from the river ,as I looked at a hooded jacket on his body,and yes the killer is very skillful , and buried his phone in his basement in the floor , with other items he keep, of his victims in his secret storage, and the spirit world knows that his body was dumped where it was founded in the area it was search before !!!

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  3. If you have cardboard or other large items, you will need to bring them down the stairs on the west side of the building to either the trash room or the recycling bin on the first floor. If you decide to use the recycling bin, please remove your plastic and Styrofoam and break down your box.

    construction trash chutes

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