Decades long mystery: Still missing from Watkins Glen '73 concert

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - In July 1973, hundreds of thousands of music fans flocked to the Southern Tier for Summer Jam at Watkins Glen.

The outdoor concert starred the Greatful Dead, The Allman Brothers and The Band.

Summer Jam is believed to have been the largest concert in history, with over 800,000 people showing up, surpassing Woodstock.

But a trip to the concert is also a decades long mystery for two fans from Brooklyn - 15-year-old Bonnie Bickwit and boyfriend 16-year-old Mitchel Weiser.  The teens vanished when they took off for the concert with backpacks, sleeping bags and about $25 combined.

They were last seen hitchhiking along State Route 97 with a cardboard sign that read "Watkins Glen."  It is uncertain if the teens ever made it to the concert.

"There's been no trace of them, there's been a lot of information that has come in, there's been a lot of leads that have pursued," said retired Schuyler County Sheriff Michael Maloney.

Maloney was the Under Sheriff during the concert, he became Sheriff days later. 

Investigators still contact him about the cold case.

"As late as two years ago, investigators were up in this area from Sullivan County Sheriff's Department looking into possible leads," Maloney said. 

The Sullivan County Sheriff's Department still has a detective that monitors the case.

Maloney tells 18 News "I think in 2000, the family (of the missing teens) contacted the Attorney General and they assigned it to this cold case squad in Middletown, New York." 

Today, Bonnie Bickwit would be 60-years-old, Mitchel Weiser would be 61-years-old.

July 2018 will mark the 45th year since the couple has gone missing.

The mystery remains unsolved.

"Their social security numbers were never used but they had social security cards, they worked," said Maloney.  "That's the reason why we feel something happened to them." 

If you have any information about Bonnie Bickwit and Mitchel Weiser, please call the Sullivan's County Sheriff's Department (845) 794-7100.


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