Mitchel & Bonnie

Mitchel Bonnie

A website in the memory of Mitchel Weiser & Bonnie Bickwit

New York when she vanished on July 27, 1973 with her boyfriend, Mitchel Weiser. Mitchel was working as a photographer’s assistant in Brooklyn.

A Website in Memory of

Mitchel Weiser and Bonnie Bickwit

Bickwit and Weiser planned to hitchhike to attend a concert festival, Summer Jam featuring The Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead in Watkins Glen, New York.

The concert is believed to have been the largest in history, with over 800,000 people showing up. Weiser met Bickwit at Camp Wel-Met and they set off for the concert, which was 156 miles from Narrowsburg.

Neither has been seen since. It is believed that Weiser and Bickwit had approximately $25 between them.

They carried backpacks, sleeping bags, and a cardboard sign that read “Watkins Glen.” They were last seen hitchhiking along State Route 97.

Mitchel Weiser and Bonnie Bickwit have been missing for 50 years. Bonnie Bickwit was working as a mother’s helper at Camp Wel-Met in Narrowsburg, New York when she vanished on July 27, 1973 with her boyfriend, Mitchel Weiser. Mitchel was working as a photographer’s assistant in Brooklyn. Mitchel and Bonnie planned to hitchhike to attend a concert festival, Summer Jam featuring The Allman Brothersand the Grateful Dead in Watkins Glen, New York. The concert is believed to have been the largest in history, with over 600,000 people showing up. Mitchel met Bonnie at Camp Wel-Met and they set off for the concert, which was 156 miles from Narrowsburg. Neither has been seen since. It is believed that Weiser and Bickwit had approximately $25 between them. They carried backpacks, sleeping bags, and a cardboard sign that read “Watkins Glen.” They were last seen hitchhiking along State Route 97.
A Website in Memory of Mitchel Weiser and Bonnie Bickwit
Missing since 1973

It is believed that Weiser and Bickwit had approximately $25 between them. They carried backpacks, sleeping bags, and a cardboard sign that read “Watkins Glen.” They were last seen hitchhiking along State Route 97.

Authorities initially believed that the couple simply ran off together. Bickwit and Weiser had secretly exchanged wedding rings earlier in the summer of 1973.

Both were intelligent teenagers who attended John Dewey High School, a Brooklyn alternative school for gifted, high-achieving students. Bickwit lived in Borough Park with her family when she was not working at Camp Wel-Met; Weiser lived in Midwood.

Both Bickwit and Weiser are from stable, middle-class Jewish families.


Without A TRACE: Investigators trying last push to solve 25-year mystery of two Brooklyn teens who vanished from Jewish camp; heartbroken families grieve without closure.

Triggering Memories Of The Missing

2 Who Set Out for Watkins Glen Are Still Gone

Two Students Still Missing

HS Students Seek Missing Pair

In Search of Bonnie and Mitch

Search for Missing Teens Expanding

Missing Teens’ Classmates Issue Plea

At Dewey HS, a reunion-and 27-yr. mystery

48 Hours Proposal

Video Coverage

Mitchel & Bonnie Part l
Mitchel & Bonnie Part ll
John Dewey HS Reunion 2000 Pt 1: Tree Planting
John Dewey HS Reunion 2000 Pt 3: Tree Planting


The Vanished Podcast Episode 41
Mitchel and Bonnie left Narrowsburg, NY on July 27, 1973. They had planned to hitchhike to Watkins Glen, NY to see Summer Jam. Summer Jam was a concert that featured The Allman Brothers Band, The Grateful Dead and The Band. It is estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 people attended the show. The two teens never made it back home to Brooklyn. Did they even make it to the concert?

Share Thoughts

Welcome to the sharing area. This is like a guestbook. If you have any memories you would like to share, information regarding the case, or just want to say hi!

Stuart Karten
August 26, 2008, 11:36 pm

This website is long overdue. I created it to have a permanent home for the memory of Mitchel and Bonnie. Please share your thoughts, memories and love for the both of them.

Sheryl Kagen
August 27, 2008, 10:12 am

This wonderful website is a real gift to Bonnie and Mitchell’s family and friends! It is incredibly touching to me that their friends have never forgotten them and continue to keep their memory alive. They were very much loved! Bonnie was 10-years-old when I got married, so I never knew any of you the way Susan knew Mitchell’s friends. I have grieved these many, many years privately and have had the support of my own dear friends. Our family members hold loving memories of Bonnie forever in their hearts. I never really knew how deeply their disappearance touched the lives of their friends until the tree planting ceremony and now, this website. My mom is 86 now and she does her best to stay positive and healthy. There are no words to explain how the loss of her wonderful, smart and affectionate daughter has affected her life. My dear, sweet, generous, upbeat and devoted dad passed away in 1979 still clinging to the belief that Bonnie and Mitchell would one day return. We have tried to find closure with the scenario offered by the witness who came forward after the MSNBC show aired despite a lack of proof. That is the choice we have made after all these years.

Thank you for all you do and for sharing your thoughts and keeping their memory alive. Some of you probably have children of your own now who are the age Bonnie and Mitchell were when they disappeared.

d lee
September 4, 2008, 2:53 pm

I first heard about this case on Websleuths which led me to this wonderful site.
I was aproximately the same age as Boniie and Mitch in 1973 I remember those times well.
Also I have a 15 year old son of my own now.
He’s a musician in his older brothers band and with the way he dresses and his long hair he looks like a time traveler from 1973 himself.
When I looked at the photos in the gallery I couldnt help but imagine how I would feel if my son left one day and never came back.
I would like to think I would have the strength to carry on that Mitch and Bonnie’s family have shown but I cant imagine overcoming the devatation that I
I would feel.
This case has really touched my heart.
Ive got to say that I have some real serious problems with Allyn Smiths story.
Especially his ‘inabilty’ to remember where this occured…
If you saw something like that you would never forget never.
Also in the 80 mile stretch between Watkins Glenn and Narrowsburg are their really that many places where ‘River of No Return’ scenario like that could take place?
I live in pretty rugged country in the pacific northwest and in late July there arent even that many places near my home wherethat type of thing could happen.
Also I think his stoned hippie driver with the period perfect ‘VW Van’ sounds like a stock character of the imagination.
I do think that this case is solvable.
Bonnie and Mitch probably encountered a lot of people on the way to Watkins Glenn considering the throng hat was headed in the same direction.
However in the aftermath especially in those pre internet pre sateltie Tv days most of the people strugling home probably never heard about the disappearence.
Thats why I think this site is so valuable.
Please if you know anyone who was at Watkins Glenn or has photos from that event,please let them know about this case urge them to look at their old pictures.
It only takes the right person to hear about this to provide the answer these poor families have been waiting for since 1973.
That is way to long.
Its obvious Bonnie and Mitch were very exceptional kids.
They are not forgotten.
Please keep this case in mind.

September 9, 2008, 4:56 am

I was researching something else entirely and came accross the information that
Led Zepelin was playing Madison Square Garden weekend.
*Sigh* what if…

September 9, 2008, 5:04 am

Please edit to read’That particular weekend’sorry.
Too quick on the submit button.

Susan Weiser Liebegott
September 19, 2008, 2:18 pm

Mitchel was my only brother and I have missed him for 35 years. Thank you Stuart – This website is wonderful as it brings him back to existence in some way. For our family and most of his friends there has been no closure – just left open questions that leave us – just where we were in August 29 – Monday morning waiting for him to come home. The answers we started to get after the MSNBC show left many questions dangling in the air. Questions that could still be investigated. What we need is someone in law enforcement willing to take on this open cold case. We hope that the universe opens up and gives us resolution. Always missing you – your sister,Susan (Weiser Liebegott)

September 21, 2008, 7:27 am

There are alot of leads that could still be pursued.
Im sorry but from what Ive read of the treatment the families got from the original’investigators’ athorough and exaustive fresh look at the case is the least that could be done.
It troubles me that so many people seem to think Alynn Smith’s ‘story’ is the final word on the subject.
Im sorry I dont accept that.
Best wishes and Prayers to you and your family Susan

Ellen Herold
October 18, 2008, 10:24 am

Bonnie was my first cousin and was very much loved by her extended family. There will always be a place for her in all of our hearts. And, to this day, we miss her very much and she is in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for doing this. With deepest appreciation, Ellen Herold

russell leisner
October 28, 2008, 5:39 pm

i worked with mitch in he silver lake kitchen -his disappearance -to me -makes no sense-but im glad that there is a web site to honor his and bonniie’s life

February 25, 2009, 11:05 am

I ran across this site almost by accident. I had heard about Bickwit and Weiser from Websleuths and also on The Charley Project and the Doe Network. My husband, although younger than bickwit and Weiser, was a follower of the Greatful Dead and did just like they did and went to a number of concerts. It is sad that these 2 kids were just being kids and having fun and then *poof* they are just gone. There has to be someone out there that knows something. The story about them being swept away in the river could make sense, except it seems that either some of that story is left out or is not being told for whatever reason. People just don’t vanish. Someone out there knows what happened. I hope that this website will reach someone who can shed a little light on this cold case. Bless the families of these 2 kids. May they find some peace.

March 16, 2009, 5:04 pm

I was drawn here today, see what you have created? There was a solved amber alert on TV, I turned in my chair and Googled Amber Alert, got to the site, saw Bonnie’s face and clicked from there through this journey. What made me pick her, out of the many faces of NY missing, down the right side of the page? Ah, another breadcrumb, like Hansel and Gretel, leading me home. I was 12 in 1973, I am 47 in 2009; my son, 20. I would become a hippie chick, I hitchhiked in spite of myself, barefoot, dirty. As soon as I could, I took off to California, wreaking havoc there. All the while, my sweet mother and father, barbecued on an electric fence, over and over with each child’s adventures, starting with my oldest brother who was the wildest of the wild. When he was 16, he was gone for 63 days. My Italian mother was broken in a heap … I was eight, I didn’t understand any of it. Those days she used to go to the police over and over who would say, Please understand, there’s nothing we can do, he’s gone, maybe he’ll come back some day, but you have to leave us alone, he’s gone. There was NO Amber Alert, there was no case investigation. They routinely told parents, back then, sorry, they’re gone.

Now a mother myself, with a very cool and smart but still vulnerable 20 year old son, who hops trains like candy and goes in and out of NYC nightclubs … who sometimes doesn’t answer his cell phone and I spin endlessly in space like a trapeze artist hurling through space letting go of one handle … no net ….

God bless you and your family … this is all of our human condition, you have made me thankful and blessed today, you have made me realize that God spared my parents this agony, so many times when I didn’t get into the car of the man who was begging me to, and for the many times I did get in the car, on some dirty highway, of a maniac, and so many times I jumped out of moving cars …

I think we live because of the loss of others, we weren’t chosen to die or disappear, and in some way I have to thank you and thank your family, for your strength and courage … not sure why I and we were spared but promise to spend every day grateful and in loving tribute in some small way to you and your loss.

Harold Kramer
May 7, 2009, 7:38 pm

In August 1973, two teenagers from Brooklyn disappeared
while attempting to attend a rock concert in Watkins Glen NY.

Their names were Mitch Weiser and Bonnie Bickwit.
Both Mitch and Bonnie were never heard from

In 2000 their fellow students from John Dewey High School
in Brooklyn planted a tree and installed a plaque on the school’s campus to honor
their memory.

The tree was planted in June of that year at a class reunion.
The plaque was installed and dedicated in October
of that year in a ceremony that was
attended by family and friends.
This is that ceremony…

Harold Kramer
May 7, 2009, 7:40 pm

View the ceremony on You Tube…

May 17, 2009, 1:13 pm

I always think of this case when Summer is coming on.
35 years and counting.
Someone out there knows.
I pray this is the year of some real answers.
My best wishes and prayers to the families .

May 19, 2009, 1:19 pm

Mitch was my lab partner in Cunningham and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I think of Mitch at least once a week. Mitch’s sister: please let us know here if anything we should be doing to help you. Thank you.

July 27, 2009, 2:36 pm

it’s such a coincidence i found this out this very day. never heard of this story until now. very sad

Freddie Gasparini
October 24, 2009, 2:29 pm

In 1970, I began working at my first full-time job, Garden State Optical Lab in Saddle Brook (& later in Garfield) New Jersey. Sid Weiser was the general manager- and my boss. A very kind man.
Soon after, I met his son Mitch, and immediately I liked him. Although Mitch was 5 years or so younger than I, he was very intelligent, and advanced for his age. He was also a wonderful kid.
Garden State closed around 1972, and soon after, although I’ll never know how he found me, Mitch visited me at my place in Paterson N.J. With him was a girl, and although I can’t be certain, I believe it was probably Bonnie Bickwit. I remember being amazed that he’d come all the way from Brooklyn to stop by to say hi. I mean, he didn’t even drive yet!
I never saw Mitch again. Sometime later, I found out about what happened. I’ve always wondered about Mitch, and about Sid.
Today, I was going through some old boxes of stuff, & I found the two flyers I’d gotten back then. Today, as a father & grandfather, it’s not conceivable for me to fathom this type of horror. My prayers go out to Mitch & Bonnie’s families.
Frederick Gasparini

rhona corinne (anger) friedland
November 12, 2009, 4:03 am

i started to be in contact with some Dewey folks again on facebook and i was reminded about Mitch and Bonnie. i read the story on this website and, for the first time, understood the real story. my question is this: why did Allyn Smith wait until 2000 to reveal about the river and the drowning? who exactly is he, and could he know more? i think that someone other than the police should contact him and open this up…maybe someone could refresh his memory about what river it was, or what bus line he took…it is hard to believe that he doesn’t know these things, particularly if he was on that bus…there must be a record of him being on that bus and the route it took…and the rivers it passed along the route….

i started praying that info on them will surface…it must be devastating for the families to lose those children like that…without a trace…

Jerry Schoenacher
July 30, 2010, 2:46 pm

I knew Mitchel from Public School 153 thru Cunningham and Dewey and had their missing poster photos on my kitchen bulletin board for 15 years…a real good guy…this slow Friday at work I did a web search for them, hoping for good news. I’m so sorry for their families.

dean weber
August 2, 2010, 12:41 am

I worked with mitch at silverlake,wel-met, back in ’73’- along with stu Karten, russell leisner, scott gollop and others. we all had a lot of fun. I hope that someday we will know what happened, and I hope that somehow mitch and bonnie are together somehwere in this universe- they were such great people.

January 26, 2011, 1:56 am

have you tried the vidocq society people.

{{i do not know you but i am so sorry. i wish i cpuld think of something more helpful.}

April 12, 2011, 10:00 am

A little message from France. I hope that Mitchel and bonnie have made it and that they’re together, alive and happy.
However, i wish you peace and harmony!

Mitch Bernstein
July 19, 2011, 4:03 pm

I was at Wel-Met in 1973 Narrowsberg and remember Bonnie. And Mitch came up to visit and they were going to hitchhike from camp to Watkins Glen. Was not a good idea, we thought. She was at best 5 foot tall and he was not much over 5′ 5″ and 130 pounds wet. I think he never worked at Silver Lake and she was a babysitter and sometimes spent time at Birch Lodge on camp. They both seemed to be well ajusted and fairly level headed. I find it hard to believe that they left and decided not to come back; eloped or something. I hope their families find peace. I have two boys and can’t imagine how hard it must have been on their parents. The camp should never had let her leave, even for a weekend.

Dorothy Caffrey
August 5, 2011, 9:55 am

I worked at B & B Lorry’s with Rae Bickwit, Bonnie’s mom. She was a good, quiet person who came to work each day even through her unspeakable anguish. Shortly before Bonnie disappeared, Rae’s older daughter was in a terrible car accident. Rae’s small stature contained a giant tower of strength. My thoughts and prayers are still with you.

tony dyke
September 9, 2011, 11:46 pm

I also hitched a ride to Watkins Glen that summer from Rutland Vermont, with $20 in my pocket. I was fortunately picked up by a young girl we were both 18 yrs old, and I stayed with her on lake superior and we drove to the concert together only to split up. She had the common sense to leave. The music was memorable but THere were way to many violent people at that concert unfortunatly. It was not a 2nd woodstock. When i read the touching account of these two teens i am deeply sorry. The BIG question i have is WHY wouldn’t the police have given this Smith person who claimed they were swept away by the river a lie detector test and why didn’t they comb the river and why didn’t they pursue this deeper. I remember it as being a very dry summer and the rivers of VT and NY were low with little current. (being a fisherman i knew this), It did pour for a couple of hours that day at the concert but there were no flash floods like recent years have seen around the country. I would think that person would be key to finding the truth, why would Smith lie about it and if Smith was lying WHY?? I am sorry for all of the family and friends of these kids..did they even make it to Watkins Glen? there was a lot of people who took bad mesculin or acid and freaked out and climbed the fence bordering the west side of the track and were wandering in the woods a couple of miles away, anything could have happened out there to two teens, i was one of those who was having a bad trip and had toget away from the mob scene around the concert. did authorities take dogs around looking for their scent??seems like they really dropped the ball on the investigation.
I hope you find the truth in your lifetime.
sincerely, Tony

computer repair jersey city
March 9, 2012, 2:15 pm

This was a great post, thanks for the info.

Roger Hare
April 21, 2012, 9:53 am

I was 16 at the time and went to this concert. I was also a big Led Zep fan. The stories of them maybe going to the Zep concert instead don’t hold up-as I remember, everyone wanted to go to WG…it was THE thing to do then, even for a Led Zep fan. Way too much insanity was evident there, and I’m sad thinking these two disappeared while attending. I’m from the Finger Lakes area (Auburn) and I can tell you there are thousands of remote, hilly areas that could hide foul play or accidents. Thinking back, this event was just a drug-induced excuse to do anything. I am ashamed of what I saw.

Sheila (Adler) Pollet
April 22, 2012, 12:55 pm

Watching the Etan case re opening this past weekend I am reminded again of my good friend Bonnie. I grew up with Bonnie in Boro Park. We were friends from nursery school until age 15. We went off to different HS, her to Dewey, me to FDR. The summer before she disappeared, I moved to NJ. We spent an afternoon together and vowed to keep our friendship alive though in different states. That summer I went off to my summer camp (Surprise Lake, incidentally where Susan Weiser was once my counselor and Mitch was a camper at one point). Bonnie went to Welmet. My parents sent me an article about Bonnie disappearing and I was shocked. I spent so much with Bonnie and her family. I remember when her sister was in that horrible car accident. Bonnies parents were friendly with my parents. I once had emailed Susan Weiser to check in, but we lost contact. I always felt bad about never following up with Bonnies mom. I often revisit the old neighborhood, and when I do, I always ride by Bonnies house and remember my good friend and think about all of our fun times together. Was there ever any closure? Is Ray still alive? I always think of Bonnie on her birthday, we were 9 days apart, and always attended each others birthday parties. I wish comfort and peace to the Bickwit family, they will always be in my heart.

ann hirsch
May 1, 2012, 2:13 pm

I think of Mitch and Bonnie so very often. Mitch was the kindest 15 year old boy you could meet. Sending love to the families.

David Baltzer
February 12, 2013, 3:37 am

I was 6 at the time and my family lived 2 miles west of the Watkins Glen race track where the concert was held. We could hear the whole concert loud and clear from our open windows. We had 6 acres and a few people camped on our land without asking first, but they were peaceful and not destructive so my parents let them be.

There is a credible story about Ted Bundy having been in Watkins Glen in 1969. From what little I can piece together, it seems unlikely that he could have been back in the area at the time of the concert in 1973, but it makes you think….

I hope that Mitch and Bonnie are at peace wherever they may be and that the case will be solved one day soon.

Alan Epstein
March 2, 2013, 12:13 am

I knew them both. Bonnie and I were campers together and later on (1972) Mitch and I worked together in the Silver Lake kitchen. I never believed they would just run off without a trace. I still find myself thinking about them every now and again and have always hoped the families would find closure and peace.

Rob Behr
March 14, 2013, 9:41 pm

I worked at Silver Lake that year too. I was off that day and still remember watching them getting into a truck for their fist hitch After all these years I don’t know if the color of the truck was red but that is what I remember.
Parents family and close friends should take some solace in the fact that anyone who knew them liked them and respected them, and that they live on in our memories after all these years, not because of what happened, but because of how they lived and interacted with us.

Louise magnavito silnik
March 23, 2013, 11:45 pm

I grew up with Bonnie from childhood and lived in Boro Park. Her mother and my mother Frances were good friends. I dreamt of Bonnie last night and know that this was not just a dream. I havent dreamt of her in 30 years. She told me that the perpetrator responsible for her disappearance worked in law enforcement. She even showed me the jacket that was worn by him in the 1970’s. i just checked police jackets from the 70’s and it is the identical jacket from my dream. There is no way I could have known this. I think that may expain why the dental records and files were “lost” because he did not want them to be found. I dont know what to do with this information, except that I worte to John Walsh. If anyone has an idea please let me know. and I haope that the siblings read this and respond to me. I have dreamt of dead relatives in the past, and this was not just a dream, she came to me.

Martha Lesnitzer Zucker
April 29, 2013, 12:32 am

I was Bonnie Bickwit’s friend when we were campers at Wel-Met. I lived in Bensonhurst & she in Boro Park, and we wrote letters to each other when we weren’t in camp. I remember her fondly and was devastated when my mom showed me the front page of the New York Post (or News) when she disappeared from her trip to Watkins Glen. I pray for the families of both Bonnie & Mitch, for them to endure this tremendous loss and void in their lives. I pray for Bonnie & Mitch too, of course, and hope that one day they will come home and reunite with their loved ones.

P.S. I believe Louise Silnik’s March 23,2013 post above, as I get dream visits as well. I hope that John Walsh answers her and law enforcement can be investigated. Please take this lead seriously.

July 27, 2013, 10:51 am

I just stumbled across this website while surfing for info on Wel-Met camps; coincidentally, today is the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of these two young people. My heart hurts for the family and friends of Bonnie and Mitch, and I hope there will someday be an answer to this mystery.

Please do not give up hope. My grandfather’s younger brother (with his wife and three children) disappeared without a trace in the late 1930’s, leaving behind all their belongings, not even picking up his most recent paycheck. Although the rest of the family hired private detectives, they were never found. Last year my son, a skilled genealogical searcher who was researching our own family, located and spoke with the great-granddaughter of the missing couple. There had been some sort of ongoing difficulty with the wife’s family, and the couple decided just to leave it all behind. Although most of the older family members are now gone, it was a relief to those of us still living to know that they’d apparently gone on to live happy, fulfilling lives.

That this site exists is a testament to the enduring love and commitment of the families of these two youngsters. I hope your steadfastness is rewarded with information that will let your hearts rest at long last.

Rick Hess
August 14, 2013, 11:06 pm

I was the same age as Bonnie & Mitch when I attended the Concert at the Glen in 1973. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Bonnie & Mitch, and hope that someday the mystery of their disappearance is solved, and some sense of closure is reached. Wishing them the best.

Gail Raines
October 6, 2013, 10:26 am

I remember them talking about going, We went to Dewey together. We all used to sit on the statue or “Joe Hill”, which was the little hill on the right side of the front gate. We were the “hippies”. I have never forgotten Mitch & Bonnie.

Stuart Karten
October 11, 2013, 12:02 am

October 19, 2013, 8:09 pm

October 19, 2013, 8:10 pm

harvey shiffman
October 20, 2013, 7:14 pm

i remember Bonnie well, from Wel-met camp inBarryville, she was a sweet girl, i remember her smile, i was deeply saddened when i heard years later

October 22, 2013, 2:05 pm

This was in the NY Post just 3 days ago-

Mitchel Weiser and Bonnie Bickwit
JULY 27, 1973

Bonnie Bickwit

Forty years ago, Brooklyn teenagers Mitchel Weiser and Bonnie Bickwit went to an upstate concert and never came home.

Mitchel, then 16, of Midwood, and Bonnie, then 15, of Borough Park, set out to Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, featuring groups such as the Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead and the Band.

With $25 between them, they hit the road, hitchhiking along State Route 97. They vanished.
Modal Trigger

Mitchel Weiser

At first, it was just assumed the two may have gone off to a commune somewhere — two hippies who’d eventually go straight.

But as days have turned into decades, there’s been no sign of the two.

Weiser’s older sister, Susan Weiser Leibgott, refuses to say Yizkor, the Jewish prayer of mourning for the dead.

“I won’t say it until he’s found,” she told The Post. “It’s been 40 years and someone knows what happened. Someone has to come forward and say they saw something. They have to find my brother.”

The case is being investigated by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, whose Undersheriff Eric Chaboty told The Post that the case remains open and that all leads so far “have gone nowhere.”

Over the years, there have been intermittent efforts to refocus attention to the case. In 2000, their alma mater, John Dewey High School, held a special reunion, where an eight-foot maple tree was planted in their names.

“I always thought they were going to turn up,” said Stuart Karten, Mitchel’s best friend who started a Web site,, to bring attention to the case. “Mitchel was a very ethical kid — almost honest to a fault. I don’t believe that they ran away or they did anything like that. I always figured foul play was involved.”

Lynne Tasman-Wasserman
October 24, 2013, 4:37 am

I remember Bonnie very well. Spent a few summers at camp with her. She was sweet, kind, smart, and fun. After the last summer at our camp, I moved to CA. A year later, I heard the tragic news about Bonnie and Mitch being gone and no trace of them. It sent chills down my spine that day and it has haunted me for years. I didn’t personally know Mitch, but I do know if Bonnie loved him, he had to be a great guy and similar to her. My heart grieves for both Bonnie and Mitch and their families. As fellow campers, we have never forgotten Bonnie, and we have met several times over the years and talked about her and Mitch.There are no words of comfort deep enough to say to their families. I just wanted them to know, we have not forgotten about your son and daughter, sister or brother, niece or nephew, and all of their friends. We were lucky to have 6 weeks every summer to be camp friends and know the sweetness and love of Bonnie, I am certain Mitch’s friends would say the same things. I hope for an ending, if someone can come forward, someone who knows what happened or could lead to where they went missing. I know we all carry this ache in our hearts. Always and Forever with us. Love, Lynne

Adam Lehman
March 20, 2014, 3:01 am

Wow. I was sitting at my desk, as I often do, with a small statue of a cartoon dog with a tear in its eye sitting on a base that says, “Sure do miss you!” I’ve had this statue since I was 13 years old – a gift from my first girlfriend, Bonnie Bickwit. It continues to sit on my desk as a memorial.

Bonnie and I “dated” at that time for, oh, maybe a year? I lived in Manhattan, we originally met on a party line (remember those? 🙂 I got to know a few of her friends, but as I didn’t go to school with her, don’t really remember them. Lots of long subway rides between our houses on weekends! Hanging out in the village, upstairs in her room at her house, listening to music, all that stuff from the early 70s. I did meet Mitch many times, and we all hung out together. It didn’t surprise me that after Bonnie and I stopped dating that she and Mitch became girlfriend/boyfriend. We did stay in touch some after that, mostly by phone, but the distance (all the way from Manhattan 🙂 kept us from hanging out so much.

Summer of ’73 was the first year I didn’t go to camp, and was hanging out in the city with my first job. I went up to Watkins Glen with friends – my second Grateful Dead concert, with hundreds more to follow. It wasn’t long after that that I found out that Bonnie and Mitch were missing. I don’t remember if it was from me calling them, or Bonnie’s mother calling me, but it certainly was a shock.

My sense of Bonnie (and Mitch) was that she would never have simply abandoned her family. She loved them dearly, regardless of any adolescent angst going on at the time. There’s just no way she would have gone all that time with not contact. I always felt that Bonnie would have become an amazing adult, socially active, and making a difference in the world. She had that spirit.

I did call her mom a couple of years afterwards to find out if anything had been found out. She was still completely heartbroken (of course) and spend most of our conversation crying. I remember feeling pretty helpless about it all.

Why tonight I looked at the little statue on my desk and suddenly decided to check the internet, I don’t know. I was amazed that the first thing to pop up took me right to all this info. It gratifies me to know that so many people still care and have carried the torch! Thanks to all of you that have done so, and please know that there is another person in the world that has always held Bonnie and Mitch in the highest regard, even some 44 years after first meeting them and almost 41 years after their disappearance. It was nice seeing the pictures and videos of them, as that I hadn’t had in all this time, but the recognition and memory of Bonnie’s smile and spirit were instantaneous and very much intact.

I’m sorry I have nothing to offer in terms of what happened. I guess I always figured it was an bad hitchhiking story, and the thought of that terror in contrast to their young idealistic spirits was always horrifying to consider. I had done some long distance hitchhiking prior to that, and never did again after.

My best wishes certainly go out to all the family and friends, and particularly Bonnie’s mom, for whatever peace can be found in the face of so many years of not knowing. I remember lots of conversations with both her parents in the times I spent at their house, always feeling welcome.

I have always held a reverent place in my heart for Bonnie, and Mitch, and send love to them wherever they may be, whatever plane that may be on. Truly a sad loss not only to those who knew them, but for all the good they had to offer to the world.

Lots of love from me to them, and to all of you.


Adam Lehman
March 21, 2014, 3:04 pm

For anyone that might be interested, or if you even see this (not sure if anyone gets notified about posts here), I wrote a little something on my Facebook page and posted a couple of the pictures. If you’d like to have a look…

Posted 3/20/14



April 27, 2014, 1:41 pm

This story has me intrigued since the first time I have read it several yrs ago. I scour through all kinds of sites to see if they show up somewhere and have put their picture on my facebook page several times. I have some trouble believing the story of Allyn Smith who supposedly saw them drown along with the van driver and did nothing to help nor call in to report it. Meanwhile, if they indeed did drown, eventually they would have washed up somewhere and would have been found in the last 30+ yrs. so I would think. It is said that the van driver was never found which makes me think that either there was no van or Allyn was the driver of the van and somehow did not want to get into any kind of trouble.

Something tells me in my gut that they are not wanting to be found and changed their names ASAP. Also, perhaps they did come into foul play of some kind but people do not seem to want to get involved. In the 70’s it was a time when so many would hitchhike to get places. So this would not have been something out of the ordinary. I am wondering if it would be possible to try and track down anyone who may have seen them hitchhiling towards the concert or picked them up. I have also asked any of my friends, some of them avid Dead Heads….if they have pictures to look at them and see if any of the missing people associated with this group was in them. It would give a place to start and Bonnie and Mitch were about the same age as I at that time so my friends would have been too.

I so wish somehow something would come to me so that I can help bring closure to these two families.

Stay strong and I am sending prayers for you all.

April 27, 2014, 1:53 pm

Now, I am thinking that I have seen other cases, on the ID Channel, that their loved ones were missing, murdered, or unidentified and they called for a NEW investigation.

First, there is a show called Disappeared on ID Channel and they showcase cases of people who have disappeared, their stories and some end in being found alive, some end in cliffhangers, but they have been found after the first airing, and others have ultimely been found deceased. This may be a good thing to do because a lot of people watch that show and channel and there also are several other shows that could be used to help. It is an idea.

Also, there was one case where this sister would not take what the old investigators left off with so she hounded them to re-open their case and they did with some fresh eyes and ideas and the case was ultimately solved. This also is an option. I, myself is not one to take anything less then the best ending for anything and I do not think you should either. I do know it must be tough to bring this up and have to live with not knowing everyday. I do have faith that this case will be solved one day. Again my prayers to all involved.

Roger Hare
May 3, 2014, 1:03 pm

I was 16 when I went to this concert. I met a girl and spent the night with her in my tent. Next day she said her Boyfriend was going to be real angry so she left. A foggy memory after all these years but I can’t help but think “Was this Bonnie?” Probably not since there were so many people there but my thoughts of this concert always carries her memory.
So many people there were just plain phonies; Subject to the same evil that exists today. Did this couple fall prey to one of these phonies? Likely yes and it makes me sad. I will never think about this concert without thinking of them and the shame of it is there were many selfish people there pretending to be “peace and love”. Damn few were the real thing. Guess some things never change.

Bless these poor families who have lived with this trauma and God forgive me for once having been a stupid 16 year-old.

Jack Propp
July 19, 2014, 7:41 pm

First i ever herd of this, These people were about my age.I am soon to be 56, and am from okla. My mom wouldnt let me go to a 3 day rock festival when I was 16 and I was so angry at her. Today after reading this, I see my moms forsight and wisdom. god bless the family

Jack Propps
July 31, 2014, 9:17 am

I just turned 56 years old on july 27th 2014, i remember my 15th birthday, Ive had a fairly hard life, 2 divorces, loss and deaths of loved ones over over, Battling my own issues, But ive had 3 kids, gotten to work and make a living, learned things and enjoyed the simple discoveries of life. Thats why im drawn to this story, I was their age and was a hippie freak.

Michael Fisher
October 19, 2014, 3:20 pm

I went to Wel-Met in the 70’s and never heard of this case until it was posted on the nostalgic camp website. Of course I was only 9 in the summer of 73 and was at the Barryville branch then and in 1974. I didn’t go to Narrowsburg until 75-77 after they shut Barryville. It’s a very interesting and sad story.

October 22, 2014, 1:23 am

I went to this concert with a friend & because we got separated from our ride up from southeastern Connecticut, we had to hitchhike home. Neither of us had any idea of the quickest or easiest way home, but we lived near interstate 95, so that’s where we headed. I can’t recall all the rides, but I think one was a VW bus with all the back seats removed. There were piles of blankets and sleeping bags for any passengers to sit on, and my friend and I weren’t the only hitchhikers the driver and his friend picked up. I remember one ride with a couple of guys who planned to see Led Zeppelin at their next venue; they were heading south still when we were ready to turn north east. I didn’t know Mitchel and Bonita, but coming as I did from a similar background (stable, middle-class family; testing the waters of becoming independent) I find it difficult to believe they went off somewhere together, NEVER to contact their loved ones again. I can’t imagine, even at my most rebellious, causing my family that sort of pain. So it seems the most likely scenario is that they met with foul play. Some of the people my friend and I met on our long hitchhike home (almost 350 miles) that day were suspicious, creepy or made me feel extremely uncomfortable, but luckily for us, that was all. At around this same time frame, a friend of mine narrowly escaped from a serial killer when she lived in Florida. We just never know what’s going on in the minds of the people around us.

October 22, 2014, 1:23 am

I went to this concert with a friend & because we got separated from our ride up from southeastern Connecticut, we had to hitchhike home. Neither of us had any idea of the quickest or easiest way home, but we lived near interstate 95, so that’s where we headed. I can’t recall all the rides, but I think one was a VW bus with all the back seats removed. There were piles of blankets and sleeping bags for any passengers to sit on, and my friend and I weren’t the only hitchhikers the driver and his friend picked up. I remember one ride with a couple of guys who planned to see Led Zeppelin at their next venue; they were heading south still when we were ready to turn north east. I didn’t know Mitchel and Bonita, but coming as I did from a similar background (stable, middle-class family; testing the waters of becoming independent) I find it difficult to believe they went off somewhere together, NEVER to contact their loved ones again. I can’t imagine, even at my most rebellious, causing my family that sort of pain. So it seems the most likely scenario is that they met with foul play. Some of the people my friend and I met on our long hitchhike home (almost 350 miles) that day were suspicious, creepy or made me feel extremely uncomfortable, but luckily for us, that was all. At around this same time frame, a friend of mine narrowly escaped from a serial killer when she lived in Florida. We just never know what’s going on in the minds of the people around us.

December 10, 2014, 7:35 pm

I think we all know these two kids are gone. I just hop one day they can bring them home. But with no dental records is it even possible ? Does the families have any DNA from them ?

February 4, 2015, 2:01 pm

I too believe they are probably together in heaven. My heart goes out to their families, since there is no closure or ending. I am a mother of 3 and I can’t imagine the ongoing grief that these families have to deal with. I hope they get answers and peace of mind in some way. God Bless.

December 10, 2014, 7:35 pm

Lebanon county PA, state police in Jonestown are giving a news release today about a girl that was found early October of 1973. The model looks a lot like Bonnie.

Sheryl Kagen
January 28, 2016, 4:19 pm

Missing you Bonnie!!! Today would have been your 58th birthday!
Love Sheryl

Sheryl Kagen
January 28, 2016, 4:32 pm

Responding to Ashley’s post of Oct. 8, 2025. Description of a girl found in October 1973 does not correlate with Bonnie.
Girl is listed as between 5’6″ and 5’8″ and Bonnie was under 5 feet tall!

Naomi L.
February 1, 2016, 1:49 am

I attended John Dewey during that time. I was two years older than Bonnie in 1973 though I did not know them. Dewey was a magical place for which I have the fondest memories. But it is not without sad and tragic events. Three beloved teachers had passed away during that time as well as the disappearance of Bonnie and Mitch. I am deeply sorry for the families’ loss and hope that someday they can get the answers they seek.

Daniel F
April 21, 2016, 12:21 pm

I booked marked this page a few years ago and every so often return and re read the story. I believe I am a year older then Mitchel and Bonnie. I remember those days, I remember them well. It is a shame this story and I hope one day the events that took place will come to lite. I would guess foul play as another person pointed out because if they had an tragic accident along the way thier bodies would have been found.

Barbara Medine Deluty
May 12, 2016, 8:29 pm

I know them well and loved them both. Bonnie was my very best friend and Mitch was a terrific friend as well. Bonnie and I spent the entire Western trip together and the whole next year commuting back and forth from Brooklyn to Great Neck, four of us (Stu included). I could not make sense of their disappearance but I did know that they would never desert their families and their friends.I don’t think I have ever dealt with or accepted their death. I am trying to connect with others who share the loss I still feel. They were great people and a great couple.

dean weber
August 2, 2016, 7:29 pm

barbara- I saw then- just before they left- hitchiking- from Silver Lake- wel- met I will never forget them. Mitch was a great, funny guy- we lived at green acres- at silver lake that year- so very long ago. it’s all terribly insane- but upstate- stuff like that happened- they didn’t run away I am sure- I just don’t know what happened. I don’t like to think about it.

Mike Maurer
October 21, 2016, 8:39 pm

Just heard this story on the vanished podcast- my condolences to the family and friends of Mitchell and Bonnie. Has anyone ever consulted a psychic for assistance?

Louise magnavito
January 1, 2017, 1:30 am

Has anyone tried to contact the ID channel to air an episode in Bonnie and Mitchell ?

Louise magnavito
January 1, 2017, 1:35 am

They have aired cold cases in the past. I believe someone out there can help to solve this case . I just think that the fact cold cases are being solved after 35 years and with dna technology it is possible .

March 5, 2017, 3:53 pm

Very sad story. Someone somewhere has to know what happened to Mitchel and Bonnie. Not surprised that the upstate cops didn’t do much but losing evidence is unforgivable.

Louise magnavito
April 2, 2017, 4:19 pm

It’s very suspicious that they lost evidence. because we didn’t have DNA in those years . The dental records were the only way to identify them . Bonniecame to me in a dream and said it was someone in law enforcement which is why the evidence may have disappeared. I really don’t understand why either family is not contacting the I’d channel cold. Cases.

Louise magnavito
June 13, 2017, 4:12 pm

This message is for Cheryl . Stuart had said he would have u contact t me about trying to air a show on the I’d channel disappeared . I really think that that my dream was acurate and Bonnie came to
Me . I think that this case can still be solved . I’m curious if you e read my postings and what u think of my idea.

February 16, 2018, 10:14 am

I just emailed the author of the article. I am going to post here too. Could the I-95 unidentified couple found in 1976 be Mitchel and Bonnie? I think their facial features are similar. Has this match been ruled out?

Sharyn Bellah
April 8, 2018, 11:49 pm

I read about them recently in a book about unsolved missings. 1973…..

Shakina Walters
July 13, 2018, 2:47 am

Aww the date they went missing is coming up =(. I wasn’t even born when they went missing but this story makes me sad that nothing ever came out of the story. I sometimes think about them from time to time…together 4ever wherever you are ♡♡♡♡♡

July 19, 2018, 7:55 pm

I spent my college years in Boro Park and Flatbush/Midwood, and spent last summer in Watkins Glen. I only heard about this case today. I am very sorry that Mitchel and Bonnie never returned home from what should have been a quick trip to the concert. I know one day they will be reunited with their family and friends. I am just very sad that there has been so much unanswered and so much pain for their loved ones over the past 45 years. Blessings to you all, sending you love from England.

Sheryl Kagen
January 28, 2019, 4:04 pm

Today, January 28, 2019 would be Bonnie’s 61st Birthday.
Happy Birthday Bonnie! Forever in my heart!

Stuart Karten
January 28, 2019, 4:16 pm

Happy Birthday Bonnie!!! Thanks for sharing! She and Mitchel are forever in our hearts!

January 28, 2019, 4:53 pm

One of my uncles and five of his buddies borrowed our family’s station wagon to take the road trip to Watkins Glen from the Philly suburbs. I was shocked that my dad was allowing that bunch of rowdies to take our car—while simultaneously frustrated I was too young to hop in and go with them!
While searching a different matter today, I came upon this site. I don’t remember hearing the story of Bonnie and Mitchel‘s going missing after the concert—and now reaching the end of the comments I see today is Bonnie’s birthday, and felt I must add a greeting. Dear Sheryl, I am so sorry for your loss, and though I am a stranger, I celebrate Bonnie‘s life with you. (And Mitchel’s too.) Peace be with you! Ronnie

December 25, 2019, 11:23 pm

Had the family the girl was working for at the camp been interviewed?

Sharon Gershgorn Rodden
July 27, 2021, 5:06 pm

Mitch was a close friend of mine; Bonnie was the girl he loved. I remember waiting in front of Dewey the first day of school that September, thinking perhaps they’d be back. My heart still aches for these two caring and beautiful kids. It still upsets me when people say they planned this or intentionally left. If you knew them, you would know it wasn’t possible. God bless Susan and the rest of the family, and all the friends at Cunningham and Dewey.

August 24, 2022, 9:19 pm

God bless these two! Have the Israeli authorities ever been contacted about the possibility of them living somewhere in that country. Is it possible!?

Michael Fisher
November 17, 2022, 9:56 am

I was a camper in the Barryville branch in ’73 & ’74, then in Narrowsburg ’75-’77. I only learned of this story a few years ago. Never heard anything before then that I can remember. My gut is that they’re dead and probably met with foul play. I wish it not, but more likely than anything else.

Brenda L.
January 21, 2023, 11:48 am

I was 8 yrs old in July of 1973 and I ran across a blog on this case just recently. I have a friend who’s daughter went missing now almost five years ago so I realize the agony. One has to wonder if they did make it to the concert but I don’t think anything about them would have really made them stand out so likely no one would have really noticed or remembered them. I’ve gone to the Grateful Dead in the 90’s and after the first 5 minutes of entering a Dead concert, everyone looks alike! I will keep they and their families and friends in my thoughts and prayers. Hoping that soon something will surface and they can have closure.

July 15, 2023, 11:35 pm

I cannot believe this case wasn’t solved . It obviously was a botched investigation or not enough effort was put into it . I see they just caught the Giglo beach serial killer . This is a cold case cause someone dropped the ball . Now with DNA evidence it should be solvable hopefully .

2 responses to “Home”

  1. tahirsaleem says:

    I cannot believe this case wasn’t solved .

  2. AW says:

    I hope this case gets solved in God’s name

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