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1963

The shocking murders of two career girls in New York dominate the headlines of a long hot summer.

Where are they now?

Ricky Robles was convicted and sentenced on Jan. 11, 1966, to a term of 25 years to life. Now 70, he is one of New York State's longest-serving inmates. He lives in a 72-square-feet cell and mops floors for a dollar a day at the maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility, according to a prison spokeswoman, interviewed recently by the New York Post.

It would take almost a decade for George Whitmore to finally be vindicated and all of the charges against him dismissed. He returned to his hometown of Wildwood, fell into anonymity and spent most of the $500,000 he had won after suing the city of New York for his false arrest. He died in 2012 in a nursing home at the age of 68.

Surviving roommate Patricia Tolles passed away in 2011. She served for nine years in the office of David Rockefeller, was Deputy Commissioner of New York City's Department of Cultural Affairs. She also served for many years as a trustee of Hamilton College.

Janice's father, Max Wylie, published two books in the wake of his daughter's murder: The Gift of Janice – an essay about his grief and Career Girl, Watch Your Step!, that was described as “sound advice for women living in large cities.” He committed suicide in 1975.

What the episode didn't tell you

The police and prosecutorial mishandling of George Whitmore, Jr. would play a key role in the Supreme Court's landmark 1966 5-to-4 ruling requiring law-enforcement officers to tell those arrested of their constitutional rights, known as the Miranda warning.

Some investigators even speculated that the killer might have been a woman who oddly walked two babies in a stroller around Manhattan. Finally she was confronted, and the cops were startled to discover that the “babies” were actually two small monkeys swaddled in pink blankets.

Backdrop of an era

  • Martin Luther King delivered his I Have a Dream speech in Washington DC
  • Beatlemania was sweeping the nation
  • The Lava Lamp was invented
  • Tennessee Williams wins a Pulitzer for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

From The Headlines

"Career Girl Murder Trial Begins, Sarasota Herald Tribune, October 18, 1965"


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