On December 17, 1962, William “Billy ” Jones III and his two-year-old sister, Jill, played outside near their Taylor Avenue home in Vineland, New Jersey. Sometime later, Jill returned home alone carrying a poinsettia. She told her mother that Billy handed it to her before being led away by an unknown man. However, Jill had no explanation for the poinsettia.
A neighbor saw the toddler around 11:45 a.m. and told Billy to go home. No one has seen Billy since.
Decades later, Jill recalled through hypnosis that she and Billy were holding hands while two men were arguing in front of an oil-drum fire at the Palace of Depression, not far from their family home. Scared, Jill ran home. Billy disappeared. It is unclear why Jill, during hypnosis, did not mention the poinsettia or the man who took Billy.
In 2009, detectives took another look at the case, and Jill submitted her DNA. However, nothing has resulted from either as of this writing. Additionally, police do not believe the poinsettia was relevant in this case.
Billy’s parents are deceased. Jill Jones continues the search for her big brother.
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
Well, not a lot to go on here. William literally disappeared without a trace. And the only person who saw anything was two years old at the time, so I don’t think that her memories can be reliable even under hypnosis. The reason I say this is there was no mention of the man who took Billy while Jill was under hypnosis, yet she told her mother on December 17th that a man took Billy away. This means she had to see the abductor. Yet she only mentioned the two men fighting at the oil-drum fire near the Palace of Depression.
It also bothers me a little that the police do not believe the poinsettia had any role in this case, and maybe it doesn’t, but here is what I think:
Poinsettias are associated with Christmas and are given as gifts or used as decorations during the holiday time. Maybe it was like an exchange – the poinsettia for Billy. Let me be more precise. The kidnapper was giving a gift or payment, if you will, for taking Billy. Maybe he didn’t feel right just taking the boy without giving something in return. I know it may sound silly, but you never know. People are strange. Maybe there was a little remorse there for what this man was about to do. This makes me wonder if perhaps this man took Billy to raise as his own. Maybe his wife lost a child before December 17, 1962.
But I also think the two men arguing at the oil-drum fire could have either had something to do with Billy’s kidnapping or might have seen something. I found no mention in any reports on whether or not police interviewed them. But what are the chances that, if Jill’s memories are accurate, those two men or one of them, did not take Billy once Jill ran off? Again, to believe this, you have to have faith in hypnosis.