Mark Nell Interview
(Who murdered Jacqueline Saunders and Mary Anne Marzullo?)

A Syracuse Mystery
Who murdered Jacqueline Saunders and Mary Anne Marzullo?

It’s a story that was picked up by the wire services coast-to-coast.
Two 14-year-old girls, Jacqueline Saunders and Mary Anne Marzullo attended The Fireman’s Field Days in Mattydale, New York.
It was Friday, August 11, 1967.

At 10:30 PM or there abouts they called home to say they were leaving the Field Days for home.

They never arrived. They were last seen walking on Route 11, North Syracuse, New York and then they just disappeared.
The next morning their bodies were discovered in the field, miles from Mattydale, New York.
The district attorney at the time, Frank Gualtieri, was confident an arrest would be made soon.
Here we are 47 years later in the year 2014, and still no one has been arrested for the murder of these two girls.

How can that be? 100 police officers conducted 1000 interviews and came up with nothing.
It is still an active open investigation.
As Dr. Cyril Wecht told Geraldo Rivera, cold cases are never too cold or too old.

These days investigator Mark Nell of the New York State police is assigned to the case.

Q - Mark, how many investigators have looked at the Marzullo, Saunders file over the years?
A - 10.

Q - When you come into work each day you spend how much time reviewing the files on this case?
A - It depends on what else is occurring. In February (2014) we had a homicide case that we worked on every day for 30 days so this case was not reviewed during that period.

Q - You’re looking for something that another investigator might have missed?
A - Partially, but more looking on what was secured back then as evidence and to see what advancements in science are out there which may assist in reprocessing some of the evidence.

Q - On August 11, 1967, did the Field Days end at 11 PM or 12 midnight?
A - 11 PM although, many booths closed prior to 11 PM.

Q - The girls called home at 10:30 PM to say they would be a little late. Why were they going to be a little late?
A - From what we learned they were running late from the Field Days.

Q - The News and Courier (August 14, 1967) states that Mary Anne called home about 11 PM to say she would be right home. Did she call home at 10:30 PM or 11 PM?
A - According to Mrs. Marzullo in the report the call was close to 11 PM

Q - Who did Mary Anne speak to when she called home?
A - She spoke to her brother Thomas when she called and advised him to make up an excuse to her mother that they would be a little late.

Q - And where was she when the call was placed?
A - McKinley’s Market on Main Street.

Q - Linda Marzullo (Mary Anne’s mother) knew something was wrong the minute she got home that night. What time did she get home?
A - It appears somewhere around midnight.

Q - Was she working nights someplace?
A - The report did not indicate that.

Q - When Mary Anne placed the call did anyone observe the girls being followed?
A - No. They were witnessed talking with boys at some point.

Q - Was there anything unusual about her phone call home? Anything in the tone of her voice?
A - No.

Q - Why weren’t arrangements made in advance to pick the girls up at the Field Days that night?
A - That wasn’t indicated in the report.

Q - If Linda Marzullo couldn’t have done it where was her husband Salvatore?
A - That wasn’t indicated in the report.

Q - Jacqueline Saunders had two older brothers. Where were they that night?
A - Not sure. That was an indicator in the report.

Q - Did Mrs. Marzullo drive around looking for the girls, even going to the Field Days?
A - She did drive around looking for the girls.
Q - Where did Mrs. Marzullo think the girls had gone?
A - She wasn’t sure.

Q - Did she ever say?
A - No.

Q - How did the girls get to the Field Days on August 11? Did they walk their? Did someone drive them? When did they arrive?
A - There was no definite time that was reported when they arrived, only different reports of seeing the girls walking in the area. It was believed that they walked there.

Q - Had the girls walked home from the Field Days the previous year?
A - That was not addressed in the report.

Q - According to the Watertown Daily News (August 14, 1967) Mrs. Marzullo reported the girls missing at 3:30 AM. Why was there such a delay in going to the police?
A - She was looking on her own for the girls.

Q - Two girls were last seen where?
A - In the area of McKinley’s Market.

Q - District Attorney Frank Gualtieri said an eyewitness had positively identified the vehicle in which the two girls were reported riding in. That’s according to the News and Courier August 14, 1967. Where is that eyewitness today? Still alive?
A - According to the report a vehicle was seen in the area where the girls were eventually found. This person was interviewed several times back then and is believed to not be living today.

Q - The vehicle was identified as a 1959 or 1960 battered black and blue sedan. According to the Las Vegas Optic (August 16, 1967), a sedan fitting that description was seen near the country road were the girls bodies were found.
A - Yes. There was a vehicle located not far from where the girls were located. Through the investigation it was determined the operator had driven in the ditch coming home from a local bar that previous evening. Numerous interviews were conducted to alibi this event along with what times the individual was present at the bar and at his residence.

Q - Were tire tracks left at the site? Was a cast made of the tracks?
A - There were tracks left at the scene. The report states that photographs and measurements were obtained of the tracks. It does not indicate anything about casts.

Q - How wide of a search was made for a car that fit that description? Just Onondaga County?
A - It appears the search was for all of central New York including the immediate counties in the area.

Q - The medical examiner said there were bruises on the faces and bodies of the girls. I thought I read somewhere and I don’t remember where, that cigarette burns were found on their bodies indicating they’d been tortured before they were killed. Were cigarette burns found on their bodies?
A - According to the autopsy report there were no cigarette burns located on the victims. There was some abrasions and contusions present.

Q - District Attorney Gualtieri made some interesting statements. He said, the way the girls were tied together indicated there was more than one person involved. Did any of the eyewitnesses ever recall seeing more than one person in the car that picked up the girls?
A - Nothing was indicated in the report.

Q - He also said, there may be a connection between the girl’s murder and other pending cases. What cases was he referring to?
A - We are not sure what he was referring to as the report makes no reference to any other cases similar in nature.

Q - He also said, an arrest in the near future still seems likely and according to the Watertown Daily News, (August 14, 1967) he expects an arrest in a few days. He seemed to be pretty confident about that. Any idea why?
A - No idea. Nothing was indicated in the report.

Q - Was there anyone in the neighborhood who was paying an unusual amount of attention to the girls prior to August 11, 1967?
A – No.

Q - Did Jacqueline Saunders mother or Mary Anne Marzullo’s parents have any ongoing dispute with neighbors or coworkers?
A - Nothing was indicated in the report.

Q - Did the police have any undercover officers at the wake and funeral of the girls, taking notes and looking for anyone who exhibited any type of unusual behavior?
A - Nothing indicated on the report on this topic.

Q - In 1968, a 39-year-old man said he killed the girls. He took the investigators to the exact spot where the girl’s bodies were found. Wasn’t that location revealed in the Syracuse newspapers?
A - Yes. Along with many other pertinent details revealed by the D.A. at the time.

Q - Did he say how he got the girls in the car?
A - He said he tied them up and led them to the vehicle.

Q - What kind of car was this 39-year-old guy driving in 1967?
A - In 1965 dark green Ford four-door.

Q - Did he say where he was prior to picking up the girls?
A - Driving around the Mattydale area.

Q - If he was interrogated was the conversation taped?
A - He was interviewed on more than one occasion and it never indicated in the report if the interviews were taped.

Q - Couldn’t a stress test be done today, if the interviews had been recorded to see if he was telling the truth?
A - He has since passed away.

Q - Was he ever given a polygraph test?
A - No.

Q – Was there ever a Psychic brought into this case?
A – No.

Q - According to the Times News (August 14, 1967), all evidence had been sent to the State Police laboratory in Albany. Is it possible any DNA evidence could still be on anything that was processed back then?
A - Yes. This is basically what we are reviewing, along with any of our other open homicides to see if items can be retested or what can be looked at again for possible leads.

Q - Scuba divers were in Chittenango Creek looking for evidence. What were they looking for?
A - It was a general search of the area, looking for anything. This is common on scenes like this due to the proximity of the water.

Q - The rope used to tie the two girls together was of a traceable kind. Where was it traced to?
A - It was traced to a local company which led to the determination that this rope was very popular and available to just about anyone.

Q - If the person was say 17 years old in 1967, and I think that’s how old you had to have been to be driving at night, then isn’t it entirely possible that this person, the killer, could still be alive today?
A - Absolutely. There is a chance.

Note: If you have any information on the Jacqueline Saunders, Mary Anne Marzullo murders, please contact Mr. Mark Nell at

Thank you

© Gary James All Rights Reserved