Many students were surprised to receive an e-mail on behalf of the New Jersey State Police about details related to the disappearance of John Fiocco Jr. Reports about a tip provided to state police by the Fiocco family’s lawyer, Glenn Zeitz, circulated through local media outlets. Many were hopeful that a resolution to the case was finally within reach.
Therefore, it was disheartening to learn that the tip may not have been fully accurate. It was even more dismaying to learn that state police had never really taken the tip seriously, but had felt obligated to act on it.
We cannot help but feel that the people ignored in all of this are the members of the community here at the College. Regardless of whether Zeitz misunderstood his source or not, he delivered a tip to state police that he knew would have a major impact on our campus.
Since last spring, there has been little hope for any resolution in the case. We have not heard about leads or even any results from the autopsy. The only public exposure the case has gotten recently stemmed from Joyce Carol Oates’ unfortunate short story and Zeitz’s private investigation.
Having heard nothing substantive for months, most of us jumped to the conclusion that the hide-and-seek tip was a breakthrough. The media joined us in these sentiments, running stories about police actively pursuing the new lead in anticipation of validating it.
What we now know is that this was never the case.
While we understand Zeitz’s desire to keep attention on the investigation in the hope of coming to some sort of resolution, we feel he should be more responsible with the information he gathers. We all need closure, but presenting information that is not based on concrete evidence hurts those closest to the case rather than helping the investigation.
It seems Zeitz is most interested in the Fiocco case and the possibility of a financial settlement from the College as its outcome. He seems, regretfully, to ignore the fate of John Fiocco the person, the classmate, the brother, the son, the friend.
The College is more than just another defendant. It is a community of people who have been and continue to be emotionally affected by the John Fiocco case. We have the right to accurate information, rather than speculation or hyperbole, about what happened to one of our own.