Are the keys the key?

Police didn’t have much to go on when Julie Monson was discovered missing. ┬áHer car was found on Prospect Street, near the intersection of Brister Avenue. The car keys to her parents’ 1981 Chevette were found on the lawn of a home on the even side of Brister Avenue.

If Monson was traveling Prospect Street toward Franklin Street when her car was pulled over, Brister Avenue would be the next right turn, and an obvious route to take if the driver of the car she got into was going to turn around.

Heading away from Prospect Street, the even side of Brister Avenue would be at the driver’s side of the car. How would the keys get there? Either the driver of the car threw them out his window, or Monson dropped them while trying to escape.

Either scenario seems to work against Mark Sweeting’s story that Monson entered a party willingly with Thomas Bianco that night.

The air was cold that night — cold enough that Monson wore a coat. And newspaper articles from the time report the frost came early that year — perhaps the night after Monson was abducted. So if the driver opened a window to toss Monson’s keys, she’d have noticed, and would have realized her driver’s intentions were not amicable.

The end of Brister Avenue is wooded, and includes a small path connected to the college nature trails, a popular hangout spot for teens. If the driver scared Monson and she tried to escape, her most logical route would have been toward Prospect Street, where her car was parked. Perhaps, as John Bazarnik testified, she tried knocking on doors to get help while running away. It would have been easy in that scenario to drop her keys. In that case, she was attempting to flee, and would not likely enter any party willingly with her attacker after that.

The question is: How did Monson’s keys end up where they did? And what does that fact tell us about her abduction?

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