As the 25th anniversary of Heidi Allen's kidnapping approaches on April 3, WRVO is bringing you a special series on the story that has transfixed residents of Central and Northern New York for decades. Your host is Ryan Zalduondo, a senior at SUNY Oswego. Here's more from Ryan:
I only learned about Heidi Allen's story about a year and a half ago, in December of 2017.
A friend and I were on our way up to Potsdam to cover one of our school’s hockey games for the student newspaper, when we passed a Valero gas station pretty early in the trip.
I can’t remember exactly what he said, but it was something along the lines of...
I've been fascinated by it ever since.
I went on to learn that the Valero station we passed was formerly the D&W Convenience Store, and the girl who got kidnapped 20-something years ago was Heidi Allen, who was only 18 years old at the time.
Even though I’m not from the area or anywhere near it, because I only came to Oswego for school four years ago, I still managed to hear about the story of Heidi Allen. And if my friend, who grew up closer to New Haven than I did, told me, that lead me to think if he knew, other people our age must know about it too.
For context, Heidi was kidnapped over three years before I was born, so why was it still being talked about nearly 25 years later?
I wanted to know, so I started to do a lot of digging in my spare time, and what I found went far beyond a typical kidnapping case. The fall out of Heidi’s kidnapping has created different groups of people that believe different theories about what happened that morning at the D&W. And these different theories divide the community to this day.
The thing that drew me in about this case, and has kept me hooked on it, is the fact that there are still so many unanswered questions.
Over the course of this series you’ll hear plenty from the people whose lives were changed because of the events, including Heidi’s sister, lawyers, law enforcement, and many more.
I want to make it clear that my goal with this project is not to solve the crime, but instead explore why this kidnapping has become Central New York’s most enduring mystery. Episode one will be released on the 25th anniversary of Heidi’s kidnapping -- April 3.
Be on the lookout for subsequent episodes, which will be published weekly on Wednesdays.