john dewey school

This is John Dewey High School, on Avenue X in Brooklyn, New York. I know it’s odd to see such a wintry scene on a hot July day, but the Google Earth street view shot was taken in February 2012. This school was founded in 1969 on the educational principles of John Dewey, a philosopher and one of the greatest teachers in American history. Many people you may (or may not) have heard of have gone to this school, including movie director Spike Lee, comedian David Brody and composer Elliot Goldenthal.

I am interested in the school because of two other former students who you probably haven’t heard of, unless, like me, you keep up on missing persons cases. Mitchel Weiser and Bonita Bickwit, a young couple from Brooklyn, were on summer vacation from John Dewey High when they vanished mysteriously in the summer of 1973, on the way to a rock concert, exactly 40 years ago this week. This is the first of four posts I’ll be doing about Weiser and Bickwit, a case with particularly fascinates me. Starting today I’ll post about the summer camp they departed from, the concert they were on their way to see (quite a famous event in its own right), and on Saturday, the anniversary of the disappearance, I’ll profile the case itself.

There is a tree planted on the grounds of Dewey High, dedicated to Mitchel and Bonnie in the year 2000 by their former classmates from the class of 1974. The next time I’m in the New York area, I plan to stop by and see the tree.

Read more about John Dewey High here, and the official website dedicated to the Weiser/Bickwit case is here.