Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Rosemary was last seen on August 25, 1969 in the Bayshore town of Atlantic Highlands, leaving her Center Avenue home around 6 p.m. on her way to the corner store for a carton of milk.
Rosemary was described as a bookish girl, very shy. She had just turned 17 and only recently had gone on her first date. She was the youngest of four children, the only one still living at home, and her life pretty much revolved around school, Scouts and her family. Her parents were strict and aware of what Rosemary did and where she was at all times. She wasn't allowed out at night unless she was chauffeured by her parents.
Rosemary's mother, Agnes Calandriello was a homebody. Her husband, Daniel, was sickly and had taken leave from his job at the post office. They rarely left the house. After their sons left home, it had become their daughter's responsibility to do the grocery shopping and pay the household bills. When Rosemary had not returned home her parents began to worry, and went to the police.
Four high school boys, neighbors and classmates of Rosemary, claimed they had seen her riding through town with a stranger the night of her disappearance. She was riding in a beat-up white Ford Galaxy convertible with an older man. The car turned out to belong to suspected serial killer Robert Zarinsky's Ford convertible.
For years, Zarinsky denied killing Calandriello, only to reverse course in 1988. In a bid for early parole, he admitted killing her, but said he didn't mean to, that she died when he accidentally backed over her with his car. At the time, he told investigators he buried her in a shallow grave in northwest New Jersey. In later years, he also told former FBI profiler John Douglas he threw her body into the Atlantic Ocean.
When Zarinsky was convicted of the Calandriello murder on April 23, 1975, he was sentenced to serve at least 14 years, 9 months and 11 days of the life term before becoming eligible for parole. The conviction made Zarinsky the first person in New Jersey found guilty of murder without a body for evidence.
Zarinsky was also the prime suspect in the killings of Linda Balabanow of Union in 1969 and Doreen Carlucci and Joanne Delardo of Woodbridge in 1974, but authorities could never assemble enough evidence to bring him to trial in the cases of those teenagers. He was tried in 2001 for the fatal shooting of Rahway police officer Charles Bernoskie during a 1958 burglary, but was acquitted.
Zarinsky died in 2008. Rosemary has never been found.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Atlantic Highlands Police Department