Susan Walsh wasn’t your typical stripper. Sure, the 36-year-old single mother was lured by the fast cash of her profession — which helped put her through college. But she also used her job to satisfy her greater passion for journalism…
Walsh lived in New Jersey, commuting almost daily to New York City, where she not only danced in some of the city’s seediest strip clubs, but also collected information for investigative stories on the city’s rampant sex trade.
|Susan Walsh wrote about “vampire clubs” where goth kids and S&M types would play out bloodsucking sex fantasies.
In 1996, Walsh sold one of her stories to The Village Voice
. It was about “vampire clubs” around the NYC area — bars where goth kids and S&M types would go to play out bloodsucking-based sex fantasies. Think “Fangtasia” from True Blood
It was shortly after she sold her story (which the Voice never published) that Walsh disappeared. On July 16 of that year, she told her son’s father, who lived next door, that she was going to use the pay phone down the street. She asked him to watch their 11-year-old, who was sleeping when she left. But Walsh never returned.
Her son’s father was quickly ruled out as a suspect. So was the fact that she might have ran away, since she’d left everything from her purse to her medication in the apartment. Her family also described her as a dedicated mother who would never have left her son. She was also a recovering alcoholic with 11 years of sobriety and solid membership in AA.
Some speculated that “vampire kidnappers” might be to blame. But apparently, Walsh had much more dangerous enemies than fantasy nerds with fang fetishes.
|She also wrote about immigrant strippers who were little more than sex slaves owned by the Russian mob
In the the early-90s, Walsh had published another story in The Village Voice
concerning immigrant strippers, with whom she had worked, that were little more than sex slaves owned and exploited by the Russian mob. At least once, Walsh told a friend that she was sure there were two different contracts out for her murder because of the piece. Her father said she was convinced someone had a hit out on her.
Police have dismissed the vampire connection and say that the Russian mob’s involvement is also tenuous at this point. Investigators are also incredibly puzzled by one odd fact in Walsh’s story. When they searched her apartment, they noticed that the month of July had been torn from her calendar. What was it that Walsh — or her kidnapper — didn’t want people to see?
But investigating the case has been almost impossible. Many of the people with whom Walsh associated have disappeared — and some are dead. Authorities say they are still searching for a second person of interest who they hope can help solve their case. And they haven’t ruled out the chance that Walsh may still be alive.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Nutley Police Department at 973-284-4940.