New film 'Garrow' tells the story of one of upstate New York's most notorious killers

A courtroom scene from the independent film 'Garrow'. (Adirondack Films, Lori Kelly Bailey)

It was a reign of terror that paralyzed upstate New York for decades. A movie premiering in Syracuse later this month tells the story of the knife-wielding serial killer Robert Garrow Sr.

In 1973, Garrow was living and working in Syracuse as a bakery mechanic at Millbrook. He was charged with molesting two young girls after kidnapping them from an ice cream stand around Memorial Day.

Soon after, he raped and murdered Syracuse schoolgirl Alicia Hauck. He buried the 16-year-old's body in Oakwood Cemetery.

The film's writer and director Lori Bailey tells Garrow's story through the testimony of his murder trial.

The film flashes back to grisly murder scenes as he tells dark tales of his numerous crimes. Many of which connected to central New York. "There is still that connection here," said Bailey. "I know his children are grown but are in the area and a lot of the law enforcement involved. Of course the victim of one of his most horrific crimes is from [Syracuse] and buried there."

Bailey's father grew up with Garrow in Mineville, New York. They attended school in the same grade and later worked together in the town's mines. "To me it was just a story because it was familiar to me," said Bailey, a native of the Adirondacks. "I write in all genres. I'm not particularly always happy to write these graphic ones. For some reason it seems to be striking a cord with people and becoming very popular."

Garrow eventually started what would be the biggest manhunt in New York state history at the time after a killing spree in the Adirondacks. He would later escape prison before being shot and killed by police in 1978.

Bailey said people tied to the real-life story including law enforcement who took part in the manhunt, will be in attendance at the Syracuse premiere.

"To bring it to the Syracuse area...I hesitated because it is very close to home for some of his acts," said Bailey. "But the response has been pretty significant and I think we're going to fill it out there."

'Garrow' will premiere at the Landmark Theatre on Friday, March 15th at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are selling for as low as $20.

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