Joan was 7 years old when she was sexually assaulted and
murdered while delivering her last 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies to a neighbor
in Hillsdale, NJ on April 19, 1973.
Although Joan's life was brutally taken by her own neighbor, Joan's spirit
lives on and gave her mother, Rosemarie, the strength to have valiantly fought
to keep her daughter's killer, Joseph McGowan, in prison despite parole eligibility and appeals.
The laws at the time prompted Rosemarie to help enact Joan's Law, (now passed
at the State and Federal levels) which is legislation that denies parole to
anyone covictedo f of molesting and killing a child under age 14.
Although the law is not retroactive, and cannot apply to McGowan, it was a huge
step in legislation and is now on the books to help in other cases. McGowan
currently remains in prison.
The Joan Angela D’Alessandro Foundation was formed in 1998 to promote child safety via programs we
provide and legislation we advocate. In addition, we provide support to neglected
and abused children through fun and educational excursions; and we help victims
of crime by way of consultation. Joan’s
story has brought hope through awareness and prevention. The lives of thousands
will continue to benefit from the impact of her legacy.
We thank you for your support. Please stay in contact with the links below.