Pleasantville Firefighters to Remember Murdered Comrade 25 Years Later

Firefighters from Pleasantville and surrounding communities gather at Monday’s vigil for Tom Dorr, who was murdered near his home.

In keeping with solemn tradition, Pleasantville firefighters and other area first responders will gather at Graham Hills Park Monday night to remember their former comrade Thomas Dorr.

It’s been 25 years since Dorr, a volunteer Pleasantville firefighter, was found brutally murdered during a blizzard on Jan. 7, 1996. Since his death, fire officials, first responders and police from Pleasantville and nearby municipalities congregate every January for a vigil in front of a 40-foot maple tree planted in Dorr’s memory.

To date, the case remains unsolved.

Dorr, who worked for the White Plains Water Department, was near his Pollywiggle Road home feeding wild turkeys on the day of his murder.

With Dorr expected to report for duty with the blizzard underway, the 50-year-old had planned on walking to the Washington Avenue firehouse to join other volunteers on standby, but never made it. Fellow firefighters troubled by his absence searched the park and found his beaten and stabbed body under two feet of snow the next day.

At the time of Dorr’s death, his wife, Jane Sawyer Dorr, and stepson Jeffrey Sawyer were suspects. Both had been with Dorr in the park but returned home earlier. Soon after the murder, Jane Dorr and her son moved to Connecticut.

Dorr’s murder is one of two homicides in the village that are open cases. In October 2014, Linda Falkoff was stabbed to death in her Grandview Avenue home and police have yet to make an arrest in that case.

During the roughly 15-minutes ceremony, attendees gather in prayer hoping for justice to be served, while honoring Dorr’s memory. Friends have often referred to him as a gentle giant.

The public is invited to gather at Graham Hills Park in Pleasantville on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.