Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New York actress murdered by an illegal immigrant from Ecuador

Alison Gendar:

Actress Adrienne Shelly's hanging death in her West Village office bathroom looked like suicide. It turned out to be murder.

The stunning whodunit was cracked yesterday after cops linked a bathtub sneaker print to a teen construction worker who allegedly snapped when Shelly made a noise complaint last week, sources said.

Diego Pillco, a 19-year-old illegal immigrant who had been renovating the apartment below Shelly's office, told cops in a chilling confession that he was afraid of getting arrested and deported, sources said.

So he followed the 40-year-old married mom of a toddler into her apartment and knocked her unconscious, sources said.

Pillco told police he panicked and staged a suicide - using a bedsheet to string up the petite actress by her neck from a shower curtain rod, sources said.

He was ultimately done in by a Reebok sneaker print he allegedly left in the native New Yorker's bathtub, sources said.

His arrest yesterday came as a relief to Shelly's loved ones, who refused to believe the well-regarded indie actress and director would take her own life.

"Never, never. My daughter had everything in the world to live for," Elaine Langbaum told the Daily News. "I never for one second believed it, never for one second."

Shelly's husband, Andrew Ostroy - who was grilled by detectives for five hours, who pushed police to keep investigating, who even paid for a private autopsy - had only praise for the NYPD last night.

"My wife's senseless death is devastating to me, our families and friends," he said. "We are incredibly grateful to the New York City Police Department for their dedication, professionalism and tenacity in following up on every lead in this case."

It was Ostroy who sounded the alarm when he arrived at Shelly's pad last Wednesday and found the door unlocked - and then saw his wife hanging in the bathroom, police said.

Cops at first suspected suicide because there were no signs of struggle in the apartment, and no signs of trauma to the body except for a bruise over one eye.

But when they did not find a suicide note, they turned their attention to Ostroy, a thrice-married, 47-year-old marketing executive who runs a liberal blog.

Police found no evidence of an unhappy marriage.

As they kept digging, detectives paid renewed attention to a sneaker print in the tub, which investigators originally chalked up to a sloppy misstep by a crime scene responder, sources said.

Over the weekend, detectives spotted a similar print in the dust on the brown protective paper laid in the apartment directly below, where Pillco had been working, sources said. The prints matched.

Co-workers told cops that Pillco vanished shortly after his argument with Shelly. He returned with a mark on his face, they said, which he blamed on a scuffle with another employee.

Pillco, who left Ecuador and is believed to have sneaked into the U.S. via Mexico in July, spoke little English, friends and relatives said.

Actress’s Death Is Ruled Murder, and Worker in Building Is Charged

Adrienne Shelly's Murder Caused by Construction Noise Complaint


Guinea Pig: It's What's for Dinner


At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 Cheers for the NYPD! I have always said if OJ had committed those murders in NYC, he would have been convicted.
Can we please, please, for the love of God, take this killer out and execute him in Central Park?! Preferably by hanging. Maybe then, these criminal 3rd worlders would think twice about coming here. But as Mayor Bloomberg said, they are vital to the City's economy! What an asshole. He bears some blame too, but don't expect to hear a peep from him, the bastard. We have enough homegrown killers, we don't need to import them. I am sure the NYT will have a story later about how the killer was misunderstood and due to the fact he was an immigrant, he just couldn't help himself. A "teaching moment" for all of NYC.

At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Finn said...

Can we please, please, for the love of God, take this killer out and execute him in Central Park?!

Unfortunately, New York is one of those places where it is almost impossible to execute someone regardless of their criminal activities.

At 4:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is just wishful thinking. They don't ever execute anybody in NJ either. Or if they have I can't remember when. I am just sick and tired of these savages coming here and basically wrecking America. As I said, we have plenty of American here to do that many times over.

At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As with all cases of this type, it would be interesting to know if the accused had previous contact with the police, who at that time failed to ascertain his status snd take action (after all, if he spoke no English then there would have been good reason to be suspicious).

At 7:14 AM, Anonymous Milo said...

Here, I do not actually imagine it will have effect.
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