Welcome back to Murder Monday.
For all our local supporters, if last week’s episode didn’t give you the creeps about some familiar spots in Philadelphia – let me try again.
Meet the Kensington Strangler.
November 3rd, 2010
The body of Elaine Goldberg, a 21-year-old nursing student, was found half naked and strangled to death in a vacant lot in Kensington. Police originally thought the cause of death to be a drug overdose, judging from the area and the victim’s past. Elaine had just celebrated 30 days sober from heroin, she was on the right track with nursing school and had family and friends supporting her fully. Her body was found near evidence of drug use and paraphernalia, which also pointed towards an overdose. Her death was ruled suspicious, though, after police noticed that her hips had been propped up and posed postmortem – indicating a sexual assault or motive. It was determined that she died from strangulation, and that she had been sexually assaulted after her death. DNA was found inside of her, thought to be that of the killer.
November 13th, 2010
Another suspicious death was reported in Kensington. A body was found in the doorway of a vacant row home. It was surrounded by human feces, used needles, trash, and used condoms. The victim was identified as 35-year-old Nicole Piacentini, a mother of four. Her hips were also positioned upwards following her death by strangulation. Police now knew they had a serial rapist on their hands.
December 15th, 2010
The body of 27-year-old Casey Mahoney was found battered and strangled in the same neighborhood as the recent attacks. Her body was positioned upwards and naked from the waist down, with a bag over her face.
In this same time period, four other women escaped an attack of a similar nature involving a sexual assault and strangling. Police presence was heightened, and local sex workers and drug offenders were on high alert. A $37,000 reward was put out as an offer to the public for information leaving to the suspect’s attest.
“Get this psycho off the streets of Philadelphia”
– Mayor Nutter (ur boy)
DNA evidence and the involvement of the FBI lead to an arrest. Antonio Rodriguez, a previously convicted drug offender out on parole, confessed to the murders of Elaine Goldberg, Nicole Piacentini, and Casey Mahoney. At the time he was also the suspect of at least 3 other sexual assaults. According to forensic psychologists, Rodriguez fit the profile of a sexual serial killer.
Sexual serial killers often choose strangulation as he method for their killings because it is up close, and personal. Using your bare hands gives you an unmeasurable sense of personal strength and control. They could look their victim in the eyes as they watch the life leave them, all on their own timing. It is common for sexual serial killers and deviants to choke their victims to the point of death and then release them for air, repeatedly. The sense of control over someone’s life in the grip of your hand is said to be sexually stimulating for these people. FBI’s profiling for this case also stated that this type of crime would have been committed by a 25-35 year old man – but Rodriguez got an early start, apparently.
What stood out particularly to authorities following the arrest of Rodriguez was that he strictly crossed a racial line in every one of his attacks. In most cases, white serial killers have white victims, and black serial killers have black victims, etc. (to be clear – this is solely based on SERIAL attackers. Interracial crime is actually approaching an all time high in America currently). On the other hand, most serial killers also have a particular type, they hunt – they pick and chose. It is more common for serial sex offenders to stay within their own race. Rodriguez absolutely had a type, even in his suspected surviving victims. All of his victims were 20-40 year old slim white female sex workers. After his arrest, he claimed he “didn’t mean to kill them”…
Antonio Rodriguez was convicted of three counts of rape and murder, and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of a corpse. He is serving three consecutive life sentences.
Stay safe out there, neighbors.
See you next week.