Dead inside

For more than a year, bundles of mail piled up outside 99 Black Oak Ridge Road in Wayne. Over the months — from about December 2010 to January 2012 — the house and property had fallen into serious disrepair.

Robert Hegyes: Death of a sweathog

Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein on ‘Welcome Back, Kotter,’ has died in Metuchen.

Robert Hegyes, who was a member of one of the most popular television ensemble casts of the 1970s, “Welcome Back, Kotter,” was living in Metuchen. And he put a photo of his home and his home address on the Internet (291 Woodbridge Ave., Metuchen).

Patrice Oneal: JC funny man dies

Patrice Oneal in 2006, via Wikipedia

In his comedy, Jersey City resident Patrice Oneal had a reputation for stark honesty that led many in the industry to call him a comedian’s comedian. He took on topics like AIDS, race and most of all his poor health.

Dismemberment in Rutherford

Jonathan Zarate in a NJ Department of Corrections photo.

When Jonathan Zarate of Randolph asked the 16-year-old girl next door to come over, it was with the idea that they’d both watch television in the basement. But as his parents slept upstairs, Zarate beat his neighbor, Jennifer Parks, with a metal pole before stabbing her to death. Then, with the help of his 14-year-old brother, James, Zarate cut Jennifer’s legs off below the knee to fit her inside a steamer trunk. The dismemberment death was one of the most brutal crimes in recent New Jersey history.

Joey Ramone: Godfather of punk

Joey Ramone on the cover of his solo effort, "Don't Worry About Me."

Known as “The Godfather of Punk Rock,” lifelong New Yorker Jeffry Hyman, a.k.a. “Joey Ramone,” is buried in a nondescript little cemetery in Lyndhurst.

‘They never slowed down’ — Recchione, Vespucci killed in crash

Valerie Vespucci, 22, and Peter-John “PJ” Recchione, 23, were killed were their SUV struck a tree in Nutley.

The scene, according to one witness, was downright eerie: an out-of-control SUV silently speeding through an intersection in the early morning hours of Oct. 2, 2004, stopping only when it slammed head first into a tree on the lawn of a brightly lit apartment complex in Nutley. “They never slowed down,” said Chief John Holland of the Nutley Police Department. “They went straight into the tree.”

Extreme indifference to life…

The killer hears the guilty verdict in a Hudson County courtroom.

“He said, ‘No get out of the cab, no get out of the cab; you must pay.’ I told him, I was like, ‘Listen, I don’t have my wallet with me.’ And the guy said, ‘No, no, no. I call the cops.’ He picked up his radio (and) I proceeded to pull out my chrome 40-caliber Ruger out of my right, front jacket pocket. I told the guy, I was like, ‘Let go of me, or you’re gonna wear it.’ The guy let go of my hand. And as I went to get out of the car, the guy mashed the gas, which threw me back. And a round went off.”
– Michael A. O’Neill in a statement to police about the shooting of cab driver Luis Octavio Tenezaca, 23, in Kearny.

Terror on 287

Five people were reported dead Dec. 20, 2011 in this crash, captured by NBC-TV in New York.

A single-engine plane crashed on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 on Interstate 287 in Harding Township. Five people and a dog aboard the plane were killed, according to published reports.

Cop morphs into murder suspect

Bergen County prosecutors say Scott J. Smith stabbed his friend John Amendola to death.

Acquaintances described deli owner John Amendola as friendly, outgoing with plenty of personality.

But one man who’d known Amendola for nearly 20 years didn’t apparently think so.