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.
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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
When 19-year-old Malik Williams turned himself into police about 1:20 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, he may have thought he’d be processed at the police department and released.
Teaneck police Officer John Abraham was killed on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010 when his patrol car struck a utility pole. Hours earlier, Abraham had saved the life of an elderly man choking on a piece of steak.
Kasia Rivera, 34, of East Orange is accused of causing the death of a 22-year-old man by injecting his penis with silicone, authorities said.
Cheryl Regazzi reportedly told a neighbor that she could no longer afford the comfortable home she had shared with her son, Robert, in the years after her husband, Jack, had died.
She had no buyers for the house she’d purchased with her husband in the early 1990s. The house was for sale for about $230,000.
Cheryl, 53, worked as a medical biller for a business in Verona. Her son Robert, 20, still lived at home.
“Her son was her life,” one family member would comment after Cheryl died.