Inmate in 1976 rape, murder is denied parole for fifth time

Kim Montelaro of New Milford was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 1976. Photo courtesy of the Montelaro family.

The family of a young woman raped and stabbed to death more than 35 years ago is waging a legal battle to keep her killer in prison.

Christopher Righetti, of River Vale, is serving a life sentence in Northern State Prison, Newark, for the 1976 kidnapping, rape and murder of 20-year-old Kim Montelaro, 20, of New Milford. According to published reports, Montelaro was kidnapped from the Paramus Park Mall and later sexually assaulted and stabbed six times. Her body was dumped in a Washington Township swimming area, according to published reports.

Righetti was 16 at the time of the crime. But he was tried as an adult and convicted.

Clothesline pole falls, kills 6-year-old Laz Ayon in his Lodi backyard

The pole that fell onto Laz Ayon, killing him. Photo via

It was a freak accident that left 6-year-old Laz Ayon dead, his mother distraught beyond words and neighbors in a close-knit Lodi neighborhood struggling with grief. Laz was killed May 17 when a rusty steel pole used for a clothing line fell on him.The little boy and his 10-year-old brother, Ivan, had been cleaning up their backyard on Walnut Street when the pole fell, according to media reports. Ivan broke his leg but survived. The website reported that the boy’s mother, Karen, cradled the dying child in her arms. “The mother kept screaming, ‘Please help my son. Get him the ambulance,'” the newspaper quoted Donna Destefano. “It was devastating to see a mother cradling her child like that.”


Houdini assistant dies at 103

Dorothy Young of Tinton Falls became famous for her stage career with illusionist Harry Houdini. Photo via Wikipedia.

When Dorothy Young of Tinton Falls was on a trip to New York with her parents in 1925, she read in Variety about an open casting call for illusionist Harry Houdini’s act.”Girl Dancer wanted for Broadway show to tour the United States,” read the advertisement. Young, the daughter of a Methodist minister, auditioned and was hired at age 17. “Houdini had been famous for 30 years, but he had always longed to star in his own Broadway show and tour the United States,” young told an interviewer. “And that’s where I came in.” Houdini’s assistant died in March 2012 at 103.

Dharun Ravi serves 20 days

Dharun Ravi in a yearbook photo.

Dharun Ravi was released June 19, 2012 from a Middlesex County jail after serving 20 days of a  30 day sentence. The sentence was in connection with the webcam spy case involving his gay college roommate, Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after Ravi videotaped his encounter with another man in their Rutgers University dorm room. Tyler Clementi was an 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman who killed himself in September 2010 after discovering that his roommate had secretly used a webcam to stream over the internet his romantic interlude with another man.

Death by auto charged

Two drivers are charged with Death by Auto after a fatal accident in which a motorcyclist was killed in the Meadowlands. Photo courtesy of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office

Two men driving Ferraris along Berry’s Creek Road North in East Rutherford were to blame for a fatal accident that killed a motorcyclist, according to New Jersey State Police.

The accident took place on Mother’s Day, May 13, 2012 near the MetLife Stadium. Photos from the scene show the motorcycle in two pieces.

According to the Star-Ledger newspaper, the motorcyclist, Stephen Lenge, was heading to his job as a stagehand for the Electric Daisy Festival and was on Berry’s Creek Road, a service road around the parking lot.

Guilty in telephone-chat homicide

John Staten of Orange . The Star-Ledger

A 32-year-old man pleaded guilty on May 16, 2012 to aggravated manslaughter and weapons offenses in the beating death of a Maplewood man he met through a telephone chat service.

By pleading guilty, John Staten, of Orange, avoided the murder charge he had faced, and the accompanying potential life sentence if convicted at trial. Under the terms of the agreement, Staten will receive 18 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 19 in Superior Court in Newark, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Staten admitted he beat 27-year-old Arthur Downey III with an iron just hours after they met on March 14, 2010, then covered his head with a plastic bag, prosecutors said. The cause of death was bludgeoning and asphyxiation. A roommate discovered Downey’s body the next morning in their Maplewood home.

The Hindenburg disaster

The Hindenburg crashes in Lakehurst on May 6, 1937. Thirty-six people died. Photo: National Archives.

As office workers flooded the streets on May 6, 1937, the L7 129 Hindenburg floated across lower Manhattan for a trip to New Jersey where the plan was to dock the hydrogen-filled dirigible at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station.

Ninety-seven people were aboard.

But at 7:25 p.m. the Hindenburg caught fire as it attempted to land. Witnesses saw sparks and flames shooting from the dirigible.