Tag Archive for New Jersey

Kitchen Nightmares chef jumps off George Washington Bridge

Fair Lawn Chef Joe Cerniglia, right, with Kitchen Nightmares Chef Gordon Ramsey. Credit: Fox

FAIR LAWN – When Chef Joseph Cerniglia appeared on “Kitchen Nightmares,” host Gordon Ramsay told him his New Jersey business would soon  “swim down the Hudson.” The comment was a grim foreshadowing of things to come. It was the 39-year-old…

Clark woman, 73, found with her throat cut a day before her birthday

Vera was found dead inside her home in Clark. Her throat had been cut with a serrated knife. Photo: Google maps

Vera Pecoraro was found Saturday evening, July 7, 2012,  lying on a sofa in her stately suburban home, her throat cut by a serrated knife that was left nearby, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said.

One dead in Paterson bar fight

Augie's Pub on McBridge Avenue in Paterson, where a man was stabbed early Nov. 18, 2012. He later died at a local hospital.

One man was stabbed to death and another arrested following a fight outside a bar on McBride Avenue, police said. Paterson Police arrested a 30-year-old city resident and charged him with the murder.

Man killed after fall from cliff

Police found a man’s body at the bottom of the cliffs at Rockefeller Lookout in Englewood Cliffs on Sunday, June 24. They say passersby spotted a cane and walker at the cliffs and became concerned that someone had jumped or…

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 cbslocal.com.

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.

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.

Dog whisperer is victim of hit-run

An accomplished equestrian, Tiffany Jantelle died helping an injured animal on the road in Franklin. Photo via Facebook

Tiffany Jantelle got out of her car to rescue a dog. Then she was killed. ”Two sentences on a Facebook page, along with the title “Who Killed Tiffany Jantelle?” are the sum and substance of the 23-year-old, who lived her entire life in Piscataway. Tiffany loved horses and was an accomplished rider. She was popular and bubbly – a caring friend and sister, daughter and girlfriend. So when her boyfriend accidentally struck a dog about 1 a.m. on Weston Canal Road and Randolph Road in Franklin, Tiffany stepped out of the car to comfort the injured animal. Her boyfriend, Daniel P. Owsik of Raritan, got out of the car to try and direct traffic as Tiffany held the German Shepherd-mix in the middle of the road. That’s when a black pickup truck sped onto the scene, striking Tiffany and the dog, according to witnesses and police. “She tried to get out of the way,” Oswik later told a television news reporter. “Of course she can’t leave the dog. She grabs the dog and no use, the guy didn’t break, didn’t swerve. He just hit.”

Let’s party

Investigators: Maplewood man killed father, grandmother, then held a house party By Tucker Cummings For Morbid New Jersey  In a lurid tale straight out of a pulp novel, police investigators say a New Jersey man threw a house party after…

Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross was born in New York City, the fourth child of Mary Ida Van Dross and Luther Van Dross Sr. He grew up in a musical family, learning to play the piano at age 3. When Vandross was 8,…

Stephen Baldino: a murder in Lyndhurst

  According to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office: On Monday, March 5, 2012, at about 5 p.m., the Lyndhurst Police Department was asked to respond to 103 Page Avenue, Apartment 3 to check on the welfare of the resident. The request…

‘Whitney is dead’

Whitney Houston was found dead Feb. 11, 2012 in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel a night before the Grammy Awards. An autopsy was performed but a cause of death has not been released to the public. Houston grew…

Dead Poets Society

So much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens  — William Carlos Williams, “The Red Wheelbarrow” Throughout his life, William Carlos Williams divided his time two ways — the first was his day…

Dismemberment in Rutherford

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…

‘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…

“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…

Terror on 287

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

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.

Mysterious death of a Teaneck cop

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.

Suicide by cop in Mountain Lakes

Leonardo Parera, Facebook


To his coworkers at Exit Realty Gold in Mountain Lakes, Leonardo Parara seemed harmless enough. He helped them with computer troubles, he was knowledgeable about North Jersey real-estate market. He was a snappy dresser who carried a leather briefcase to an from work. So it was unimaginable to them on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 when Parera, 39, of Kearny, walked into the realty offices on Route 46 East, pulled out a semi-automatic Ruger and fired 15 shots into the front-desk receptionist, Christine Capone King, a 47-year-old mother of two.

Dead like mom

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…