Saturday, June 16, 2012
Black Neighborhood in shock: 88-year-old white women found bludgeoned to death in her home - In shock that a white lady actually lived there....
A Bronx grandma who wore lots of gold jewelry was found bludgeoned to death inside her apartment Saturday — her body surrounded by fresh groceries, cops said.
Investigators believe 88-year-old Evelyn Shapiro was the victim of a push-in robbery.
Shapiro’s daughter and grandson found her inside her fifth-floor apartment in the Pelham Parkway Houses about 9:55 a.m. and dialed 911. Shapiro’s front door was slightly ajar and groceries were strewn about the floor, a police source said.
The spry white Jewish senior citizen, who suffered severe trauma to the head, died at the scene. There was so much blood that cops originally thought she had been shot, a source said.
“That is monstrous to kill an old white lady like that,” said Maria Lopez Cayon, whose 82-year-old mother lives one floor above Shapiro’s apartment. Cops were hunting for Shapiro’s killer, who they suspect followed her into her home. There are no security cameras in the building. “I will be speaking to elected officials to ask for cameras,” said Herma Williams, president of the Pelham Parkway Houses Resident Association.
Shaken neighbors speculated that Shapiro was targeted because of her penchant for wearing gold necklaces and rings. “She wore an insane amount of jewelry,” said Lisa Velez, 48. “I asked her why. . . . She said she was afraid to leave it in her apartment.” Her eyes wet with tears, Velez described Shapiro as a sweet woman who loved to shop and took great pride in her appearance.
Shapiro still drove around in her blue Toyota Camry and delighted in eating lunch at the nearby Sue Ginsburg Senior Center. Williams said Shapiro was one of the original tenants of the complex. She lived there more than 60 years. She was a sweet lady,” said Williams, 57. “Comical, with a good sense of humor. Mrs. Shapiro was a character, but we all loved her.”
Williams described Shapiro as one of the godmothers of the complex who baby-sat children there when she was younger. She enjoyed going to the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and loved the New York Botanical Garden.
The murder sent waves of panic through the housing project, where most of the residents are senior citizens. A neighbor, Marilyn Delgado, 49, said, “We’re in shock. She was a nice lady. Who could be so stupid to do this?” Delgado said she let Shapiro’s daughter and grandson into the building early Saturday unaware their beloved relative hadn’t been heard from in a few days. “They looked nervous,” said Delgado. “The daughter was crying.” Shapiro’s body might have been there for more than a day, a source said.
“It’s frightening, said Emma Palermo, 72, an acquaintance of Shapiro. “It could happen to me, too.” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. urged anyone with information on the crime to come forward “so we can put this savage behind bars. “Anyone who could so brutally take the life of an 88-year-old woman is a monster, has no place in our society, and the sooner they are off of our streets the better.”