Thursday, August 19, 2010
Is there a Serial Killer in Bergen County?
On Tuesday night, police and firefighters responded to a call from neighbors that the house at 976 Alpine Drive, Teaneck, NJ, was on fire. When they arrived they found a woman charred beyond recognition in the bedroom of the house. Police believed that it was the home owner, Fairleigh Dickinson professor, Joan Davis, 72. Suddenly things changed on Wednesday, when police tape surrounded the scene and a forensic crime truck was seen pulling into the driveway. Suddenly, Bergen County Prosecutor, John L. Molinelli, announced (late afternoon) that an autopsy coupled with analysis of the scene indicated the death was the result of a homicide.
Then NBC (New York) announced that the cause of death was blunt force trauma. Other sources have stated that the victim was stabbed multiple times before the perpetrator burned the scene; likely to cover-up evidence. Investigators believe that the body—which has not been identified yet and dental records are being sought—is in fact the owner, Joan Davis. Neighbors were aghast, labeling the crime a “complete shock.” No other facts have been released publically at this time.
In an eerily similar incident back in April 2010, Palisades Park resident, Dolores Alliotts, 69, faced an analogous fate. Another beloved longtime resident had been pulled from her fire-damaged home on 12th Street. Prosecutor Molinelli said that a preliminary autopsy on the badly burned body revealed that she had been stabbed several times in the torso and possibly elsewhere, before the blaze was set.
Both murders involved older women who lived alone, and were longtime, well-known residents. They were also both stabbed and their bodies were set on fire in their homes, and both crimes appear to have occurred around the same time of night/early morning. Both murders have also been classified as arson/homicides. Surely police and the prosecutor are aware of the uncanny similarities of both murders and are investigating the possibility that they may have been committed by the same person(s), although nothing public has been stated even linking the murders yet.
Police should be looking into if there are any connections between the two victims, such as whether they may have gotten their prescriptions from the same place, or whether they had the same doctor, etc. There is also the prospect that at least one of the crime scenes has some type of DNA or fingerprint evidence that may identify and link the killer(s) to either scene, although the fire may have damaged key evidence. Police have set-up a large perimeter around the home and many of the surrounding homes on Alpine Drive. The perimeter is so large that it is impossible to even get a glimpse at the house. Hopefully police will find some type of pertinent evidence. I will continue to follow this developing story and provide updates.
In the meantime, if you have any information contact police immediately…