Palm Sunday massacre (homicide)

The Palm Sunday massacre was a mass shooting in Brooklyn, New York, that resulted in the deaths of ten people: two women, two teenage girls, and six children. There was one survivor, an infant girl.[3]

Palm Sunday massacre
Part of mass shootings in the United States
Palm Sunday massacre (homicide) is located in New York City
Palm Sunday massacre (homicide)
Location1080 Liberty Avenue
East New York, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.[1]
Coordinates40°40′42″N 73°52′10″W / 40.678203°N 73.869449°W / 40.678203; -73.869449
DateApril 15, 1984; 39 years ago (1984-04-15)
Attack type
Mass shooting, mass murder, home invasion
WeaponsTwo handguns (.22-caliber pistol, .38-caliber revolver)[2]
Deaths10
Injured0
PerpetratorChristopher Thomas
ConvictionsFirst degree manslaughter (10 counts)
Second degree criminal possession of a weapon
Christopher Thomas
Born (1949-08-06) August 6, 1949 (age 74)
New York, U.S.
Criminal statusReleased on mandatory parole
Children2
MotiveJealousy
Conviction(s)First degree manslaughter (10 counts)
Second degree criminal possession of a weapon
Criminal penalty25 to 50 years imprisonment
Details
Victims10
DateApril 15, 1984
CountryUnited States
State(s)New York

Murders edit

All of the victims were shot, with a total of 19 bullets fired from two handguns at close range, most in the head, and were found in relaxed poses sitting in couches and chairs, suggesting that they had been taken by surprise. There were no signs of drugs or robbery at the home.[4][5]

In 1985, Christopher Thomas was convicted on ten counts of manslaughter, but was cleared of murder charges. The jury had convicted him of intentional murder, but the charges were reduced due to "extreme emotional disturbance" and Thomas being high on drugs. Prosecutors said the motive was jealousy,[6][7][8][9][10] claiming Thomas suspected his wife of having an affair with the home's owner, a convicted cocaine dealer named Enrique Bermudez. Thomas's wife testified her husband was "enraged" over finding her at the Bermudez residence without him and set fire to his and her shared residence when she told him she was leaving him. Bermudez claimed Thomas had once asked Bermudez to have sex with Thomas's wife, but Bermudez declined.

Other witnesses testified they had seen Thomas “looking bizarre” in or near the residence earlier on the day of the murders. Bermudez confirmed this, saying Thomas had visited him that morning asking for drugs and cash. When Bermudez asked about some $9,000 Thomas already owed him, Thomas reportedly promised a surprise.[11]

Thomas was sentenced to from 83 to 250 years, but due to state law was expected to spend no more than 50 years in prison.[12] He ended up serving just over 32 years before being released in 2018, having served two thirds of the maximum fifty years allowed by New York State.[13]

The sole survivor, an infant female, was raised by her grandmother. Joanne Jaffe, at the time a "beat cop" and by 2014 the highest ranking female officer in the New York City Police Department, was assigned to the infant girl, and stayed in contact with her as she grew up. The girl lived with Jaffe starting at age 14. In 2014, after the death of the girl's grandmother, Jaffe adopted her at the age of 31.[14]

List of victims edit

  • Betsy Bermudez, age 14 – sister of Marelyn Bermudez and daughter of homeowner Enrique Bermudez
  • Marelyn Bermudez, age 10 – sister of Betsy Bermudez and daughter of homeowner Enrique Bermudez
  • Eddie Lopez, age 7 – son of Virginia Lopez and brother of Juan Enrique Lopez
  • Juan Enrique Lopez, age 4 – son of Virginia Lopez and brother of Eddie Lopez
  • Virginia Lopez, age 24 – mother of Eddie and Juan Enrique Lopez. She was also the girlfriend of homeowner Enrique Bermudez and was eight months pregnant with their child at the time of her murder.
  • Alberto Maldonado, age 3 – son of Carmen Perez and brother of Noel Maldonado and half-brother of Christina Rivera, the sole survivor of the massacre.
  • Noel Maldonado, age 3 – son of Carmen Perez and brother of Alberto Maldonado and half-brother of Christina Rivera, the sole survivor of the massacre.
  • Carmen Perez, age 20 – mother of Alberto and Noel Maldonado and Christina Rivera, the sole survivor of the massacre and sister of Migdalia Perez.
  • Maria Isabel Perez, age 10 – niece of Carmen and Migdalia Perez
  • Migdalia Perez, age 14 – sister of Carmen Perez and aunt of Alberto and Noel Maldonado and Christina Rivera.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "The Courtroom Sketches of Ida Libby Dengrove - Palm Sunday Massacre". University of Virginia Law School Archives. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  2. ^ "Man Convicted of Manslaughter In Slayings of 10 Women and Children". AP News. July 19, 1985.
  3. ^ "10 IN BROOKLYN ARE FOUND SLAIN INSIDE A HOUSE". The New York Times. April 16, 1984. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  4. ^ "Man Guilty of Manslaughter in Massacre". Los Angeles Times. July 19, 1985. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "Man Convicted of Manslaughter In Slayings of 10 Women and Children". AP News. July 19, 1985.
  6. ^ "DRUG LINK IS SEEN IN SLAYINGS OF 10". New York Times. April 17, 1984. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  7. ^ "3 KEY CLUES LED TO SUSPECT IN MASS MURDERS". New York Times. June 21, 1984. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  8. ^ "DEFENDANT IN THE KILLING OF 10 IS GUILTY OF REDUCED CHARGE". New York Times. July 20, 1985. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  9. ^ "Killer In Massacre Convicted". tribunedigital-sunsentinel. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  10. ^ "MASS SLAYINGS AND TOLL: MCDONALD'S CASE BIGGEST". The New York Times. April 25, 1987. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  11. ^ "Man Convicted of Manslaughter In Slayings of 10 Women and Children". AP News. July 19, 1985.
  12. ^ "'Palm Sunday Massacre' Triggerman Could Be Out in 50 Years". Associated Press. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  13. ^ Goldstein, Joseph (March 30, 2018). "Man Who Killed 10 People in 1984 'Palm Sunday Massacre' Is Released From Prison". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  14. ^ "The Toddler Who Survived, and the Cop Who Became Her Mom". The New York Times. April 13, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2016.

External links edit