Classmate, Mother Remembered
at Boca Catholic School (2/1/08)
By Dianna Smith
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 01, 2008
BOCA RATON — St. Jude Catholic School classmates helped plant an oak tree Friday in memory of Joey Noel Bochicchio-Hauser, 7, and her mother Nancy Bochicchio, 47. The pair were found shot to death inside their black 2007 Chrysler Aspen at the Town Center mall in Boca Raton early Dec. 13. The killer has not been caught.
An estimated 400 people attended the tree-planting ceremony at St. Jude, west of Boca Raton, where Joey went to school. A plaque with Joey and Nancy's name engraved on it sits below the branches.
Family members cried as they listened to the Rev. Richard Champigny pray for the mother and daughter who were dedicated not only to their family, but to this school.
"These days are never easy and it's going to be tough for awhile, but I hope that this tree will be a source of hope for all of you and know that we welcome you into our family," Principal Debbie Armstrong said to the family. "You will always be welcome here."
Reported by: Paige Kornblue
Reported by: Tim Malloy
Lisa McKee was approaching her SUV outside an office building at 7900 Glades Road at 5pm Thursday night.
As she came around the rear of the car, a man with a menacing glare was opening the drivers side door and getting out of her car.
"He had similarities to the man in the composite" says McKee who is a legal secretary with three children.
A task force has yet to turn up major leads in the search for the killer of Nancy Bochicchio and her daughter Joey who were found bound and shot in their SUV in the Town Center Mall in December.
Investigators are weighing the possibility that this woman's encounter was the same person who killed shopper Randi Gorenberg in March.
There have been two other incidents in Boca Raton where a man has forced his way into the cars of women and forced them to drive to ATMs to withdraw cash. Those women survived.
McKee's confrontation happened two miles from the Mall. Like the others, she was driving a dark SUV with tinted windows.
The man who fled in a waiting SUV stole cash and items from McKee's car and she is frightened to say the least, "I knew that he could hurt me. I'm lucky he turned away."
By Luis F. Perez |South Florida
WEST BOCA - Two pink butterfly cutouts hung from the live oak sapling next to a classroom building at St. Jude Catholic School.
A bronze plaque emblazoned with "Heaven's Angels" and the names Nancy and Joey Bochicchio lay in front of the small tree.
"You will always be in our hearts," read the inscription. Just below that was the date: Dec. 12. It's the day that the 47-year-old mother and her daughter, 7, died.
Joey was a second-grader at St. Jude.
The 390-strong St. Jude student body stood under a bright morning sun Friday to remember their departed schoolmate. They planted a tree in remembrance of Joey and her mother, who were shot to death and both found by security officers at Boca Raton's Town Center mall.
Police haven't found the killer. Last week, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and Boca Raton police formed a task to investigate the killings and other crimes that may be connected.
School officials said they held the ceremony so people won't forget and to set an example for children who lost one of their own. Bochicchio family members joined the schoolchildren and school officials in prayer at a morning Mass. Afterward, they poured out to the school grounds for a simple ceremony with prayers and song.
"It was beautiful," said JoAnn Bruno, the sister of Nancy Bochicchio. "The children were just heartwarming. It just really touched me."
Principal Debbie Armstrong said the school wanted to do something that was a joyful reminder of Joey.
"The goal was really to make it as hopeful and uplifting as we could," she said.
Each class from kindergarten to eighth grade signed a yellow card that was attached to plants surrounding the tree. Family members and children took turns shoveling dirt onto the roots.
Youths watered the sapling. The ceremony ended with the entire school singing This Little Light of Mine.
"It meant a lot to the family that Joey and my sister won't be forgotten," Bruno said. "And I know Joey and my sister were looking down on us and appreciated it."
Luis F. Perez can be reached at
lfperez@ sun-sentinel.com or 561-243-6641.
February 3, 2008
A fundraising brunch in memory of two shooting victims will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 2 at Cafe D'Angelo, 8228 Glades Road.
Tickets will cost $40 in advance and $50 at the door. The proceeds will go to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and St. Jude Catholic School in Boca Raton, according to a media release.
Nancy Bochicchio and her daughter, Joey Bochicchio-Hauser, were found the night of Dec. 12 tied up and shot in their idling SUV in the Town Center mall parking lot in Boca Raton.
There also will be raffles and auctions in the restaurant. Tickets can be bought prior to Feb. 15 at Cafe D'Angelo or Matteo's Restaurant, 233 S. Federal Highway.
For more information, call Cafe D'Angelo at 561-451-4404.
Last Update: 8:06 pm
Reported by: Paige Kornblue
The show "America's Most Wanted" is responsible for putting one thousand criminals behind bars and in South Florida, it's working on another.
"They don't stop until they catch 'em or they die."
John Walsh and his team re-enacted the Randi Gorenberg murder at a park in Delray Beach.
Police believe Gorenberg was shot
there not long after surveillance video caught her leaving the Town
Center Mall last March.
"We believe the MO's are so similar we've got to say one or two people involved in this thing and that's why the Task Force is so important."
Wednesday afternoon in the building
where the mall murder task force is stationed, Boca Police Chief Dan
Alexander said there's no forensic or physical evidence that ties the
Gorenberg, Bochicchio, and August cases together but acknowledged the
"It's about a power trip, control women and when something happens. Randi Gorenberg tried to get out of her car, when Nancy Bochicchio made a cell phone call - he panicked and killed her, the other victim was compliant, for an hour and a half with her 2-year-old son, she played his game."
A 350-thousand dollar reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the Bochicchio case.
To learn more about the Bochicchio investigation go to the Boca Raton Police Department's MySpace page. The America's Most Wanted Show is scheduled to air February 16th at 9pm.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The show's star, John Walsh, questioned Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw on the connections between the high-profile murders of Randi Gorenberg last March 23 and Nancy Bochicchio and her 7-year-old daughter Joey Bochicchio-Hauser on Dec. 12.
The crew filmed portions of the segment, to air Feb. 16 on Fox, at the South County Civic Center on Jog Road. That was where Gorenberg was shot and dumped from an SUV.
Walsh and his producers are also filming this week in a Boca Raton police office, the Sheriff's Office west of West Palm Beach and other locations.
Police investigators are looking at links between the shootings but have not confirmed that they were committed by the same person or people.
By Kevin Deutsch
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
BOCA RATON — Boca Raton police today posted previously unreleased details about the Dec. 12 murders of Nancy Bochicchio and her daughter, Joey Bochicchio-Hauser, on the popular web site MySpace.
On the web page (http://www.myspace.com/brpsd) police state that the suspect(s) "used a variety of material to bind and control Joey and Nancy, including duct tape, plastic ties, handcuffs and goggles.
"Their hands, feet, and neck were bound to restrict their movement in the vehicle. When they were discovered, the bindings on Nancy's wrists were broken. There is no direct evidence to suggest who broke the bonds or whether Nancy resisted the suspect(s) in any way.
"There is no information to determine whether Nancy and Joey were shot at the Town Center Mall or other location(s). There are no facts available regarding when the vehicle was returned to the Town Center Mall parking lot." The Web site report also notes the previously undisclosed fact that Nancy Bochicchio made a 911 call to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, but that the phone went dead. Attempts to call back were unsuccessful.
Earlier today, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said that "all the signs are there" linking the murders of the Bochicchios in December and Randi Gorenberg in March, as well as an Aug. 7 robbery, to the work of a serial killer preying on women at Town Center mall.
Standing alongside John Walsh during a taping of an America's Most Wanted segment about the killings, Bradshaw said a serial killer or killers "very well could have" murdered Gorenberg and the Bochicchios. He became the first law enforcement official to publicly confirm that dark goggles or masks were pulled over the heads of Nancy Bochicchio and the 31-year-old victim of an Aug. 7 kidnapping at Town Center. The Bochicchios and the Aug. 7 victim, who was with her 2-year-old son, were both bound using plastic flexcuffs, Bradshaw said.
"People get better every time they do it," Bradshaw said of the killer or killers. "All the signs are there because the MOs are very similar." Bradshaw's words marked a significant departure from previous statements made by law enforcement officials investigating the murders and the Aug. 7 robbery. Before Thursday, both Boca Raton police and the sheriff's office had avoided publicly linking the murders to a serial killer. Bradshaw's statements came after John Walsh, host of America's Most Wanted, told reporters at the taping that he called Bradshaw and that the sheriff had asked him if he could "come down and focus a whole show on what we think is a serial killer...someone is preying on unsuspecting, vulnerable women and has crossed the line and killed an eight-year-old child." Walsh then let fly a multitude of previously unconfirmed details about the killings and the Aug. 7 kidnapping.
He said black sunglasses or goggles and flexcuffs were used in both the Aug. 7 robbery and the Bochicchio killings and victims were bound at the hands and neck in both cases. He said he believed the killer is familiar with Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties and is probably still in South Florida. "[The sheriff] and I share the opinion that there's a serial killer targeting unsuspecting women at an upscale mall," Walsh said. "This is a horrible, cunning, pathological monster. I really think the public is in great danger." With camera crews working behind him, Walsh theorized that the killer shot Gorenberg only after she tried to escape from her SUV on March 23; shot Nancy Bochicchio only after he panicked when she tried to make a call from her cell phone; and got lost while fleeing Town Center mall, ending up in the Overtown section of Miami. Bradshaw did not go as far as Walsh in linking the killings, but said "there are no coincidences in this job.
"We don't have any definitive evidence to say its a serial killer," Bradshaw said once he was no longer with Walsh. "You've got a particular MO that is consistent.
A lot of things lead us to believe that we can be dealing with one individual here. This individual is getting better at what he does each time." Bradshaw highlighted several links between the March 23 and Dec. 12 killings and the Aug. 7 robbery: all the adult victims drove high-end, dark colored SUVs; Gorenberg and Bochicchio were shot in the head after leaving the mall entrance between Sears and Neiman Marcus; and goggles or masks and plastic flexcuffs were used in the Dec. 12 killings and the Aug. 7 robbery.
Walsh said the killer is not motivated by money, even though he forced the victims to withdraw money from ATM's in two of the cases.
"It's about controlling women," said Walsh, adding that Bochicchio and Gorenberg had apparently not fully cooperated with the killer. "The other victim was compliant. She played his game. This is a cold blooded, calculating, very smart serial killer. He's good at what he does. It's all about the power trip.
This man doesn't hunt men. He
hunts women with children and everybody has to be on guard. The only
way they stop is when you catch them."
By KIMBERLY MILLER
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Florida Atlantic University officials are warning students and faculty that a possible serial killer is responsible for the December murders of a woman and her daughter at the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton.
The mall is just two miles from FAU's main campus where 18,180 students attend classes regularly.
The notice was sent via e-mail late Wednesday following statements by police and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw linking the murders of Nancy Bochicchio and her daughter, Joey Bochicchio-Hauser with the March murder of Randi Gorenberg. Officials said an Aug. 7 robbery at the mall shows signs that it is also linked to the murders.
"In an effort to continually
keep the University community informed regarding issues that may be
of concern, we wanted to make you aware that local media today reported
that Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said the investigation into
the person who murdered a mother and her child at Boca Raton's Town
Center Mall in December might be a serial killer," the alert reads.
"The University would like to remind members of its community to
be aware of their surroundings and to always follow safe practices.
On an individual basis, faculty, staff, students and visitors should
exercise appropriate caution in carrying out their activities both on
and off campus."
By Kevin Deutsch and Michael LaForgia
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Ratcheting up efforts to catch a possible serial killer, authorities on Wednesday called on America's Most Wanted to broadcast an entire show about a double-murder at the Town Center mall and released startling new details about the killings on the popular Web site MySpace.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said during a taping of America's Most Wanted in suburban Delray Beach that "all the signs are there" linking the Dec. 12 murders of Nancy Bochicchio and her daughter, who were found bound and shot to death in an idling SUV outside the upscale shopping center, and the killing of Randi Gorenberg, a wife and mother shot to death after visiting the Town Center mall on March 23. The sheriff also pointed to an Aug. 7 robbery in which a 31-year-old woman and her 2-year-old son were also bound and held at gunpoint and said all three crimes might be the work of the same killer.
"Whether or not you call it a serial killer, we have similar events, we're just talking nomenclature here. The fact of the matter is, we have events that are linked through MO. You can brand it as a serial killer. Do I have specific, hard evidence to say ëyes, that's it,' absolutely not. But, like I said, as many years as I've been doing this, no coincidences. There's a pattern going here.
"This individual is getting better each time at what he does." Within hours of his statement, Boca Raton police acknowledged for the first time on MySpace postings that goggles, plastic ties and handcuffs were used to bind victims in both the Dec. 12 attack on Bochicchio, 47, and her daughter, Joey Bochicchio-Hauser, 7, and the Aug. 7 robbery. Both of the incidents happened at the Town Center mall.
"Their hands, feet, and neck were bound to restrict their movement in the vehicle," according to the police department's MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/brpsd). "When they were discovered, the bindings on Nancy's wrists were broken. There is no direct evidence to suggest who broke the bonds or whether Nancy resisted the suspect(s) in any way.
"There is no information to determine whether Nancy and Joey were shot at the Town Center Mall or other location(s)." The MySpace page also noted that Nancy Bochicchio made a 911 call to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, a previously undisclosed detail, but that the phone went dead. A dispatcher's attempts to call back were unsuccessful.
Boca Raton police posted the new information after refusing for months to answer questions from reporters about whether victims in both the Dec. 12 murders and Aug. 7 robbery were bound with plastic ties and forced to wear goggles.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Boca Raton police Chief Dan Alexander said his investigators decided to release the information, which had already appeared in The Palm Beach Post attributed to sources, only when they had determined it wouldn't harm the case.
"When you talk about releasing information, nobody's ever going to give you a right answer about when is the right time," Alexander said, adding that it was never his department's intention to withhold information from the public unnecessarily.
His comments came hours after America's Most Wanted host John Walsh met with Bradshaw during a reenactment of Gorenberg's murder near Jog and Morikami Park roads west of Delray Beach. Gorenberg, 52, was shot in the head and pushed from her black Mercedes SUV about 2 p.m. on March 23; her bloodstained Mercedes was later found abanonded behind Home Depot at Jog Road and West Atlantic Avenue.
An America's Most Wanted crew worked behind Walsh as he repeatedly linked Gorenberg's murder with the Bochicchio killings. Bradshaw stood by him, listening.
"(The sheriff) and I share the opinion that there's a serial killer targeting unsuspecting women at an upscale mall," Walsh said. "This is a horrible, cunning, pathological monster. I really think the public is in great danger." Bradshaw's statements to reporters came after Walsh said he called the sheriff and that Bradshaw had asked him if he could "come down and focus a whole show on what we think is a serial killer...someone is preying on unsuspecting, vulnerable women and has crossed the line and killed a child." Even so, investigators comparing the Gorenberg and Bochicchio cases have had to contend with puzzling dissimilarities. Investigators so far have gathered no physical or forensic evidence linking the Bochicchio and Gorenberg killings. Also, although both Nancy Bochicchio and the victim of the Aug. 7 robbery were forced to withdraw cash from ATMs, investigators found that none of Gorenberg's credit or debit cards were used between her disappearance from the mall and her murder, according to a source familiar with the investigation. Gorenberg also wasn't bound or blindfolded before she was killed.
Traces of an unknown person's DNA collected from Gorenberg's body and SUV didn't have enough identifying markers to qualify it for entry into the FBI's national DNA database, the source said. For the same reason, authorites so far have been unable to match DNA with samples taken at the scene of the Bochicchio murders.
The only points the crimes share in common are that both Gorenberg and the Bochicchios left the Town Center mall through the same exit, between Neiman Marcus and Sears, and that victims in both cases drove black 2007 SUV's and were shot in the head.
After Bradshaw's appearance with Walsh Wednesday, representatives of the sheriff's office sought to distance Bradshaw from Walsh's comments, pointing out that Bradshaw never said a "serial killer" could be at work in southern Palm Beach County. Bradshaw did make several conflicting statements about the Gorenberg and Bochicchio killings, saying "there are no coincidences in this job," before proclaiming that "We don't have any definitive evidence to say it's a serial killer." Bradshaw later seemed to lend credence to Walsh's statements again when he said "A lot of things lead us to believe that we can be dealing with one individual here. This individual is getting better at what he does each time." For his part, Walsh let fly a multitude of theories about the crimes.
He said the killer might have shot Gorenberg only after she tried to escape from her SUV; that the same man shot Nancy Bochicchio only after he panicked when she tried to make a call from her cell phone. The sheriff's office and Boca Raton police formed a joint task force last month to investigate the Bochicchio and Gorenerg killings and other crimes.
Hours after Bradshaw and Walsh's comments were reported, Boca Raton police announced the launch of the new MySpace page devoted to the Bochicchio killings.
According to the Web page, the mother and daughter walked into the mall about 2:19 p.m. on Dec. 12 and left about 3:11 p.m. Boca Raton investigators believe that they were abducted and then taken to an ATM where they were forced to withdraw $500. Alexander said Wednesday that members of the task force planned to meet with the FBI in the next two weeks to discuss federal profilers' assessment of the Town Center mall killer.
Walsh and America's Most Wanted
crew members spent the morning taping a segment behind the Delray Beach
Civic Center where Gorenberg's body was dumped. The segment, to air
Feb. 16 on Fox, will feature a new sketch of the killer based on a description
given by the adult victim in the Aug. 7 robbery. The sketch was created
by a Broward Sheriff's Office sketch artist, Walsh said.