*~ February, 2008 -- Page 4 ~*
Authorities release videos
in Bochicchio, Gorenberg murders (2/15/08)
By Kevin Deutsch
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 15, 2008
BOCA RATON — Investigators today released new video footage and several new pieces of information about the killings of Randi Gorenberg and Nancy Bochicchio and her daughter Joey.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, investigating the March 23 murder of Randi Gorenberg, released footage showing a 2007 white Chrysler 300 following in the path of Gorenberg's black Mercedes SUV behind the Home Depot on Jog and W. Atlantic Avenue. Her SUV was found behind the store an hour after her murder.
Sheriff's Office Capt. Jack Strenges urged anyone who saw the Chrysler, or who was inside of it that day, to call authorities. He also released several new details about the investigation, saying Gorenberg had purchased the John Legend CD "Once Again" from the mall before her murder. The CD and its wrapping were found in her SUV, but the disc case is missing.
Another new wrinkle in the case: Gorenberg was found wearing two rings that none of her relatives could recognize, Strenges said. Whether she purchased them or wad given them, or her killer placed them on her hand, is unknown, Strenges said.
Boca Raton Police also released video footage today showing Nancy Bochicchio's black Chrysler Aspen SUV driving through the drive-through ATM at a bank near the mall sometime before her murder. Police would not release information about the bank because they want to hold on to some information that only the killer might know. But they urged anyone who may have been at the bank or seen anything to call authorities.
The video shows Bochicchio's SUV approaching and departing from a bank ATM. At the outset of the investigation, detectives were quickly able to identify witnesses in the area of the ATM and have already obtained statements from at least one "eyewitness," said Investigative Services Captain Matthew Duggan.
A second video shows Nancy Bochicchio and her 7-year-old daughter Joey walking through Town Center mall and was recorded from a vantage point inside the Sony store.
Detectives say they have conducted an exhaustive search for video related to the Bochicchio investigation and reviewed hundreds of hours of footage from Town Center, the bank, and other locations.
Anyone having information about
the incidents is asked to call Boca Raton Police at 561-338-1352 or
Crime Stoppers at 800-458-8477. Callers may remain anonymous.
By Dianna Cahn |South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Boca Raton - A new composite sketch of the suspect in the killing of a mother and daughter found at Town Center mall enhances his features and is in color instead of black and white. But it uses the original police sketch as a base and is therefore similar, a correspondent for the TV show America's Most Wanted said Thursday.
The new sketch was released by the television show ahead of its airing Saturday of an episode that links the Dec. 12 killings to a March 23 murder and an Aug. 7 carjacking of women who had just left the same mall.
Nancy Bochicchio and her 7-year-old daughter Joey Bochicchio-Hauser were found dead in their car in the Town Center parking lot Dec. 12. Both had been shot to death, their hands and feet bound, their eyes covered with goggles, police said. Police think Bochicchio was forced to drive to an ATM and withdraw $500 before they were killed.
Shortly afterward, police released a black and white artist's sketch of the suspect based on the description of a woman who reported to police in August that she had been abducted in the Town Center parking lot.
Using that sketch, America's Most Wanted asked a forensic artist to sit with the woman and enhance the drawing, said John Turchin, a correspondent for the program.
The artist, John McMahon, who works for the Broward Sheriff's Office, sat with the woman for three hours, using both his artwork and computer animation to come up with a likeness, Turchin said.
"They basically broke down every facial feature, and the hat and the sunglasses, in detail," Turchin said. "If you look at the two sketches, they are very similar."
The differences, he said, come in the coloring of the suspect, which the victim described as a golden tan like someone from the Caribbean, Turchin said. She also had McMahon narrow his face and change his sunglasses to ones more fitting to the eyes, he said. In addition, she described the suspect as having wavy black or brown hair with a tiny ponytail.
Police released the original sketch only after the Bochicchios were killed, saying that initially the woman's description had not been specific enough to generate a drawing.
The woman, 30, told police the man was in her SUV when she and her 2-year-old son emerged from the mall Aug. 7. He forced her at gunpoint to drive to an ATM and withdraw $600. He then had her drive to a parking lot near Glades Road and Florida's Turnpike, where he handcuffed her and covered her eyes with sunglasses and goggles before returning to the mall parking lot, where he released them, police said.
Boca Raton Police spokeswoman Sandra Boonenberg said the new sketch was reliable and police would likely start using it in conjunction with their black and white sketch.
During the taping of the episode last week, host John Walsh said the Bochicchio killings were committed by a "horrible, cunning and pathological monster" whom he described as a serial killer.
He linked the killings not only to the Aug. 7 attack but also to the unsolved March 23 murder of Randi Gorenberg, who was shot to death and pushed out of her Mercedes SUV west of Delray Beach about 40 minutes after a Town Center surveillance camera recorded her leaving the mall.
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said last week that he thought the incidents might be linked, but he stopped short of concluding the attacks were carried out by a serial killer. Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander said it was too soon to tell.
"There are similarities between the crimes," Boonenberg said. "However, we have no forensic evidence that links them."
She noted that the police department's parameters were more "restrictive" than the television show's. But she said she hoped the show, which FOX will air at 9 p.m. Saturday, will achieve its purpose.
"The end result is what we are all hoping for — that we catch the guy," Boonenberg said.
Dianna Cahn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-228-5501.
By Erika Pesantes |South Florida
BOCA RATON - Authorities released new surveillance video Friday and again asked for help in hopes of keeping the public focused on two unsolved murder cases linked to Town Center mall.
The killings of Randi Gorenberg, 52, in March and Nancy Bochicchio, 47, and her daughter, Joey Bochicchio-Hauser, 7, in December, captured national attention and prompted the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and Boca Raton police to form a task force of 10 detectives to work the cases.
The homicides are linked to the Town Center at Boca Raton mall, where, investigators say, the women shopped before they were found murdered.
America's Most Wanted, the Fox TV program hosted by John Walsh, will air a program tonight devoted to the Gorenberg and Bochicchio cases, and two others that may be connected.
In the area last week for production of the program, including a re-eneactment of the Gorenberg case, Walsh called the crimes the work of a serial killer, a "horrible, cunning and pathological monster."
Neither Sheriff Ric Bradshaw nor Boca Raton Police Chief Dan Alexander agreed with Walsh's assessment.
On March 23, Gorenberg was found shot in the head and dumped out of her black Mercedes SUV at Gov. Lawton Chiles Memorial Park, on Morikami Park Road and Jog Road west of Delray Beach, about 5 miles from the mall.
The Gorenberg video released captures what may be her SUV being driven to the back of the Home Depot store at Atlantic Avenue and Jog Road, west of Delray Beach, where the vehicle was abandoned after the murder. Gorenberg got to the mall around noon that day and left at 1:13 p.m. The surveillance video shows the SUV heading to the back of the Home Depot about 2 p.m. with a white 2007 Chrysler 300 following.
Sheriff's Office Capt. Jack Strenges said there's a possibility Gorenberg's killer was driving the SUV. The Chrysler that speeds after the SUV could also have been involved or it could have just been following the SUV closely.
They're all leads detectives are exploring.
"We're just trying to eliminate all possibility," Sheriff's Office spokesman Paul Miller said.
Detectives also revealed Gorenberg was found wearing two inexpensive rings with clear stones on her right pinkie finger that were unfamiliar to family and friends. Strenges said he did not know whether the suspect placed the rings on her or whether Gorenberg purchased them.
Two videos were released Friday in connection with the Bochicchio murders.
The mother and daughter were found bound and shot in their black Chrysler Aspen SUV shortly before midnight Dec. 12. Their eyes were covered with goggles.
One video clip shows the pair walking through the mall, and was taken from inside the Sony store. They left the mall at about 3:10 p.m. that day. The other video shows the SUV approaching and leaving a bank ATM.
Police, however, declined to identify the bank branch, saying only that it is near the mall.
Investigators edited out the portion showing the transaction taking place. Police said $500 was withdrawn from the ATM about 3:20 p.m.
Detectives have spoken to at least one witness in the area of the ATM.
Anyone with information on either case is asked to call Boca Raton police at 561-338-1352 or Crime Stoppers at 800-458-8477.
Erika Pesantes can be reached at email@example.com or 561-243-6602.
By KEVIN DEUTSCH
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Investigators on Friday released new videos and several new pieces of information about the killings of Nancy Bochicchio, her 7-year-old daughter and Randi Gorenberg.
Boca Raton police released video showing Bochicchio's black Chrysler Aspen SUV going past the drive-through ATM of a bank near the Town Center mall sometime before her Dec. 12 slaying. Police would not release information about the bank because they want to hold on to some information that only the killer might know. But they urged anyone who may have been at the bank or seen anything to call authorities.
The video was played during a joint news conference with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. At the outset of the investigation, detectives quickly were able to identify witnesses in the area of the ATM and have obtained statements from at least one "eyewitness," investigative services Capt. Matthew Duggan said.
A second video, recorded from inside the Sony store at the Town Center mall, shows Bochicchio, 47, and her daughter, Joey Bochicchio-Hauser - who had lived in suburban Boca Raton - walking through the mall.
Detectives say they have conducted an exhaustive search for video related to the Bochicchio investigation and reviewed hundreds of hours of footage from the mall, the bank and other locations.
The mother and daughter walked into the mall at about 2:19 p.m. on Dec. 12 and left about 3:11 p.m. Boca Raton investigators believe they were abducted and taken to an ATM, where they were forced to withdraw $500. They were found dead in the SUV, which was idling outside Sears at the mall shortly after midnight.
Plastic ties and handcuffs were used to bind victims, and goggles were placed on them, in both the Dec. 12 attack on the Bochicchios and in the Aug. 7 robbery of a woman and her 2-year-old son at Town Center.
The sheriff's office, investigating the March 23 murder of 52-year-old mother Randi Gorenberg, released separate footage showing a white 2007 Chrysler 300 following someone driving her black Mercedes SUV behind the Home Depot at the corner of Jog and West Atlantic Avenue west of Delray Beach.
At the time the footage was captured, Gorenberg was already dead. The suburban Boca Raton resident was killed after shopping at Town Center. Her SUV was found behind the Home Depot an hour after her slaying.
Sheriff's Capt. Jack Strenges urged anyone who saw the Chrysler or who was inside of it that day to call authorities. He also released several new details about the investigation, saying Gorenberg had purchased the John Legend CD Once Again at the mall before her slaying. The CD was in the player and the plastic wrapping in the SUV, but the case was missing. Also missing were items Gorenberg had purchased from the Old Navy store in the mall.
Another new wrinkle: Gorenberg was found wearing two matching pinky rings that none of her friends or relatives recognized, Strenges said. Whether she purchased them or they were given to her, or whether her killer placed them on her hand, is unknown, Strenges said.
"We want to know who gave them to her and where she got them," Strenges said.
The sheriff's office and Boca Raton police formed a joint task force last month to investigate the Bochicchio and Gorenberg slayings and other crimes. Similarities exist between the killings, but they have not been definitively linked.
On Thursday, authorities released a new sketch of the Bochicchios' killer, and the television show America's Most Wanted will air a story on the three killings at 9 p.m. Saturday on the Fox network.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-TIPS (8477).
By Jerome Burdi |South Florida
Boca Raton - Just before an episode of America's Most Wanted detailed what is being called the strikes of a serial killer in the city, mall officials announced they would blanket Town Center with a new sketch and put up posters at their other malls in South Florida.
America's Most Wanted dedicated 30 minutes of its program Saturday to the homicides in which victims shopped at the mall before they were found murdered.
The killings of Randi Gorenberg, 52, in March and Nancy Bochicchio, 47, and her daughter, Joey Bochicchio-Hauser, 7, in December, captured national attention and cast a shadow over the mall.
The Sheriff's Office and Boca Raton police formed a task force to investigate the homicides as well as two other robberies that may be linked.
Standing Saturday in front of truck with a 10-foot-by-6-foot billboard of the police flier with the killer's sketch, Simon Property Group Vice President of Operations Lydia Gilmore said the 5,000 employees at the mall were asked to help police. She said Simon Property Group, which owns eight malls in South Florida, including Town Center, would place poster-size police fliers outside each of its malls.
"We see the potential to expose the sketch to 300,000 people per day," Gilmore said. "We feel like we really can assist with the apprehension of this suspect."
The flier, which includes information about a $350,000 reward, was delivered to the mall's 250 shops, Gilmore said.
The mall came under attack by city officials for lack of public outreach after the December murders. Gilmore said the new security measures are not strictly in response to the crimes.
"Crime prevention is our number one priority," she said. "We are a safe place to shop."
On March 23, Gorenberg, last seen alive at the mall, was found shot in the head and dumped out of her black Mercedes SUV west of Delray Beach, about 5 miles from the mall.
The mother and daughter were found bound and shot in the head in their black Chrysler Aspen SUV shortly before midnight Dec. 12. Their eyes were covered with goggles. Nancy Bochicchio broke from her hand ties and struggled with the attacker before she was shot, according to America's Most Wanted.
Among the mall's recent "commitment to a safe environment" announcements: mall officials joining with Washington, D.C.-based National Crime Prevention Council to form a crime prevention task force; beefed up security including a new police substation and surveillance system, and a shuttle service for mall employees and patrons throughout the day. Through Mother's Day, the mall also offers free valet parking for anyone shopping with young children.
"It's a terrible crime and we need this guy to be caught and brought to justice," Gilmore said.
Police ask anyone with information on either case to call Boca Raton police, 561-338-1352 or Crime Stoppers, 800-458-8477.
Jerome Burdi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-243-6531.
By LARRY KELLER
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 17, 2008
BOCA RATON — Hoping to help catch a killer and to assure the public that the Town Center mall is safe, Simon Property Group is about to saturate its South Florida properties with an enhanced version of a sketch of the man believed to have killed three people at or near the mall.
Fliers containing a color sketch of the suspect and reward information will be available at guest services booths at all eight of Simon Property Group's South Florida malls. Signs with the same information will be posted at the malls' entrances, said Lydia Gilmore, a vice president of the company, which in Palm Beach County owns Town Center, the Boynton Beach Mall and the Palm Beach Mall.
Up to 8 million shoppers a month will see the fliers and signs, she said.
Also, a 10-by-6-foot mobile version of the poster has been affixed to the side of a truck that will travel around the county. Crime Stoppers will determine its route, Gilmore said at a news conference Saturday night at Town Center.
The campaign is in response to the murder of Randi Gorenberg, 52, killed in March shortly after leaving Town Center, and Nancy Bochicchio, 47, and her 7-year-old daughter, Joey Bochicchio-Hauser, who were found dead in their SUV outside Sears at the mall on Dec. 12.
Gilmore said repeatedly that Town Center is safe, with a "tremendous presence" of police officers there.
She announced the latest efforts to nab the killer an hour before the television show America's Most Wanted aired a story on the three slayings.
"We've got to be optimistic,"
Gilmore said. "We've got to catch him."
Posted: Feb 18, 2008 09:34 AM
Reporter: Tasha Martinez
We're all about to get a better look at the person who killed a mother and daughter at the Town Center Mall.
Simon Property Group, the company that manages the Mall, announces how they are intensifying efforts to catch the killer.
A flier containing the new color sketch of the suspect will now be placed at every entrance at the Town Center Mall. Multiple copies will also be available to any shopper who wants one at guest services.
Fliers have also been handed to the more than 250 stores in the mall. Simon Property Group owns seven other malls in South Florida, including the Palm Beach Mall and the Boynton Beach Mall. Those other malls already have the new fliers to hand out. Soon, they'll have the fliers at their entrances, as well.
The company estimates 8,000 shoppers will see the sketch everyday. They say they felt the need to take these step to make their malls remain safe places to shop. They encourage other areas in the mall to take similar steps.
Lydia Gilmore, Simon Property, says, "Please, please share the sketch with family member with friends, with neighbors. The wider the distribution, the better the chances of catching a suspect."
In addition to the fliers at the mall, Simon is working with Crime Stoppers to develop public service announcements for local movie theaters. They're also sponsoring a moving billboard featuring the sketch.
The company also plans to work with a Boca Raton task force, made up of community leaders, to come up with even more ways to catch the Bochicchios' killer and keep the city safe.
Meanwhile, America's Most Wanted used the first half hour of their show Saturday night to profile the cases connected to Boca's Town Center Mall. The episode revealed a lot of new information.
We knew the killer used handcuffs and zip-ties to bound his victims. But, according to Saturday night's show, Nancy was fighting so hard for her life, she actually broke the handcuffs that were around her wrist.
The Boca Raton Police Department released new video showing Nancy and Joey walking through the mall near the Sony store. About 10 minutes later, their car is spotted driving through an ATM at a nearby bank.
Reported by: Paige Kornblue
They believe the power of prayer can help solve a crime that took the life of a mother and young daughter.
So leaders at Boca Raton's Church of All Nations are organizing a public prayer event in Sanborn Square. They hope to bring up to 700 people together on March 15 to pray for a community that lost Nancy Bochicchio, 47, and Joey Bochicchio-Hauser, 7, on Dec. 12. Security officials found their bodies in an idling SUV at the Town Center mall.
"As a church in the community, we're always concerned with what's happening in the city," said Pastor Kevin Slack, director of ministry training and evangelism. "But I think with the murders at Town Center mall, we just decided enough is enough."
The congregation has been aiming group prayers at various causes for the past two years, church officials said. They've focused on encroaching gang violence, sour economic news or the sick, among other things. But it's the double-homicide at the mall that moved them to take their prayers out in public.
The case has captured national attention, including at least three features on America's Most Wanted. On Saturday, the program devoted a half hour to the Bochicchio case and other mall-related crimes.
"We believe that through prayer, God can intervene and help find this guy," Slack said.
Church of All Nations, formerly known as Boca First Assembly of God, holds an annual three-day, 33-mile prayer march through the city with its youth group called Via Dolorosa. This year it's scheduled for the same weekend as the Sanborn Square prayer gathering, which is the first time the church has held a prayer event in public related to what's in the news.
Church officials said they have contacted some of the larger Christian churches in the city. For now, plans call for a simple prayer event with a sound system and different pastors leading the crowd, they said. So far the reaction from other churches has been to first ask for more information and then to get excited, Slack said.
"Mostly, it will be a bunch of people praying for the same thing," he said.
Associate Pastor Chris Cowen said he attended a vigil held for the Bochicchios soon after they were found. From there, the need to do something for the city only grew, he said.
"We're living in a very difficult time in history," Cowen said.
Luis F. Perez can be reached at email@example.com or 561-243-6641.
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By Patty Pensa | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
February 19, 2008
The gripping re-enactments of three crimes centered at the Town Center mall yielded 100 tips after Saturday's airing on America's Most Wanted, police said Monday.
The half-hour segment was dedicated to the slayings of Randi Gorenberg and of Nancy Bochicchio and Joey Bochicchio-Hauser. The show's host, John Walsh, also interviewed the 30-year-old mother who was carjacked by the man some believe committed all three crimes. The woman, whose identity was hidden, provided a description used to sketch the suspect.
Officer Sandra Boonenberg, of the Boca Raton Police Department said the tips came through the TV show, Crime Stoppers and the department's tip line. She could not say immediately how valuable the tips will be toward capturing a suspect.
"Every tip was passed onto the investigators for follow-up," said Avery Mann, a show spokesman. "Clearly, this case is important to our South Florida viewers."
Gorenberg, 52, was killed in March and left at Gov. Lawton Chiles Memorial Park west of Delray Beach. About 40 minutes earlier, surveillance cameras caught her leaving Town Center at Boca Raton.
Bochicchio, 47, and her 7-year-old daughter were abducted in December after leaving the mall and were forced to withdraw $500 from an ATM. They were bound and covered with darkened sunglasses and goggles like the woman who escaped the August carjacking from the mall.
A shorter segment that aired last month on Bochicchio and her daughter brought in about 40 tips. Law enforcement officers say America's Most Wanted offers national exposure to the murders, which have rattled the city. Perhaps someone who visited the area or a seasonal resident might have information about the crimes, Palm Beach County Sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.
"The fact that John Walsh came down to our area and was willing to run these on national television is a good thing," she said. "This is an area where a lot of visitors come. The more publicity we get, we can keep it alive and catch these cold-blooded killers."
Walsh, in opening the episode, described the perpetrator as a "cunning, cold-blooded killer ... a monster who could be a serial killer."
Local agencies have not adopted that description, though the episode outlined similarities in the cases. Central was Town Center, where all three women were shopping before they were abducted.
Mall owner Simon Property Group last week put up posters of a new sketch of the suspect at all entrances at Town Center. It plans to blanket its malls in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties with the image and encourage other malls to display the posters.
"It's really all about catching this criminal," said Gary Bitner, a spokesman for Simon.
Patty Pensa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-243-6609.