Orsolya Gaal: Timeline of events leading up to brutal murder of NYC mother of two



The grisly murder of mother-of-two Orsolya Gaal has stunned residents of the Forest Hills, Queens, neighborhood where she lived.

Ms Gaal, 51, was stabbed 58 times in the basement of her home before her killer placed her body in a duffle bag and left her remains in a nearby park early on the morning of Saturday, 16 April.

Two days later, it emerged police had identified a person of interest in her killing.

Here is what we know about the events leading up to Ms Gaal’s death and the police investigation.

Good Friday, April 15: Ms Gaal is seen in the backyard of her Tudor-style Forest Hills home with her dog Teddy during the evening by neighbor John Blankson.

Sources told CBS New York that Ms Gaal attended a show at the Lincoln Center that evening with friends. Her youngest son Leo, 13, stayed at home.

Husband Howard Klein, 53, and eldest son Jamie, 17, were in Oregon reportedly looking at college options for when they graduated high school.

She later sat at a bar near her home for 40 minutes apparently waiting for someone to show up, before returning to her home alone sometime after midnight.

Police believe a man known to her who had access to her Juno St home showed up some time after that. He is believed to have entered via a backdoor, and there were no signs of forced entry. This person has been identified as a ‘person of interest’ in the case, unnamed police sources have said.

Ms Gaal is stabbed 58 times to her torso, neck, and arms, and suffering defensive wounds to her palm and fingers. The ferocity of the attack leads law enforcement to suspect that it was carried out by someone who knew her.

Surveillance footage shows a person dragging a duffle bag containing Ms Gaal’s body

(Supplied)

Saturday, April 16: At 4.30am, surveillance cameras on a doorbell on 75th Avenue captured a person wheeling a duffle bag down the street.

Police believe Ms Gaal’s killer stuffed her remains inside the bag and dumped it half a mile away from her home near the corners of Jackie Robinson Parkway and Metropolitan Avenue.

Just after 8am, dog-walker Glenn Van Nostrand, 51, stumbles across the bag after his two Rhodesian ridgebacks are drawn to the scent.

Mr Van Nostrand told The New York Post he looked inside and thought it might have been a mannequin at first. He quickly realized it was a body, and called 911 at 8.11am.

The victim doesn’t have any ID on her, and police trace a blood trail back to the family home.

They find Leo, 13, home alone on the top floor of the three storey home. He is led away in handcuffs for questioning at a local precinct, before being released later that day.

Mr Klein, who founded and runs a boutique finance firm, tells police that he receives a threatening text message from his wife’s mobile phone, warning him: “Your whole family is next”. The killer alludes to Ms Gaal having been responsible for sending him to prison.

Mr Klein travels back to New York from Portland, Oregon, with son Jamie, telling The Post: “Our lives are at risk”.

The family have not returned to the family home, which is being treated as a crime scene.

Police say Orsolya Gaal’s killer sent a threatening text message to her husband Howard Klein

(Facebook)

Sunday, April 17: Neighbors in the well-to-do Queens neighborhood express alarm at such a grayly crime being carried out in a family home.

Local resident Nick Bais tells The Post: “Everybody’s on edge because a killer is running around, who just butchered someone yards from our homes, and they are still at large.”

Police maintain a presence outside the Tudor-style home.

Tributes flow for Ms Gaal, a Hungarian native who is believed to have met Mr Klein when he worked as an investment banker in Budapest in the 1990s.

She is remembered as a doting mother, animal lover, and keen hiker and skier, who enjoyed traveling and attending live concerts.

Monday, 18 April: Police return to the home in the early afternoon, removing an iMac computer, and several bags of evidence.

Several media outlets report that the NYPD have identified a “person of interest” in the case. He is described as a male who was known to Ms Gaal and had access to her de ella Juno St de ella home de ella.

Police sources reveal that Ms Gaal was reported missing by her husband in May 2020.

The Post reported Mr Klein called 911 just after 7am to say his wife had not returned after going for a stroll at about 12.30am the night before.

He called back about 30 minutes later to say his wife had returned safely.

The medical examiner’s office confirmed Ms Gaal’s death was classified a homicide, due to “sharp force injuries of the neck.”

Tuesday, April 19: Police say the investigation into Ms Gaal’s death is ongoing. They are yet to name a suspect or make an arrest.


www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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