As a word of warning, this may be the worst news you'll read all day. All year, for that matter.
47-year-old Jerome Isaac turned himself into the police today and admitted to a horrific crime: He burned 73-year-old Deloris Gillespie alive. The cold-blooded attack was captured on the building's painfully clear surveillance video, which shows Isaac attacking Gillespie in the elevator of her Prospect Heights apartment building.
According to The New York Times, Gillespie is seen holding grocery bags as she tries to exit the elevator on the fifth floor when Isaac blocks her way, "douses her methodically" with an accelerant and proceeds to set her ablaze with a barbecue lighter. He briefly exits the elevator and returns with a Molotov cocktail (a homemade bomb in a bottle), which he then flings at her, setting the entire elevator car on fire, and sending Gillespie to a gruesome death by being burned alive.
The motivation for the crime makes it all the more heinous. According to Gillespie’s nephew, who lived with her for the last six months, Isaac has been hired by his aunt to clean her apartment, but was fired because she believed he had stolen "a VCR and a large cake pan". Following his dismissal Isaac had harassed the older woman, placing an invoice on her door that said she owed him $300, which she did not respond to. Another relative, Dorinda Thomas, also claims Gillespie added several new locks on her door following the incident, and reported the man to the police.
“She knew that something was going to happen to her in that building,” Thomas said, adding yet another level of terror to the already twisted tale. Isaac has been charged with first-degree murder and arson, and thanks to his own confession and the chilling video of the attack, should receive the retribution he deserves.
[via NY Post and NYT]