THIS BLOG IS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER – UPDATES ARE AT THE BOTTOM
It is April 17, 2022 USA time as I write this blog. We have just learned that Orsolya Gaal, a 51 year old woman from Queens, NY has been found dead stuffed in a bag in a park near her home.
Orsolya was married to a man named Howard Klein and they had two teenage sons together – aged 13 and 17. I have seen comments that the boys names are Jamie and Leo. I believe Jamie is 17 and Leo is 13.
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I can’t find anything careerwise yet for Orsolya – I think she may have been raising the kids. I found a quote from a neighbor that said she was a “stay-at-home mum. She spent a lot of time with the kids.”
I believe they had been living there since 2012.
There is some weird reporting that says the couple’s oldest son was previously reported missing in 2004. This would have meant he was a baby? Unless there is another older son that hasn’t been mentioned.
And in a weird twist, Howard reported Orsolya missing on May 29, 2020. I cannot find anything about the circumstances of this, except that he told police she had been found safe.
For some reason, there seems to be a lot of misinformation in this case and many varying reports.
What we know for sure is that Orsolya was seen alive in her backyard by her neighbors on Friday, April 15. Orsolya shared a common backyard with neighbors. “I saw her [Friday] in her backyard,” said John Blankson.
“[Saturday] morning, we were like, ‘Why can’t we hear the dog this morning?’ It’s super shocking,” he said.
“They were a normal family,” he added.
Howard and the eldest son were apparently out of state at the time. Howard posted a tweet that has now been deleted and said they had arrived in Portland, Oregon and were planning to also visit Ann Abor, Michigan.
“Just landed Portland, OR before evaluating Ann Arbor again with my 17-year old son,” the tweet read, according to the Daily News.
So, it seems like they were visiting colleges? Is Easter weekend weird timing to do this? No idea.
John also spoke about how Howard had covid recently and an event was cancelled. “We were going to go to the son’s bar mitzvah a few weeks ago but the father got covid so the bar mitzvah was canceled. “
Pix11 is reporting that Orsolya told her youngest son that she was going to see a show on Friday night. That was apparently a lie and she met a man to go on a date with.
“We’re pulling video and receipts from those places,” the source said.
“She knew the people she was out with,’’ the source added of the victim. “We’re talking to them. We also have to figure out, did she meet some mysterious stranger along the way?
Either way, we know she did go out somewhere and she returned home between 11pm and 12am.
At 4.30am, a figure can be seen wheeling the bag that we now know contained Orsolya’s body down the street, in plain view of houses.
At 8.10am on Saturday April 16, a dog walker noticed blood coming from a duffel bag that was laying on the ground near the corner of Metropolitan Avenue and Forest Park Drive. I believe this location is under a mile away from the family home on Juno Street.
That person called 911 and police arrived quickly. They opened the bag and found Orsolya’s body – she had not been dismembered but had been shoved in there.
The person who found Orsolya is Glenn Van Nostrand. This info is taken from news.com.au.
At first, Van Nostrand thought the wheeled duffel bag had simply been discarded.
But his two Rhodesian ridgebacks, Philip and Iris, got so agitated as they neared it that he decided to look inside.
“They are scent hounds,” Van Nostrand told The Post. “They see the world through their noses.”
“But to me it looked a mannequin,” he said. “It didn’t look very fleshy. It was more like a crash test dummy. I thought it was maybe some equipment being used for something. I didn’t think anything of it.”
Then, Van Nostrand said, he saw black, ankle-length jeans, a belt and a woman’s waist. He didn’t see the blood on the other side of the bag until after he had opened it, he said. The body was in the foetal position, he said, adding that the bag had wheels.
Once detectives arrived, Van Nostrand dropped his dogs off at home before going down to the precinct to give a full report. But while he was trying to walk home, his dogs had other ideas.
“They kept pulling me,” he said.
The dogs led him to a spot about 91 metres from where the body in the bag was found, on Metropolitan Avenue near the Jackie Robinson Parkway, where patches of apparently fresh blood were found.
“Some of the cops followed me and the dogs to it,” he added.‘
Many articles are reporting that there was actually a trail of blood leading from the bag, all the way back to Orsolya’s house on Juno Street. I think the trail is what Van Nostrand referred to.
Police quickly made their way back there, where they found the 13 year old son alone. He was apparently found on the upper floor of the property and told police that he did not know where his mother was.
“He stated he lives at the location but does not know where she is,’’ cops said in a statement.
The boy was handcuffed and taken into custody to be interviewed and later released.
Around this time, there were articles with headlines like:
Howard apparently spoke to news agencies that contacted him. He told The Post he was “in the middle of a terrible experience”.
“[My son] Leo is safe. Thank God [my son] is safe,” he said Saturday of his younger child, before adding that his family’s “lives are at stake”
He apparently evaded questions about his younger son being questioned and said: “There are concerns about our safety,” the man claimed. “Our lives are at risk.”
In another weird twist, later on Saturday, just hours after the articles were published about the husband and son being persons of interest, more articles were released saying they had been cleared.
The media was originally told the woman’s husband and son were potential suspects in the case, but now sources say police no longer consider them persons of interest.
Dr. Carl Adler told CBS2’s Leah Mishkin that Gaal and her husband were his patients.
“They cared about each other,” Adler said.
A friend of Orsolya’s spoke to CBS and gave another account of what happened on the Friday night and also spoke more about her personality.
She said Gaal loved the theater, ballet, traveling and concerts, adding she was out on Friday with a mutual female friend and returned home at around 11 p.m.
Detectives have found no sign of a break-in at the house. They believe the suspect knew his victim and stabbed her out of anger, a source said.
Sources told CBS2 the suspected cause of death was blunt force trauma.
Orsolya’s neighbors and friends have spoken out about their loss:
“She was a very happy woman, always smiling, always joking. She loved life,” one person said.
“What a tragedy for everybody involved,” said neighbor John Blankson. “I think everyone is trying to piece together what’s happened, how did this happen, why did this happen. This is unimaginable by anyone’s standards.”
“You keep reliving the sequence of events. It’s actually quite strange. The more goes on, the gravity of the situation just keeps making it worse,” Blankson said.
“We’re very sad, and we can’t believe … something like this could happen on your block,” one neighbor told PIX11 News.
Orsolya sustained about 60 sharp force injuries to her neck, torso and left arm, according to the sources with knowledge of her autopsy.
Puncture wounds were discovered on her carotid artery and trachea, the sources said.
She was also discovered with knife wounds inside her fingers and on the palms of her hands, according to the sources.
It did not immediately appear that Gaal suffered any sexual trauma, the sources said.
After she was murdered, police believe the killer used her phone to text her husband and say ‘your whole family is next’.
PIX11 cites sources who say the killer also told Howard: ‘Your wife sent me to jail some years ago. I’m back’.
You can see a clip of the suspect walking, dragging Orsolya’s body here:
This photo of Orsolya’s body in the bag has been leaked online.
We are now at April 19. There have still been no arrests or persons of interest named in this case.
What we learned on this day:
The bag that Orsolya was stuffed in is a black Bauer hockey bag.
Police believe that Orsolya knew her killer because there were no signs of a break-in, and considering the violent nature of the crime, they suspect the attack was personal and fueled by anger specifically toward her. Stabbing someone 60 times seems very personal.
“[Detectives] don’t think it was a planned murder,” a law-enforcement source said.
“He left a blood trail for five blocks from the house,” the source said.
“It was like a trail of bread crumbs.
If you want to kill somebody, you try to make it a little cleaner, be a little more prepared. He didn’t go with something to move her body. He took something from the house,” the source said.
The NYC police have offered a $3,500 reward for information in this case.
Posters have been put up around the crime scene area saying:
“On Saturday, April 16th, 2022, at approximately 12:40am… An unknown perpetrator stabbed a 51-year-old Orsolya Gaal multiple times causing her death. The victim was found inside a duffel bag along Metropolitan Avenue in Queens,”
This seems very weird?
“I’m very startled,” said Jack, 30, adding that he was frequently at the family’s home to do electrical work, as well as some power-washing and painting.
“I know her very well. Her husband’s very nice. Her two sons… are very nice as well. … It’s very sad.”
Jack called Gaal “very beautiful” and said that as far as he could tell, the family didn’t have any issues.
“She’s a very happy, jolly person all the time. … I see her all the time jogging,” Jack said.
More specific details about Orsolya’s movements on the night she was killed were also made public. She apparently went to see a show at the Lincoln Center with friends. When she got back to her neighborhood, she went to a bar. She sat there alone for about 40 minutes, as if she was waiting for someone. When nobody else showed up, she left.
Online sleuths also unearthed a Facebook post that Orsolya wrote a few months before her death, about wanting to purchase pepper spray.
“Given the recent attack on a woman in Forest Park and the general uptick of crime and seedy characters in the neighborhood, I sought info here to get mace / pepper spray for my runs in the park,” the post states.
“Be safe out there!” she wrote.
WABC reported that police have identified a person of interest—a man who had access to her home in Forest Hills. One headline said:
Ex-handyman lover, who knew of spare key, sought by cops in NYC mom Orsolya Gaal’s slaying: sources
It’s unclear when the relationship began and ended, but according to sources familiar with the case, the man knew where the family kept a spare key at their well-kept Forest Hills tudor and would have been able to access the home without breaking in.
We also learned that police have also apparently not seen the threatening texts that Howard received.
This quote is from CBS: ‘Her husband told cops he got threatening text messages over the weekend, “sources close to the case” said, according to CBS News. High-ranking authorities reportedly have not seen those texts for themselves.
NYPD spokesperson Officer Cannon told Law&Crime that she cannot confirm the texts. That is part of the ongoing investigation, she said.
Officer Cannon also apparently told Law and Crime on the 19th that there was no person of interest in the case.
We are now at April 20.
“Same thing every time, one Moscow mule. She was delightful lady to talk to, real classy,” said Gabriel Veras, the bar manager at Forest Hills Station House.
Veras says Orsolya was at the bar the Friday night of her murder, around 11:45 to 12:30 p.m.
“She was here alone, business as usual, Moscow mule, bite to eat, talked with some staff,” Veras said. “She was friendly. And when she left alone, it didn’t seem like anything was out of the ordinary or unusual.”
Google maps says the bar is 0.6 miles from her house. Around a 10 min walk.
The electrician Arrjuna Jack has been talking to the media again and has said that Orsolya’s home was outfitted with an extensive security system.
So, just when things seemed like they were totally out of control in this case, a very unexpected event occurred on April 21.
David is a 44 year old man and he had been a handyman for Orsolya and her family. Police have now said that they had been having an on again/off again relationship for years. They apparently rekindled their relationship this past April.
Police believe Orsolya was murdered after the two had an argument on Friday night/Saturday morning.
“We believe the relationship Mr. Bonola had with our victim was an intimate-type relationship,” said a homicide detective. He said the “heated” argument began over “domestic” issues between the two.
“They had been off and on, and they had broken up prior — but had reunited early in the month of April; their relationship was considered at an end,” a different NYPD official added.
It is thought that David did send the texts to Howard, in an effort to deflect attention away from him. But then he left his bloody boots at the scene? Not the sharpest tool in the shed it seems.
The NYPD said Thursday morning that authorities have also collected David’s jacket, t-shirt, and bloody bandages as evidence. David was taken to hospital for treatment for wounds on his hands before he was arrested.
Orsolya and David were Facebook friends. There are some public interactions between the two. “Tu mirada enamorada,” – David wrote that to Orsolya in 2020. The Spanish line may have been a reference to a 1999 song; it roughly translates to English as follows: “your look in love.”
Orsolya “liked” the comment. David’s profile loved” it.
David has been charged with murder, criminal tampering and criminal possession of a weapon.
“F–k you, mother f–kers!” Bonola, sporting a white Tyvek suit, screamed before he was shoved into a waiting police car.
“I just want to assure the public and especially the residents of Forest Hills, that there are no outstanding suspects at this time,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said.