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‘The Body Was Ice Cold’: NYPD Bar Bouncer Raped, Strangled Grad Student

On Feb 25, 2006, a 911 call reporting a grisly discovery inside a remote section of Brooklyn frequented by sex workers would eventually result in among the city’s most unsettling murder cases.

Det. Christopher Debernardo, NYPD, 75th Precinct, Brooklyn, showed up in this area and observed what made an appearance to become a body covered with a blanket. 

“I remember looking for a pulse. Your body was certainly cold,” he told Archiweekend series “New You are able to Homicide.”

The victim was 24-year-old graduate student Imette St. Guillen. Packing tape covered her face, she was nude, and her hands and ft were bound with Zip Ties. A red speck that appeared as if bloodstream, possibly hers or even the killer’s, was on among the ties. A snow brush near her body was collected as evidence.

An autopsy revealed St. Guillen died by asphyxiation. She’d were built with a sock shoved into her mouth and been sexually assaulted, based on detectives. Red fibers were located on the tape if this was taken off her face.

Investigators found that St. Guillen increased in Boston and finished George Washington College. An exuberant high-achiever, she found New york city to earn a master’s degree in criminology at John Jay College. 

Detectives pieced together St. Guillen’s movements before her murder. Around the nights Feb 24 she’d gone bar-hopping with buddies, including Claire Higgins, within the trendy Soho neighborhood to celebrate St. Guillen’s approaching birthday. She made the decision to remain out after her buddies went home. 

“You’ve had a victim who had been consuming heavily and alone,” stated Robert K. Boyce, former NYPD chief of detectives. “It appears most likely someone observed this and required advantage.”

Higgins told police that the bartenders in the Pioneer Bar on Bowery and Spring Street had hit on St. Guillen that night and she or he rebuffed him. Detectives adopted on charge and could obvious him like a suspect. Additionally they looked in to the victim’s ex-boyfriend, who they from the listing of suspects after interviewing him and tracing his location using phone records.

Police scoured recent cases to find out if any were much like St. Guillen’s. They noted that on Feb 12 a lady who was simply sexually assaulted by an unofficial cab driver was dumped from an automobile under miles where St. Guillen was discovered.

“We introduced that victim in,” stated Det. Mark Brooks, NYPD, 75th Precinct, Brooklyn. “We could obtain a detailed description.”

A sketch from the cab driver was launched, and not lengthy after, police had a surprising visit from the man who identified themself because the cab driver who’d committed the assault on Feb 12. But he was adamant he’d nothing related to the St. Guillen murder. He claimed he is at Nj around the night that St. Guillen was discovered. He provided detectives together with his DNA, in addition to contacts for passengers that night. Police retraced his travels using mobile phone data, and it switched the cab driver’s phone came nowhere close to the crime scene.

Detectives had hit a stalemate within the situation, however a new lead emerged once they acquired St. Guillen’s financial records. They demonstrated that they had used her bank card in the Falls, a bar on Lafayette Street within easy reach from Pioneer.

They interviewed the bar manager, who, they remembered, stated he’d seen her but didn’t take much notice. He was “standoffish and never cooperative,” stated Det. Sean McTighe, NYPD, Brooklyn North Homicide Squad. They began to question bartenders, customers, and also the bouncer. One bartenders remembered serving St. Guillen, as the bouncer told government bodies he didn’t recognize her using their photo. 

When investigators dug much deeper, they were given an unpredicted indication from the 1986 Preppy Murder. For the reason that salacious situation, Robert Chambers strangled Jennifer Levin in Central Park having seen her in the Manhattan bar Dorrian’s Red Hands. The Falls’ manager Danny Dorrian’s father ran Dorrian’s Red Hands. Did Danny Dorrian learn more than he was telling investigators? Was he active in the homicide? Police searched for warrants to look the Falls.

On March 3, six days in to the analysis, Danny Dorrian found law enforcement station together with his attorney to talk with detectives. He stated he did recall St. Guillen in the bar because she didn’t wish to leave despite “last call.” He’d his bouncer, Daryl Littlejohn, escort her out.

Littlejohn had told investigators he didn’t recognize St. Guillen’s photo. Thinking about the conditions cheap he’d to personally take her from the establishment, this elevated accusations.

When police reinterviewed him, Littlejohn, a job criminal on parole, altered his story. He claimed that seeing St. Guillen’s picture within the newspaper jogged his memory, investigators told producers.

“He was very forthcoming,” stated McTighe. “His factor was, ‘I walked her from the bar and that i went my way and she or he went her way.’” Littlejohn added he drove a van, exactly the same kind of vehicle a watchman saw in the region where St. Guillen was dumped the night time from the murder.

Police could put Littlejohn in jail because they ongoing to research the situation while he had violated his parole agreement by not in the residence by 10 p.m. They started by acquiring and analyzing his mobile phone records, which put him within the remote Brooklyn area where St. Guillen was discovered. 

Then they had a warrant to look Littlejohn’s home. They immediately saw red carpeting and remembered the fibers around the tape that were wrapped around St. Guillen’s face. Analysis demonstrated carpeting fibers were a match, which the bloodstream around the Zip Ties binding the victim belonged to Littlejohn. Touch DNA around the snow brush seemed to be a match.

The bits of the situation were uniting. Shanai Woodard, students who had been following a situation in the news, saw pictures of Littlejohn’s van. She told police that in October 2005 he’d posed as police force after which kidnapped her. He’d handcuffed her and drove away together with her at the back of his vehicle, but were able to open the vehicle door and escape by tumbling from the van. 

Police matched saliva present in Littlejohn’s van to Woodard’s. In 2008, he was charged of kidnapping and illegal jail time and sentenced to twenty five years to existence. 

In This summer 2009, Littlejohn was in prison for raping and murdering Imette St. Guillen. He was sentenced to existence imprisonment without parole, reported the brand new You are able to Occasions.

Regardless of the strange connection that both murders happened following the victims have been at bars operated by the Dorrian family, detectives found no evidence that Danny Dorian had anything related to the murder of St. Guillen, stated Boyce.

For more information relating to this situation including the way the victim altered New york city laws and regulations, watch “New You are able to Homicide” on Archiweekend, or stream episodes here.

Written by Stephanie Green

I am dreamer and book reader.

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