THE killer responsible for the brutal murder of a mom whose body was found stuffed inside a duffel bag made several “unusual” decisions that will likely lead to their capture, a former cop says.
Orsolya Gaal, 51, was stabbed to death in the early hours of Saturday morning in the basement of her $ 2 million home in Queens, New York, after returning from a night out.
The married mother-of-two, who originally hails from Hungary, was stabbed nearly 60 times, suffering dozens of wounds to her neck, torso, and left arm.
Investigators also found possible defensive wounds on her hands and the insides of her fingers, suggesting she attempted to fend off her attacker before she was killed.
The nature of her injuries, and the fact there was no sign of forced entry inside Gaal’s home, has led police to believe she was murdered by someone she knew and who was familiar with the property.
Her husband Howard Klein was out of town visiting prospective colleges with their eldest son at the time of her death. Their youngest son, 13, was home but believed to be in his room on the top floor. He was questioned by police and later released.
Gaal’s body was found inside a black Bauer hockey bag on a sidewalk around a half-mile away on Saturday morning after police responded to a 911 call about a suspicious bag with blood on it at 8am.
A surveillance camera from a nearby home captured her hooded killer wheeling the bag down the street at 4.30am, leaving behind a trail of blood that police later followed back to Gaal’s home.
While the killer’s face is not visible in the footage, Robert Boyce, a thirty-five-year veteran of the NYPD, told The US Sun the chilling clip may include several key details that could help cops unmask the culprit.
“One thing investigators will be able to do from the video is identify whether the killer has an abnormal or unique gait,” Boyce said, referring to the way somebody walks and moves.
“If they have a limp or anything like that, then they may be easily identifiable to police … these distinctive features become more clear each time you watch it.”
Boyce said he was involved in a case a few years ago in which a hooded gunman who shot someone dead during a botched robbery at a pizza shop was identified by his walk in a surveillance clip.
“There was footage of the shooter walking away … You could not see his face but he had a distinctive limp,” Boyce recounted.
“We put the clip out and received a call from a woman who said, ‘that’s my husband’ … turned out it was her husband. He’d severed a toe in a construction accident a few years earlier.”
In the case of Gaal, Boyce said the suspect appears to take “long strides” and “seems panicked.”
“That’s over 100 pounds he’s pulling behind him, yet he does it so quickly,” he added.
“He [also] seems to be carrying a bag in front of him. “
Boyce said the killer’s decision to remove Gaal’s body from the home was “unusual” and signals the culprit may have panicked in the immediate aftermath of the slaying.
The vicious nature of Gaal’s injuries, the former Chief of Detectives says, suggests the killer knew Gaal and murdered her in a fit of “rage.”
“There are two particularly unusual things in this case,” Boyce said, “and the first is that they removed the body from the home.
“That to me suggests they panicked because that’s a very risky thing to do.”
Boyce said it “does not make sense” to him that the killer would opt to place her body in a bag and physically wheel it from the crime scene, instead of putting it into a car and driving away, “particularly when it’s leaking huge amounts of blood. “
“Also, at that time of night, who is up?” he asked. “Being spotting pulling that bag behind you you’re running a high risk of being stopped by police.
“I’d have stopped them, that’s for sure.
“The second unusual thing about this case is this murder happened in an affluent, low crime area,” the veteran cop added. “With affluent areas, surveillance cameras are common meaning you’re more likely to be spotted.”
Boyce theorized the killer likely decided to remove the body from the basement of 72-24 Juno Street after learning Gaal’s youngest son was upstairs and they did not want him to find it.
The place where Gaal’s remains were ultimately disposed of – in the middle of a sidewalk in a residential stretch of Forest Hills – suggests the killer may have been “spooked” by someone or something, such as an early morning dog walker or the sound of an approaching car, he said.
THREE ‘PEOPLE OF INTEREST’ IDENTIFIED
Three people of interest have been identified by police in relation to Gaal’s death, NYPD sources confirmed to The US Sun. Each of their phone numbers were reportedly found on her cell phone.
A report by The New York Post on Tuesday suggested that one of the persons of interest had a past romantic relationship with Gaal.
It’s unclear when the relationship went sour, but sources told the outlet the man would have been familiar enough with the family’s home to know how to get in without breaking and entering.
On the night of her death, Gaal had been out with friends to see a show in Manhattan before returning to Queens around midnight where she was reportedly spotted sitting alone in a local bar for 40 minutes, appearing to be waiting for someone.
It’s currently unclear if the mom had ever met up with the person she appeared to have been waiting for.
Boyce said police will now be reviewing receipts, cellphone data, and surveillance footage to track her final movements.
Cellphone pings for the three people of interest in the case will also be analyzed by investigators to determine whether they were in or near the home at the time of her murder.
“[Gaal] was very active on social media, “Boyce said.” Investigators will be taking those numbers, connecting them to Facebook profiles, and triangulating them to the home to see if they were there when she was killed. “
Boyce added that if the killer had “half-a-brain cell” they’d likely have left their phone behind before carrying out the murder.
But the “panic element” in the case may mean the fatal stabbing was not premeditated and possibly instead the result of a spur-of-the-moment outburst of anger, he said.
ROCK-SOLID CASE NEEDED
Ultimately, Boyce said he believes the investigation into Gaal’s brutal killing will be a “forensic case.”
He believes police will bid their time, lining up all of their evidence before moving in on any potential suspect.
“The case will have to be rock-solid as the District Attorney will want a smoking gun,” he said. “And they’ll likely need to have a motive figured out too.
“But perpetrators always make mistakes, and, as I always say, it’s the police’s responsibility to turn these mistakes into evidence.”
It’s currently unclear what forensic evidence police have so far gathered in the case.
Investigators spent more than two days inside Gaal’s family home. The property remains an active crime scene.
Another piece of potentially key evidence came in the form of a text message after Gaal’s killer used her phone after the murder to message her husband.
“Your wife sent me to jail some years ago … I’m back,” the text read.
The author of the message also threatened to kill the entire family if he contacted the police.
No suspects have been identified in the case. Gaal’s youngest son was home, but investigators do not believe he had any involvement in the killing, according to reports.
Gaal’s husband has not yet returned a request for comment from The US Sun.
When reached by phone, friends of Gaal’s said they were unable to speak with the press under instructions from the NYPD.
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