(Mew York Post) A Brooklyn fiend repaid the kindness of an elderly woman who hired him for odd jobs by first stealing from her — and then burning her alive when she fired him, police said yesterday.
“I hope he burns in hell!” the victim’s stricken daughter, Sheila Gillespie Hillsman, 49, fumed to pals on Facebook.
Accused sadistic killer Jerome “Jerry’’ Isaac, 47, was reeking of gasoline when he turned himself in to cops more than eight hours after the horrific torching of tragic 73--year-old churchgoer Delores Gillespie.
Cops said Isaac was furious that the postal clerk had refused to pay him for some of the work he’d done at her Prospect Heights apartment after she discovered he’d swiped her kitchenware and DVD player.
saac allegedly ambushed the terrified woman at 4:10 p.m. Saturday, standing in the fifth-floor hallway of her building as the elevator doors opened and she started to step off, returning from a trip to Key Foods with bags hanging from her wrists.
Isaac sprayed her with a flammable liquid, used a barbecue lighter to set her ablaze, tossed a Molotov cocktail at her and then sprayed her again for extra measure even though she was already engulfed in flames, screaming in agony, police said.
The madman then fled — first to his nearby apartment at 315 Lincoln Place that he shared with his brother in the gentrifying neighborhood to also try to set it ablaze, police said. He managed to only damage the door frame.
The perp ran next to the rooftop of 571 Lincoln Place, where he hid, thinking he’d been burned — even though he wasn’t — and terrified that he would be easily identified if he was spotted on the street, police said.
He fell asleep on the roof, and when he woke up, Isaac went on the run again, wandering around before finally turning himself in at 12:30 a.m. at Transit District 32, about two miles away in Crown Heights, officials said.
Some of the items he had allegedly used to set ablaze Gillespie were recovered on the Lincoln Place rooftop, authorities said.
“I set the fire in the hallway, and I set the fire in the elevator,” the suspect sniveled to cops after surrendering — although he refused to admit he had also burned Gillespie, police told The Post.
He was charged with first-degree murder and arson.
The victim’s grief-stricken son, Maurice Gillespie, 37, said his trusting mother “just met [Isaac] one day and said he was an honest guy” and hired him.
Her nephew, Rick Causey, 52, who lived with the mother and son, added, “She trusted him” and even gave him a key to the apartment.
But the son said his mom realized that Isaac was a thief at some point earlier this year because she’d be on the street and found herself having to “[buy] her stuff back.”
“He was doing more stealing than cleaning,’’ Causey noted.
After learning of Isaac’s thievery, Gillespie refused to pay him for at least some of his work. A furious Isaac then left a note on the family’s door last summer with a list of chores for which he was demanding payment, relatives said.
Not getting any satisfaction, he began a campaign of terror against Gillespie, kin said.
He was harassing her, chasing her down the street and cursing at her,” Maurice said, adding he’d seen Isaac hanging around across the street from his mother’s apartment at 203 Underhill Ave. three days ago.
Neighbor Dorinda Thomas, 56, said Gillespie was “desperately afraid” of the suspect.
“She knew that something was going to happen to her in that building,” Thomas said. “Everyone knew this.”
Still, cops said Gillespie never filed an official complaint again Isaac, who claimed that she owed him $2,100 for work he’d supposedly done.
But Maurice’s girlfriend, Linda Moses, noted bitterly, “She was just trying to help [Isaac] out, and here we are, for being kind.”
Gillespie, who worked at the General Post Office in East New York, and Isaac were never romantically involved, relatives and cops said.
The suspect’s chilling attack on his victim was caught on video tape and showed him allegedly wearing gloves and a dust mask pulled up on top of his head when he pounced, police said.
His spraying of Gillespie was methodical, ensuring that the beloved Gillespie, known as a local activist who helped the homeless and spoke out passionately against crime in her neighborhood, was covered head to toe in the flammable liquid, police said.
“She’s cowering, trying to protect her face with her hands,’’ said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne, describing footage of Gillespie’s final moments.
Isaac made statements incriminating himself when he was under questioning, sources said.
“He was giving some of this stuff up,” a source said
One police source called the scene as nothing less than “torture.’’
Neighbors said the accused maniac, who had no prior arrests, was known locally as a loner.
“He’s always out riding his bike. He collects empty cans and bottles Sometime, he’ll have a big bag of them . . . He was never friendly. I’ve never seen him talking to anyone,” said Isaac’s neighbor, Eric Charles, 42.
“When I came home I saw all the police. One told me what he did in the elevator and said he did something here too. It’s crazy.”
Causey, Gillespie’s nephew, blamed himself partly for the tragedy, saying he usually walked the victim to and from the street when she went shopping.
“I should have been there,” he said.
Causey said he was watching TV when he heard a commotion and looked into the hallway but that cops and firemen forced him back into the apartment.
He said cops questioned him at the 77th Precinct station house until 9 p.m. Saturday before letting him go.
Neighbors described Gillespie as a “wonderful” person who always looked out for her neighbors and community.
“Everybody in the neighborhood would tell you, anything she had in her house she’d give you,” said Thomas, 56, adding that Gillespie was her nephew’s godmother.
“She was a wonderful lady, you understand.”
Margie Grooms, 67, who lives on the block, said Gillespie was a “community activist.”
Another neighbor who would only say her name was Rose, said Gillespie “was a lady who looked out for everybody. Whoever did this had no heart.”
This Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011 surveillance photo provided by the New York Police Department shows a suspect wanted in connection with a homicide, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A woman burned to death in the elevator of her Brooklyn apartment building Saturday afternoon after a man ambushed her, sprayed her with liquid and set her afire with a Molotov cocktail, police said.
Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/hellevator_sicko_in_cuffs_SV6i7gRnRn4TSNKaVlgbwJ#ixzz1h2NKr2Rd
In: Regional News
Tags: man, burns, woman, alive, elevator, brooklyn, confesses, murder
Location: New York, New York, United States (load item map)
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