PA - Ellen Greenberg, 27, Philadelphia teacher’s brutal stabbing has experts at odds, 26 Jan 2011

Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by wawashortie, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. wawashortie

    wawashortie Member

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    Link to Philadelphia Inquirer 2019 article:

    A Philly teacher’s brutal stabbing has experts at odds: Was it a suicide or homicide?

    On January 26, 2011, Ellen Greenberg, 27, was engaged to Samuel Goldberg, 28, when he found her dead in the apartment they shared in Philadelphia’s Manayunk section.

    The Medical Examiner’s report states that Ellen was stabbed 20 times—10 of the stab wounds were to the back of her neck. It also details 11 bruises found on the right side of her body on the arms, abdomen and legs.

    The Medical Examiner’s office ruled that the manner of death was a homicide. A few weeks later the police department determined that there was no foul play and in a rare event on March 7, 2011, the Medical Examiner’s office changed it’s ruling from homicide to suicide. The case was closed by the Philly PD, with the final ruling listed as suicide.

    For the past 8 years, Ellen’s parents have tried to get answers- what really happened to Ellen?

    Well known forensic pathologist, Dr. Cyril H. Whect, reviewed the autopsy report, photos of her body from the autopsy, photos of her body from the crime scene, and the ME’s investigation report from the scene. The 2012 report was labeled “strongly suspicious of homicide” and Dr. Whect said “I don’t understand how they wrote this off as a suicide.” The PD refused to release their files for Dr. Wecht’s review.

    Ellen’s parents are hoping that her case will be reopened and a thorough investigation completed so that they finally get answers regarding their daughter’s Death.

    At the end of the Philadelphia Inquirer article there is a link to the autopsy, experts reports and other documents.

    Ellen’s family has also started a Facebook page “Justice for Ellen.”
     


  2. wawashortie

    wawashortie Member

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  3. cherrymeg

    cherrymeg Well-Known Member

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    I could be wrong but this doesn't seem like suicide.
     
  4. megaCB

    megaCB Member

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    Wow, this case is wild. Stabbing sure doesn't seem like a "painless suicide" method, but if she had that search term on her computer and had been experiencing extreme depression and anxiety, combined with the zero defensive wounds, nothing heard by neighbors, locked from the inside apartment... maybe that's the case?
     
  5. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    That is really strange. Not sure what to think.
     
  6. AzPistonsGirl

    AzPistonsGirl Detroit to the Bone

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    there was blood on the bottom of one of her boots... and the horizontal blood stream from her nose isn't really explained.
     
  7. CoreyRocks

    CoreyRocks Well-Known Member

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    Once the Save the Date cards were sent did the groom chichen out?

    Seems fishy to me.

    Anyone could have Googled painless suicide on her computer. Stabbing isn't painless. I think it was staged to look like a suicide.

    When I die and THEY search my computer, please tell THEM I research crime and belong to WS. Just saying.
     
  8. wawashortie

    wawashortie Member

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    I agree. I think the save the date cards sent one of them over the edge. Initially, I really thought Ellen committed suicide but after reading comments on the site where the article was published, I think she was murdered by her fiancé (if these comments were true).

    I read that he called his uncle, who is described as being well-connected in Philly (high profile Philly lawyer) and that this man was one of the first people on the scene.

    The investigation was treated 100% as a suicide right out of the gate. Fiancé was intervied but was not treated as a suspect. I also read that he had a “new girl” living in the same apartment that Ellen died in within 6 months.

    But what really eats away at me is that she had 11 bruises on the right side of her body. It does not sound like Philly will reopen the case, but I’m hoping that someone gets a chance to do so.
     
  9. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Multiple stab wounds is not painless suicide. I find it hard to understand why it was treated as suicide because it seems like a very unusual method to commit suicide. And how do you stab yourself multiple times in the back? If she was googling painless suicide, I don't think she would have killed herself through multiple stab wounds. I googled painless suicide for research purposes on this case and there was no suggestions that multiple stab wounds is the way to commit painless suicide.
    That's certainly not painless. It's a very strange case to say the least. But even assuming she was suicidal, a suicidal person can still be murdered. The door was locked from the inside but apparently those bar locks could be manipulated from the outside. So somebody could have killed her then manipulated the lock.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  10. jjenny

    jjenny Well-Known Member

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    I don't know of many suicides where victim stabbed herself multiple times to death. So even staging this as a suicide is strange. Why would somebody stage it that way?
     
  11. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    No doubt this is a bizarre case! I'm still leaning toward a suicide, but do think more investigation needs to be done.
     
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  12. wawashortie

    wawashortie Member

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  13. Blondie in Spokane

    Blondie in Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I believe she was murdered.
     
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  14. Jsizzle

    Jsizzle Active Member

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    This story is crazy. My husbands co-worker went to school with this girl. I think she was murdered.
     
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  15. fusion28

    fusion28 New Member

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    This was a big fubar. The body had been moved. No reports on evidence taken in by police. It has been proven that you can lock that specific lock from the outside. Her fiance is the only person who said that the inside lock was locked. He's the only one that entered the apartment right away and was alone until police showed up. I worked in EMS for 9 years; I have NEVER seen a female suicide stab or shoot themselves. It is always said that "women want a pretty corpse, men want to create a mess". Also, there's no way that she would stab herself 20 times with her mental state and psychiatric history.
     
  16. wawashortie

    wawashortie Member

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    Filly, cherrymeg, wyome and 4 others like this.
  17. borndem

    borndem Anglophile & registered demwit

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    Thanks for the info, especially with your EMS background -- fubar is right.

    The part about 10 stab wounds in the back of her neck -- how did she manage that? Maybe one stab -- still IMO not likely -- but 10 stabs? Nope. I could easily see someone else stabbing her there when she turned her back to him/her. Put one hand over her mouth and stab her in the back of her neck. That would disable her from the get-go, and the rest would have been easier and quicker, seems to me.
    I would also think that if it were suicide she possibly may have thought about a friend or relative being the first non-LE/EMS person to see her? Would she want them to see her in a pool of blood and all hacked-up?
    And this:

    Welcome to Websleuths,
    fusion28 !!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  18. wyome

    wyome Well-Known Member

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    I think the Dr. Oz special on this case aired today? I was unable to watch and forgot to tape. Anyone able to watch this episode and care to share some insights?
     
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  19. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    Ditto- please and thank you!
     
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  20. wyome

    wyome Well-Known Member

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    The Fight for Justice for Ellen Greenberg

    I couldn't locate the entire episode, but this gives several 2-3 minute segments that give a pretty good glimpse into an FBI profiler opinion, Dr. Oz's medical opinion, and parental interview/input.

    The one thing Dr. Oz does point out is that she was prescribed anti-depressants (they were named in segment, can't recall) but they weren't found in her system, so he brings up the possibility of self violence because of cold turkey withdraw from these drugs.

    Parents discuss the fact that psychiatrist she was seeing said she was not suicidal and improving. She sought dr. for anxiety, and there was apparently no depression noted according to parents (which has me confused about the scripts written for anti-depressants, although I do understand some drugs are prescribed "in combination" for best result and low doses of anti-depression drugs also help with other issues as well).

    There was a quick look at inside lock on apartment door. It's that swing arm that's found in hotel rooms. Can't someone kick that over before closing a door all the way?

    FBI guy said she had bruises all over in various stages of healing. He noted the ones on her wrists and offered that she may have had no defensive wounds due to being restrained during the attack.

    One wound on her head was apparently not made by the knife at the scene, yet another weapon was not recovered.

    There's more than this; this is only what I recall after watching it quickly once.

    A lot of stuff to ponder. Of course we don't have a lot of information because everything is closed and sealed because this is considered a suicide. Super weird.

    ETA: The FBI guy surmised someone was inside the apartment lying in wait. Which is an interesting theory. But MSM says police treated this as a suicide almost from minute one, so there will never be a contained scene with evidence to help substantiate this possibility.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019 at 6:27 PM

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