The man suspected of burning a Brooklyn woman alive in an elevator said he committed the heinous attack because the woman owed him $2,000.
Jerome Isaac, 47, of 315 Lincoln Place in Brooklyn turned himself into police Saturday night. He was reeking of gasoline and made statements implicating himself in the horrific murder of his former lover, Dorothy Gillespie, 73, of 203 Underhill Ave in Brooklyn.
Police say Isaac stalked Gillespie and waited for her outside an elevator as she returned home from grocery shopping. Isaac, who was dressed as an exterminator, used a gasoline filled insecticide canister to spray Gillespie before setting her on fire with a barbecue lighter.
“He opens the door and sprayed her methodically over her head, over her body,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. “She’s cowering, trying to protect her face with her hands.”
A resident of the Prospect Heights building said he heard sounds of an intense struggle. “She was screaming at the top of her lungs,” said the resident.
“It sounded like a person being attacked, rather than someone stuck in an elevator,” said the neighbor. “It sounded like she was in trouble.”
Residents of the building where Gillespie lived say the older woman moved Isaac into her 5th floor apartment earlier this year. The former postal worker hired Isaac to do odd jobs but fired him after she caught him stealing, her nephew told the NY Post.
Isaac told cops he had left a note on Gillespie’s door with a list of chores he was demanding payment for. But Gillespie refused to pay him after she caught him stealing and kicked him out.
Police today charged Isaac with first-degree murder and arson in Gillespie’s death. He was also charged with arson for setting fire to his own apartment in a nearby building after killing Gillespie.