Salvatore Perrone (1 Viewer)


Salvatore Perrone

Classification: Serial killer
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: 2012

‘Son of Sal’ accused serial killer Salvatore Perrone grins as he pleads not guilty to three Brooklyn shopkeeper slays

ccused serial killer Salvatore (Son of Sal) Perrone flashed a crazy grin Wednesday during his first court appearance in the murders of three Brooklyn shopkeepers.

The Staten Island man gave such an off-the-rails performance at his arraignment that the judge said he was either “disruptive, confused or bizarre.”

Perrone, who pleaded not guilty, started his tirade as the judge took the bench.

“I have not been given any access to the outside world,” he said. “Are we in the United States of America?”

Relatives of his first alleged victim, Mohammed Gebeli, 65, who was shot inside his Brooklyn store in July, were outraged by Perrone’s antics.

“I wanted to get my hands on him,” said Mourad (Moe) Gebeli, son of the slain shopkeeper.

Perrone, dressed in a bright orange jail jumper with his hands cuffed in front of him, repeatedly interrupted the arraignment with his rambling. His court-appointed attorney, William Martin, asked the court to order a psychiatric evaluation.

“I’m going to check off the box that says ‘disruptive, confused or bizarre’ behavior,” the judge agreed.

Perrone was initially nicknamed “John Doe Duffel Bag” after surveillance video caught him leaving the crime scenes toting a canvas bag.

The spree of violence began with Gebeli, who was shot inside his Bay Ridge store on July 6. Isaac Kadare, 59, was shot in the head inside his 99-cent store in Bensonhurst on Aug. 2. Rahmatollah Vahidipour, 78, was shot in his Flatbush boutique on Nov. 16.

Perrone appeared scattered during his interrogation, records show. He talked about a “Mr. B and Mr. C” in relation to the first two murders. He told detectives that he’d met Mr. B at a club and that Mr. B was with him the night of the first killing.

“Mr. B, he took he rifle out and shot Mike. Mr. B told Sal that he did a good job and went into his pocket and gave him $3,000,” wrote the detective transcribing the interrogation.

It was Mr. C, Perrone said, who shot Kadare inside the 99-cent store.

“Sal says that he and Mr. C are standing next to each other and Mr. C pulls the gun and shoots the man,” the detective noted. “Sal said he covered the victim’s faces because he felt bad for them.”

Asked why he shot Jewish men, Perrone said he’d been working with the “Palestinian section of the CIA.”

Perrone said he was promised $100,000 for the first two murders. He denied any role in the third.

The search for a suspect in the recent deaths of three Brooklyn shopkeepers ended on Wednesday with the arrest of a clothing dealer whom Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly described as a “serial killer” intent on finding more victims.
The arrest of the clothing dealer, Salvatore Perrone, 64, of Staten Island — who faces one count of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder and weapons charges — “saved lives,” Mr. Kelly said in a news conference at Police Headquarters. “We know that he went to other locations and asked questions,” the commissioner added, which “indicated that he may well be planning to come back.”

After days of searching for a man recorded on surveillance video and nicknamed John Doe Duffel Bag by the authorities, the police said they found Mr. Perrone when someone recognized him in a Bay Ridge pharmacy from images circulated in the news media. He went voluntarily with the police on Tuesday.

Detectives found what they called the murder weapon, a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle with a flashlight held to the barrel by duct tape and pink rubber bands, in a closet at the home of Mr. Perrone’s girlfriend in Brooklyn, Mr. Kelly said. Ballistics tests matched the gun to shell casings found at each of three murder scenes, he said.

The gun was found in a duffel bag — the same bag they said Mr. Perrone was seen holding on the video — along with a box of bullets and a kitchen knife that Mr. Kelly said had dried blood on it. He did not say whether the blood was from any of the victims’ bodies. He said Mr. Perrone’s girlfriend, whose name was not released, was not considered a suspect.

At the 67th Precinct station house in Flatbush on Wednesday, detectives questioned Mr. Perrone about the three killings, which date to July and have held Brooklyn merchants in a state of fear. Mr. Kelly said that after the rifle was found and during hours of questioning, Mr. Perrone “made statements implicating himself.”

Mr. Perrone, whom Mr. Kelly called “this serial killer,” was arraigned early Thursday morning in Brooklyn Criminal Court and was ordered held without bail. He wore a black sweatshirt and black pants.

Ken Jones, a lawyer who said he represented Mr. Perrone for the arraignment only, said that from his conversations with his client, “he does seem as though he could have some mental-health issues.”

“His affect is just a little different,” Mr. Jones said, adding that he had not spent enough time with his client to make a determination regarding his psychological state.

Responding to a reporter’s question, the lawyer said that Mr. Perrone had not expressed remorse.

Mr. Jones also said Mr. Perrone denied that he had killed anyone or had made incriminating statements to the authorities.

The first-degree murder count is a statutory charge available to prosecutors when three people are killed by the same person within two years. If convicted, Mr. Perrone would face life in prison.

Mr. Kelly said Mr. Perrone “had a minor criminal record” but did not elaborate. A spokesman for the Staten Island district attorney said Mr. Perrone had been convicted of drunken driving on at least one occasion more than a decade ago. Court records from Pennsylvania showed he had been arrested there in 2001 for charges that included harassment; that case was dropped by local prosecutors.

Like the three victims, Mr. Perrone worked in the retail industry. He was described as a kind of independent salesman, dropping in on shops around Brooklyn to peddle his wares. Mr. Kelly did not say whether Mr. Perrone had previous dealings with the men he was charged with killing, the most recent on Friday at a Flatbush Avenue women’s wear shop.

Each victim was an older man of Middle Eastern origin working alone in stores, the police said; none of the shops had video cameras. Mr. Kelly said Wednesday that Mr. Perrone had not been charged with bias crimes, and he declined to discuss a possible motive.

Robbery did not appear to be a motive, however — the most recent victim, Rahmatollah Vahidipour, 78, had $171 in his pockets when his body was found.

Mr. Perrone is divorced, and in recent years had been in “some difficulty” financially, Mr. Kelly said.

Shopkeepers in Brooklyn had been warned to stay alert since the summer, when two of the victims were killed at their stores in two months. Mohamed Gebeli, 65, died in his Bay Ridge clothing shop, Valentino Fashion, on July 6 from gunshot wounds to the neck. The police found Isaac Kadare, 59, dead on Aug. 2 in his 99-cent store in Bensonhurst, with a gunshot wound to the head and stab wounds to the neck.

In each killing, the bodies had been covered in clothing and other items from the shops to conceal them from passers-by, the police said.

Around Mr. Perrone’s home, on the corner of Clove Road and Beverly Avenue in the Silver Lake area of Staten Island, neighbors said he was known for his odd behavior and three-story, partially constructed house.

“He’s a weird duck,” said John O’Rourke, 65, whose back yard abuts Mr. Perrone’s. “He looked just like Edgar Allan Poe. Black coat, black vest, black shirt, black pants. Every time I saw him, he was wearing all black.”

He said that the home, surrounded by an unfinished concrete wall, had been under construction for years and that Mr. Perrone lived in the basement.

Julia Marra, 21, who grew up on Beverly Avenue opposite Mr. Perrone, said he was “always really loud and yelling; he’d be out in the street, yelling and singing.”


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