Kensington Strangler Suspect Confesses to 3 Murders: Police - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Kensington Strangler Suspect Confesses to 3 Murders: Police



    Police: Strangler Suspect Confesses to Murders

    Police say Antonio Rodriguez has confessed to killing three young women in Kensington. (Published Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011)

    Police say that Antonio Rodriguez, the alleged Kensington Strangler, confessed to three murders as well as other crimes after being arrested on Monday night.

    DNA links the 22-year-old to three murders in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, police said at a Monday night press conference.

    During that press conference a 911 call came in saying that Rodriguez was on the 3300 block of Mutter Street in Kensington. An officer investigating saw Rodriguez heading into the back of a house. The person of interest then fled on foot but was caught nearby, police said.

    Rodriguez and two other people inside the house were taken in for questioning.

    Neighbors Surprised by Identity of Alleged Strangler

    [PHI] Neighbors Surprised by Identity of Alleged Strangler
    The arrest of Antonio Rodriguez came as a surprise to many neighbors who saw him on the streets of Kensington every day.
    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011)

    Sources say that during the questioning, Rodriguez confessed to the December beating, rape and murder of Casey Mahoney and the November killings of Elaine Goldberg and Nicole Placentini, all murders linked to the strangler through DNA.

    Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that he also confessed to other crimes.

    "He spoke about others but we're not confident if those are actually homicides or just sexual assaults," said Ramsey.

    Police Nab Alleged Kensington Strangler

    [PHI] Police Nab Alleged Kensington Strangler
    Police have arrested a person of interest in the Kensington Strangler case. He is identified as 22-year-old Antonio Rodriguez
    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011)

    Investigators in the Special Victims Unit are currently investigating those incidents.

    As for the three confirmed murders, Ramsey is confident that justice will be served.

    "Hopefully we'll get charges sometime today or tomorrow," said Ramsey. "We're working with the D.A.'s office on that."

    Alleged Strangler Arrest: Kensington Community Reacts

    [PHI] Alleged Strangler Arrest: Kensington Community Reacts
    The mother of a Kensington Strangler murder victim and people in the community speak out about the arrest of a "person of interest" in the case.
    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011)

    Rodriguez is about 5-foot-9, 155 pounds with a large scar from his left ear to the middle of his throat with various tattoos including the name "Kiera" tattooed on his left arm and "Scorpio" tattooed on his right arm.

    He is fluent in Spanish and English and has an arrest record. Rodriguez is homeless but frequents the Kensington area, police said.

    Many Kensington residents who have seen Rodriguez in the neighborhood are shocked by his arrest.

    Kensington Strangler Now a Serial Murderer

    [PHI] Kensington Strangler Now a Serial Murderer
    DNA evidence has linked the murder of three women in Kensington, making the so-called Kensington Strangler officially a serial killer. And women in the area are on alert.
    (Published Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010)

    "I would talk to the guy right there on the corner and he always smiled at me," said Ruth Quinones. "He didn't seem like a murderer."

    Police zeroed in on Rodriguez after State Police told Philly detectives that his DNA matched the Kensington attacks.

    It is unclear if the man seen in sketches who was believed to be the Kensington Strangler is Rodriguez.

    "Let's get this psycho off the streets of Philadelphia," Mayor Nutter said on the day that Casey Mahoney's murder was linked to the two earlier strangulation.

    On Monday police appeared closer to that goal.

    "I'm glad that he's no longer going to get to enjoy himself and that now he begins to suffer," said Joe Goldberg, the father of Elaine Goldberg.

    "I hope he suffers for a long time."

    "I'm so happy... I'm just really really happy," said Nicole Piacentini's mother Christine after the arrest was made.

    "An officer notified me and told me they were gonna get warrants for his arrest that they knew where he was and were just waiting to pick him up."

    While authorities are confident that they have their man, its still not a complete guarantee.

    There is still a $37,000 reward for information leading to the capture and prosecution of the Kensington Strangler. Anyone with info should call the Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334 or 3335.

    Fan, follow and download: Get the latest from anytime, anywhere. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and NBC Philadelphia. Sign up for our breaking news newsletter. And, get breaking news delivered right to your mobile phone -- just text PHIBREAKING to 639710 to sign up. (Message and data rates may apply.)