The man responsible for burning a 73-year-old woman alive in the elevator of her Brooklyn apartment building will serve 50 years in prison after pleading guilty yesterday to first-degree murder and second-degree arson charges.
Back in December, Jerome Isaac, 48, cornered 73-year-old Delores Gillespie in the elevator of her Underhill Avenue apartment in Prospect Heights, soaked her face and body in gasoline and lit her on fire with a barbecue flame igniter as she struggled to fight him off, according to a release from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
He then poured an accelerant on her and tossed a Molotov cocktail inside the elevator. Gillespie was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the release. After committing the deadly arson, Isaac headed over to his brother’s apartment where set fire to the front door. Luckily no one was injured as a result.
Isaac told police he committed the horrifying murder — which was caught on tape by a surveillance camera — because Gillespie owed him money for housework and chores he performed for her.
Family and friends of Gillespie told the News that she allowed Isaac to clean her house out of kindness in order to help him out. She even trusted Isaac with a key to her apartment. They said Isaac betrayed her kindness when he began stealing pricey items from her home.
Gillespie changed the locks to the apartment after she caught wind of his thievery, but Isaac continued to harass her for the money he claims she owed him — until he ultimately committed the grisly murder in December.
Isaac will receive his official sentencing on Nov. 30 in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 8, 2012