Howard Pilmar, a successful New York businessman, was found dead inside his Manhattan office on March 21, 1996 — a slaying that shocked New Yorkers because of its brutality.
Pilmar’s throat was slashed and he was stabbed 48 times. The attack continued after his heart stopped beating and his body was left on the floor, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a news release.
Investigators spent more than two decades looking for his killers and finally arrested two people in 2017 — Pilmar’s widow, Roslyn Pilmar, then 60, and her brother, Evan Wald, then 43.
Friday, a jury found them guilty of second-degree murder.
Wald’s lawyer could not be reached for comment Saturday. Sanford Talkin, Roslyn Pilmar’s lawyer, told CNN, “We are disappointed in the verdict and plan to appeal and continue to fight the case.”
Prosecutors said Roslyn Pilmar had financial problems and benefited from her husband’s death.
She managed the coffee shops started by her husband inside his office supply stores and owed $15,000 in unpaid state taxes on that part of the business, the district attorney’s office said. Wald also worked in the coffee shops.
In early 1996, before Howard’s death, Roslyn Pilmar’s former employer, a dentist’s office, demanded reimbursement of approximately $200,000 it claimed she had stolen from the business, prosecutors said.
In the news release, the district attorney’s office said Roslyn Pilmar and her brother requested keys to the building where Howard Pilmar’s office was located and asked for information about how to close the office at night and where the video cameras were located in the building lobby.
“Then on March 21, 1996, the defendants met the victim at his office,” the district attorney said. Howard Pilmar’s body was found the next morning by the company’s controller.
After her husband’s death, Pilmar received around $1.2 million in life insurance benefits, according to the district attorney. She also received ownership of Howard Pilmar’s businesses, two homes and custody of the couple’s then 10-year-old son.
Roslyn Pilmar used the money to repay her debts, the DA’s office said. On April 30, 1999, she pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the second degree for the theft from her former employer. After paying back the stolen funds, she was sentenced to probation.
The investigation found new life in 2013 after police found witnesses with new information and new evidence, blood at the crime scene that was a match to Evan Wald, Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Lederer said.
“For nearly 23 years, Roslyn Pilmar and Evan Wald evaded justice for their gruesome crime and thought they would get away with it, but today, a jury rightfully found them guilty of Murder in the Second Degree for planning Mr. Pilmar’s murder together and acting in concert to carry out the cold-blooded killing,” Vance said.
“I thank the prosecutors in my Office’s Cold Case and Forensic Sciences Unit and NYPD detectives for more than two decades of dedication to this case and ensuring that Howard’s death was never forgotten.”
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