NYPD Arrests Man in Elevator Fire Killing

Doris Gillespie, 64, killed in horrific attack
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2011 6:58 AM CST
Updated Dec 18, 2011 2:42 PM CST
Police arrive at the scene where a woman burned to death in the elevator of her apartment building after a man ambushed her, sprayed her with liquid and set her afire with a Molotov cocktail.   (AP Photo/Jaime Holguin)
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(Newser) – New York City police arrested a man today in a sickening homicide that involved accelerant and a molotov cocktail, the New York Post reports. Cops charged Jerome Isaac, 47, with first-degree murder in the death of a 64-year-old woman burned alive in her building's elevator yesterday. Two surveillance cameras captured the attack, in which a man was waiting for Doris Gillespie in her building. When the elevator doors opened, he sprayed her with an accelerant and set her on fire using a Molotov cocktail.

The assailant had apparently done odd jobs for Gillespie until she fired him for stealing. “He was doing more stealing than cleaning,” claims her nephew Rickey Causey, who says the attacker had left a note on her door demanding payment for chores—but she refused to pay. A neighbor says Gillespie was “desperately afraid” of the assailant, who was dressed as an exterminator, CNN notes. Isaac turned himself into police today smelling of gasoline. (This horrifying tale only makes New York City's elevators even scarier.)

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