The man charged with the murders of three Brooklyn shopkeepers was a local oddball who was grappling with money troubles, the New York Times reports. Salvatore Perrone's three-story Staten Island home, earlier hit with a foreclosure notice, has "looked haunted and unlivable for about 20 years," notes a neighbor. On a personal level, Perrone could be belligerent, threatening to call the police over a small squabble. But he was sometimes spotted singing in the street, local residents say: "He was in his own little bubble." In other bizarre behavior, the New York Post talks to a friend of Perrone's girlfriend who says they all went dancing less than two hours after the third victim was shot.
Perrone, a traveling salesman, "was kind of like a middleman for a clothing supplier," says his former lawyer, who calls him "very personable." Perrone had dreams of launching a clothing line and had gone so far as to register a trademark for the label. Now he has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder; the first-degree charge is tied to the accusation of three murders within two years. The public defender appointed to the case says Perrone "does seem as though he could have some mental-health issues." A daughter of victim Rahmatolla Vahidipour said she saw no motive for the crime. Perrone did it "for no reason—that’s what’s killing me inside." (Read more Salvatore Perrone stories.)