Sources: Strangler Suspect Confessed; Neighbors Relieved
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Murder charges were pending on Tuesday against suspected Kensington strangler Antonio Rodriguez.
On Tuesday, Eyewitness News learned from sources, what was said in his confession.
Sources say, Rodriguez told detectives that he picked his victims at random and paid them for what he calls ‘rough sex’ and killed his victims during the act.
Sources say Rodriguez showed no remorse.
“I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t know how to feel,” Darrah Goldberg said.
Goldberg learned from police in November, her only daughter, 21-year-old Elaine Goldberg died at the hands of Rodriguez. Family members said the 21-year-old victim had overcome her addiction to prescription drugs and was studying to become a nurse at the time of her death.
“Justice is that he can suffer twice as bad as he made my daughter suffer, if he made her suffer at all. I’m hoping that she didn’t,” Goldberg said.
Police say Rodriguez was identified through a state DNA database. Police arrested the convicted felon on Mutter Street following a tip.
Goldberg added, “I can’t walk her down the isle, I can’t go dress shopping for the wedding, I can’t see her first born child.”
For this mother, still heartsick, news of the arrest brought little solace but she found comfort in the timing. The family had planned to “celebrate” Elaine’s life on Saturday.
“This is going to bring a lot more people and happy memories to the party now that we don’t have to worry about him running around, wondering if he’s going to strike again,” Goldberg said.
Even though DNA eventually helped solve the case, a critical sample was delayed by a backlog at the state level.
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The victims were murdered in November and December, and Pennsylvania state police had DNA from the attacker going back to October 25th, just days after court records show Rodriguez pleaded guilty in a drug case.
But there was no match in databases until this week.
State police acknowledge there is a large backlog of DNA samples at state police — usually about 80 days from the time a sample is received, analyzed, and uploaded to the national database.
So checks of DNA databases during the murder spree got no hits until Rodriguez’s sample was uploaded last week.
Meanwhile, many residents living on or near the 3300 block of Mutter Street in North Philadelphia say that Monday night was the first good night of rest they got in a long time, knowing that the suspected “Kensington Strangler” was under arrest.
And many neighbors said they were surprised that the suspect was arrested in their neighborhood.
“There are a lot of young kids… girls out here can’t trust nobody, basically, because he just looks like somebody from the neighborhood,” said one.
And in Kensington, where the rapes and murders occurred, there was relief.
“I prayed that they would catch him and take him away from here so nobody else would get hurt,” one Kensington resident said on Tuesday.
Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio; Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio; Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3