Orsolya Gaal, NYC mom stabbed to death: crime timeline

Neighbor reported last seeing Orsolya Gaal on Friday in backyard of her Queens home

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

In a chilling crime that shocked the quiet, upscale Forest Hills section of Queens over the weekend, Orsolya Gaal, a 51-year-old Queens mother of two, was discovered dead in a duffel bag just a few blocks from her home early Saturday.

She suffered dozens of stab wounds, according to police sources, and the city’s medical examiner later said she had died from homicide and "sharp force injuries" to her neck.

"The multiplicity of these wounds is such that it connotes personal anger to an extreme degree," Dr. Cyril Wecht, a leading forensic pathologist in Pittsburgh who is not connected to the investigation, told Fox News Digital Monday.

When somebody kills somebody like this and inflicts 60 wounds, blunt force, sharp force injuries, they are really, really pi--ed off.

— Dr. Cyril Wecht, forensic pathologist 

Additional injuries to her hands and fingers represented "classical defensive wounds," he said, indicating she tried to defend herself from her assailant during the attack.

Orsolya Gaal posts a selfie with her dog on April 13, 2022.

Orsolya Gaal posts a selfie with her dog on April 13, 2022. (Facebook: Orsolya Gaal)

NYC MOM FOUND IN DUFFEL BAG STABBED NEARLY 60 TIMES: REPORT

Then, according to the local WPIX-TV, her killer may have used her phone to text threats to her husband, who was on the other side of the country with their oldest son, 17, allegedly touring colleges.

Gaal’s Facebook page shows she was fond of hiking, travel and her shaggy-haired dog, Teddy. Comments from friends indicate she was originally from Hungary, and a Facebook profile in her name says she studied business in Budapest. 

But just after 8 a.m. Saturday, the NYPD said a 911 caller reported a "suspicious bag with blood on it" at Metropolitan Avenue and Jackie Robinson Parkway. Responding officers found her butchered body inside and a trail of blood leading back to Gaal’s home.

Emergency Medical Services pronounced her dead at the scene, and the medical examiner later found almost 60 stab wounds on her body, including wounds on her hands and major arteries, according to the New York Post.

Last week, in a now-deleted Tweet, Gaal’s husband Howard Klein wrote that he had flown to Portland, Oregon, to scout colleges with their 17-year-old son. He told the paper Saturday he was heading back to New York and that he was taking the threats seriously.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Neighbor John Blankson told the New York Daily News he saw her Friday evening with her dog, Teddy, in her yard on Juno Street. He did not immediately respond to messages from Fox News Digital Monday.

Later, Gaal told her younger son, 13, that she was going out to see a show, according to WPIX.

Police were looking into the group she met up with, but she is believed to have returned home sometime before a man arrived at her home – someone who police believe she was familiar with and possibly her killer.

NYPD TRACES BLOOD TRAIL AFTER FINDING SLAIN MOTHER IN DUFFEL BAG ON QUEENS SIDEWALK

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Police respond to a report of a "suspicious bag with blood on it" at the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Jackie Robinson Parkway in Queens at about 8:11 a.m. Investigators said they found Gaal inside and a trail of blood leading back to her $2.2 million, five-bedroom Tudor-style home less than a mile away in the Forest Hills neighborhood.

Chilling surveillance video shows a shadowy figure dragging a similar duffel bag down the sidewalk around 4:30 a.m.

Authorities handcuffed and questioned her 13-year-old son, as seen in this exclusive image Fox News Digital obtained from a neighbor.  He was believed to be home at the time of her slaying, then police released him into the custody of an unidentified adult relative, according to neighbors. He was not accused of wrongdoing.

EXCLUSIVE: Authorities handcuffed and questioned Gaal's 13-year-old son, who was believed to be home at the time of her slaying, then released him into the custody of an unidentified adult relative, according to neighbors. He was not accused of wrongdoing.

EXCLUSIVE: Authorities handcuffed and questioned Gaal's 13-year-old son, who was believed to be home at the time of her slaying, then released him into the custody of an unidentified adult relative, according to neighbors. He was not accused of wrongdoing. ( )

Klein, the founder of a lithium ion-focused financial advisory firm RK Equity, told the New York Post later in the day that he was on his way home from the West Coast with the couple’s older son. He did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment on Monday.

He also allegedly received text messages from the apparent killer claiming Gaal had once sent him to "jail" and with threats including, "Your whole family is next," according to the WPIX report.

"A good investigator keeps all of their opens open, so we look at the people closest first, and then we expand it," said Joe Giacalone, a retired NYPD detective sergeant and adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. "Internet records, cell phone records, surveillance video, which I refer to as the three forensic horsemen, are the ones that are going to solve this case at the end of the day."

Internet records, cell phone records, surveillance video, which I refer to as the three forensic horsemen, are the ones that are going to solve this case at the end of the day.

— Joe Giacalone, retired NYPD detective sergeant

Police eventually revealed that they had recovered phone records, extensive surveillance video and physical evidence at the scene.

CRIME SCENE PICS:

Monday, April 18, 2022

The New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reveals Gaal’s cause and manner of death as homicide by sharp force injuries to her neck.

Dr. Michael Baden, a physician and forensic pathologist who formerly served as New York's chief medical examiner in the late 1970s, told Fox News Digital that the injuries to Gaal's carotid artery and trachea meant she likely died within minutes. But not without signs of a prior struggle.

"There are implications when you mention the hands and the arms: Those are defense wounds. Those are wounds that occur when the person is trying to hold their hands out to prevent the knife from getting into their body," he said. 

The 60 stab wounds were also an immediate clue to investigators, he said.

Police cordoned off the yard with tape as mourners left flowers at the base of a towering tree out front.

Police cordoned off the yard with tape as mourners left flowers at the base of a towering tree out front. (Fox News Digital)

"They know it’s more than just a casual acquaintance, that this is somebody who really hated this person and kept stabbing her afterwards….That could be a husband, occasionally a child, in this instance, allegedly, is it somebody who she testified against?"

Fox News was on the scene Monday night when police returned to the home and were seen combing through a room on the second floor.

Multiple investigators were then seen leaving with evidence.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Police arrested David Bonola, a 44-year-old handyman originally from Mexico, in connection with the gruesome slaying.

David Bonola being led out of the NYPD'S 112th precinct on April 21, 2022; David Bonola mugshot

David Bonola being led out of the NYPD'S 112th precinct on April 21, 2022; David Bonola mugshot (WNYW/NYPD)

Police said the alleged throat-slitter made incriminating statements during an interview with detectives. He and Gaal had had an on-and-off "intimate" relationship, according to the NYPD, and she had resisted his efforts to rekindle their affair before her death.

Bonola had worked for the family, fixing up things around the house, for around two years, roughly the same length of time he had been seeing Gaal, according to authorities.

"We believe the relationship that Mr. Bonola had with our victim was a intimate-type relationship and this stemmed to be a domestic-type dispute," said NYPD Lt. Tommy Thompson from the Queens North Homicide squad. 

After the slaying, Bonola allegedly appeared on surveillance video approaching his home in South Richmond Hill, with a bandage over one hand.

His self-incriminating statements allegedly include a partial confession and the revelation that he was behind bogus threats texted to Gaal's husband from her phone.

Bonola was remanded and  placed on suicide watch after his first court appearance Thursday night.

The Suspect

Bonola was remanded to Department of Corrections custody and placed on suicide watch by a judge after his first court appearance in New York City late on April 21 on charges of murder, criminal tampering and criminal possession of a weapon. 

ORSOLYA GAAL MURDER: WHO IS HANDYMAN DAVID BONOLA

He asked for an interpreter in court, despite evidence of English-language proficiency in the texts he allegedly sent to Gaal's husband, Howard Klein, and his fiery exchange with hecklers outside the NYPD's 112 Precinct building in Queens.

David Bonola being led out of the NYPD'S 112th precinct on April 21, 2022

David Bonola being led out of the NYPD'S 112th precinct on April 21, 2022 (WNYW)

Wearing his long hair pulled back, a white Tyvek suit and sneakers, and flanked by several law enforcement officers, a handcuffed Bonola ignored several questions from reporters. He shouted, "F--- you, motherf-----," just before stepping into the waiting vehicle headed for central booking after someone told him that they "hope they cut your throat" in jail.

People who frequented the area around Bonola’s 114th Street home described the man as being a "night owl" who played guitar and was often seen riding his bike. He stopped by the local 711 and deli frequently for junk food snacks after dark, including burgers, hot dogs and Taquitos. But he was also a regular at the fruit market on 118th Street and Liberty Avenue – and bought more bottled water than beer.

Martin Calixto, the owner of Jasmin's Florist & Hall Decorators located across the street from Bonola’s home, said he had not seen Bonola in about a year. He said Bonola used to stop by the store at night and would buy a single flower – a red rose – each time. 

Calixto recalled how Bonola told him he had a girlfriend, "a White lady," though he did not identify the woman by name. He said he recognized Gaal from photos Bonola had shown him. 

"He was very in love with her," Calixto went on. "He was talking about her as a very nice girl, very respectful. It’s hard to believe."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

On Facebook, an account under Bonola's name frequently posted flirtatious comments and heart reactions on Gaal's posts.

Fox News’ Courtney De George contributed to this report.