The grisly murders of Carmen Quinones and her boyfriend Ruben Frederick shocked the neighborhood where they were killed in East Harlem.
But when detectives first looked into the case, it wasn’t certain why. Could it have been for money? $15,000 in cash was found untouched under a mattress, suggesting it was something closer to home.
It later emerged that the pair were killed by hitmen hired by Maria DeJesus, the wife of Carmen’s ex-husband Jusino. She put in place the calculated and callous plot because she wasn’t happy with a divorce deal made between Justino and Quinones.
Carmen, 52, and Ruben, 60, were stabbed more than 20 times before they were found dead in December 2001. Quinones’ granddaughter, who was aged just three, had also been in the apartment at the time of the attack.
She was bound by duct tape but managed to free herself after 24 hours, and answered a phone call by her mother who then raised help. The case features on the ‘Horror in Harlem’ episode of Investigation Discovery series The Perfect Murder.
DeJesus, got a life sentence without the possibility of parole in February 2006. Rafael Rios and Raymond Mundo, who were hired to carry out the murder, were convicted earlier along with their getaway driver Sal Duarte, and Javier Perez, who had acted as lookout.