Homicide City is investigating the case of the Kensington Strangler, who terrorized a rough Philadelphia neighborhood in late 2010.
Antonio Rodriguez preyed on three vulnerable women who he strangled to death. Thankfully, DNA evidence would lead to his capture before he could kill a fourth, but the police believe he may have been responsible for many more sexual assaults.
The first of Rodriguez’s victims was 21-year-old Elaine Goldberg, a nursing student battling drug addiction. On November 3, 2010, she was found partially clothed and strangled to death in a rough neighborhood of Kensington.
Ten days later, the killer struck again just a few miles away, 35-year-old Nicole Piacentini was found also partially clothed, half inside the rear doorway of an abandoned house, again in the Kensington area.
On December 15, the Kensington strangler struck again; this time, he sexually assaulted and strangled 27-year-old Casey Mahoney. Both of the other victims had also been sexually assaulted.
On November 28, another woman was attacked by an individual who threatened her with a box cutter. He dragged her into a vacant parking lot and ordered her to undo her pants, and began choking her. Thankfully, he fled the scene when she screamed.
After that incident, the police picked up Noel Quintana, who was seen in the area at the time. The cops tried to pin the assault and the three murders on Quintana.
Despite the subsequent arrest of Rodriguez for the murders in early 2011, the cops kept Quintana in jail for four years as they tried to pin other sexual assaults on him. He was eventually acquitted of all charges in 2014.
DNA evidence pointed to Antonio Rodriguez as the killer
In the meantime, the police were able to properly examine the DNA evidence from the murder scenes, and they found it pointed to Antonio Rodriguez.
Under questioning, Rodriguez finally admitted to the cops that he would lure women who were sex workers to secluded areas, where he strangled them during sex. He also confessed to sexually assaulting at least two of his victims after death and then posing with the corpses.
In August 2012, Antonio Rodriguez was found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder in a non-jury trial. He also was convicted of three counts of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of a corpse. He was sentenced to serve three life terms.
After the sentence, District Attorney Seth Williams paid tribute to Rodriguez’s victims. He said, “the city of Philadelphia is a little bit safer tonight now that Antonio Rodriguez will be spending the rest of his life behind bars.”
In 2014 Rodriguez’s appeal was rejected by The Superior Court of Pennsylvania, and his sentence was affirmed.
More from Homicide City
Follow the links to read about more murders profiled in Homicide City.
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Rachel Siani worked at a strip club in Philadelphia to pay her college tuition when John Denofra threw her off a highway overpass in New Jersey. The police believe they had a violent altercation after Denofra invited her back to his hotel room.
Homicide City airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.