Sea Island Holiday Home. Have a question for Bell Boca Town Center? Their killer remains on the loose. He's an NBC News analyst. The mall is anchored by three major department stores:
A some major stores in West Boca Square
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Other events in this series: The event was not found. Get help from experts. Police didn't believe you could get out of that bind you were in, did they? And when she recounted her terrifying odyssey--the business about the Florida turnpike, they doubted her story even more.
The SunPass electronic device on her windshield hadn't recorded her entering the toll road. Boca Raton Police Captain Matthew Duggan says now the town's officers weren't blowing off the woman's story. I wouldn't classify it as doubting a victim. I would clarify it as substantiating what they said, because ultimately, when we catch this guy, it will be evidence against him. If they needed me to, for whatever reason, I was going to do it. I wasn't hiding anything.
If there was a request for a lie detector test from the woman abducted, did that say something about initial hesitation in believing her? We have to be objective in what we look at.
And, you know, if a lie detector was used it would be another tool that would just substantiate stories. The Boca police did send out crime scene techs that evening to process the car and gather prints and DNA. But still, the authorities' initial skepticism about Jane Doe and whether she was trying to pull some kind of crazy number on them, meant that as a news story it never got much play.
The account of a woman abducted from the Town Center Mall came with an asterisk attached. It was termed an "alleged abduction. It was as though Jane Doe had never encountered the gunman in the fishing hat and wraparound sunglasses.
We actually pulled video records from the toll plazas, and we could actually see her car going through the toll plaza. Apparently, her SunPass device had simply malfunctioned when it indicated she hadn't entered the turnpike. Months went by and Jane never heard from the police again. She was just another urban crime victim with a hair raising story to tell her friends and family. I just thought that they weren't going to catch him. And I didn't think anything was going to come out of it, unfortunately.
And then one day in November, three months after her abduction, she got a call from a sheriff's detective in the same county. The face of the carjacker. At first the local police didn't entirely believe her story of abduction and terror when it happened in early August. But now, in November, the Palm Beach County sheriff's office -- another investigative agency -- asked her for help in an ongoing investigation. They wanted to talk to me about the murder of Randi Gorenberg in March. Idey Elias, victim's mother: She was very down-to-earth, very basic, loving daughter.
That was her that day, in Puma sneakers and carrying an expensive purse. An exterior mall security camera captured her pausing for a moment to check voice mail on her cell phone.
What happened once she reached the parking lot, we do not know because the mall owners had not placed security cameras there. The caller was saying he'd seen someone tumble from the passenger side of a black Mercedes SUV near a county park five miles north of the mall.
Arriving deputies found that the victim wasn't wearing shoes, and yet her expensive jewelry, a Cartier watch, diamond ring and necklace were untouched. There was no ID on the person. The SUV was gone. It would later be videotaped by a security camera at a nearby home depot. The abandoned Mercedes was found behind the store. The vehicle was registered to a Randi Gorenberg. The murdered woman now had a name. Jack Strenges, Palm Beach County homicide: When we looked in the vehicle, we found that her belongings were gone.
The murder investigation was only hours old, but the detectives were displeased that the victim's son gave them an alibi that didn't check out and had handed over, as requested, the clothes he said he'd been wearing that day. Only it turned out later they were the wrong clothes. Particularly when we're trying to narrow down the exact timeline. The timeline is critical to this type of investigation. Stewart Gorenberg, also left detectives scratching their heads when they informed the chiropractor that his wife was dead.
It was just not the typical response that you would see from family members when their spouses or kids have been killed and murdered. Within days of the murder, Dr. Gorenberg hired a lawyer. He and his son stopped talking directly to police. The cops were focusing their initial investigation on the usual suspects in this kind of out-of-the-blue, no-known-enemies, kind of killing: And the husband wasn't making himself any less suspicious in the cops' eyes by the way he was acting.
Even though they were in the same building that day, neither Dr. Gorenberg nor his son Daniel participated in the appeal. Every communication I had with him for the first couple months, he was devastated. Attorney Guy Fronstin represents Dr. Gorenberg and his son. I understand the sheriffs are doing their job. They were trying to run down a murderer. And that's what we all want.
They just were looking at the wrong people. Detectives examined the chiropractor's finances and home life under a microscope. They looked at the son's emotional history. So into the spring and even in summer, the murder of Randi Gorenberg is a mystery? The Boca Raton police had given area agencies a heads-up about the gunman's M. The similarities were obvious: Personally I don't believe in coincidence.
I think there's some significant connections there with the SUVs, the location and stuff like that. So it wasn't until November -- eight months after the Randi Gorenberg killing -- that police finally sat down with Jane Doe to hear her story from the top.
She was looking like the lucky one who got away and her account could be investigative gold. Jane worked with a police sketch artist and produced this sketch of her abductor: Jane felt, though, that the composite hadn't really captured the guy who'd kidnapped her and her son.
I think she was very brave. She was a very good witness to what occurred. She's been able to provide us with significant information. But if it was the same perpetrator in both, why was one victim released and the other cruelly shot to death?
And there are other differences, too. Jane Doe had been bound with handcuffs and plastic ties, blinded with blackout goggles. But in the Randi Gorenberg case, that would have been impossible. So, hypothetically, if her abductor is intent on taking her to an ATM machine to withdraw some cash and she's saying, "I don't have an ATM card," he's probably not believing it. The cops get psychological and theorize it's because Mr. Control had abducted an uncontrollable victim.
She resisted, obviously, because she tried to get out of the vehicle just prior to getting shot. Jane Doe, on the other hand, obeyed all his commands and made a concentrated effort to talk to him.
With my son in the car, there was no chance for me to fight back. So I couldn't risk his life. Despite Jane Doe's valuable addition to the Randi Gorenberg case file, weeks went by and they were no closer to finding her killer.
One had been murdered. Do you think about going back to the mall? It was a good call on her part, because on Dec. The little girl was regarded by her family as a kind of miracle daughter. Nancy's sister, Joann Bruno, remembered her sister thinking that once she turned 40, children weren't going to happen for her. The doctor said she wasn't going to be able to have any. So when she was having Joey, she was thrilled because it was really a miracle.
Her original due date was Christmas day. And she was our Christmas angel. And what a bundle Joey turned out to be: A center of attention, dancing, karaoke-singing cutie. But on that December day, as they walked past the Sony store security camera on the way to the food court, they had only hours left to live.
Nancy and Joey left the mall through the same exit that Randi Gorenberg had used on the day she was killed. These are last pictures ever taken of them. We don't see Nancy and Joey reach their car -- a big black SUV -- because the owners of the mall had still not installed security cameras out there.
Matthew Duggan, Boca P. There's no dialogue, and the phone immediately hangs up. Hours passed without any word about the mother and daughter, then, just before midnight, a security guard at the mall noticed a black SUV with its engine idling. There was a female and apparently her daughter -- were dead in the back of a dark SUV.
The festive Christmas ribbons at the mall were joined by strung yellow crime scene tape as Capt. Matt Duggan took charge. You're a veteran investigator. You've seen a lot of rough stuff. How cold, how bad is this mother-daughter? I mean, how does anyone describe a mother and a daughter being shot at basically point blank range? I know my sister and I know to protect Joey, I know she was fighting. And evidence of her resistance: The timeline of the crime was a blank.
No one had seen, and no cameras recorded, the SUV returning to the lot but the unknown person at the wheel had almost certainly been there before in almost identical circumstances. Nancy had handcuffs on her hands, her feet were tied with tie wraps. She had goggles over her eyes that were also blacked out, and her head had been affixed to the head rest. There's no question in your mind that you're looking for the same guy in those two cases.
I got a phone call in the morning telling me that a mother and her child were found murdered at the mall. I don't even know the words to describe it. Like, my heart sank. I just -- I knew it was him. I imagine it's a double feeling of incomprehension, those poor people, and "there but for the grace of God, on that day it could have been me"?
Maybe he was going to murder me. And some chance, he didn't. I don't know why. And then I had to deal with him murdering, you know, a mother and her child. Looking back, Joanne, the sister, remembered that she and Nancy had even talked about the first incident. But as they casually followed the news, it didn't seem to have had any connection to the Boca mall. Some Boca Raton residents became outraged to learn that a kidnapper and killer had savaged women and children, apparently at will, and the cops hadn't found him.
This may be one in a string of similar violent crimes committed by a man or group of men preying on a group of shoppers. Now Boca Raton was a town deeply distressed.
It must have been chilling for you to read and hear the account of that survivor of the abduction, the details about being restrained, threatened. And you have to wonder, "Are these the last kinds of words that my sister heard? It had to be. I mean they were -- they were tied up, also. And Joey, poor little thing. She looked so frightened. And, of course, the horror in an echo chamber, was reverberating most of all for the woman who got away, a mother with her own young child.
Jane Doe was back in the police interview room. Go over it again. Give us a detail. Who is this guy? After the mother-daughter murders in December, police had no doubt that Jane was telling the truth about her abduction from the same Boca Raton mall in August, The swimming goggles, the handcuffs, the plastic ties around her neck -- everything he'd done to Jane, the killer had also done to Nancy Bocchicchio and her 7-year-old daughter, Joey. Once skeptical police had given Jane a lie detector test.
Now she was their star witness. Are they more interested the second time than they were the first? When they're taking down your report? This was the composite police sketch she'd come up with.
And this is the word picture description that went with it. A man she thought in his late 20s or early 30s. Someone who could have been at the bar next to you.
He didn't have an accent, but he could have been Hispanic or maybe Pacific Islands, you know. Yeah, about six feet. I saw he had a ponytail -- about this long from the base of the back of his neck and it was curly. Jane had also told investigators that tucked inside a plastic bag from a shoe store called Traffic was a kidnap kit, a well thought-out set of tools he used to control his victims. But still, something wasn't adding up. The work that went in to committing this crime -- the planning, the preparation, does not equate to the ultimate reward.
The Boca Raton police and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office formed a task force of nine detectives assigned to the case. Behind the unmarked door of the task force office, there's a visual reminder for investigators about what's at stake. We put up a couple of pictures of the victims, with just simple words underneath saying that "This is why we're here.
We got at least three clear shots of Nancy and Joey, and we're confident that they weren't actually targeted, or at least stalked, while in the mall.
Nancy, Joey Bochicchio bound, fatally shot in December 2007
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