Good morning. Today is Tuesday. We’ll look at two New Jersey cases – one murder for hire apparently orchestrated by a political consultant, the other unsolved. The couple’s son in the second case found a possible connection to the first case. We’ll also tour a new terminal at La Guardia, the airport New Yorkers love.
The two New Jersey cases took place four months apart in 2014, one in May, the other in September. Let’s start with the September case, which is still unsolved.
The victims – John Sheridan, a former state transportation commissioner, and his wife, Joyce – were stabbed in their home in Montgomery Township, which was set on fire. A county prosecutor has ruled their deaths a homicide-suicide, and the discovery of the couple’s four sons has been made. They lobbied for the case to be reopened. Then, in 2017, a state medical examiner revised the death certificate, reclassifying the manner of death as “unknown.”
That’s where things stood – at least publicly – until last week, when new details emerged about the May 2014 case, which happened 50 miles away in Jersey City.
That case involved the death of Michael Galdieri, the son of a former state senator. Last week, Sean Caddle, 44, a political consultant who employed Galdieri and had close ties to several North Jersey Democrats, pleaded guilty to hiring two men to stab Galdieri and set fire to the apartment. his. It’s not clear why he wanted to kill Galdieri.
Mark Sheridan, the son of the victims of the September case, immediately saw a possible connection. He told the acting attorney general of New Jersey and the Somerset County prosecutor in a letter that “your offices all laugh at my family’s suggestion that my parents’ deaths be anything other than a murder-suicide.” He said that both offices had “publicly mocked the idea of tenant murder involving stabbing with fire to destroy evidence.”
He also called for their attention to a knife found when police stopped and searched a pickup truck in connection with a 2014 bank robbery in Connecticut.
He said investigators in New Jersey had repeatedly inquired about a missing knife in his parents’ kitchen. He suggested that authorities collect DNA evidence from the knife in the pickup truck to see if it was related to their deaths.
Local reports from Connecticut at the time said the knife from the Sheridans’ kitchen was found in the pickup truck George Bratsenis, 73, was driving when he was stopped and searched on May 29. 9.
Bratsenis was identified in Caddle’s confession transcript as one of the men Caddle had hired to kill Galdieri. The other man, Bomani Africa, 61, singled out Bratsenis as his accomplice while pleading guilty to his role in last week’s murder, a court transcript showed.
Mr. Sheridan declined to comment further when contacted by email. A spokesman for the acting attorney general, Andrew Bruck, said the office had received Sheridan’s letter but declined to comment further. Somerset County prosecutor’s office officials did not call back. The lawyers for Bratsenis, who have not been charged in the case, nor Africa.
There was another turning point in Caddle’s plea hearing. His attorney, Edwin J. Jacobs Jr., told the federal judge that Caddle was a cooperating witness for the FBI in a “significant investigation.” Jacobs, a South Jersey Defense Attorney There are high profile clients that have included accused gangsters like famous crime boss Philadelphia Joseph Merlinorefused to explain when contacted by phone.
A mild sunny day with temperatures in the mid-30s is forecast, followed by a cloudy evening.
Parking next door
Pause today (Lunar New Year).
New Yorkers aren’t the only ones known to have taken down La Guardia Airport. President Biden did, when he was vice president in 2014. His audience laughed — not much, but enough to prompt Biden to add, “I’m not joking.” He doesn’t, even if he doesn’t mention leaking ceilings, broken escalators and witnessing rodents are part of the La Guardia experience.
Anyway, old La Guardia experience. Last week, its new main terminal was opened. “President Biden, look at us now,” said Adrienne Adams, City Council speaker. The president is scheduled to visit New York this week. The White House has not said where he would land if he flew in.
I asked my colleague Patrick McGeehan, who is in charge of transportation and infrastructure, to explain the airport’s $8 billion overhaul.
You write that the new station shares nothing but name and location with the old La Guardia. How is it different? What does the project involve?
In terms of comfort and convenience for travelers, it’s a whole new world. The interior of new main terminal Open, airy space with high ceilings and glass walls to receive lots of natural light. Where people disembarking used to be in a dull room, they can now glimpse the surrounding city.
Terminals are not just renovated. It was replaced, at a cost of about $4 billion. The trick is that the airport, which was already at full capacity before the pandemic, must continue to operate throughout construction.
What this overhaul won’t solve the airport’s long-term problem is frequent flight delays.
How has the pandemic affected this project?
At the beginning of the pandemic, work paused for a short time, causing the project to fall behind schedule. After a restart, reduced passenger traffic allows fabricators to work faster and get back on track. In 2020, the number of visitors through La Guardia is down by almost 75%.
However, the $8 billion makeover at La Guardia is far from complete. What remains to be done?
Yes another major station is under construction, with an estimated cost of $4 billion. It is owned by Delta Air Lines and will replace the two terminals. The replacement, which will be called Terminal C, is expected to be completed by the end of spring.
Even before the ribbon-cutting last week, that word was gone. Is it really claimed to be the best new airport building in the world?
It’s correct. I had to double check that as it seemed unlikely. But a jury selected by UNESCO, an agency of the United Nations, awarded its highest prize, the Prix Versaillesto the new Terminal of La Guardia B. It defeats Berlin-Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt and New Plymouth Airport in New Zealand.
You mentioned the flight delay at La Guardia. Does its on-time performance improve?
Before the pandemic, La Guardia had one of the worst records for on-time departures of any major airport in the country. In a typical year, only about three out of four flights are left on time. That has improved during the pandemic. Last year, more than 80% of La Guardia departures were on time. But that has more to do with the decline in air traffic than changes in La Guardia, which will likely be taxed again when tourism returns.
What we are reading
METROPOLITAN . Diary
What song is that?
In the fall of 2014, I attended the exhibition “Nam June Paik: Becoming Robot” at the Asian Museum and Society.
It has been many years since there was a major exhibition of Paik’s work in New York, and I am a longtime George Washington artist of video art.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/01/nyregion/murder-for-hire-new-jersey-connecticut.html A murder-for-hire ‘strangely similar’ – The New York Times