UPDATE: Man Charged with Setting Woman on Fire in Underhill Avenue Elevator

Jerome Isaac, 47, charged with murder and arson; used to work for woman but was fired, victim's son says.

UPDATE: Dec. 18, 4:25 p.m. According to police, Jerome Isaac, 47, has been formally charged with first and second degree murder and arson for allegedly setting Delores Gillespie on fire, killing her on Saturday. Gillespie's son, Maurice, said the suspect, who he only knew as "J" worked for his mother to clean her apartment. But, Maurice said when she found out he was stealing from her a year and a half ago, she fired Isaac. According to Maurice, Isaac, who lives close to the Underhill apartment on Lincoln Place, has been constantly harassing Gillespie, claiming she owed him money and leaving threatening notes on her door. 

UPDATE: Dec. 18, 1:30 p.m. Police confirmed that a 47-year-old man walked into Brooklyn's Transit District 32 Sunday morning "smelling of gasoline" and admitted that he set a fire. A police spokesman said that the man was taken to the 77th Precinct where he was questioned and "debriefed by detectives" about the murder of Delores Gillespie on Saturday. The man has not been charged with anything, police said.  

UPDATE: Dec. 18, 12:56 a.m. Police have identified the victim as Delores Gillespie, 73-years-old, of 203 Underhill Ave., apartment 5B.


The New York Times has reviewed the footage of the and gives us the blow-by-blow.

According to the Times, the man shows up wearing an exterminator uniform and carrying a metal canister. He takes the elevator to the fifth floor of 203 Underhill Ave.

A bit later, an older woman carry groceries goes up to the fifth floor. As she steps out the man sprays the woman in the face and “then douses her methodically from head to toe” with an accelerant “as she turned and cowered.”

The man then tried to light a barbecue lighter, fails and instead uses a Molotov cocktail to set her on fire. He retreats, returns, sprays more liquid until the “video goes white” with the light of the fire, according to the Times.

Read the full New York Times story here.

Police have and ask for the public's help in tracking him down.  

The NYPD has not released the woman’s name, but according to the Daily News and the Times, neighbors said the woman was Delores Gillespie, although they couldn’t confirm the spelling. Note: Police later identified her as Doris Gillespie.

“We all loved her,” one neighbor told the Times. “She was a part of this neighborhood for years.”


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