Robert Shulman (serial killer)
Robert Yale Shulman
March 28, 1954
Hicksville, New York, U.S.
|Died||April 13, 2006 (aged 52)|
Albany, New York, U.S.
|Criminal penalty||Death, commuted to Life imprisonment|
Span of crimes
|April 6, 1996|
Robert Yale Shulman (March 28, 1954 – April 13, 2006) was an American serial killer. Shulman, a postal worker from Hicksville, New York on Long Island, was convicted of murdering five prostitutes between 1991 and 1996, the year when he was arrested.
Shulman was ultimately convicted of five murders.
- Lori Vasquez, killed August 1991.
- Unidentified woman, killed June 1992, body dumped in Yonkers.
- Unidentified woman ("Jane Doe Medford"), found 7 December 1994 in Medford. Beaten and dismembered.
- Lisa Ann Warner, found 6 April 1995 in Brooklyn, New York. Beaten and dismembered.
- Kelly Sue Bunting (aka "Melani"), last seen 8 December 1995, found in Brooklyn. Hands amputated; found wrapped in a sleeping bag.
Looking for the murder site, a detective canvassing hotels heard about a man driving a blue Cadillac who cruised the area. Trying to track the man down with this information, women were located who led them, not to a hotel, but to a residence where a blue Cadillac was seen. The registration was obtained, and the car was registered to Shulman's brother.
Trying to get information about the sleeping bag in which Bunting was found, detectives learned Sears was the only manufacturer. Sears was contacted to see if the brother had purchased one with a credit card. Sears said the brother had no card, but pointed out that Shulman had a card. This was how police were initially pointed towards Shulman as a possible culprit.
Women later identified him as the man cruising in the Cadillac, and cadaver dogs signaled the possibility of dead remains having been present in the Cadillac. Police searched Shulman's work place and found trace evidence matching that found on the body. Shulman was arrested on 6 April 1996. After interrogation, Shulman confessed to the three murders. (Shulman confessed to the earliest two murders at a later date.) A search of his room revealed hundreds of bloodstains scattered over almost every surface.
Trial and aftermath
Shulman was sentenced to death in 1999 for the only murder he committed after New York State reinstated the death penalty in 1995. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for his other murders because New York's death penalty law was not in effect at the time he committed them. His sentence was reduced to life in prison after the New York State Court of Appeals invalidated the death penalty in 2004.
He died 13 April 2006 in Albany, New York of undisclosed causes.
Shulman's brother Barry was indicted on charges of hindering prosecution and unlawfully disposing of dead bodies.
- McQuiston, John T. (2000-01-05). "An Inmate On Death Row Pleads Guilty In More Killings". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-14.
- People v. Shulman (Court of Appeals of New York 25 October 2005). Text
- Van Sant, Will (9 April 2011), "The region's solved serial killer cases", Newsday
- Sutton, Larry (26 April 1996). "Killer's Kin Gave Help, Police Say". New York Daily News.