Confessions of Alleged Kensington Strangler Read in Court
Antonio Rodriguez, 22, the alleged Kensington Strangler, appeared in court at Philadelphia’s Criminal Justice Center this morning in an orange jumpsuit and blue canvas sneakers for a preliminary arraignment meeting.
Rodriguez is facing charges of murder, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of corpse in the deaths of three women: 21-year-old Elaine Goldberg, 35-year-old Nicole Piacentini and 27-year-old Casey Mahoney.
The beaten bodies of all three women were found in November and December of last year. DNA evidence taken from the bodies links to Rodriguez.
Homicide detectives said that in addition to his confession and the DNA match, Rodriguez correctly picked out photographs of the three women, identified the correct order of their deaths and explicitly described the position their bodies were left in—a detail left out of the press.
According to Rodriguez’s statement, he approached Goldberg on the street and asked if she was “working” and that she said yes. (Goldberg, a nursing student, does not have a record of prostitution.)
“I asked her if she liked to be choked and she said yes,” reads the statement. “[I] began to choke her with my left hand and she told me to use both hands.” Then she “just stopped.”
“She didn’t tap me, she didn’t let me know … she couldn’t breathe.”
Rodriguez claims he “panicked” and left the scene, but believed that she was still alive. This contradicts another statement he made. In a separate statement confessing to the killing of Nicole Piacentini, Rodriguez admitted to “fucking” Piacentini several times after he was “pretty sure” she was dead.
“I wasn’t done with her,” he said in his statement to detectives. When asked, he admitted it wasn’t the first time he had done that, and referenced Goldberg.
At this point, Rodriguez made fists on the table, leaned forward and rested his forehead on his fists. Otherwise, he stared ahead or down at the copy of his signed confession.
Rodriguez described his encounter with Piacentini as “sort of the same.”
“I just started choking her,” read the statement. “She was screaming. She told me to stop.” He didn’t. He says he noticed blood on his hands and when he let her go, she slumped.
“It was like she was trying to say something, but couldn’t,” read the statement.
Next, a detective read aloud Rodriguez’s confession regarding Casey Mahoney. According to the confession, Rodriguez began the story the same way—that he stopped and asked her if she was working and she said yes; then they had sex.
Then, he stated that Mahoney heard a noise, got scared and wanted to stop—but he wouldn’t stop.
“She started to punch,” he said. There was a struggle. Mahoney scratched his face. “Then I started choking her and then she wasn’t moving anymore.” He describes similarly abusing her lifeless body.
Rodriguez stated that he wore a condom with Mahoney. “I knew that you guys were looking for a strangler; it was all over the news,” he told detectives.
After the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Carlos Vega explained that injuries on the bodies that “don’t have to do with the strangling” will support the state’s allegations of rape charges at trial.
Formal arraignment is scheduled for March 2.