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Parents of Pennsylvania woman stabbed 20 times want answers after death ruled suicide

Sandra and Ellen Greenberg. - Facebook
Sandra and Ellen Greenberg. - Facebook - Postmedia News Service

The circumstances behind Ellen Greenberg’s death just doesn’t sit well with her parents.

The Pennsylvania woman’s parents, Joshua and Sandra Greenberg, are looking for justice after the 27-year-old woman’s death was ruled a suicide.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Ellen was found dead on Jan. 26, 2011 at the Venice Lofts apartment complex. She had been stabbed 20 times all over her body – with 10 wounds in the back of her neck.

The woman’s body was found on her kitchen floor as recently-sliced fruit sat on the counter and two clean knives rested in the sink. Ellen’s fiance, Samuel Goldberg, who shared the apartment with her, discovered her body after kicking down the door when he found himself locked out. He told police the apartment’s swing bar lock was engaged.

The Inquirer reported that medical examiners ruled Ellen’s death a homicide but cops believed the incident was a suicide. The woman’s cause of death was officially ruled a suicide in 2011.

“It doesn’t add up,” mother Sandra told the Inquirer. “…We just want to know the truth.”

Surveillance cameras located in the apartment’s lobby only noted who entered the building that day. Police reportedly found no signs of an intruder in the sixth-floor apartment and snow on the balcony was untouched.

Goldberg reportedly had called 911 after performing CPR, but was instructed to stop after finding a knife lodged in Ellen’s body.

Four days prior to her death, Ellen began taking anti-anxiety medication Klonopin and sleeping aid Ambien. Suicidal thoughts was listed as one of the side effects of the pills.

The Inquirer reported one of Ellen’s friends noticed her demeanour had changed as her upcoming wedding drew closer. However, the friend chalked up Ellen’s anxious behaviour to pressures from work.

Forensic officials recovered Ellen’s computer search history, which included “suicide methods”, “quick suicide”, and “painless suicide”. A spokesperson from the Attorney General’s Office in Pennsylvania that Ellen had sent text messages to her mother which supported ideas of suicide.

The parents attempted to have Ellen’s case reopened in 2012 and 2018. They were denied both times.

That’s when they sought out the help of forensic experts in an effort to find out how Ellen died. They also bought their daughter’s autopsy report, autopsy pictures, crime scene photos of Ellen’s body and an investigation report to aid in their quest.

One of the experts was Cyril Wecht, a forensic pathologist known for challenging the single-bullet theory of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Without police files to review, Wecht concluded in 2012 that Ellen’s death hints “strongly suspicious of homicide.”

Montgomery County deputy coroner Gregory McDonald also stated the number of shallow wounds on Ellen’s body weren’t common in homicides.

A lack of defense wounds was noted in police reports. State trooper Tom Brennan noted that it’s consistent with a “blitz attack” where a victim is attacked so fast that they’re “unable to defend themselves.”

Also, the placement of the stab wounds, the force needed to inflect them and that it happened through clothing hint at a murder, McDonald stated.

Blood that flowed from Ellen’s nose to left ear also suggests the woman was hunched over but later propped up when she was found.

The autopsy report noted there was no spinal injury. If the stab wounds to the back of the neck had hit Ellen’s spine, it would have made her numb so she wouldn’t feel the pain, but if the spine was punctured she wouldn’t have been able to move.

Joshua said he was “disgusted and disappointed” by how the case was handled and vowed “this is not over.”

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