''Unfortunately, the sentence options given to me by law fall far short of the sentence which you truly deserve. No dictionary contains sufficient words to describe the brutality of your acts."
- Judge Marvin I. Goodman
It was the 3rd of March 1989. A Friday. Thirteen year old Kelly Ann Tinyes was at home with her younger brother, eight year old Richard Tinyes. She lived with Richard and their parents Victoria and Richard on Horton Road in Valley Stream, New York, United States. In two days time, Kelly Ann would turn fourteen. She was a happy and popular girl on the street. It was a street where everyone knew everybody else. All the children played together and families would throw barbecues for the entire street. It had a great community atmosphere. They had Easter egg hunts for Easter and Halloween parties for all the children every year.
Victoria, Richard, Richard Jnr and Kelly
That day, the 3rd of March, most of the parents on the street were at work and the children at school. After school, the children would normally head home to their houses and sometimes play on the street. Kelly was at home with her brother. As she was the eldest, it was her job to babysit. According to Richard, someone called "John" called the house phone number. He answered but "John" wanted to speak to Kelly instead. Shortly after the call, Kelly told Richard that she was going to a friend's house.
When Kelly's father, Richard, arrived home from work, it was around 6pm and Kelly was not home. He called Kelly's friends and drove to a few of their houses to find out where she was. Richard went to malls and food stores, places where she would normally be, but there was no sign of her anywhere. He reported her missing to the police around midnight.
Kelly Ann Tinyes
The next morning, police searched the area and a house a few doors down from where Kelly lived.
According to a person who lived on the street and several children, they saw Kelly going into the Golubs house around 3.45pm on the day she went missing. The house was just five doors away from her own house. The Golubs had two boys, fourteen year old John J and twenty one year old Robert. But even though Kelly knew John J, nobody saw her enter the house prior to that day so Kelly's family were not sure why she would have called there that afternoon.
When police searched the house, they discovered the basement of the house was covered in debris. Police described it as being extremely cluttered which made it difficult to search. There were clothes, bottles, papers, bags on the floor. Police had to move them to get to a closet. Inside the closet, they found a sleeping bag with a human foot coming out of it.
The foot belonged to Kelly. Her naked body had been stuffed inside a sleeping bag. Nearby her clothes were found in black attache cases.
Kelly had been strangled, beaten and mutilated. There were slash marks across her chest and neck and clumps of hair had been torn from her scalp. On her neck and buttocks, there were what appeared to be visible bite marks.
Police discovered that when Kelly entered the house the day before, there were four people inside. Robert, John J, and two of John J's friends. Both Robert and John J denied making the call to Kelly that day but police confirmed that a call was placed from their home phone number to Kelly's house on the afternoon of the 3rd of March.
Kelly Ann Tinyes
John J's friends told police that they smoked pot with John J in one of the spare bedrooms and had some food in the kitchen. They said John J was with them the entire time, he only left a few times to turn up the stereo in another room. The three of them left at 3.45pm. That account was confirmed by several witnesses who said they saw John and two friends leave the house at 3:45pm. Two other boys told police that they played basketball with the three boys that afternoon at a nearby school. That meant that there was only one person left in the house. Robert Golub. His parents, John and Elizabeth came home later in the afternoon.
Within a month of Kelly's murder, police made an arrest. They arrested twenty one year old bodybuilder Robert Golub. It was a shock for some people on the street. Robert kept pretty much to himself on the street and aside from driving without a license and speeding, he had not been in trouble with the police before.
Robert spent up to three hours a day at the gym. At 5 foot 3 inches, he was a serious and dedicated bodybuilder and was abnormally strong for someone his height. When police questioned him, he told them he was a member of the National Rifle Association. Robert admitted to using illegal steroids for bodybuilding and he told them he shot a dog in the face with a BB gun because the dog would not stop barking. But he was clear about one thing. He did not kill Kelly. The police did not believe him and charged him with second degree murder.
It was the Prosecution's case that Robert killed Kelly that afternoon in his parent's house. There were no eyewitnesses and Robert denied being involved but the Prosecution told the Jury that they would rely on circumstantial and forensic evidence to prove that Robert was guilty.
Kelly had been beaten with such brutality that there were marks on her entire body. The length of the beating was estimated to have taken around twenty minutes and she was then strangled. The cause of death was strangulation.
Dr Arlene Colon, a serologist, testified that Kelly was:
''smeared with blood. Her hair was very much tangled, and there were tufts of hair that had been pulled out.''
It was her testimony that Kelly's body had been so badly mutilated that she could not carry out all the tests required.
The medical examiner, Dr Lukash, testified that Kelly was fully dressed when she was hit on the head and beaten. Some of Kelly's injuries occurred when she was still alive. These injuries included bruises on her face and head, a bite mark on her neck and brain injuries from the violent beating she sustained. Her clothes were then removed.
He testified that injuries such as the pelvic cuts and a bite mark on her buttocks occurred after death. One of those pelvic cuts was a deep wound and he believed that it may have been caused by an 18 inch bayonet that was in the basement under Kelly's body.
The slashes across Kelly's neck and chest were caused, he believed, by a sharp object such as glass.
A bloody handprint was found on the basement door. Blood found on pieces of Kelly's clothing and on two attache cases in which the clothing was stuffed matched Robert's blood.
Robert did not give evidence at his Trial but the statements he gave to police were submitted into evidence. He said that he did not know Kelly but she had made many phone calls to his house looking for John before that day. He believed they were in a relationship. Kelly's parents did not believe that.
Robert told the police that on the afternoon of the 3rd of March, he left the house once. He bought a muscle magazine at a supermarket. The rest of the day consisted of watching television, checking the mail and sleeping. According to Robert, when John J and his friends called to the house, it was around 2.45pm and he was checking the mail on the porch. He watched television between 3.30pm and 4.30pm and then slept until 6.30pm. John woke him up. John told him that a girl he met on a cruise wanted to speak with him on the phone but Robert did not take the call. He had dinner in his room. That was normal for him as his family usually ate separately. After dinner, he went out for a drink with a friend and was home by 11.30pm. He said that he did not see Kelly that day.
Robert was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Even with a guilty verdict, some people felt that justice was not done. Some believed that Robert did not act alone that day. They believed that John J may have been involved but police said there was no evidence to suggest same.
Three months after Robert Golub was convicted of the murder of Kelly Ann Tinyes, her parents sued his parents. They believed that they hold some responsibility for the murder of their daughter due to their failure to supervise their son in circumstances where they were aware of his psychiatric problems and drug use.
That law suit went nowhere. The murder bitterly divided the families who lived on the street and the street changed forever. Both families continued to live there after Robert was sentenced.
At one of his parole hearings, Robert admitted that he killed Kelly. He said that at the time, he was on steroids. Kelly ran into the house and he collided with her which caused her to fall down the stairs. She was unconscious and he suffocated her but he said that he didn't intend to suffocate her, he just panicked.
At that point, he dragged her by the ankles and pulled her through the house. Her jacket and shirt rode up. He said he slapped her to try to wake her and the slaps became punches and kicks.
Robert is now eligible for parole consideration every two years.
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"The criminal justice system will take a hard look at what happened to Matthew Eappen. It is up to the rest of us to take an even harder look at who is minding our children."
- Eileen McNamara, the Boston Globe
"The effects of abuse are devastating and far reaching. Domestic violence speaks many languages, has many colors and lives in many different communities."
- Sandra Pupatello
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