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Monday, November 10, 2008


Rotterdam death ruled suicide
Albany Times Union, NY
David Filkins
Monday, November 10, 2008
ROTTERDAM -- State police said a 26-year-old woman died Saturday in her Floral Avenue home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. No charges were filed stemming from the incident which officials said occurred sometime in the afternoon. The Times Union is withholding the name of the victim as a matter of privacy. During the day Saturday - several investigators combed through the house at Floral Avenue before ruling the death a suicide. [LINK]

That was the full Albany Times article two days after the death of Melissa Varrone ... Her life and her death are worth MORE than a one day investigation. That's what she got - shot on Saturday, and ruled a suicide on Sunday. The Albany times decision to not print her name goes along with it's decision to not say that she is the wife of a Rotterdam Police Officer who was home at the time of the shooting, or that she has a young son who will be without her from now on.

See the next post: 
[NY] Melissa (Messineo) Varrone's Myspace page was deleted, so...

Rotterdam Police Chief James J. Hamilton
101 Princetown Road
(518) 355-7739

Town Supervisor Steven A. Tommasone

Deputy SupervisoR Joseph M. Signore

Council Member John R. Mertz

Council Member Michael Della Villa

Council Member John M. Silva

Main Phone Number:
(518) 355-7575 ext.393
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities lethal murder suicide rotterdam new york so-called alleged melissa messineo unsolved unresolved]


  1. You don't know the officer involved, he is a wonderful man and she was the love of his life. There is NO WAY this was a domestic abuse case. Everyone is mourning the loss, for her family and friends, her LOVING husband and her son.

  2. Rotterdam death ruled a suicide
    November 10, 2008
    ROTTERDAM, N.Y. -- State Police are ruling the death of a Rotterdam woman a suicide. Investigators say the 26-year-old woman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Saturday, inside her Floral Avenue home. This was a story we followed all weekend and until now authorities had not released much information LEADING TO WIDE SPECULATION IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. The woman was married to a Rotterdam police officer, who was home and off-duty at the time. Police say his service weapon was not used

  3. Your article really made me angry. To just lump this case in with all of the others is insensitive and irresponsible. I know this Officer and his wife very well and I can tell you that he loves his wife very much. She was everything to him. I saw the man's life change when he met her. His world revolved around her and her little boy. To say that the State Police did not do a thorough enough job investigating this case is wrong. Sometimes things are EXACTLY what they appear to be. There is not a grand conspiracy to cover things up. The Rotterdam Police did the right thing by turning the investigation over to the State Police. They did this so that sites like this one would not have a leg to stand on when they start attacking the investigation. I commend the Times Union for NOT publishing his name. This compassion and courtesy is a rarity in today's police hating liberal media. My heart breaks for her son, her husband and everyone who knew and cared for her. Melissa was a great woman. I pray that she finds peace.

  4. Same thing here in Tulsa, Ok. This young girl of 21, Jennifer Lynn Herd, girlfriend of a Tulsa Sergeant, was found in his house with a gunshot wound to her head, dead in his bedroom. He found her barely clinging to life when he happened to stop by his house to take a potty break. The police came and left, quickly ruling it a self inflicted gunshot/suicide. She got a small mention on the news about 11 days after her death and a piece in the paper and nothing else to this day. This officer was a wonderful man who loved her dearly, and she was the love of his life...he loved her so much that he stalked her day and night, even stalked her family & friends. He wouldn't let her live her life without him. She broke up with him and was trying desperately to move on with her life but somehow he found her everywhere she hid. But she was determined to find happiness without him and she was doing it. That made this wonderful man very upset. Somehow...she ended up in his home on May 16, 2006 with a gun to her head. Now this wonderful man is very, very sad and mourns her loss every day...

    1. Is there a post on this website for Jennifer Herd?

  5. I too know of this Rotterdam couple. I must say though, I am very sorry for the families involved. It is very emotional to lose someone in such a manor. However, I do not feel as though the investigation was properally done. I do believe calling in the state police was a great idea for the Rotterdam Police Dept. However, there is that "code" that all officers tend to follow. I sincerely believe, no matter what the outside world knows about the Husband and wife, behind closed doors a relationship is MUCH different then what appears on the outside. And I do believe Mr. Varonne needs to be looked at just a bit more closely. If this were just any old person, not an officer of the law, this investigation would have taken AT LEAST a week, but because it is an officer of the law, we're just going to hurry up and call it a suicide... And as for that dear little boy... My heart breaks for him! HE now has no mommy. I could not even begin to imagine! Brings tears to my eyes.

  6. QUOTE: "If this were just any old person, not an officer of the law, this investigation would have taken AT LEAST a week, but because it is an officer of the law, we're just going to hurry up and call it a suicide"

    Where are you getting your "at least a week" number from? Have you ever investigated a suicide? Have you ever investigated a homicide? have you ever investigated ANYTHING? You don't know what the evidence in this case shows. None of us do. So it is pure conjecture at this point. And it is this conjecture that is dangerous and damaging to those left behind. The NYS Police are a proud and well respected Law Enforcement Agency. They have investigated Police Officers in the past and made arrests when there was a crime committed. If there was a crime here I am sure they would have made an arrest. The Troopers never "hurry up" to conduct an investigation into any death. To set an arbitrary time limit on what constitutes a "good" investigation is silly. This just allows people like "JaneDoe" in Tulsa to perpetuate their beliefs about Police Officers and domestic violence. You people do not know the facts of the case. You do not know the people involved in this case. My heart goes out to every person touched by this tragedy and I call on all of us to look at this with open eyes and not allow our personal opinions on police in general to color how we see this case. I am not familiar with the Tulsa case so i will not try to justify what was done there, but I can see that JaneDoe has some personal connection with the dead girl. I am sorry for your loss, but some times if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck its a duck. Do you realize that every time you point a finger at this Officer you are victimizing him all over again? He has got to live with what happened to the love of his life and deal with it in his own way. He does not need you or anyone else repeatedly making thinly veiled accusations. All paperwork from this investigation should be made available through the Freedom of Information Law. If you are so curious about why the investigation was so short find out for yourself. Until then stop ragging on the NYS Police and this Officer. He is a GOOD man.

  7. a home suicide is
    and the police investigation of such is not a private matter. it is a very public issue for many reasons.

  8. this whole situation is very sad to me and others and my heart goes out to this family,especially this little boy without a is true noone knows what happens behind closed doors[been there],depression is a very serious thing and as for those who point their finger at her hubby,just wrong!suicide is a very awful,sad thing.i've had 3 cousins do it,and others i knew.we will nevr know why?i will be there to pay my respects.why do people post stupid things up here like this?where did the domestic violence issue come from anyhow?
    it is all very unfortunate because many of people will hurt from this ,especially her family/friends!26,she had her whole life ahead of her...i am so SORRY for this loss.

  9. I think it is ridiculous that people who know nothing about this family are so quick to judge them just because the husband is an officer of the law. I was friends with her, but had not seen her in quite some time, however I do know that she loved him very much and he loved her. They had just been married in the spring and her and her son were his life. Unfortunately she made the choice to take her life and we will all miss her very much, but I do have to say that we all noticed a change in her recently and noone in the outside world will ever know what was going on inside of her. I also believe that as far as the public is concerned they do not deserve an explanation. Those of us that were the closest to her know some of what she was going on, but noone will ever really know how she was feeling. As for her son he is an amazing little boy and it makes me sick that people are jumping to conclusions about the way her death was reported, but has anyone stopped for a moment to think that maybe the way the story was handled was done to protect her son and his emotions. A little boy has lost his mother and he deserves to be able to mourn her without all the media. Her husband was not a stalker nor were they having marital problems. I just wish that people would let her family mourn the loss of a truly amazing person. Although I did not know her husband all that well, as I said we did not keep in touch as much as we would have liked, I can honestly say that I am positive that this was not a domestic situation. I think this site not only owes him an apology, but they owe her son, family, and friends an apology for making such assumptions without knowing a single thing about the family. It really makes me sick that people are always looking for something else. I truly feel sorry for spouses of law enforcement who have lost their lives or have been in domestic violence situations with a member of law enforcement, however that does not mean that every police officer is a wife abuser! AAAAHHHH this just makes me so mad that we can't mourn the loss of our friend without uninformed people making uninformed conclusions.

  10. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 9 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church, Union Street. Interment will follow in Memory's Garden. Relatives and friends are invited and may call at the Rossi & Ditoro Funeral Home, Union at N. Jay Streets, Wednesday evening from 4 to 8. Memorial contributions may be made in Melissa's memory to a trust fund being established for her son... c/o Rossi & Ditoro, 501 Union St., Schenectady, NY 12305

  11. I knew the husband, not very well but I knew him. I dated his cousin a few years back and there is no way he had anything to do with this. He is a good man and my heart breaks for him.

  12. I don't know what is harder to hear, these comments or the fact that everyone is running there mouths about nothing they no anything about.
    NICO just lost his mother.Please respect our police officers with the jobs that was clearly a hard thing for them to face. Melissa RIP your smile is everylasting!

  13. Comment Daily Gazette

    babyblue says...
    Melissa was a very happy and outgoing woman. Very pritty girl. I worked with her a few years. Tony was very loving and a good person as well. My prayers go out to her son and family. Melissa u will be missed a great deal.

  14. does anyone KNOW how the suicide happened?the way it was done ?it breaks my heart everyday thinking of how or what could have went wrong that day?fight etc?a beautiful family ,Melissa,Tony,Nico...all gorgous .her poor hubby to always have to live with this forever and being there seeing all?...what coulda,woulda,shoulda been?just awful...and of course the stupid media!!!always looking for bad!

  15. Is this Melissa's Myspace?
    There hasn't been a log on since the same day she was killed. I found it by searching for "Melissa Messineo" - her maiden name - since she was only married a little while. Her Myspace would still be in that name if that's the name she originally signed up with.

  16. enlargement

  17. forums

  18. Yes that is her myspace, to whoever posted the link. I can understand people's concerns who don't know Tony would like to think or like to assume it was more than what was published, but guys come on...people Kill themselves. Even beautiful people who have loving husbands and children. Those who seem to have it all and on the outside looking in seem to have a perfect life.

    Everyone's so quick to jump down Tony's throat but does anyone think how he feels? He lost his wife and now has to hear all this crap because he's an officer of the law.

    I saw him walking through the Mall this weekend. He looked empty. You could see right threw his eyes, just a blank stare. That's the look of someone who is hurting inside not that of someone who would harm his wife.

  19. Melissa's Myspace


    Melissa is recovering from a kick ass weekend

    "Bites you in the ass when you least expect it let's see who can be the better person"

    26 years old
    New York
    United States

    Last Login: 11/8/2008

  20. Blogger JaneDoe said...
    Same thing here in Tulsa, Ok... The police came and left, quickly ruling it a self inflicted gunshot/suicide... This officer was a wonderful man who loved her dearly, and she was the love of his life... He wouldn't let her live her life without him. She broke up with him... That made this wonderful man very upset...

    The Myspace page for this young woman, Jennifer Lynn Herd:


  21. I had known Melissa for a couple of years and had seen her just as recently as one week prior to her passing, when I had gone out to celebrate my birthday. I remember Melissa as a happy and outgoing person, very vivacious. This is how I have chosen to and will always think of her. I know I will miss the smile in her voice and the kindness toward others I knew her to show. Her husband, young son, and rest of those who knew and loved her are all in my prayers and will continue to be.

  22. She's really gone. Her myspace words don't sound like someone throwing in the towel though.

    Condolences to the families.

  23. God, grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    the courage to change the things I can;
    and the wisdom to know the difference.

  24. Why was her myspace removed?

    "Invalid Friend ID.
    This user has either cancelled their membership, or their account has been deleted."

  25. [NY] Melissa (Messineo) Varrone's Myspace page was deleted, so...


    "...wishes heaven had a phone so I could talk to you again Melissa. I thought of you today, but that is nothing new. I thought about you yesterday, and days before that too. I think of you in silence. I often speak your name. All I have are memories and a picture in a frame."

  27. State Police: At least one dead in Rotterdam home
    November 08, 2008 3:45 PM
    CBS 6 News

    Police have been working this case since at least this afternoon - State Police are telling us only that Rotterdam Police called them today to look into a death and that the first part of the investigation revealed nothing suspicious.

    Tonight, Police photographers were inside 1017 Floral Avenue in Rotterdam, that's off Curry Road near Guilderland Avenue.

    The Chief Assistant District Attorney was also there.

    Craig Smith was on scene, and spoke to the man who rents that house to the couple who lives there. He would not identify them, but he says the husband is a Rotterdam Police Officer and said the officer's wife has a son who is six or seven years old, and that they moved in there about a year ago.

    He said they are outstanding people, great tenants.

    One woman who lives nearby told me neighbors have been talking about seeing the officer in tears as other officers led him away today.

    We'll be working this story all weekend so stay tuned and look for updates on

  28. I was a vary close friend of the Tulsa victim. Jenni was a girl who truly loved life an everything about it. I still dont know the truth of what happened that day in that house but God does. As much as I want to believe she wouldnt have killed herself I am told to forgive. The truth will come to lite one day and if she was a victim of domestic violence he will answer for what he done when he gets where he's going. Until we meet again R.I.P. Jennifer "Jenni" Lynn Herd 9-1-84/5-16-06 Love and miss you everyday!

  29. From Find A Grave

    Melissa E Messineo Varrone

    Birth: Jun. 27, 1982
    Schenectady County
    New York, USA
    Death: Nov. 8, 2008
    Schenectady County
    New York, USA

    Melissa Messineo Varrone , 26, of Floral Avenue, died suddenly on Saturday, at her residence.

    Melissa was born in Schenectady and graduated from Scotia-Glenville High School and Orlo School of Cosmetology in Albany. Melissa worked at the Cutting Edge in Rotterdam and Ania Hair Studio in Guilderland and most recently part time at Friendly's Tavern in Rotterdam, while spending most of her time as a homemaker and a stay at home Mom.

    Survivors include her beloved husband, Anthony Varrone , whom she married April 15, 2008; her loving son, Nicola "Nico" Vaccaro, of Rotterdam; her devoted parents, Stephen Messineo, of Amsterdam and Laureen Newlan Messineo and her fiance, George Pippert, of Clifton Park; a sister, Alicia Messineo Hoose, of Rotterdam; a niece, Chloe Hoose; her grandparents, Walter and Martha Newlan of Florida and Evelyn Mason, of Scotia. Melissa was the daughter-in-law of William Varrone , Jr. and Linda Pallotolo Varrone ; sister-in-law of William Varrone III, Adina and Anthony Lawton; she is also survived by her grandparents-in law, Anthony and Olga Pallotolo and Virginia Varrone ; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and wonderful friends.

    A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 9 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church, Union Street. Interment will follow in Memory's Garden.

    Relatives and friends are invited and may call at the Rossi & Ditoro Funeral Home, Union at N. Jay Streets, Wednesday evening from 4 to 8 p.m.

    Memorial contributions may be made in Melissa 's memory to a trust fund being established for her son, Nico, c/o Rossi & Ditoro, 501 Union St., Schenectady, NY 12305.

    -Daily Gazette, The (Schenectady, NY) - Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Memory Garden
    Schenectady County
    New York, USA

    Created by: Jennifer Deuel
    Record added: Oct 18, 2010
    Find A Grave Memorial# 60292664

  30. State Police: Rotterdam Death A Suicide
    November 09, 2008 4:50 PM

    New York State Police issued a news release Sunday afternoon identifying the victim of Saturday's shooting on Floral Avenue as 26-year-old Melissa E. Varrone. Police said the gunshot that killed Varrone was self-inflicted.

    According to the release, Varrone was "the wife of a Town of Rotterdam police officer, who was off-duty and home at the time of the incident. The weapon involved was not his duty weapon."

    Police were called to the Varrone residence Saturday afternoon, closing part of Floral Avenue and Oak Street to traffic for several hours.


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