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Friday, January 8, 2010

[NY] Utica Police Detective Longo's wife Kristin forwarded their text messages to a friend before he killed her - in case he did.

Kristin Longo's Attorney:
...“We have, in our possession, substantial irrefutable documentation which proves that Kristin Longo was in great fear for the safety of her children, her own safety and even the safety of Officer Longo”... 

...Although none of these text messages was recovered from either Kristin or Joseph Longo’s cell phone, Kristin Longo did forward them all to a friend prior to her death...

Previous posts:

Utica Observer-Dispatch
By Rocco LaDuca
Posted Dec 30, 2009 @ 12:30 AM
Last update Jan 04, 2010 @ 02:43 PM
[Excerpts] After Utica police Investigator Joseph Longo Jr. learned last Sept. 28 in court that he would have to pay his wife $1,800 monthly in child support, he called a fellow police officer with whom he was having an affair to express his fury. Within an hour after the lovers talked, Longo went to his Deerfield house for what would become one last argument with his wife, Kristin. At 3:29 p.m., she ended a telephone call with a friend saying, “Joe’s here. I’ve got to go.” By 3:43 p.m., a neighbor had called 911. During the 14 minutes in between, the police investigator stabbed his wife to death and then delivered repeated knife wounds to himself that proved fatal. These and many other details are contained in the final state police report on the Longo murder-suicide... Kristin Longo appeared to first become aware of her husband’s infidelity with his coworker, Utica Officer Kate Zalewski, last summer, the report concludes. By that time, however, the Longos’ marriage already had crumbled over Joseph Longo’s history of verbal abuse toward Kristin Longo and their four children, said the family’s attorney, John Dillon... “She wasn’t leaving him because of this affair,” Dillon said. “She was leaving him because he was being abusive”... Joseph Longo was served with divorce papers on Friday, Sept. 25, three days before the murder-suicide. At that time, Acting Supreme Court Justice James Griffith issued a “refrain from” order prohibiting Joseph Longo from assaulting, harassing, menacing or committing any other crimes against his wife and her family. Kristin Longo also was granted exclusive use of the Cosby Manor Road home, and Joseph Longo was ordered to stay away. The morning of Sept. 28, it was agreed Joseph Longo could go to the house to collect his belongings... The morning of the murder-suicide, Joseph and Kristin Longo engaged in a heated conversation as they sat next to each other while awaiting Oneida Count Family Court custody proceedings involving their eldest teenage son. When court attendants observed the confrontation, they asked Joseph Longo to move. Kristin Longo got up instead... Then, at noon divorce proceedings, Joseph Longo was upset that he would be responsible for having to pay $1,800 in child support to Kristin Longo, as well as half the household expenses... When state Trooper Theodore Kubinski arrived following the 911 call, he attempted to talk to Joseph Longo. “What happened?” the trooper asked. “We had a fight,” Longo replied. “Was there anyone else in the house?” Kubinski inquired. “No, just the two of us. I did it to her,” Longo said... Dillon said Joseph Longo’s anger appeared to heat up as Kristin Longo began to assert herself against her husband this past summer. “Things went downhill when he started losing complete control of Kristin, when she started to become more independent and going out more often, and when she wasn’t completely under his thumb,” Dillon said. The Utica Police Department was well aware of the relationship going on between Joseph Longo and Zalewski, Deputy Police Chief Michael Bailey said... “There’s nothing we can do to prohibit a particular relationship from occurring,” Bailey said... After it became clear Longo might pose a threat to himself, police took away both his duty and personal firearms on Sept. 14... [Full article here]

Utica Observer-Dispatch
Posted Dec 30, 2009 @ 12:30 AM
[Excerpts] The state police investigation into the Longo murder-suicide concludes there’s no evidence Kristin Longo ever reported to Utica police that she feared her husband, Investigator Joseph Longo Jr., would kill her. Yet her family’s attorney believes state police haven’t uncovered the whole story. The final state police report offers no indication that Kristin Longo told Utica police she feared for her life, Troop D Capt. Mark Lincoln said. She did, however, call Utica police on two occasions in August and September to report concerns over Joseph Longo’s welfare, Lincoln said... “These contacts were more about Joe being suicidal than any domestic concerns,” Lincoln said. “That seems to be the theme running through this whole thing: a reluctance to report concerns about Joe’s actions out of fear that it might jeopardize his job.” While Kristin Longo might have reported her fears to her close friends and family, the investigation’s findings indicate that she did not share every detail with Utica police. Attorney John Dillon, who represents Kristin Longo’s family, finds that hard to believe. Several weeks ago, Dillon and Kristin Longo’s family announced their plans to file a civil wrongful death lawsuit against Utica for not doing enough to prevent her from being killed by her husband. They also allege that some members of the police department might have been protecting Joseph Longo from any serious ramifications for his alleged threats of violence, Dillon said. “If the New York State Police have concluded that Kristin did not express these concerns to the UPD, then the UPD officials must have misrepresented the facts to the state police investigators,” Dillon said. “We have, in our possession, substantial irrefutable documentation which proves that Kristin Longo was in great fear for the safety of her children, her own safety and even the safety of Officer Longo.” This evidence, Dillon said, consists of phone records, text messages and eyewitness accounts of events that occurred in the days leading up to Kristin Longo’s death. The fact that those texts messages are not included in a recently completed state police report is somewhat concerning, Dillon said... Although Dillon declined to publicly release the text messages, his description of them indicates that Joseph Longo’s behavior would often shift from hostile to self-loathing. For anyone who reads these text messages, Dillon said, it is apparent Joseph Longo was a threat and that Kristin Longo did not take his hostility lightly. Although none of these text messages was recovered from either Kristin or Joseph Longo’s cell phone, Kristin Longo did forward them all to a friend prior to her death... When Kristin Longo reportedly told one of Longo’s supervisors about her fears in late summer, Dillon said she was reassured, “We’ll take care of this.” But after the supervisor talked to Joseph Longo, he still returned home and “taunted” Kristin Longo with the fact that he still had his gun... That’s when a frightened Kristin Longo called Utica police and demanded they do something, Dillon said. “She was beyond upset, she was weeping and begging them to take his gun away,” Dillon said, according to witness accounts. “They promised her that they would, and within a matter of hours his gun was gone”... [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities murder suicide sue lawsuit liability policy mental health ny]


    Zalewski applies for unpaid leave from force
    Utica Observer-Dispatch
    Posted Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:42 PM
    Last update Jan 30, 2010 @ 10:44 PM
    Based on payroll records kept at the city Comptroller’s Office, it would appear that Utica police Officer Kate Zalewski has been showing up at work every day. But for the past 4½ months, Zalewski has been out on paid leave ever since her lover and col league, Utica police Investigator Joseph Longo Jr., stabbed his wife, Kristin, to death and then killed him self in late September 2009... Normally, the city Comptroller’s Office keeps specific records on employees’ pay and days off. In this instance, it has not been provided with those details by the police department... “You’d think most people understand that what she went through was very difficult, and we’d love to have another officer working than not,” [Police union’s president, Sgt. Thomas] Brady said. “But we wouldn’t want her to come back here if she’s not ready to come back. You have to be on your toes. It’s a big decision to make, and it’s her decision to make.” [Full article here]

  2. JUDGE UPHOLDS ALLEGED LABELLA, ROEFARO LINKS IN LONGO LAWSUIT: Also dismisses several claims due to insufficient allegations
    By Rocco LaDUCA
    Posted Mar 01, 2011 @ 05:07 PM
    Last update Mar 01, 2011 @ 07:52 PM
    [Excerpt] A federal judge Tuesday upheld allegations that Utica Public Safety Commissioner Daniel LaBella and Utica Mayor David Roefaro may have personally created risks that put Kristin Palumbo-Longo’s life in danger at the hands of her emotionally disturbed husband. In a 19-page written decision, U.S. District Judge David Hurd ruled that LaBella and Roefaro are not entitled to individual “immunity” from a wrongful death lawsuit that accuses them and the Utica Police Department of failing to protect Palumbo-Longo from her husband, Utica police Investigator Joseph Longo Jr. On at least five occasions, Palumbo-Longo contacted police about her husband’s troubling behavior in the weeks leading up to Sept. 28, 2009, the day Longo Jr. fatally stabbed his wife more than a dozen times inside their Deerfield home following a divorce proceeding. Longo Jr. then repeatedly stabbed himself to death...


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