A 42-year-old post office sorter, Robert Shulman has been charged with killing four prostitutes between 1991 and 1996 and dumping their dismembered bodies in garbage bins around New York. The sensitive type, Bobby whimpered as he was led to a police car in Patchogue, Long Island. He said he felt "horrible" and apologized to the families of the victims. Shulman's brother been charged with helping dump some bodies, but is not believed to have be involved in the killings.
Shulman enjoyed picking up prostitutes and taking them back to his apartment for drugs and mayhem. After satiating his senses he would beat them to death using a hammer, baseball bat or a set of barbells.
Bobbie would sometimes chop off the dead girls' arms and/or handsso they couldn't be identified and dumped their remains in garbage containers in Long Island, Brooklyn and Yonkers. curiously, he aslo chopped off a leg or two.
Police tracked down one of the victims from a tattoo on her body. Investigators were then able to link Shulman and his brother's blue Cadillac to the dead prostitute. First police charged him with killing two women. While in custody he admitted involvement in three other murders. Apparently he would smoke tons of crack with his prostitute friends, black out and wake up to find them dead.
On March 4, 1999, a Suffolk County Court jury convicted Shulman of first-degree murder in Long Island's first capital murder case since a new death penalty law has been enacted. Shulman was found guilty of murdering and dismembering three prostitutes in 1994 and 1995. He is suspected of at least two more killings.
In court, Shulman wore a plaid shirt and a blue sweater. When he was arrested, his hair was long and scraggly. In court, he wore his hair in a buzz cut. It has taken three months of pre-trial hearings, four months of jury selection, and four months of testimony and two days of deliberation. The penalty phase of the trial begins March 15.
To be prosecuted under New York's new serial killer provision, a defendant must be accused of killing three or more people within a 24-month period as part of a common scheme or plan or in a similar fashion.
On May 7, 1999, a jury recommended the death penalty for former Shulman. The Suffolk County Court jury deliberated about five hours before recommending death by lethal injection for the murders of three prostitutes. "This defendant was a killing machine," said. "The jury was right on the mark in its decision."
Shulman was convicted of killing Kelly Sue Bunting, 28, of Hollis, Queens, whose body was found in December 1995 in a trash bin in Melville, Long Island; Lisa Ann Warner, 18, of Jamaica, Queens, whose body was found in April 1995 at a Brooklyn trash recycling plant; and an unidentified woman whose mutilated body was found in December 1994 on a roadside in Medford. He is also is awaiting trial in Westchester County for the murders of two other women. He is accused of killing Lori Vasquez, a 24-year-old Brooklyn woman, in 1991 and dumping her body into a Yonkers trash can. He also allegedly killed and dismembered another woman whose body was found in a trash bin in Yonkers in 1992. She was never identified.
Shulman's attorney, Paul Gianelli, argued that his client's life should be spared because he suffered from depression and had a weak grasp of reality. As a result, the attorney said, Shulman was unable to help prepare a defense during the sentencing phase of the trial.
Defense testimony recounting Shulman's troubled childhood -- his mother and brother suicide -- failed to sway the jurors. He will be formally sentenced to death by Suffolk County Court Judge Arthur Pitts on June 3. Shulman, who faces two more murder charges in Westchester County, attempted suicide with a razor after his conviction. He wept as yesterday's death sentence was announced.