Friday, November 10, 2006

Adrienne Shelly, Who She Was and Why We Should All Care About What Happened To Her

I never heard the name Adrienne Shelly until ten days ago and probably never would have.

Except for the fact that I was going to New York City last weekend.

First to see my son, and then pick up a friend to drive up the Hudson Valley for a couple of days to stay at her new weekend home. We had been planning this outing for weeks and even worked out all the logistics, down to how we would get out of the city in the midst of the New York Marathon on Sunday afternoon.

Then my friend called last Thursday with terrible news.

"Look," she said. "something horrible has next door neighbor, Adrienne Shelly, was found dead at her office several blocks away. Police think it was a suicide, but it's the craziest one believes it. I saw her just yesterday and she was radiant."

"Why would she kill herself with a husband who adores her, a three year-old daughter and a career as a writer and actor that's booming? I'm afraid this has us all in a deep state of depression."

"Of course," I replied, not knowing what else to say. "Look, let's call our trip off, you need to be there and I'm just getting over a dreadful cold."

"No, let's go," she insisted. "But I don't know when we will be able to get away right now."

Numerous calls and conversations ensued over the course of the next three days and our road trip. We talked endlessly, formulating theory after theory floating around town about Shelly's horrifying death----a suicide, an accidental hanging while researching a part for a new screenplay, a murder that looked like a suicide, the police questioning of her husband and several even more bizarre theories too awful to mention.

We talked about her daughter and how we hoped she might never have to be told her mother killed herself and what that must do to a child.

But with each conversation we kept coming back to,

"Why?" and, "What really happened?"

We both found the suicide theory hard to swallow. But much more importantly her husband had too, and had hired a private detective. Furthermore, there was still the pesky evidence of strange sneaker footprints in the bathroom where she had been found hung.

Then late Monday night, the call came to my friend's home where we were staying that started to pull all the pieces of this awful puzzle together.

"She was murdered by an illegal alien doing construction work in her building. He's confessed and been arrested. He's only been in the country a year and can speak very little English."

The suspect is one Diego Pillco, 19, an illegal alien from Ecuador, who later told police "he was having a bad day."

He was also scared to death of being caught and sent back to where he came from.

The story started making sense: Adrienne, 40, had been bothered by loud contruction noise while she tried to work in her office, and had gone down to the next floor to complain. A row broke out between Shelly and Pillco who then threw a hammer at her but missed. Angered, Shelly turned and ran back up the steps she had just come down with Pillco in hot pursuit, warning her not to call the police.

He then struck her in the head.

Suspecting she was either near death or dead, and fearing he would be found out and deported from the country, Pillco dragged Shelly into her office, wrapped her in a sheet and hung her---most likely alive and struggling---on the shower rod over the bath tub to make it look like she had committed suicide. It was there Adrienne Shelly died.

And it was there that Shelly's husband, Andy Ostroy, found her later that day, after repeatedly trying to call and e-mail her but getting no response.

Adrienne Shelley left behind a husband and daughter whom she loved and who adored her, a career that was blossoming, and friends and fans who were cheering her on. Her untimely death is a tragedy on every front.

And it is also a tragedy that can be laid on all of us as we continue to allow thousands and thousands of illegal aliens into our country each year.

According to a post over at Michelle Malkin:

"Pillco was a native of the city of Cuenca, and arrived in the United States in the summer of 2005 after paying smugglers $12,000 to sneak him over the Mexican border, according to law-enforcement sources."

"Pillco eventually made his way to Brooklyn, where he moved into a basement apartment with his brother Wilson - who had arrived months earlier - at 328 Prospect Ave., where a cousin also lived.

His landlord, Louis Hernandez, hired Pillco to work as a part-time helper for his construction company, even though - by his own admission - he knew the immigrant did not have legal working papers."

The New York Times picks it up from there with some choice quotes,

"Acquaintances of Mr. Pillco, who had been living in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn, described him as an energetic and respectful young man who was struggling with the physical rigors of his job and the disorientation of his illegal immigrant status."

“I still don’t think he could do something like this,” said Frank Diaz, a resident of the building on Prospect Avenue where Mr. Pillco lived in a cramped basement space with two other Ecuadorean construction workers."

Pillco had paid $12,000 to get smuggled into the country?

He was struggling with "the rigors of his job and the disorientation of his illegal immigrant status?"

And he was living with other illegal immigrants who had paid to get into the country illegally also and not learning the language?

What part of the words "illegal immigrant" are we as a country not getting?

Here we have men who by very definition are outside the Rule of Law, paid to come into the country to be outside the Rule of Law, want to remain outside The Rule of Law and have no interest in knowing our history, our language or what it means to live under The Rule of Law.

And, I might add, who want us to coddle them for being "disoriented by their illegal status."

I am offended. I've been offended since I had the courage to read Victor Davis Hanson's book "Mexifornia" several years ago.

As a woman, I am offended when I see and hear about a murder like Shelly's, when I hear of a carload of drunk illegals without drivers licenses careening into an oncoming car obeying the rules of the road killing all of them. I am offended when I struggle to communicate with an immigrant worker--a waiter, a car mechanic, a clerk-- who signals me he can't speak English. And cares nothing about learning.

I could go on but won't.

Adrienne Shelly's death, like many others before her, should make us weep for her and her family personally and their loss.

But it should make us collectively weep for our country, as lax immigration policies water down what it means to be an American, a law abiding English speaking citizen. In a country with strong borders and tough laws and a grand history and legacy of legal immigration.

What's next: an illegal with say $50,000 in his pocket smuggling in a nuclear weapon while the likes of Ted Kennedy pass legislation providing for their care, codding and nourishment at our, the taxpayers,' expense?

I hope and pray that we lawful citizens will wake up and forbid our elected officials to go any further in appeasing these man and women outside the Rule of Law in this country. And call them what they are: illegal aliens who need to and must be deported.

That's the least we can do for the memory of Adrienne Shelly and others like her. I pray for her and her family and the national crisis unfolding before our very eyes.


captcorajus said...

This story has been bothering me all week too. I had no connection to her except that I remembered her from "Trust", "The Unbelievable Truth", and
"Theresa's Tattoo".

I remember reading that she was writing and directing and had had a daughter, and smiling... her characters were so full of energy and I felt that certainly some of that had to part of the real her.

Then... suicide? I couldn't believe it. I thought things sounded suspicious, and thought it quite calous for the newspaper to carry the "suicide" angle before all the facts were.

Diego has said that Ms. Shelly called him SOB and slapped him. First let me point out that so far all we have are HIS version of events. In his version he stated she was dead when he hung her, which we now know was not true. The ME has stated that Ms. Shelly died from "compression of the neck."

Also, it was in all the tabloids for several days around NYC that her death was "an apparent suicide." Thus giving Mr. Diego time to come up with a story.

The full results of the autopsy have not been released, and I suspect that Ms. Shelly's death was significantly more gruesome than has thus far been established.

In all likelihood the "SOB" comment probably didn't occur till he hit her the first time. She probably didn't have a chance to scratch him until she was being hung from the rod. I submit that when all is revealed there were scratches on her neck and her own skin under her fingernails showing that she was fully conscious when hung.

This guy beat this wonderful woman into unconsciousness and hung her from a shower rod to strangle to death... he is the scum of the earth, and I don't believe a damn thing he says.

The contractor that hired him stated, "he seemed just like another hard working immigrant"... thus he knew he was an illigal.

There are atrocities commited by these people every day... rapes, murders... its horrific. This is a true threat to our security, and safety.

I can only hope that this tragedy will have some meaning by bringing to light this danger due to her "high profile status."

As a Husband and father with 2 daughters of my own, and my thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Webutante said...

Thanks for your comment. I totally agree with you in hoping this will bring about some change. As a woman, mother and citizen this situation scares me greatly. And it is very hard to write about another woman being murdered in this way. I almost didn't do it.

Anonymous said...

I would just like to say that your use of Adrienne Shelley's death to support your hatred of illegal immigrants is absolutely disgusting. The man is a murderer, that is inexcusable for certain, but I believe murderers come in legal and illegal versions, and they are not mutually exclusive.

I agree that something is wrong with the system as it relates to illegal immigrant status but to make the case that Ms. Shelley was murdered because an illegal got in is just absurd. Perhaps if we ousted them all, all murders and crimes would cease to happen.

Webutante said...

Well I have to agree murderers come in all shapes and sizes and certainly aren't restricted to illegal aliens. However, this man had paid a great deal of money to stay outside the law and ultimately killed Adrienne Shelly to keep her from contacting the police. I think this is reprehensible and stand by my post in its entirity.