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New York
man found guilty in dismemberment murders

New York
man found guilty in dismemberment murders


Former nurse Richard W. Rogers Jr. (pictured) was found guilty of the early-1990s dismemberment murders of a gay man and a bisexual man, whose body parts were dumped along New Jersey highways.

A former nurse was found guilty of the dismemberment murders of two men whose body parts were dumped along New Jersey highways. Richard W. Rogers Jr., 55, of Staten Island, N.Y., was convicted Thursday in state superior court of murdering Thomas Mulcahy, 56, a married bisexual businessman from Sudbury, Mass., and Anthony Marrero, 44, a gay prostitute from Manhattan. Rogers, who worked as a surgical nurse for 20 years at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, was also convicted of two counts of hindering his own apprehension by dismembering and disposing of the victims' bodies. He faces up to life in prison with a minimum of 30 years without parole on each of the murder counts when he is sentenced January 26. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty. "We're just pleased," Mulcahy's widow, Margaret, said after the verdict. "We feel justice has been done." Rogers's attorney, David Ruhnke, plans to appeal. He had argued that prosecutors charged the wrong person. He had also tried to convince the jury that it could not convict Rogers of the crimes because the state had not proved they occurred in New Jersey. But Judge James Citta ruled that the law allowed the jury to infer that because the bodies were found in New Jersey, the murders occurred in New Jersey. Investigators never established where the murders occurred. "I feel better that he's not walking the streets," assistant prosecutor William J. Heisler said after the verdict. Mulcahy was in New York City on July 7, 1992, for a business meeting and disappeared the following day. One of the last places he was seen was the Townhouse, a gay bar that Rogers was known to frequent. Mulcahy's dismembered parts were discovered July 10, 1992, at a state Department of Transportation maintenance yard in Burlington County and in a trash barrel at the Stafford Forge Rest Area on the Garden State Parkway. Sixteen of Rogers's fingerprints were found on the bags containing Mulcahy's remains. Marrero's dismembered body was found in plastic bags on May 10, 1993, near a road in Manchester. Two of Rogers's fingerprints and his palm print were on those bags.

The big break in the case came on May 28, 2001, when Maine authorities, who had recently gone online with an automated fingerprint identification system, matched Rogers's prints to those on the bags that contained Mulcahy's and Marrero's dismembered remains. His fingerprints were on file in Maine because he had been tried in November 1973 for the slaying of his graduate school roommate, Frederick Spencer, at the University of Maine. Claiming self-defense, Rogers was acquitted in that hammer-beating death. (AP)

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