Family: Suspect In Brooklyn Woman’s Burning Death Once Worked For Victim

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police say handyman Jerome Isaac, 47, set his employer on fire in her own apartment building elevator as revenge over a financial dispute.

Investigators say he told them he was angry at Deloris Gillespie, saying the 73-year-old owed him $2,000.

Police say he dressed like an exterminator, with white gloves and a dust mask on his head, he had a canister of flammable liquid, used to methodically spray Gillespie head to toe before using a barbeque lighter to ignite a Molotov cocktail he threw it into the small elevator.

Gillespie was getting off the elevator at her Underhill Avenue apartment in Prospect Heights. She died in agony, cowering against the back of the elevator with her shopping bags.

torched Family: Suspect In Brooklyn Womans Burning Death Once Worked For Victim

The aftermath of the fire that claimed the life of Deloris Gillespie. (Credit:Alex Silverman WCBS 880)

“Sad, I started really crying,” said Evelyn Diaz, Gillespie’s friend. “What this person did to her I said ‘What went through your mind when you did that to this poor lady’?”

Gillespie’s distraught family and neighbors brought flowers and candles to the stoop of the building at 203 Underhill Avenue. Some said they had worried about her business arrangement with Isaac, nicknamed “Can Man” by some people in the neighborhood because he collected bottles, cans and other items for recycling.

Gillespie’s friends say she hired Isaac to do odd jobs around her apartment on the second floor. And they say the two had fights over money and she fired him.

Around the corner from the crime scene at 315 Lincoln Place is the second floor apartment Isaac shares with his brother.

Police say after he murdered Gillespie, he returned home and set small fires at the front of his own own apartment. Later, police say, with his clothes still smelling of gasoline he turned himself in.

Next door neighbor, Eric Charles, 42, said Isaac moved there several years ago.

“It’s really shocking and you recognized that’s the guy next door when they show me the pictures, even more crazy. I never thought something like that would happen,” he told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

Gillespie is survived by four adult children, three sons and a daughter, and also a grandchild.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports

Rickey Causey, Gillespie’s nephew, said that Isaac had worked for Gillespie but was fired after being caught stealing from her.

“Yeah, he was robbing her. So she fired him,” he told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “She got three locks on the door.”

Causey was in the building Saturday but says he heard nothing.

“I should’ve been there. I should’ve been outside. I should’ve been there,” he said.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports 

Causey said that Isaac had left a list of chores on Gillespie’s door for which he was demanding payment.

Police charged Isaac with two counts of murder and one count of arson.

How can future acts of extreme violence be averted? You can voice your opinion in our comments section below…

  • dan

    So so sad on both counts.

    God Bless this woman’s poor family.

    The idiocy of these posts are truly staggering… I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t read it.

  • Jack Long

    Anythings possible with Africans!

  • hyapathia joaquin

    may God bless and keep the soul of Deloris Gillespie.

  • Joanie Joy Thompson

    That is such an awful way to die. My condolences go out to the bereaved family. I know that the children are extremely disheartened to know that their mom was burned to death. Good gracious Lord please have mercy. That man does not even look normal. I would be afraid to hire him, but I assume that since everyone know him, it tells why she hire him. By the way did they really know him… Apparently not.

  • JeddMcHead

    He should be punished by the same means as he killed his victim. Time to start impementing some “eye for an eye” justice in this land!

  • Charles F. Bolden, Jr.

    Sharpton finally meets with Charles F. Bolden, Jr. to see how many inner city black teens look up to him as a role model.

  • GIGOLO...


  • saporski

    the new normal

  • Bob

    Horrible tragedy. My heart breaks for this woman

    It won’t be long, however, before we hear that we won”t be safe until all lighters and costumes are banned.

  • Kamgawa

    American is sick and mental! The mother f killers of innocent people. It’s an evil nation full of criminals and sick people.

  • CL

    Ya the white guys just shoot their whole families or eat their victims Dahlmer style. rape 20 or 30 boys and bury them in their backyard or kill their pregnant wives…or kill pregnant starlets and paint PIG on the wall in her blood…or become priests and molest children

    • John McCombs

      If there was an award for the worst thread in the history of the internet, this one might win. Evil doesn’t give a damn about skin color.

  • Stephon

    You’re a disgrace to humankind. The hatred you share for people with dark skin is overshadowed only by your utter incompetence. It beggars the imagination that people like you even exist.

  • slim dong pill

    let us all take a moment of silence and pray for the victims and her family.. This is a terrible tragedy for anyone to endure…the mind that could concoct and carry out this dastardly deed must never be classified as fully human just like dahmer and the rest of the severely psychotic.

    The fact the subhuman animal that did this is black is hard to ignore but let us understand the nature of the world by visiting..
    www(.)africandictator(.)org ..remove parenthesis and witness that 80 percent of the african nations are ruled by violent, ruthless, and brutal dictators.. its a violent , immoral continent you know

  • Northlander

    Election of the Kenyan has encouraged and ignited black racism. You can’t fire a black now, even when he is stealing you blind. So why would anyone hire one? Watch unemployment for blacks go sky high.

  • Jesus

    jew jew beans please stop defending the culprit



    no digital bob;


    NO they are not wondering whey they are not hired,cause many are not like this DIGITAL BOB.


    AND HOLD Multiple Associated,B.S. and.B.S encompass with engineer,business degree(s)master level -= Big $ monthlyyearly and his own business 10 my own so no We are not wonderin as i am italian he black and make MORE than you.

    RIP to her,so sad i m wishin she move or report to police,there are always signs RIP

  • pmocason

    Most of you people commenting here are full of hate and will burn in hell if ypu don’t soon realize that God has called us to love everyone as we love ourselves. He asks us also to love our enemy and you people are making the latter very hard for me after reading these mean, ugly comments.

  • bigbiz2

    kneegrow is as kneegrow does…

  • Fedup

    Eye for an eye tooth for a tooth. This guy should burn at the stake for his crime.

  • dooky

    no doubt DigitalBob, no doubt about that…+1

  • Conservatism is a Mental Diorder

    Yep, like it would be easy for 73-year old lady to handle a gun.

    For conservative idiots any discussion is about gun control.

    Conservative policies multiply the numbers of poor and desperate people in this country, thus increasing number of deadly crimes.

    No amount of guns will save this country.

    Higher taxes on 1% and closing loopholes for the corporations will.

    • JeddMcHead

      Lol, only simplistic WEED of a person, such as yourself, would frame this tragedy in political terms. Yeah, this was the fault of conservatives. With libtards (you) it’s all about demonizing SOMEONE rather than accept that bad things happen to good people.

      Now, go lobby your “representatives” to legislate that “life be fair”, you tool.

    • doctor who

      100% with you. Conservatives are dragging the whole country down. I wish they all moved to Texas and seceded from US. Bunch of morons voting against their own interests.

    • Kathy

      Mental disorder, indeed. Well said.

    • FreeDotz

      Not sure what you have been trying to shoot, but my 5 ft tall, 80+ year old grandmother doesn’t seem to have a problem shooting a gun. Also, I’m not sure what planet that you are from, but owning and using firearms doesn’t make someone a conservative. If you had half a brain you would realize that there are too many issues floating about for any rational person to be a strict liberal or conservative, and that many of the issues that each party associates themselves with are contradictory. The average politician doesn’t care about either side, but instead voices with the issues, or rather the corporations, that will get themselves into office. Also, raising the taxes on corporations just gives them more incentive to move their corporations overseas where they can avoid paying taxes altogether. Real smart for a failing economy with an extreme lack of jobs.

  • rick shaw

    Hey CBS, where’s the photo of handyman Jerome Isaac? Yeah, you know, the man who set his employer on fire in her own apartment building elevator as revenge over a financial dispute. Remember? The story you reported, but hadnt the guts or honestly to post a photo of him? What are you hiding?

    • LiberalNoMore

      I despise the mainstream media, but it’s not always trying to deceive us. Had you read the entire article, you would’ve seen the pic and video of the guy.

    • Ty Field

      It’s right in the middle of the story, in the CBS video. …Moron.

  • Doc Stone

    Yet another black killing white Hate Crime

    • Troutmouthedskipskap

      How dare you state the obvious, Doc. Now, with that being said……will anything (such as hate crime charges) be brought up here? Absolutely NOT! We (the mentally unstable, ill-liberal, progressives) who are more concerned with peoples “feelings” than with actual JUSTICE, just can’t have a black committing a “hate crime”. Double standards keep the divide and conquer machine rolling. Just look at what Affirmative action has produced…..a President.

      • JeddMcHead

        SHE WASN’T WHITE! Are you BLIND?

        • Manny Festo

          Can you blame people for wondering if the vic was a White woman when the media withholds a photo? Everyone knows the media has a history of witholding photos whenever the crime is black-on White, and simple statistics prove that White women are more likely to die from black criminality, and blacks are exponentially higher than any other race for targeting women. Moreover, the comments speculating on the vic’s race were OBVIOUSLY written before the photo and vid was updated to this page. DUHHHH! Like yeah, it’s not rocket science, grasshopper, so think before you open your mouth the next time.

          • HA

            Hey, Manny Festo, Your statistics were wrong this time. And when these “statistics” are made up by people like you, (dum@$$ Republicants who are still upset a black man controls them) chances are they’re going to be in your favor. Now, Whites have caused more lynchings, wars, (world wars at that) and hate crimes then African Americans. Maybe now you see why so many white women are betting on the black man. :)

      • josh

        She wasn’t white. The only color this man cared about was green.

    • Count Yob

      You must have posted this before they put up a photo of the victim.

    • JeddMcHead

      Yeah, Doc, right — except for the PICTURE OF THE VICTIM which headed the story. She appears to be black to me (you freaking IDIOT).

    • DocgetsStoned

      Dumbass, the woman that was killed was black too. This is called you wanting a reason to bi+ch

    • white guy

      Hey Idiot racist… You just assume she was white cuz she was his employer. what a shame. You’re wrong!

  • jammin

    If you hire someone to do a job you should pay them. I guess we can call this extreme street justice. It’s terrible it happened, I feel sorry for her and her family. There are a lot of crazy people out there. Especially here in America.

    • Whitey MacWhite

      Is someone steals you should call the police because giving a subhuman ghetto animal like this one a break can end up very badly,, so many of these ghetto freaks posting online also

  • Michael hughes black serial killer

    Too bad he isnt white we could see a nice big picture of him everyday for the next two weeks with conjecture wondering if he is a white ring nazi veteran homeland security warned us all about. Instead we get NO picture because he is BLACK. Just like the guy who just shot up his workplace in Irwindale, CA. They show NO picture because they want you to think he is white.

    • kevin

      i guess you missed the rather obvious photos of both the victim and the alleged assailant above.

    • Stephon

      Did you see the video link in the center of the article that shows him? Look harder before rushing to race based conclusions.

  • Gas man

    The major components of the flatus, which are odorless, by percentage are:
    Nitrogen: 20–90%
    Hydrogen: 0–50%
    Carbon dioxide: 10–30%
    Oxygen: 0–10%
    Methane: 0–10%

    • pure justice

      Execute him by burning him at the stake. Justice!!!

  • Morons

    A woman is burned to death a week before Christmas as you morons can only make jokes. Have a little respect and get a life

    • rmu3123

      nothing funny about this..instead of honoring her we have a picture of a sub-human monster being portrayed as human. Let’s expose the inner city “problem” instead of covering it up. Not one of our large cities is safe “after dark” because of “guess who”??

      • Reed

        Because of who? Because of the liberals and jews who endorse it. Have to give blacks a slight pass because they can’t help their behavior. I believe that the others that I mentioned can. Sooner or later they will realize. Though it may not be in our lifetime, sorry to say.

        • Stein Franken

          I’ll give you that argument hands down…it’s their frankensteins monster for certain. Right from the start with the Dutch East Indies Trading Company and its many spinoffs that ran the slave trading in the Americas

      • Sheri

        This is so true. My husband and I have a disabled child and virtually all the mean kids who tormented her were black, except for one illegal alien mexican witch. What I would really like to say about mean kids who harass and torment disabled children would not be printable so I won’t say it. I’ll just say I’m tired of the blacks and any other minorities who act like animals being supported by tax dollars taken from our paychecks.

        We moved out of one school district because the kids were so mean to our daughter. The new school that our daughter went to was better but still didn’t do enough to keep the mean kids from bothering our daughter so we had to take her out of public school and thank goodness we found a homeschool group that is good with special needs kids.

        Now we are under threat from our mayor and the city housing authority (which I think should be totally defunded and eliminated asap) of having public housing moving into our area. When we moved here my husband had just retired from the military and we were able to buy our first house. We bought the best house we could afford because we needed safe schools with good special education programs and a very safe neighborhood for our kids because one of our children is seriously visually impaired. Now that the school zone no longer matters (because we have no children left in public schools) and public housing may be coming our way we are planning to sell our house as soon as we can without taking a loss. We formed a citizens group to try to fight the spreading of public housing into our area and publicize the fact that our city is trying to follow the example of Memphis, Tennessee, where moving public housing into other areas of the city was disasterous and just increased crime greatly in those areas. But we don’t know whether or not we can stop it completely in our area or if not how long we can keep it out before we get overruled by the mayor and the housing authority. We are hoping that voting out our mayor next year and also hopefully voting out Obummer (who is behind the great increase of federal money going to local housing authorities across the country) will solve our problems with this issue.

        • Jack Long

          You said it sister, you try to do the best you can to protect your children. By working hard and and trying to stay in a good area where your kids will be safe. And then the Government decides it’s not fair that these animals live in squalor and that their parents don’t work or have any desire to ever fo so, and builds them housing and sends their feral children our schools. All funded with taxes that these people don’t pay. It’s not getting better, it getting much worse, especialy with a racist attorney general that refuses to prosecute black and white crimes. We are living in dangerous times.

        • michelle Williams

          Dumbass she was not white!!! Are you blind–Do you think this is justified because she is black??/White crackers do this all the time…funny how when its a black man racist whites jump all over it. I think this poor excuse of a human being should fry, just as I think that when whites do the same disgusting crimes they should fry also. And there are plenty of white people who commit worse crimes than this….But most whites refuse to comment on when it is their own! TRUTH!!!!!

        • Shmilfke

          But if we move public taxpayer housing for non-productive societally-degenerative evolutionarily-backward people into civilized neighborhoods, said people will improve their ways and start evolving.

        • Jamie

          I feel sorry for your children. Not because they were picked on by mean black kids,but because they are being raised by a racist witch of a mother. We live in a diverse area,both racially and economically. Our son has been picked on by mean kids too. Some black,some white and some Latino. Unlike you,we didn’t get all racist about it and start calling people animals. Mean kids and bullies are a fact of life today,not a by-product of tax-supported public housing. Before there was such a thing as public housing,there were people,both kids and adults that victimized others. Have you ever heard of lynchings? That’s what grown up “mean white kids” did to black people down South in the not-so-distant past,a long time before President Obama was born or anybody ever thought of subsidizing housing for the poor. But,in your racist mind those things probably never happened .

  • Very Lyberal

    im postin from prison..gotta go cya..those repulicans are
    greedy pigs that been keepin me down.. gott a go cya
    that how we do..

  • Very conservative

    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    • morgana99

      What the f**k are you talking about?

  • Dorian

    As I have said befoe, EVERYONE needs to be carrying a firearm. This is just another example amongst millions of examples that prove beyond a shadow of doubt that the law(s) and law enforcement are inept and antiquated systems in providing security for everyone. And I mean EVERYONE. Therefore, screw the laws and law enforcement, individuals need to be providing for themselves there own security. Because as I have already stated, the Law(s) and law enforcement are incapable of protecting EVERYONE. This prick should be lit on fire and left to die. An eye for an eye!

    • Jeffrey Thomas and Son

      Indeed… let the punishment FIT the crime… indeed sir.. a suitable end for the predicated means..

    • Wayne

      Umm… That’s real smart. Pull out a firearm and use it while you’re covered in flammable liquid.

      On the other hand, I’d shoot of he lit the match. If I’m dying, I’m taking the MF with me.
      On the other hand (three hands?) it is NY. Even if the threat was enough to make the guy run off, she’d probably have been arrested for possession and brandishing.

      • FreeDotz

        Actually pulling a gun out on a person armed with nothing more than a match is a great idea, because it is highly doubtful that you would need to fire it. The mere sight of a gun makes the average punk run for the hills, as it is a reminder that there are consequences for ones actions. Putting up a crack-head in a state funded resort with a warm bed, with hot meals, three cigarettes a day, and cable tv — does not teach him that there are consequences for their actions. BTW, with most firearms, the fire is fairly contained to the inside of the weapon.

        • Wayne

          If you had ever fired one at night, you would know just how wrong you are. My .357 puts out a tongue of flame at least a foot long. Probably more, but I have never watched it from the side.

          But you’re probably right. Seeing a big bore pointed right at your nose when you have nothing but a little Blue Diamond would probably give you a sudden case of the squirts.

          • FreeDotz

            .357 — I didn’t realize that we were talking about hand-cannons. The fire generally comes out of end of the barrel, and I would hope that anyone brandishing a firearm would have that end aimed at their assailant, and not towards their gasoline soaked clothing — though I’m sure that these things are all beside the point by the time that the attacker is, as you put it, overcome with the squirts.

  • Sir Stratton Briggsworth

    I think holder gave him the lighter

    • ablecynic

      fastly and furiously!

  • The Truth About Race

    I wonder if this will be classified as a hate crime?

    A Black guy BURNED a white elderly lady to death. Had it been the other way around, every single news outlet would be screaming racism.

    Jesse and Al would surely be marching, but since it’s Black on White, the media will just cover it up or dedicate minuscule amount of time to its coverage.

1 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live