Tears were flowing freely in Coney Island Tuesday as a packed house of mourners held a weepy farewell at Our Lady of Solace Church for Jessica “Jessie” Giudici, who was killed in a fatal−attraction scenario too grisly for Hollywood.
Giudici, 27, was stabbed to death and then dismembered by an obsessed 53−year−old cab driver in his apartment on West 19th Street April 26, just a block away from Our Lady of Solace — where the prayers of dozens of relatives, friends and stunned neighbors bounced off the church’s brick walls.
Close to 1,000 mourners had turned out for a wake closed−casket the night before at Coney Island Memorial Chapel, where owner Bill Lombardo arranged the funeral services for Jessie at no cost to the family.
The ever smiling Gravesend Houses resident and Lafayette High School grad leaves behind her mother Lisa and twelve siblings.
She also leaves behind a host of friends, many of whom were too pained to articulate feelings about her death, or about Saleh Al−Muwallad, who police say lured her into his cab and took her to his apartment before killing her.
Friends said that Giudici wouldn’t usually take a ride from Al−Muwallad, who was known for giving people free lifts around the neighborhood.
Speaking for Giudici’s mother, Pastor Patrick West said that it was good to see so many people turn out to remember the young Coney Island native.
“You have all come to share this burden, but that is a good thing,” West said. “Because when you share a burden as heavy as this one it becomes lighter for everyone.”
Mourners walking home passed the corner of Mermaid Avenue and West 19th Street, where a cardboard memorial marked the street where Giudici died.
Stationed among some religious candles and fresh flowers, the ink on the parting missives on the waterlogged cardboard hadn’t smeared or washed away.
Nor did one simple, yet heartfelt missive: “Gone, but neva forgotten.”
Prosecutors said that Al−Muwallad, who had called police to his apartment after he cut up Giudici’s body and claimed he was suicidal, is being held on murder charges. The case is currently being heard by a grand jury.
According to published reports, Al−Muwallad killed Giudici because he believed that she was cheating on him. He and Giudici never dated, heartbroken friends said.
©2009 Community News Group
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