Double Murder Mystery Worries Jewish Snowbirds in Florida Condo

Two Weeks Later, Few Clues in Slayings of Toronto Retirees

By Josh Nathan-Kazis

Published January 24, 2013.
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Two weeks after a Jewish couple from Toronto was murdered at their Florida condo, the mystery surrounding the slayings is only deepening.

Rochelle Wise and David (Donny) Pichosky
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Rochelle Wise and David (Donny) Pichosky

Rochelle Wise, 66, and David (Donny) Pichosky, 71, were found dead on January 10 at their winter home in Hallandale Beach, Fla., near Ft. Lauderdale. Police call the incident a double homicide, but have yet to identify a suspect — or even reveal a cause of death.

At Venetian Park, the sunny Florida condominium community where the two were killed, neighbors are left to wonder what happened, and whether any danger remains.

“Nobody heard anything. Nobody saw anything,” said Gertrude Baron, who lives around the corner from the Pichosky and Wise home. “The people were dead when they were found. It’s just a mystery.”

A neighbor discovered the slain couple on January 10, according to local reports.

The rabbi at Chabad of South Broward, Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus, told the Forward that the couple attended a class at his facility on January 8, two days before their bodies were found.

“They were wonderful people,” Tennenhaus said.

Since the killings, police officials have suggested that Venetian Park residents call 911 if they see anything out of the ordinary. Some residents find that advice unhelpful.

“I guess they’re saying [to call] if you see people who you think don’t belong here, but we don’t know everybody who belongs here,” said Esther Kolber, a realtor and Venetian Park resident. “A lot of different people live here.”

Nearly a dozen police officials addressed scores of Venetian Park community members at a meeting Tuesday night in an effort to reassure the neighbors. Police declined to reveal anything about the slayings.


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