Double Murder of Jewish Snowbirds in Florida Condo Unsolved a Year Later

Sister and Neighbors Want Answers From Police

Not Forgotten: A year after their murders, Rochelle Wise and Donny Pichosky are still a constant presence in their old synagogue — and in the thoughts of their condo neighbors.
courtesy of wise family
Not Forgotten: A year after their murders, Rochelle Wise and Donny Pichosky are still a constant presence in their old synagogue — and in the thoughts of their condo neighbors.

By Hody Nemes

Published January 07, 2014.
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Months later, friends and neighbors say they are as stunned as ever about the murders.

Venetian Park is a quiet, tidy neighborhood of low-slung condos dotted with palm trees, where homes can sell for $400,000. The condo complex sits on a small island located on the Intracoastal Waterway between the mainland and a barrier island, just south of Ft. Lauderdale.

A contractor was doing work at the condo where the couple was killed last week.

Phil Goldstein, the local mailman, said he was on duty the week of the crime and was interviewed by detectives. But he didn’t see anything unusual.

“This is a tough one, this case,” Goldstein said. “I’d like to see people get caught if they do crimes like this. I’d love to see it solved.”

Cam Gambolati lives a few doors down from 926 NE 25th Ave. where Wise and Pichowsky lived.

“You ask anybody around here and nobody really knows any answers,” he said. “The police haven’t been saying anything.”

Neighbors had nothing but praise for the couple, but some doubted that the double-murder was a random slaying or break-in. “Everyone just thinks it was something personal,” said Kelly Faige.

Pichowsky attended the Chabad of South Broward synagogue for several years before marrying Wise. The couple attended together since then.

“They were very fine – and refined – people. It’s just a horrific, horrific tragedy,” said Rabbi Raphael Tennenhaus. “So much [is] unknown. So very, very painful.”

Rabbi Mordy Feiner, head of adult education at the shul, said the couple would always sit holding hands during a weekly class discussing the Torah portion.

“They were there always together. That’s something that I saw that was very beautiful,” Feiner said. “That’s something that is kind of their legacy.”

Even a year after their death, the couple remain in the thoughts and prayers of their fellow congregants.

“We definitely still feel their presence – that beauty that they brought to the class,” he said. “That caring, kindness and warmth is still there. We feel that.”

Contact Hody Nemes at nemes@forward.com.


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