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Old 02-10-2005, 10:51 AM   #1
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Mom kills 14-year-old daughter

How sad is this:

Roselle Park's murder-free record of nearly one decade ended Sunday when a mother allegedly bludgeoned her daughter to death in their West Grant Avenue home.

On Sunday at about 9:30 a.m., Lynn Giovanni walked into the room of her daughter, Nicole Giovanni, and fatally struck her multiple times on the head with a hammer and shovel, authorities said.
Nicole, 14, was a freshman at Roselle Catholic High School and grew up on Hory Street in Roselle.
Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said at a press conference Monday that Nicole was asleep when the fatal blows were delivered.
The suspect has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held on a $250,000 bail set by Superior Court Judge Joseph Donahue. She is also undergoing psychiatric examination.
Romankow said he doesn't know what Giovanni did between the time she allegedly bludgeoned her daughter and the time she was found on the highway by the troopers.
Lynn Giovanni and her daughter lived in the home, owned by the girl's grandmother, Angela Gravina, in a quiet, residential neighborhood.
A neighbor, Joseph Sidoti, said Lynn and Nicole Giovanni moved into the neighborhood two years ago when Gravina lost her husband.
Nicole allegedly was murdered while Gravina was away on a trip to Savannah, Ga.
Asked whether Lynn Giovanni had planned to carry out the murder while her mother was away, Romankow remarked that Gravina would probably have been killed as well if she had been in the house.
The story of the murder began to unravel Sunday evening when state troopers reportedly found Giovanni in an agitated state in the eastbound lane of Route 78 in Somerset County.
She had apparently attempted suicide by crashing her 2000 Honda Civic into a guard rail near the Exit 43 ramp.
After taking her to Overlook Hospital in Summit, where she was treated for the minor injuries she had suffered in the crash, detectives began to put together a scenario that led them to the West Grant Avenue house.
There, detectives discovered Nicole's motionless body.
Though the prosecutor would not comment on the motive for the killing, he said Lynn had no prior criminal record.
"I want to call this a classic tragedy that involved a troubled family," Romankow said.
Neighbors and Nicole's friends said there had been misunderstandings between Lynn and her daughter in the past.
Sidoti said there was an incident in the house two months ago to which police responded, though Gravina would not talk about it when asked by the neighbor.
He said he had talked to Lynn Giovanni "two days before this incident, and she seemed very unhappy. She was very despondent; she didn't have a husband and was out of work."
Sidoti described Gravina as "a very good person" who was a Catechism teacher at the Church of the Assumption in Roselle Park, where he was an usher.
One neighbor who asked not to be identified said police responded often to the Giovannis' home on Hory Street in Roselle because Lynn Giovanni's husband, John, allegedly abused her. It was alleged that the husband had once held a gun to Lynn's head and, in a separate incident, punched her while she was pregnant, the neighbor said.
The Roselle Police Department would not release records of the alleged incidents.
John and Lynn Giovanni have since divorced and were involved in a custody battle for Nicole.
Nicole's friend, Sherney Cox, 16, described the victim as a very nice person with lots of energy.
The girls knew each other from St. Theresa's, the Catholic grammar school they both attended in Kenilworth.
Cox said Nicole had run away from home a couple of weeks ago to stay with a friend.
"She said her mother would always yell at her," Cox remembers. "I'm shocked. Nothing like this has happens in this town."
The Giovannis' former neighbor in Roselle, Christine Dansereau, said Nicole was just a "little girl" who did "little-girl things," but her mother had many problems over the past decade. She suffered from depression and then from financial difficulties after she lost her job with Lucent Technologies and went through a divorce with John. The only constant in her life through all the turmoil, said Dansereau, was her love for her daughter.
Dansereau and many of her neighbors on Hory Street believe Giovanni wasn't herself when she committed the murder.
"This woman loved her daughter so much. She did everything in her power to provide her with as much love and as many benefits in life she could possibly give her," Dansereau said.
Giovanni was having trouble with Nicole, who was going through a rebellious phase of her life and was having her own problems with depression, according to Dansereau.
Another friend of Nicole's, Debbie Peteck, who also went to St. Theresa's, indicated that Nicole had run away from home but would not say why.
"She was a really good person and did not deserve to die," Peteck said.
Peteck left a lit candle and a card in front of the victim's house inscribed with the words, "Rest in peace you sweet angel. God bless you."
Nicole, who was admitted to Roselle Catholic High School in September, was said to be a good student.
Romankow said she was an honor student and a member of the indoor track team.
When the school was contacted, officials there referred all inquiries to Jim Goodness of the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. Goodness described Nicole as a "very friendly, outgoing and lively girl" who was good both in academics and in sports.
"Her coaches felt she had work ethic and showed promise," he said.
News of Nicole's murder was announced to faculty and students at the high school Monday morning. After the announcement was made, faculty members and students spent several minutes praying and remembering their energetic schoolmate.
Goodness said the students were being encouraged to visit the high school's chapel and see their counselors.
"The school is trying to maintain a sense of normalcy,'' he said.
Records indicate that the last murder in Roselle Park occurred in 1996.

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Old 02-10-2005, 11:02 AM   #2
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This is so sad.

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Old 02-10-2005, 11:04 AM   #3
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Old 02-10-2005, 11:07 AM   #4
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Its a sick world we are living in.....
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Old 02-10-2005, 11:17 AM   #5
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holy crap! that's like 3 blocks from my house
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Old 02-10-2005, 12:41 PM   #6
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Into the heart of a child...
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Old 02-10-2005, 03:55 PM   #7
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How horrific.
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Old 02-10-2005, 04:44 PM   #8
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:24 AM   #9
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So terrible. It's inconcieveable
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Old 02-14-2005, 11:56 AM   #10
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What the hell...?

Wow. That's just disturbing.

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Old 02-15-2005, 01:44 AM   #11
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:26 AM   #12
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I simply cannot imagine what would drive someone to do something so horrific.

Just ... wow. Terrible. So terribly sad.
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Old 02-15-2005, 08:56 PM   #13
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That sounds absolutelt horrible. A hammer???? Jesus christ, how cruel do you have to be?

I feel so sad that these happen all around us.

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