After almost two years, the barback that was arrested for murdering the young lady on the roof of the restaurant/bar that I used to manage has plead guilty to the charges. This was the last full-time job that I had and the murder led to a police raid which led to the premises being closed, and everyone losing their jobs. I wrote about the story back in August of 2008, the main post I put up is here.
According to the Daily News, Syed or "Ronnie" as we all new him, will be sentenced on March 16 and faces 20 years to life in prison. The article goes on to say that Ronnie is acknowledging that he bludgeoned the young woman in the head with a pipe. At some point he cut her throat. He claims to not remember killing her because he was too drunk.
All things being possible, I guess this could be true. But as I stated in the August post, I was on the premises, off duty, the night that this happened. I spoke to Ronnie about 1/2 hour or so before he lured first one girl, then his ultimate victim, up to the roof, where he committed this crime. He appeared coherent, and I saw no evidence that he had been drinking or was drunk. I was obviously completely sober. Now it's entirely possible he may have, in fact, been drinking. And I have no idea if any other drugs were involved. I'm not being coy. I have no idea. But the idea that he went from whatever state he was in to a drunk blackout where he still had the presence of mind to lure two girls up to the roof and actually kill one of them, seems far-fetched at best.
I suppose it could be a story that his lawyer floated, in the hopes of reducing his sentence. And in the end, the details aren't all that important. Particularly not to the poor woman's family. I'll never forget that afternoon, riding up the elevator to the top floor of the restaurant. I was with the Operations Director, our security director (who was formerly NYPD) and two detectives. We honestly thought our security director was playing a practical joke. Until we suddenly realized as we were talking that the "body found on the roof" could be the young lady that had been missing for two days. My heart sank. We searched the roof and found nothing, until we opened the door to the machine room up another flight of stairs, I will never forget coming on the crime scene. On the off off chance the victim's family ever stumbled here, that's as far as I will go. But it's another image I will carry forever.
Hopefully, her family will find some kind of closure once Ronnie is sentenced and sent away. I will never understand what really happened, what went on in his mind that made him commit such an atrocity. As I said at the time, none of us ever saw it coming.