They Said She Stabbed Herself 20 Times, And Ruled It A Suicide. Now They Are….
For more than a decade, the family of a popular teacher stabbed 20 times, including 10 from behind, has battled to have the Philadelphia medical examiner’s ruling that her death was a suicide overturned.
Ellen Greenberg’s parents continue to fight to change her manner of death, more than a decade after she died.
“We’re asking justice for our daughter. That’s all we want. That’s all we are fighting for and that’s what we need,” said Josh Greenberg, Ellen’s dad.
27-year-old Ellen Greenberg was stabbed 20 times in her Manayunk home back in January 2011. The manner of death was ruled a suicide, and her parents have been trying to change it ever since.
“Ellen had a great smile," says her father, Josh. "Not a big smile. She had a great smile."
“She loved life and was very positive and upbeat,” said her mother, Sandee.
That's why her death in 2011 at the age of 27 just doesn't make sense, her parents say. She was found alone in her locked Philadelphia apartment, a knife plunged into her chest, and many other stab wounds.
At first, police said she committed suicide. Two days later, though, the medical examiner called it a homicide.
Several weeks after that, it changed again. Both the police and the medical examiner reversed themselves, deciding that Ellen Greenberg committed suicide by stabbing herself more than 20 times.
Eight years later, questions about her death still consume her parents. Guided by Walter Cohen, a former Pennsylvania attorney general, they have sought answers. They’ve hired three prominent medical examiners to review the case. Retired Dauphin County detective Tom Brennan agreed to work pro bono to re-investigate the case, going over records and interviewing some of those involved.
Cohen and all the Greenbergs’ experts agree that Ellen was likely killed.
But another review of the case just last year by the state Attorney General’s office reached a different conclusion, influenced in part by emotional difficulties Ellen had been experiencing and searches found on her computer for suicide and methods of suicide.
The Greenbergs don’t believe that. Now they’re taking their case to local and national media, including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Inside Edition, and launching a social media campaign in hopes they can get the case reopened and find some answers.
“The conclusion I can draw is that this was very poorly handled, and it’s unfortunate that nobody wants to really take a look at it to determine what might have happened that was missed during the course of an investigation that kept changing from suicide to homicide to suicide,” Cohen said.
Ellen spent the last day of her life at the elementary school where she taught first grade, but when an impending blizzard shut the school down early, Ellen stopped to fill her car up with gas before driving home to her Philadelphia apartment.
Her fiancé Sam Goldberg went to the gym around 4:45 p.m. and returned about a half-hour later to find that the swing lock had been flipped from the inside the apartment, locking him outside.
He texted Ellen repeatedly, but got no response, and then forced his way inside the apartment with the help of a building security officer, according to an investigation report from Philadelphia medical examiner.
During his 911 call, Golberg told authorities that his fiancé had stabbed herself to death, saying:
“Help!… My fiancé’s on the floor with blood everywhere.” He added, “I can’t see anything… there’s nothing broken… Ellie!… I think she hit her head. Oh my god! She stabbed herself… she fell on a knife… there is a knife sticking out of her heart.”
Once inside he found Ellen “supine” with her head and some of her upper body resting against the lower kitchen cabinets with a 10-inch serrated steak knife sticking out of her chest. She had been stabbed more than 20 times with wounds to the back of her skull, neck, and chest.
There was “no evidence of a struggle in the kitchen area or anywhere else in the apartment,” according to Fox News.
In the years since her death, several prestigious forensic pathologists, including Dr. Cyril Wecht, have disagreed with Osbourne’s suicide finding.
After reviewing the case Wecht concluded the circumstances were “strongly suspicious of homicide.” He told Fox News he believed it was “highly, highly unlikely” she could have killed herself.
“In all my years of experience, and all of the homicides that I’ve done, and suicides, I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.
Watch the video below for more details: