Valerie Pape, 47, killed her husband, Ira
Pomerantz, 60, and dumped his headless, armless, legless torso in a
Mesa trash bin January 27, 2000. Pape pleaded guilty to second-degree
murder and was sentenced to 16 years.
DOC decides not to transfer inmate to France
Nov. 21, 2006
Department of Corrections has reneged on a deal to transfer a French
woman serving a sentence for killing her Scottsdale husband after
learning that France might release her on parole.
Valerie Pape, 54, was
released from the Arizona State Prison on Nov. 7 and placed in the
custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
She arrived Friday at
the federal transfer center in Oklahoma City, where she would be
housed until her flight to France.
The transfer was done
under an international treaty that allows for prisoner exchanges
Arizona Department of
Corrections executive director Dora Schriro approved the transfer
along with the U.S. Department of Justice, according to prison
But Schriro changed
her mind Monday after the daughters of the victim voiced their
concerns about the uncertainty of how the sentence would be served in
Pape, a Scottsdale
hairdresser, pleaded guilty in 2002 to second-degree murder in the
death of 60-year-old Ira Pomerantz, whose headless and legless torso
was found in a trash container behind a Mesa grocery store in January
Pape admitted to
shooting Pomerantz during a fight, but has said nothing about how he
was dismembered or where the remains are.
She was sentenced to
16 years in prison with no parole. But Arizona authorities said France
would have been free to release Pape on parole once she was in that
seeks reversal of torso killer’s French deal
A former Scottsdale hairdresser who has remained
silent on the whereabouts of her husband’s remains was bound for her
native France on Monday to serve her sentence for murdering him.
But the Arizona Department of Corrections reneged
on a deal to transfer Valerie Pape after the daughters of the victim
became angry upon learning that France might release her on parole.
“I haven’t thought about Valerie in years, but the
thought of her getting out is unreal,” said Robyn Snell, daughter of
Ira Pomerantz, whose headless and legless torso was dumped in a trash
container behind a Mesa grocery store in January 2000.
Snell, 35, of Long Beach, Calif., didn’t know about
the transfer until the Tribune informed her Monday.
Pape, 54, was released from Arizona State Prison on
Nov. 7 and placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. She
arrived Friday at The Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, where
she would be housed until her flight to France.
Katie Decker, spokeswoman for the Arizona
Department of Corrections, said the transfer was done under an
international treaty that allows for prisoner exchanges between
Decker said the department is going to work with
the U.S. Marshal to have Pape returned to the state.
“We’re going to be taking a good hard look at this
case and, hopefully, she won’t be leaving the country,” Decker said.
Department of Corrections executive director Dora
Schriro approved the transfer along with the U.S. Department of
Justice, according to prison records.
Decker said Schriro made the decision without
victim input after attempts to find Pomerantz’ family were
unsuccessful, but she changed her mind Monday after the daughters
voiced their concerns about the uncertainty of how the sentence would
be served in France.
Pape, who pleaded guilty in 2002 to second-degree
murder, was sentenced to 16 years in prison with no parole, but France
would have been free to release her on parole once she was in that
country, Decker said.
A deliveryman saw Pape in January 2000 dump the
torso, which was all that was found of Pomerantz.
Pape admitted to shooting Pomerantz, 60, during a
fight, but she said nothing about how he was dismembered or where the
Defense attorney Larry Hammond, who represented
Pape until she pleaded guilty, said it appears to him that the
transfer was done properly and that such transfers are common.
Hammond, who no longer represents Pape, said the
transfer is in Arizona’s best interest because the state would no
longer have to pay to house her.
'Torso' killer seeking return of luxury items
Adam Klawonn - The Arizona Republic
Jun. 3, 2004
Valerie, a former Scottsdale, Arizona salon owner
was convicted of killing her husband in the grisly 2000 "torso
murder". Pape pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the slaying of
her husband, Ira Pomerantz. His headless, limbless body was found in a
dumpster behind an east Mesa supermarket.
Friends of Valerie Pape, including state Sen.
Russell Bowers, said that they could not believe she was guilty of
killing and dismembering her husband.
"Valerie Pape showed my paintings in her salon,"
said Bowers, an avid artist. "She is a very gentle, decent person, and
I'm astonished at this."
Merle Bianchi, of Paradise Valley, was Bowers'
administrative assistant for several years, and introduced Pape to the
senator. Bianchi's own husband died in a homicide.
It was to Bianchi's house that Pape went in the
fall when she sought refuge from her husband, Ira Pomerantz, 60, a bar
"They looked and perhaps took some things, but I
don't know what," Bianchi said Sunday. "I only know that Valerie was
the most kind, warmest, most gentle person you ever met in your life.
She was naive and trusting."
At the time of the murder she was 47-years-old, and
a French citizen. She admitted to police that she had dumped
Pomerantz's headless, legless, armless torso into a Mesa trash bin
that day. It was four days after finding him dead at their home, she
Pape told police she found her husband's clothed
body lying face up in a pool of blood in her Scottsdale home on Monday
morning. A gun lay nearby. Her husband had been fatally shot in the
back, police said.
Then, on Friday, she dumped the body behind the
Bashas' at McDowell and Power roads in Mesa. It remains unclear what
Pape did with the body during those four days. Pape told investigators
she disposed of the body because she feared being accused of his
'Afraid,' friend says Bianchi said Pape "was
terribly afraid" of Pomerantz. "She started coming to my home last
fall, shortly after my husband was murdered," Bianchi said. "She
called me one night and said Ira had thrown knives at her. She ran out
the back door and said could she come and stay with me." Bowers also
knew about Pape's problems.
"I think highly of Valerie, and it makes me sick to
my stomach to think this could happen to her," Bowers said. "I knew
her husband beat her up. I've seen her face. It was a sickening
She made a claim from jail for the return of her
personal property taken into police custody during the
investiagtion/trial. She claims Mesa police improperly turned over
$16,000 worth of personal items, including designer lingerie, family
photos and keepsakes, collected during the investigation to
Pomerantz's daughter, Stacy. The claim was triggered by an
investigation of Stacy Pomerantz. She is suspected of passing checks
in Pape's name around Palm Springs, California.
Woman pleads guilty in torso murder case
Arizona Daily Sun
August 20, 2002
PHOENIX (AP) — A Scottsdale beauty salon owner
pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder in the slaying of her
husband, whose headless, limbless torso was found in a garbage bin in
Valerie Pape, 50, entered the guilty plea in
Maricopa County Superior Court. Her attorney, speaking on Pape's
behalf, said Pape shot and killed Ira Pomerantz, 60, during a domestic
dispute Jan. 23, 2000.
Pape faces 10 to 16 years in prison when she is
sentenced in October.
She originally faced a charge of first-degree
As part of the plea agreement, Pape will not have
to disclose who, if anyone, helped her cut up her husband.
Prosecutors said their decision to reach a plea
deal was based in part on evidence of a stormy relationship between
Pape and Pomerantz.
"There appears to have been a domestic violence
problem that existed between the defendant and the victim, Ira
Pomerantz," Maricopa County Attorney's Office spokesman Bill
FitzGerald said. "This includes an incident that appears to have
happened just before the homicide. This information has led us to
conclude that the murder was not premeditated and that the more
appropriate charge is murder in the second degree."
The victim's daughter, Stacy Pomerantz of
California, told The Arizona Republic she is relieved that Pape
"Now we don't have to face a long trial and see all
those grisly pictures and hear her talking about my father, who is the
victim here," Stacey Pomerantz said.
Pape initially told police that she panicked when
she found her husband's body but went to work at her beauty salon
anyway. Later she dumped his corpse, sans head and limbs, in a trash
bin at a Mesa strip mall, according to transcripts of her Jan. 28,
2000 interrogation. But Pape refused to tell Mesa homicide detectives
anything about the dismemberment, the records show.
Ira Pomerantz's body parts have not been found.
Police did find a receipt in Pape's purse showing
she bought a reciprocating saw, a potential tool for the nasty
dismemberment job, at a Scottsdale hardware store weeks before the
slaying. In the kitchen, they found a bullet that they believe was
fired from a gun hidden behind the rear seat of Pape's Jaguar.
After her arrest in January 2000, news reports
detailed Pape's strained marriage, big debts, and her relationship
with another man.
County investigators seek link between two murders
Monday, January 31, 2000
Police are investigating a possible connection
between the September murder of Ronald Bianchi of Paradise Valley and
the recent dismemberment of Scottsdale businessman Ira Pomerantz.
The men's wives, Valerie Pape and Merle Bianchi
were friends, and after Pomerantz and his wife separated, Pape spent
some time at the Bianchi house in Paradise Valley.
Bianchi's body was discovered in the woods north of
Payson by a group of hikers Sept. 18. Investigators say the man died
from a gunshot wound to the heart. No suspects have been identified in
"We're still evaluating (the possible connection
between Pape and Merle Bianchi)," Gila County Attorney Jerry DeRose
said Monday. "We're not going to ignore that they were friends."
The headless, limbless torso of Pomerantz was
discovered in a dumpster behind a Mesa grocery store Thursday
afternoon. The rest of his body has not yet been found.
According to the East Valley Tribune, a delivery
truck driver witnessed a petite blonde woman throwing the torso into
the dumpster behind the store. He jotted down the license plate number
of the woman's Jaguar as she left the scene. Police traced the Jaguar
to Pomerantz's estranged wife, Valerie Pape.
According to a report in the Tribune,Pape admitted
to dumping the torso in the trash and has been charged with
While Gila County detectives continue to
investigate the Bianchi murder, they'll also be following the
"This could be nothing more than a coincidence,"
DeRose said. "We are in communication with Mesa and Maricopa County.
Valerie Pape prison photo