Donna Lauria 18y (killed) and Jody Valenti 19y (wounded),
July 29, 1976.
On 29 July 1976, two young girls, 18-year-old Donna Lauria and
19-year-old Jody Valente were sitting in Jody's car at 1.am
outside Donna's home.
A few minutes later after they just finished
talking, Donna said goodnight to Jody and was just about to open
the door when a man approached the car. He was holding a brown
paper bag of which he reached into and pulled out a gun. He
fired 5 shots. Donna was shot in the neck and arm, she fell out
of the car and hit the pavement. Jody screamed as a bullet
struck her thigh. She fell forward hitting the car horn.
Donna's father, Mike Lauria, was already on
his way downstairs, taking Donna's poodle for a walk, when he
heard the shots. He then quickly ran the rest of the way. He
found Jody leaning on the car horn screaming.
Mike Lauria accompanied his daughter on the
way to the hospital, but she was already dead. Jody was taken to
the hospital, suffering from hysteria. Jody was able to give a
description of the killer: a white male with curly hair, about
30 years old. She had never seen the man before in her life
until that day, and she knew it wasn't one of Donna's ex-boyfriends
out for revenge.
The neighbours reported that they saw a
yellow car parked a few meters back from Jody's car, but it had
gone by the time the police were on the scene.
It was thought that this could of been a
possible Mafia hit with a case of mistaken identity, because the
area of the North Bronx is a popular Italian area. Also the
police knew the weapon was a .44 Bulldog, which is a weapon
solely for the purpose of killing people.