‘Kensington Strangler’ guilty, sentenced to three life terms

The man who strangled three women in Kensington in late 2010 was convicted of their murders Thursday and sentenced to three lifetimes in prison.

Antonio Rodriquez, dubbed the “Kensington Strangler” as police hunted for him, was found guilty after a short non-jury trial.

Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Minehart sentenced Rodriquez to three consecutive life terms without parole after listening to tearful testimony from the families of his victims: Elaine Goldberg, 21, of Holme Circle, Nicole Piacentini of Port Richmond and Casey Mahoney of East Stroudsburg, Pa.

According to testimony at the trial, Rodriguez raped and strangled the three women, assaulted them again after they had died and then posed their bodies.

“This is just a horrific case,” the judge said, looking at the defendant. “You violated them after they were dead.”

Rodriguez also was found guilty of three charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of a corpse. His sentences for those crimes will run concurrently with his murder sentences, Minehart said.

Goldberg’s body was found in a Ruth Street lot on Nov. 3, 2010. Piacentini, 35, was found behind a vacant building on the 1900 block of E. Cumberland St. on Nov. 13, 2010.

Identical evidence led police to believe the same man had murdered both women. After Mahoney, 27, was killed on Dec. 15, they were able to identify Rodriguez, now 23. He was arrested in late January 2011. A DNA sample taken from him after arrest matched those taken from the victims.

Police said Rodriguez, who was homeless, confessed to the crimes.

“The evidence was overwhelming,” said Assistant District Attorney Carlos Vega, pointing to the confessions and the DNA matches.

The defendant did not testify and his attorney, William Bowe, did not present any witnesses.

Reporter John Loftus can be reached at 215–354–3110 or jloftus@bsmphilly.com.