Murder suspect James Rackover tells friend he ‘did a thing’ and ‘kept his mouth shut’
New York partyboy, James Rackover, Wednesday bagged the maximum sentence for killing nd butchering a man before dumping his body in shallow New Jersey grave
After the gruesome event, following a night of drug-fueled partying, he allegedly later told a friend he ‘did a thing’ and ‘kept his mouth shut’
Rackover, 27, was convicted in November of second degree murder, concealing a human corpse and tampering with evidence
Sentenced to consecutive max prison terms Wednesday, he will serve 28 and 2/3 years-to-life in prison for 2016 murder of Joseph Comunale
Comunale, from Connecticut, was strangled and repeatedly stabbed in a brutal attack by Rackover and his best pal Larry Dillione, 30
His dismembered body parts was found buried behind a flower shop in New Jersey in November
The victim and the co-defendants had been partying in Manhattan at Rackover’s Upper East Side apt in Manhattan, when he died
As the trial progressed, Rackover and Dillione who’re being tried separately turned on each other, blaming each other for causing Comunale’s death
Rackover is the ‘adopted son’ of New York based ‘jeweler to the stars’ Jeffrey Rackover, however the lawsuit claims the two men were actually lovers posing as father and son
Jeffrey’s attorney has denied the claims, saying the suit is ‘grasping at straws’
Larry Dillione has not yet been tried – his next court date is in early 2019
‘James Rackover committed a brutal and unconscionable crime when he killed Joey Comunale and abandoned him at a makeshift gravesite in New Jersey‘ – District Attorney Cy Vance [right], said after the sentencing
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance in a statement said, ‘James Rackover committed a brutal and unconscionable crime when he killed Joey Comunale and abandoned him at a makeshift gravesite in New Jersey,’ Vance said after sentencing, Wednesday.
‘The judge’s sentence of 28 and 2/3 years-to-life in prison — the maximum permitted by state law — was the only appropriate sentence to address the pain and loss that Joey’s murder inflicted on the Comunale family,’ Vance added
‘I think it sends a message to the other two defendants,’ Pat Comunale told reporters after the verdict.
‘The judge made the right decision.’
Still facing trial are Larry Dillione, charged with murder, and Max Gemma, charged with lesser crimes of covering up the murder.
Last month, Rackover was found guilty on four counts for the death of Comunale.
A friend of Joseph Comunale wears a pin in tribute to Joey at New York Supreme Court for the sentencing of James Rackover on Wednesday. Joey was last seen on video entering a home inside Rackover’s building before his disappearance. Sources say he had been partying with James Rackover and Larry Dillione
James Rackover [photo] whose claim to being the scion of a jewelry dynasty is under a cloud, reportedly started acting shady after his party guests left
The pair met Comunale at a Greenwich Village nightclub and the trio had returned to Rackover’s home but got in a fight in an apparent row over cigarettes.
Other reports indicated at the time that it was because Comunale had rejected their sexual advances.
Related: New suit claims celebrity jeweler Jeffrey Rackover helped his surrogate son James, hide body of slayed Manhattan partygoer Joseph Comunale who he’d stabbed to death
Suit claims celebrity jeweler Jeffrey Rackover helped his surrogate son hide body of slayed Manhattan partygoer James Rackover and his pal Lawrence Dillion, 28, have been […]
Celebrity party boy James Rackover [left] is charged with killing Joseph Comunale [right]. Rackover is also charged with concealing a corpse and hindering the investigation […]
Comunale, a Hofstra graduate, was stabbed multiple times, strangled and beaten.
His body was found in a shallow grave in Oceanside, New Jersey, after being burned.
Police were led to Rackover and Dilione after reviewing surveillance cameras which picked up Rackover’s car. His EZ Pass also showed him traveling through tolls which led to the site.
They first threw the body out the window of Rackover’s second floor apartment and left it in a garbage bag outside the building but thought better of their plan, drove down to New Jersey, after unsuccessfully attempting to set the remains on fire, buried it.
Joey’s father Pat Comunale [photo], broke down in tears during jury deliberations on Friday. Neither Dilione nor Rackover deserved to walk the streets, ever, again he later said
Grieving mother Lisa seen [center], in court on Friday during jury deliberations on the fate of her son’s killer which lasted four hours over two days
A jury convicted him of second degree murder, hindering prosecution and concealment of a human corpse.
Dillione’s trial is yet to begin. He is due in court in 2019.
The conviction comes days after the jury was told by the son of Good Day New York anchor Rosanna Scott that Rackover confessed to the killing in 2016.
Related: Cops arrest celebrity jeweler’s son, James Rackover and his pal Lawrence Dilione, in the stabbing death of Connecticut man, Joseph Comunale, who vanished from New York party and was found in shallow grave in Jersey Shore
Police arrest James Rackover, 25, the son of a celebrity jeweler Jeffrey Rackover, and a second suspect Thursday for the savage stabbing death of Joseph Comunale, Joseph […]
Louis Ruggiero testified that Rackover confessed not only to killing him but to driving his body out to New Jersey afterwards then coming home and ordering pancakes from a diner.
‘I slit his throat and I stabbed him and we wrapped the body up in a comforter and threw it out the window so the cameras wouldn’t see,’ Louis Ruggiero recalled James Rackover saying.
‘James looked at me and said, ‘I did something really bad,’ Louis Ruggiero testified Monday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Ruggiero, the District Attorney’s star witness in the murder trial, said Rackover told him that Lawrence Dilione, one of the other men in his apartment during the incident, got into a fight with Comunale and knocked him unconscious.
A once white bedsheet splattered with blood was also shown to the jurors on Tuesday. A gold chain necklace was caught inside the sheet. Joey’s friend said he was wearing the chain the night he was killed
Blood stained pants [photo], worn by Rackover, recovered from the trash was one of the items submitted as evidence and shown to jurors,
Further damning evidence, reportedly recovered from the garbage bin is this brown dress shoe with blood smeared on the side
James Rackover [right], flipped and blamed his friend Larry Dilione, [seen sitting on his left in a pretrial hearing in June 2017], for the actual murder. He claimed he only ever helped dispose of the body but it was Dilione who killed Communale. Dilione is awaiting trial
James Rackover [right] and his accomplice, Lawrence Dillione [left], attempted dismembering Comunale before buriing the body in Dillione’s home state of New Jersey
A third man charged in the case Max Gemma, [photo] has been charged with helping in the clean up attempt, but not for murder in the death of Joey Comunale
The co-defendants first threw Communale’s body out of the window of Rackover’s 2nd floor apartment in Manhattan, New York, and it landed, in a garbage bag, in piles of trash. They then moved and buried it in shallow swampland graves, in New Jersey.
Ruggiero, the District Attorney’s star witness in the murder trial, said Rackover told him that Lawrence Dillione, one of the other men in his apartment during the incident, got into a fight with Comunale and knocked him unconscious.
‘I gave [Comunale] a few lickings as well, and I didn’t want a dead body in my living room, so I slit his throat and I stabbed him and then we wrapped the body up in comforters and threw the body out the window,’ Ruggiero testified, quoting what Rackover told him.
Convicted killer James Rackover [right], was described as the unofficially adopted son of New York based celebrity jeweler Jeffrey Rackover, [left]. The pair who live in separate apts in the same building, are seen in an earlier photograph before the killing
The jury was also shown evidence including the bloody clothes he was wearing on the day of the attack.
The attack, Dilione said, happened after a fight over cigarettes.
Claiming that he was responsible only for punching the young man, Dilione told a court in March how he watched Rackover stab him once the fight got out of hand.
‘I turned around and that’s when I saw the knife being pulled out of Joey’s head,’ he said.
Dilione claimed that the fight started when Comunale accused him of taking free alcohol and drugs from him and Rackover without paying his way.
He allegedly said: ‘James is bringing cocaine, I’ve got cigarettes, what the f*** are you bringing to the table.’
It was previously reported the fight was over Comunale rejecting the pair and their sexual advances.
Furious, he lunged at him and began beating him, he said.
‘I said, ‘I’ll take the blame,’ but he said ‘Look at my hands,’ and they were covered in blood. At that point [Rackover] started to strangle him,’ he said.
The murder happened at Rackover’s Upper East Side home in Nov, 2016. Cops found traces of Comunale’s blood in Rackover’s condo and on a luggage cart that Rackover was seen using the next evening.
James Rackover was arrested in Nov 2016, after police traced him to the crime. They found surveillance footage of his car in New Jersey and were able to track his EZ Pass through the toll gates
Rackover was born James Arthur Beaudoin and is a Florida native.
He had been arrested multiple times for burglary, armed robbery, and drug possession before Comunale’s death.
At some stage afterwards, he met Jeffery Rackover and moved to New York City where they each held apartments in the same building.
‘Jeffrey never had children, he developed a relationship with this young man and introduced him to his family,’ said private detective Bo Dietl who’d known the jeweler for 32 years.
‘Jimmy was a troubled young man and Jeffrey hoped to get him back on his feet.’
Jeffrey even got James a job at Willis Towers Watson insurance company along with his own apartment.
‘Jeffrey was on the 32nd floor and James on the fourth floor,’ said Dietl.
‘They first met, I believe, at a health club about three-and-a-half years ago, Dietl revealed in 2016. ‘Jimmy moved into the apartment about a year ago. Jimmy changed his name to James Rackover because Jeffrey liked this kid so much.’
Amateurish attempts at coverup: A trove of evidence was found dumped in the garbage [photo] near Rackover’s home in Manhattan
During Rackover’s trial in October, NYPD Detective Michelle Gangi, showed jurors a gray sweatshirt had blood stains on the sleeves [photo]. It smelled strongly of bleach
Comunale’s father claimed 57-year-old Jeffrey Rackover provided cleaning supplies to James and claimed the pair were in a sexual relationship.
The lawsuit also says that Jeffrey let James borrow his Mercedes-Benz to dispose of the victim’s dismembered remains on the Jersey Shore.
Jeffrey’s lawyer John Rosenberg denied the claims in the lawsuit and said that the suit was ‘grasping at straws’.
The murder happened at Rackover’s Upper East Side home in November 2016