Philadelphia authorities finally reopen ‘suicide’ case of 27-year-old Philadelphia teacher found by fiancé in her apartment with 20 stab wounds – and a knife stuck in her heart
Investigators are re-examining the 2011 death of Ellen Greenberg, after new technology unearths evidence suggesting she may have been killed
Greenberg was found in the kitchen of their shared Philly apt by her fiancé Sam Goldberg on January 25, 2011
Medical Examiner overturned initial assumption of homicide and ruled Greenberg’s death as suicide, at the time
Her family has since pressed for her case to be re-reviewed after finding evidence that investigators overlooked
Pushing for justice her parents hired a private investigator and commissioned the new technology of photogrammetry for 3D examination of the corpse
Photogrammetry left the creators concluding that all of the wounds could not have been self-inflicted
Half of her wounds – 10 – were inflicted to the back of her head and spine
One graphic shows Ellen’s spinal cord had actually been severed and her brain pierced in two forceful stabs to the neck
The significance was that she could have neither defended nor harmed herself after those blows
Besides, she was stabbed with several undiscovered knives
Investigators are reviewing evidence from the crime scene of a female teacher from Philadelphia they say may have been staged to appear as a suicide nearly a decade ago.
On January 26, 2011, Sam Goldberg called 911 to report that he found his fiancée, Ellen Greenberg, dead in the kitchen of their Philadelphia apartment.
Greenberg had over 20 stab wounds on various parts of her body. The 27-year-old who was found with still plunged into her heart, had 10 stab wounds to the neck and back of the head, with an additional 10 to her stomach, abdomen, and chest.
Her death was initially ruled as a homicide before the Medical Examiner Marlon Osborne changed the ruling to suicide.
The case has since been handed to the Chester District Attorney’s Office for re-review as evidence suggests the crime scene was staged based on the position her body was found and the angle of dry blood across her face.
‘In all my years of experience, and all of the homicides that I’ve done, and suicides, I’ve never seen anything like this,’ forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht told Fox News Digital as he claimed suicide is ‘highly unlikely.’
Ellen’s body had been found by her fiancé, Samuel Goldberg, with whom she lived, and he said the door was locked from the inside.
Goldberg claims that he urgently knocked down the door, alleges that she ‘stabbed herself’. However, later photogrammetry recreation of each of Greenberg’s 20 stab wounds appears to contradict the suicide theory.
Photogrammetry – a new technology which was unavailable at the time of Greenberg’s death – is able to create a 3D anatomical recreation of a corpse
A photogrammetry recreating each of Greenberg’s 20 stab wounds was commissioned by the Greenberg family lawyer.
The 3D anatomical recreation of a corpse, showed the size, depth, and length of each stab wound, with the creators concluding that all of them could not have been self-inflicted.
At the time, police claimed that the door of Greenberg’s apartment was locked from the inside and there were no signs of a struggle.
Goldberg told investigators he came home in 2011, kicked the door, and found his fiancé dead with a knife clinging to her chest.
He was heard in a 911 call, telling the dispatcher that Greenberg had stabbed herself. ‘Help!… My fiancé’s on the floor with blood everywhere.’
He later 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.’
According to a Fox News report, the front door showed minimal damage, indicating it was unlikely that it had been forced open.
Eight years later, the Greenberg family have not pointed fingers at any individual, but they are bent on finding justice. The family urged case the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office to re-review the case and it was eventually handed off to the Pennsylvania Attorney General. However, from 2019, it was slow-walked until that office was kicked off the case in July, 2022.
‘Unfortunately, after four years of work, new expert testimony and information has been publicly alleged but withheld from our investigators and new accusations of a conflict of interest have been made against our office,’ the Attorney General’s Office said at the time.
Now, the Chester District Attorney is diving into what essentially became an unsolved cold case.
Despite her death being ruled a suicide, Greenberg’s parents are convinced otherwise.
Greenberg’s father, Joshua, ‘absolutely 100%’ believes that his daughter was murdered.
‘I’m not going away,’ Joshua previously said, ‘I’m going to get justice for my daughter.’
In 2020, they said during our own investigation that they had a ‘mountain of evidence’ to support their conviction that Ellen was murdered and they will not rest until that truth is acknowledged.
Ellen’s mother Sandee said: ‘This is not something we thought, in a million years, we would ever be doing or would ever happen. We thought there was a very bright future. We were planning for future generations never expecting her life to end like this.
‘It took years for us to piece this together. At the beginning I was sitting up at night looking at reports with a centimeter ruler trying to figure out how that really translated into how shallow or deep the incisions were on my child’s body. We realized we needed to get experts to help us do this so that’s what we did.’
Guy D’Andrea was an Assistant DA in Philadelphia’s homicide unit in 2015. A colleague asked him to take a look at the puzzling case of a ‘suicide’ committed by 20 self-inflicted stab wounds.
‘Right away it piqued my interest,’ he said.
‘I’d never heard of such a thing. So, I get the file, I pull everything out and I hone in on what was the primary reason as to why this was ruled a suicide versus a homicide. Now if that’s conclusive I don’t need to go much further.’
However, that was not what he found going through the case file.
Greenberg’s parents, Joshua and Sandee, further suggested their daughter had defense wounds on her body that weren’t initially acknowledged by investigators.
The bereaved couple have gone to great lengths to obtain justice for their daughter who they maintain was murdered. A decade later, Joshua Greenberg is still seeking justice for his daughter. Sandee Greenberg believes Ellen’s death was disguised as a suicide when it was not, ‘We cannot let this go unnoticed,’ She said.
The family has since launched a lawsuit in 2021 citing new evidence that the 27-year-old suffered a deep centimeter wound to the back of her head after her pulse halted.
Further evidence cited includes how the knife plunged into her chest was being held in her left hand when she was right-handed.
Additionally, she was stabbed with another undiscovered knife.
It was also found that Ellen’s spinal cord had been severed and her brain pierced in two forceful stabs to the neck. She could have neither defended nor harmed herself after those blows.
The apartment was then cleaned up by a crime scene crew before investigators were able to walk through.
A private investigator has suggested that Medical Examiner Osbourne missed the trauma on Ellen that proved strangulation.
Despite the weight of the evidence, the victim’s father has never pointed fingers at an individual in the murder of his daughter.
On the day of her death, Greenberg had filled up her gas tank before arriving home and didn’t leave a suicide note – casting even more doubts on the likelihood that her death was caused by suicide.
A search of the hard drive of the Greenberg’s computer conducted by the FBI in 2011 revealed no suicide-related searches, said the family’s lawyer, Josh Podraza.
Additionally, photogrammetry was commissioned to recreate each of the 20 stab wounds was commissioned. The technology of photogrammetry, which was unavailable at the time of the alleged murder, is able to create a 3D anatomical recreation of a corpse.
The photogrammetry conducted on Ellen Greenberg showed the size, depth, and length of each stab wound, with the creators concluding that all of them could not have been self-inflicted, particularly the wounds found on the back of her neck and head.
A crime scene analyst hired by the Greenberg family notes that Ellen had been moved. She was found seated on the floor, propped up against kitchen cabinets, yet a streak of coagulated blood ran in a horizontal line from her nose to her ear.
Another graphic shows Ellen’s spinal cord had actually been severed and her brain pierced in two forceful stabs to the neck. The significance was that she could have neither defended nor harmed herself after those blows.
The private investigator believes that the ME missed the trauma on Ellen that proved strangulation.