July 24th, 2008
07:45 AM ET

Hunt for a double killer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/23/art.schwartz.jpg caption="Mark Schwartz and Christina Petrowski-Schwartz"]
Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

A crime story here in New York has the city buzzing. Who killed a prominent divorce lawyer and his mediator wife?

Here's what we know. The couple, Mark Schwartz and Christina Petrowski-Schwartz, were found in their bedroom about a week ago, shot in their heads at point blank range. Their dog was quiet and tied to a tree in the backyard, leaving some to speculate that the killer was familiar to the husband and wife. This was a double homicide in a peaceful residential neighborhood in Brooklyn known as Marine Park.

In any investigation, detectives always look for a motive. In this case, it may come down to money. Published reports say nearly $200,000 is missing from the couple’s escrow account.

No suspect in the deaths has been named. But the attorney for a friend of the murdered husband confirms police have asked to speak to his client, Robert E. Delvicario Jr. He spent time in prison for stealing money from a U.S. Customs Bureau evidence locker in Buffalo while serving as a supervisor there.

Delvicario’s attorney, Joseph Mure Jr., tells me he’s advising his client to stay quiet. He says there may come a time when they will sit down with police, adding “We’d like to help with the investigation." But for now, Mure says he hopes police conduct a thorough investigation of their own and check the victims’ client lists and computers, speak to neighbors and family, and take other steps to find the killer.

Mure told me Delvicario knows nothing about the killings, and is devastated over the murder of his best friend. Mure says Delvicario considered Schwartz his best friend, and knew him for 30 years. He says Schwartz represented Delvicario in several cases over the years. In fact, Mure said, Delvicario had lunch with Schwartz about a month ago, and the two had no problems.

So police have quite an investigation ahead of them.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Maureen Miller
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    The client list sounds like a promising place to start. Some disgruntled ex-spouse may have been burned enough in court on their divorce to incite them to do murder of the attorney for the other spouse – his wife may have been murdered to keep her from identifying the killer. And the money taken may have been another way to even the score.

    It does sound like a murder thriller book. Hope we find out who did it.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 24, 2008 at 8:45 pm |
  2. Steve

    No matter whether the victims owned a gun or would have been ready to use it or not...the point Dan was making is that it's less likely for victims to own guns (due to gun control laws), thus making the perpetrators job (b&e, homicide) less risky.

    But as others have stated, if you consider being fingerprinted exceedingly difficult, you shouldn't own a gun.

    July 24, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  3. Sane

    your a bit pscyho jason.

    Jason Doxey July 24th, 2008 10:54 am ET
    Of course, the killer probably entered the victims’ home with little or no fear of being countered with deadly force due to New York’s oppressive gun laws that make it very difficult for law-abiding citizen’s to possess guns. The killer almost certainly possessed her gun illegally. Who is disadvantaged by this type of “gun control?” The criminal or the law abiding citizen? Cases like this illustrate the obvious answer.

    July 24, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  4. Jeana

    Start looking at the client list, then go to the ex-spouces and ask questions. This sounds like a novel.

    July 24, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  5. Deirdre

    Dan...Having to get fingerprinted to own a gun is a small price to pay to protect yourself. I'm a single parent who was more than happy to get fingerprinted so that I can get protection for me and my son. Liberalism has nothing to do with this. Law abiding citizens who have nothing to hide get fingerprinted and keep it moving. We can't answer for the criminals who do obtain guns illegally. Why??? Because they are criminals. That's what they do. Following the law goes against their nature. Those of us who are not follow the rules of the land and go through the steps to legally get a gun. And if YOU are a law abiding citizen you too can own a gun. Stop whining! Either you are a part of the solution or a bigger part of the problem.

    July 24, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  6. jd

    Where did it state the vics didn't have a gun?
    And unless Mark S sat up all night with a gun in his lap, he would unlikely be ready to use it in time. If the dog wasn't awakened, the victims likely would be sleeping also.
    They might have been better off if they kept the dog in the house, not tied to a tree!
    And, if you refuse to be fingerprinted, I'd rather you didn't own a gun. What are you hiding???

    July 24, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  7. Big Jim Cooley

    Dan... Carping about liberalism certainly doesn't fit your liberal view that we should all be able to purchase firearms freely without government oversight. While I fully support the "right to bear arms", whether they be long barrel or handgun, the unfortunate fact is that in today's social and economic climate some form of tracing the firearm owner beyond their ID card IS needed. Those who have nothing to hide certainly shouldn't be worried about getting a little ink on their hands to seal the deal, not to mention that it will also further enforce the responsibility that goes with gun ownership and hopefully cause that one in a million idiot who chooses to kill a friend, family member or neighbor with their legally purchased firearm cause to think two or three times about how much faster they might be apprehended and held accountable.

    July 24, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  8. Kate

    My thoughts go to the families of the victims.

    However, I felt compelled to comment when I got to Dan's comment regarding gun control. Your choice of words make you look rather silly. Why chose the word dumbass? You may feel he is one, but do you realize that because of that one word out of all of that make me completely turned off from anything you – Dan – would say. Finger printing is not just for criminals and if it were that important to you to own a gun, you could just go down and get the finger prints done. They don't keep them on file because you're a criminal... but because if you're gun is used, possibly in a crime, you finger prints on file may rule you out as the one who used the gun. What if it is stolen? I could continue with this debate, but you wouldn't be listening otherwise.

    I will not offend you or ridicule you for your choice of words, however, when you start calling people names... you're not showing anything but your immaturity and small mind.

    July 24, 2008 at 1:09 pm |
  9. Dan

    So, Mike, since I'm not willing to be treated like a criminal (fingerprinted) to own a gun, I can't have one, but the criminal
    can possess them easy enough by going into your backyard (neighborhood, if you're too stupid to figure that out) and purchase one on the street.

    Yet another dumbass liberal too stupid to see the truth.

    Gun control laws do NOTHING but keep law abiding citizens from obtaining fire arms.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:31 pm |
  10. Teana

    It could very well be a really angry person that sat on the other side of things while he was helping the divorcee.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:22 pm |
  11. Dora Gomez

    If the report is correct and money is missing, then there must be some kind of paper trail, find out who this couple had been hanging out with, sharing information with over lunches or dinners. Someone must have seen them together! Pull phone records, there no such thing as best friends when it comes to money!

    July 24, 2008 at 11:36 am |
  12. Tina

    who are the beneficiaries on the life insurance? who are the next of kin? Those are the prime suspects!

    July 24, 2008 at 11:28 am |
  13. Big Jim Cooley

    Attorneys don't work or practice alone and one has to wonder how their secure escrow account was accessed to bleed off that much money. If it's not this Delvicario fellow, my bet would be on a partner or associate within his firm that was found out or soon to be uncovered.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:26 am |
  14. Mike from NYC

    If you are willing to be finger printed you can have a handgun in NYC. I have a shotgun and an semiauto rifle in my Brooklyn apartment, both legal and registered. Handguns are too dangerous for most people anyway, they should be tougher to get.

    "Who is disadvantaged by this type of “gun control?” The criminal or the law abiding citizen?"

    July 24, 2008 at 11:26 am |
  15. Courtney

    This gave me chills! I went to school with a Christina Petrowski. She's twenty years younger than the woman in the photo, but she's getting a doctorate in psychology. It's disturbing to see these dopplegangers in the news, isnt' it?

    July 24, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  16. AHiredGun

    Sounds like the Betty Broderick case out of San Diego, approximately 20 years ago. Bet on a family member or disgruntled client.

    July 24, 2008 at 11:02 am |
  17. Jason Doxey

    Of course, the killer probably entered the victims' home with little or no fear of being countered with deadly force due to New York's oppressive gun laws that make it very difficult for law-abiding citizen's to possess guns. The killer almost certainly possessed her gun illegally. Who is disadvantaged by this type of "gun control?" The criminal or the law abiding citizen? Cases like this illustrate the obvious answer.

    July 24, 2008 at 10:54 am |
  18. Cindy

    Unfortunately this type of killing happens way too often where family members or friends kill them to get their money. It seems to me that is what happened here. I hope they solve the case soon.


    July 24, 2008 at 8:23 am |