Message Boards > Topics > Obituaries (2)
Subject: Mary Nagle
Date: Thursday, September 25, 2008
- New City, New York - Rockland County -
- Woman Raped & Murdered by Illegal Immigrant ! -
- The Victim -
- Mary Nagle - Age 42 -
- 1963 - 2005 † -
(With her Husband, Daniel)
Day Laborer -
- Ronald Douglas Herrera Castellanos - Age 30 -
- Faces Life in Prison Without Parole -
- Illegal Immigrant from Guatemala Raped and Murdered Mary Nagle! -
- Handyman Tried in Housewife's Death -
- Hired Contractor Allegedly Killed Woman Whose Deck He Was Supposed to Fix ! -
Douglas Herrera Castellanos, a day laborer, is accused of killing a woman when he was supposed to be working on her house.
March 20, 2006
A year ago this April, Mary Nagle was alone in her New City, N.Y., home. Her husband had gone to work.
But just hours after Daniel Nagle got to the office, he received a phone call from his mother-in-law telling him that his wife had been killed, allegedly by the handyman they had hired to work on their deck.
The couple had contracted with a company called Color-On. The company had sent Douglas Herrera Castellanos, 30, to do the job.
Nagle took the stand this week, breaking down in tears as he testified. Jurors were in tears, too.
"I want to be there for Mary, just for her dignity," Nagle said.
Handyman Accused in New York Slaying
Prosecutors say Castellanos, an undocumented worker, raped Mary Nagle before killing her and left the home in Daniel Nagle's clothes.
The killing is a chilling reminder of the danger posed when strangers are allowed into the home.
"It's vital that if you are home alone, you let someone else — a friend, a neighbor — know that a contractor is coming to do work. If necessary, pick up the phone when the handyman arrives and say to your neighbor/friend/spouse, 'The contractor has just arrived, the one who's going to be working on the plumbing,'" said Gerard Kane, the managing director of Excel security and a former NYPD detective.
"Make sure the contractor hears you saying this. Also consider asking a friend/neighbor over for coffee. Another option is pre-arranging for someone to call you on the phone during the contractor visit, just to check in."
Perhaps, the most famous case of a contractor harming an occupant of a house he worked on is that of Elizabeth Smart. The then-14-year-old was confronted in her bedroom by a knife-wielding man who had once been hired by her parents to do odd jobs around the house. Smart was found alive nine months later.
"You've got to be out of your mind not to consider people that come into your home as people that could harm you or could rob you," said Bo Dietl, a former homicide detective who is now a security consultant.
Kane said to keep the contractor at a distance but in sight. Lock doors if the contractor is working outside and keep an exit in view if you need to escape. Also try to find out about the contractor before hiring. Many people hire workers without knowing much about them.
"This is very important because day laborers are often anonymous and work under the radar, and many, many service providers do pick up day laborers from roadside pickup points," Kane said. "Any reputable company … has a number you can call to verify that a repair man is there for a reason."
Kane also suggested calling the Better Business Bureau to check on a company and pay a little more for a more-established company.
Testimony in Castellanos' case resumes later this week. If he is convicted, the accused handyman could face life in prison without parole.
- The unlicensed, New Jersey-based company, Coloron Painting, did not perform a background check on Herrera, who had been living in the U.S. illegally since May, 2001, and was wanted on a 2002 warrant. -
- Community activists say that crackdown on Unlicensed Contractors could hurt undocumented immigrants who depend on seasonal labor to live. -
- Rockland Cracks Down on Contractors -
May 20, 2005 — The recent murder of a New City, NY, woman in her home has prompted Rockland County officials to begin a crackdown on unlicensed contractors. Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef and Legislature Chairwoman Harriet Cornell yesterday unveiled plans to spend at least $160,000 to hire people to better enforce the county's licensing laws and to educate the public about unlicensed contractors.
Ronald Douglas Herrera Castellanos is charged with killing 42 year-old Mary Nagle on April 29th. He was working for an unlicensed contractor hired to power wash the Nagle family's rear deck.
Rockland Consumer Protection Department Director Terry Grosselfinger said Herrera's employer, New Jersey-based Coloron Painting, allowed its county license to expire in 2001. The company did not perform a background check on Herrera, who had been living in the country illegally since May 2001 and was wanted on a 2002 warrant.
Vanderhoef urged undocumented workers to file the paperwork necessary to become legal U.S. residents. But he said the problem of undocumented foreign workers was a "separate issue" from the county's planned enforcement of its licensing laws.
Community activists say the enforcement plans could hurt undocumented immigrants who depend on seasonal labor to live.
Cornell and Vanderhoef stressed that the county was not targeting undocumented immigrants, rather, unlicensed contractors who might be hiring undocumented workers. Under the plan, enforcement agents would ask site bosses to show proof of the company's license, liability and workers' compensation insurance. Violators would get a ticket to appear in court and might have to stop work on the job.
The enforcement was welcome news to Andrew Naclerio, a retired Rockland landscaper who now is a consultant for contractors. He says legitimate businesses get outbid on jobs by guys with no license, no insurance and illegal employees.
- Charles Butler, a coordinator with the Jornaleros Project, a Spring Valley immigrant advocacy and assistance program that helps mainly day laborers, encouraged people to put things into perspective and continue hiring day laborers from the center. -
- "There's rotten apples in every race, color or creed," Charles Butler said . "I don't want them to be stigmatized." -
- Illegal immigrants and landscapers fear backlash from New City slaying -
THE JOURNAL NEWS
May 4, 2005
Workers and contractors yesterday said they feared the murder charges against a painting company employee in Mary Nagle's death would harm their livelihoods.
But several Rockland residents yesterday urged temperance and tolerance, asking that day laborers not be stereotyped or scapegoated because Ronald Douglas Herrera Castellanos, a Guatemalan illegal immigrant, had been charged in the Friday slaying of Mary Nagle.
Charles Butler, a coordinator with the Jornaleros Project, a Spring Valley immigrant advocacy and assistance program that helps mainly day laborers, encouraged people to put things into perspective and continue hiring day laborers from the center.
"There's rotten apples in every race, color or creed," Butler said yesterday. "I don't want them to be stigmatized."
Carlos Castillo, a Guatemalan immigrant who waited alongside other day laborers for work yesterday on Maple Avenue in Spring Valley, said he and others came to America to live quietly, work hard and earn money to support their families back home.
Castillo said the charges against Herrera were damaging to all day workers living in the area. He said he'd had trouble getting work since the incident.
Steve Griggs, a landscape designer and former landscaping contractor, said landscapers were worried that security questions about their employees could hurt their business.
"I've been talking to other people in my industry and they're saying this can't be good for the industry, because one bad apple spoils the bunch," said Griggs, president of the Land Design Studio in Blauvelt.
Griggs said contractors often left new employees alone at work-sites, and added that few contractors performed background checks on their employees.
"I'm telling you now, nobody does background checks," he added. "Unless they're hiring them full time. No way. They drive up to (Route) 59. They tell them how many guys they need and they jump in the truck. That's it."
Herrera, who was working for Coloron Painting, apparently had not had a background check before starting work at the New Jersey company about one month ago, according to Clarkstown police.
If a background check had been done, Friday's tragedy might have been prevented, said New City resident Michael Mendick.
"In a post-9/11 world, I think we need to basically know who is here," said Mendick. "Evidently, this man has had a criminal background, and he's here illegally. Why is he here illegally?"
Mendick said his neighbors were now "nervous about who comes on their property.
"They want to make sure that if they hire a painter or landscaper or somebody to do home improvement, that the people who are employed ... basically have checked out, that they are legal immigrants."
Most of Rockland's day laborers are undocumented; contractors favor them because they provide cheaper labor.
Lucille Ojeda of New City cautioned against a possible backlash against all immigrant workers.
"People are going to naturally react in fear," she said, adding that would be natural. "What do you do? You hear of teachers and priests molesting children. Do you not send your kids to school or to church? Really, the only thing that we can do is try to modify some of our behaviors."
Ojeda said she had told her 17-year-old daughter to be extra vigilant.
"I have actually said to her 'If you're at home when the landscapers come, make sure the slider is closed.' At one point I almost said to her 'I want you to go to a friend's house,' but it's silly. We're going to continue to have these people working on our properties. This is a random act. You can't preclude an entire segment of the population because of a random act."
Arleen Whittaker, president of the Bardonia Civic Association, agreed.
"I'm hopeful that we don't see any sort of discriminatory practices or discriminatory attitudes towards people in our community who do the work that, basically, white people don't want to do anymore," she said.
Gerard O'Rourke, president of the Swartwout Lake Homeowners Association, advised people to be aware and to ensure landscapers knew their employees.
The Nagle death was "a wake-up call for people to be careful," O'Rourke said. "I hire landscapers for my association and I definitely would never hire anyone without first having checked carefully who owns the company, who runs the company and what type of employees that they send out."
"I guess we get sort of overconfident at times," said O'Rourke, who is also president of the Congers Civic Association.
"It just seems to tell us that we should not. It's shocking that a company should not check out a person or leave a person alone like that," he added, alluding to police reports that Herrera had been left unsupervised at the Nagle home.
The vast majority of day laborers are good people, said Griggs, the landscape designer.
"I'm afraid people are going to be nervous about having the Spanish labor on the property," he said, adding that on Monday he requested that all contractors on his projects have uniformed employees. "The problem is ... there's no way you can find an American college student to do that work that these guys can do in one day. They're hard-working, family people."
It has been a year now since the rape and murder of Mary Nagle of New City in Rockland County, New York. The trial of the perpetrator, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala has begun. This means that another series of painful courtroom scenes, in which the victim's husband will have to undergo the torture of sitting in the same room with the vicious animal that raped and murdered his wife, will have to be suffered through.
Advocates for undocumented workers' rights tell us that this was "just a random incident" and that the chances of something like this happening to you are extremely slim. This is, of course, no consolation for Daniel Nagle, Mary's husband. And it is not much consolation for Mary and Daniel's two elementary-school-age children. And now, during the opening days of the trial, illegal aliens are demonstrating in cites all over the USA, demanding more rights. What part of the words "illegal alien" do the politicians not understand. If they are in the country illegally, then they should be deported - what is so difficult about that?
And how much more malarkey are we going to take about how "undocumented workers" are a necessary part of our economy?
In this case, the company that the perpetrator worked for, Coloron Painting, did not have a license, they had hired an "illegal alien," for whom they did not do a background check. If they had, they would have found out that there was a warrant outstanding for his arrest since 2002. How many things have to go wrong before a person like Castellanos is arrested and deported?
This problem is going to have to be combated at its source, which means more effective border security and more effective deportation policies. Such measures will require the implementation of standing laws and the drafting of new laws, which means that the President and the US Congress will have to start taking these matters seriously.
One thing that the average citizen can do is to vote for congressional candidates who advocate effective immigration and deportation policies. If incumbent congressmen are soft on immigration issues, it is time for a change. Too many criminal types are getting into the country, and they are causing too much damage to our society. Find out what your congressman's stand on immigration is - if it's too liberal, then vote for the candidate who will defend our borders.