Saturday, November 4, 2017

Memorial for Elizabeth Lee on Cooper Square

Friends and loved ones have placed flowers on Cooper Square where Elizabeth Lee was reportedly gunned down on Wednesday morning by a onetime boyfriend who had been stalking her.

Lee, who was 56, lived on the Upper East Side and worked at Grace Church School on Cooper Square. According to published reports, she had just docked a Citi Bike when Vincent Verdi approached her and shot her twice. He then reportedly shot himself in the head. Verdi, 62, is in critical condition at Bellevue.

The Daily News delves into his past.

He reportedly worked for the CIA and the Defense Department in Afghanistan, and elsewhere, for years.

The person close to him said Verdi suffered from severe depression from his years in the combat theater, and that may have contributed to his shocking crime.

“I think it has to do with him dealing with suicidal depression since he came back from Afghanistan,” the person said. “He was never the same person. And he had told the military that he needed to get help and they just ignored it.”

“That does not make up for his actions. I’m totally horrified by his actions. I can’t even express how sad I am for his family.”


Verdi has five sealed arrests in Florida for battery, domestic violence, lewd and lascivious behavior and fraud stretching over the past 30 years, police sources said.

Collegaues at Grace Church School remembered Lee as someone who really cared about the students.

Olivia Nunez, 34, met Lee-Herman a decade ago when they worked at Go Project, a nonprofit organization.

“She was really kind,” she said. “Welcoming. Always had a smile on her face. She was just the sweetest, sweetest person.”


Gojira said...

Why, so often in murder-suicides, does it happen that the murder is successfully implemented, but the much-more deserved suicide does not? The monsters live, the innocent die. When you do die, Mr. Verdi, I truly hope you spend Eternity mired in the same torment and agony you have condemned Ms. Lee's family and friends to.

Anonymous said...

This just makes my blood boil. I remember reading that he was recently ordered by the court to surrender any weapons he might have had, in connection with the stalking case / restraining order. His lawyer reportedly stated that the man had no weapons. Now we learn he was ex-military, so he likely may have had the weapon at that point. Is it possible to go after the lawyer and investigate if he knowingly made a false claim, or was negligent in some way? I find it hard to believe this ex-military dude had no weapons or that his lawyer believed so.

Secondly, the murderer has "5 sealed arrests in FL for battery, domestic violence, lewd and lascivious behavior and fraud." Do 'sealed arrests' mean no charges were ever filed? Makes you wonder if there was no evidence to prosecute (maybe, we know some victims find it tremendously hard to testify - understandably), but also if the police might have brushed things off as being due to the alleged untreated mental health issues of an ex-military (and police I suspect may sympathize, given that many go into law enforcement after leaving the military).

It's just sickening on so many levels. I feel so awful for the victim and her family.

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that this man's prior arrest records were sealed, b/c otherwise this lovely woman might have discovered his background before she got involved with him.

My deepest sympathy to Ms. Lee's family & loved ones, and to the Grace Church School community that is also mourning her untimely death.

JQ LLC said...

The fact that he worked for the CIA makes this horrific murder more creepier, it's like he used his training in order to get what he wanted, which was the affections of this beautiful woman. It makes more sense how this bastard was able to follow her, especially in the last few months before he committed his heinous crime. I guess not having him pop up unexpectedly in a while gave her a sense of security that she was able to do her daily routines.

I hope there is more information about the gun he used if it was licensed or illegal.

He didn't finish the job on himself because he was afraid to do it. Predatory people are the biggest cowards.

Anonymous said...

What can anyone say really? This is simply a tragedy. My heart goes out to the family and loved ones of the victim. RIP sweet woman :(

Eden Bee said...

Jeez it gets worse and worse. If she had access to those records she would never have met up with him and may have taken more precautions about his stalking her.

Anonymous said...

It was known that this "man" was a violent predator. What ever happened to the three strikes system? He should have been in a dungeon with the other animals.