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Ellen Greenberg - Suicide or Murder?

by Crime 5 months ago in investigation

Ellen was 27 years old; her death ruled a suicide

Police ruled the death of Ellen Greenberg a suicide after initially ruling it a homicide.

Case Facts:

  • She was preparing a salad when police say she stabbed herself more than 20 times in the chest and neck.
  • She was engaged to be married. A few days before, she'd been making plans for the wedding.
  • On the day of her death, her fiancé left her at 4:45 to go to the gym.
  • He returned about 4:30 p.m. He says the door was locked. He called 9-1-1.
  • Police found no evidence of forced entry (despite the fiance breaking down the door.)

Is this murder or suicide? The family thinks it's homicide and wants the ruling changed after they say 3D technology proves she was murdered.

Be sure to read the full story and sign the petition, too.

Next, thoughts, please!?

Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer

On January 26, 2011, first-grade school teacher Ellen Greenberg was stabbed more than 20 times as she prepared a salad in the kitchen of the home she shared with her fiance.

Greenberg sustained 10 wounds to her head and neck and 10+wounds to her abdomen, chest, and stomach. The knife was still lodged inside her chest when police arrived.

Knife: Philadelphia Inquirer

A Philadelphia Medical Examiner initially ruled Greenberg’s death a homicide but changed the cause of death to suicide. He then closed the case.

Police investigating the death said Greenberg was home alone at the time of her death, there were no signs of forced entry, no signs of a struggle, and no defensive wounds. Ellen’s fiancé left the home two hours prior headed to the gym.

Police said Greenberg searched for suicide and death-related terms several times over the course of a few months before her death as well. The lawyer for the Greenberg family denies any such searches were made.

Just a few days shy of their wedding, Greenberg happily planned an extravagant event for the couple. Earlier in the day, her internet history showed several wedding-related searches.

Photo: CBS Philly

Goldberg Finds Finance’s Body

Greenberg’s fiancé, TV producer Samuel Goldberg, found her body after he says that he kicked in the door when Ellen did not answer when he returned from the gym. He texted his fiancé nine times and asked for something to break the door with from security before kicking in the door.

He returned downstairs to the security guard desk, asking the guard to help him kick down the door, but the guard refused.

Goldberg left the couple’s home around 4:45 p.m., returning home around 5:30 p.m. Neighbors confirmed hearing Goldberg call Ellen’s name several times.

Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer

3D Technology Proves Greenberg Did Not Commit Suicide

Greenberg’s family is convinced that she was murdered. They recently brought new evidence to light they say proves that Ellen was murdered.

Using a technology called photogrammetry, the family recreated 3D images of Ellen’s wounds, which they say prove that she was murdered and did not commit suicide. The images showed the size, depth, and length of each stab wound. The creators of the program concluded that all of the wounds could not have been self-inflicted, particularly the wounds located on the back of Greenberg’s head and neck.

CBS News

Suicide or Murder?

What do you think? Was Ellen murdered or did she commit suicide? I side with the photogrammetry experts. It is pretty clear that you cannot stab yourself in the back, that many times, even for those of us without medical degrees. Further, someone planning a suicide would not be preparing a salad, nor would they eagerly look forward to and meticulously plan their wedding.

Medical Examiner Reports

Petition to Reopen Case

If you agree that Ellen Greenberg was murdered and did not commit suicide, sign this petition! Created by her parents, the petition currently has over 32,000 signatures of people urging Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro to reopen the case.

Be sure to follow the Justice For Ellen Facebook page for information and case updates.

Additional Information & Resources:



True crime cases. The stories on this page depict real life events and are intended for an 18+ audience ONLY. Please read with discretion.

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