New Questions Arise About Linda Stein MurderThe day real-estate agent Linda Stein was bludgeoned to death in her apartment, her assistant, Natavia Lowery, was seen leaving Stein’s building at 1:15 p.m. Prosecutors have led us to believe that Stein was killed around 12:45 that day, beaten with a yoga bar by her enraged assistant, who had been stealing money from her employer and who had a troubled past. But apparently a medical examiner’s report, given to the AP by the defense, states that Stein’s daughter, Samantha Wells, claims she spoke with her mother at 2 p.m. that day — a full 45 minutes after surveillance video has Lowery leaving the building. This raises a lot of questions, not least this one: Why is this news buried in a brief in the bottom right-hand corner of page 29 in the Post, underneath a long story and huge picture of cute Nicaraguan kids in donated Patriots jerseys?
A Time Warp in Stein Slay [NYP]
Related: New York’s coverage of Linda Stein.
in other news
Linda Stein Could Not Have Blown Pot Smoke in Natavia Lowery’s FaceAn autopsy on the body of real-estate broker Linda Stein, who was allegedly killed by her assistant Natavia Lowery at the end of October, has revealed that there was no marijuana in her system at the time of her death. This rips a hole in Lowery’s defense strategy, as she has claimed she was driven into a rage after Stein yelled at her and repeatedly blew marijuana smoke into her face. It was that incensed rage, Lowery said, that led her to shatter Stein’s skull with a yoga bar. But police sources told the Post that even a small amount of marijuana would have showed up in her system, and the toxicological tests on Stein’s body, completed last week, revealed nothing. (Lawyers for Lowery say that she “made things up to get out of the interrogation room,” including the marijuana-smoke story, and even the murder confession.) This is good news for prosecutors, who are trying to build up a narrative that Lowery had been using her boss’ credit cards and bank accounts and killed her when she was caught. But it raises the question: Why did it take over three months for toxicology reports to come in on her death and just ten days for Heath Ledger’s? Not that we’re surprised that his got rushed through after all the public scrutiny, but that’s an awfully big time difference. We fully expect an offensive Sean Delonas cartoon about this matter in “Page Six” tomorrow, most likely involving some bodyguards pushing around some wimpy gay forensic scientists, at the orders of a skeletal Mary-Kate Olsen.
SLAY EXCUSE BLOWN [NYP]
in other news
Linda Stein’s Assistant Looks Even More GuiltyIt’s been a while since we checked in with Natavia Lowry, the 26-year-old personal assistant accused of killing her employer, realtor Linda Stein. Despite the fact that her family says Lowery was an “angel” who did such saintlike things as founding a youth group for low-income teens and visiting retirement homes, police seem pretty sure that she was the one who beat Stein to death with a yoga stick back in October, and she’s been denied bail, despite the fact that she’s pregnant. Today, the Post reports that the entire time she was working for Stein, Lowery was withdrawing tens of thousands of dollars from ATMs using Stein’s account and funneling the cash to her boyfriend in Virginia Beach. Which kind of puts a hole in her “angel” rep, makes Lowery’s “a ninja did it” defense look even less likely, and makes you wonder what she was doing at those retirement homes after all.
She Made a Killing [NYP]
Related: Intel’s coverage of Linda Stein
Death of a Broker [NYM]
in other news
Natavia Lowery: Linda Stein Was Killed by Rogue NinjaAmong documents police released yesterday regarding their interviews with Linda Stein’s assistant, Natavia Lowery, was a handwritten note in which Lowery confessed that she hit her employer over the head “six or seven times” with a cane on October 31, the day Stein was discovered dead in a pool of blood. Which makes the fact that Lowery pleaded not guilty to the murder of Linda Stein yesterday kind of confusing. Still more confusing, however, is the otherstory that Lowery told the police, in which a masked man wearing all black burst into the apartment brandishing a hammer had attacked Stein, telling Lowery, “You’ll be the last one to see her alive.” Lowery’s lawyer, without explicitly saying he bought the masked-man story, claims his client (who is also seven weeks pregnant) is innocent; he says her confession was coerced. “She was locked in an interrogation room for 12 hours, deprived of her telephone and BlackBerry,” he told the AP. “She had to make something up to get out of that room.” Sooo why not just stick with the ninja story?
Details of Shifting Story Emerge in Fifth Avenue Death [NYT]
Related: Death of a Broker [NYM]