In the end, seven months after the grisly murder was front-page news, only a Queens prosecutor was left to speak.
Confessed killer David Bonola, in handcuffs and an orange prison jumpsuit, declined to say a word last Wednesday when sentenced to 25 years for stabbing his married girlfriend a staggering 58 times as she tried to end their illicit two-year romance.
And the family of victim Orsolya Gaal steered clear of the five-minute hearing where the 44-year-old Forest Hills handyman appeared for his final court date in the shocking killing and dismemberment where his lover’s body parts were stuffed inside a duffel bag and dumped in a local park.
It was the last scene in the fast-moving case closed quickly by police and prosecutors, a headline-making mix of sex and violence involving the married victim and her secret boyfriend, capped by a brutal and bloody breakup.
The killer appeared uninvited shortly after midnight on April 16 to meet with Gaal in her Queens home. The mom was looking to end their relationship as the pair headed down to the family basement, with a note on the refrigerator upstairs summarizing the increasingly tense situation: “GET A NEW HANDYMAN.”
The ensuing argument exploded into a horror show, with Bonola grabbing a steak knife before repeatedly plunging the blade into the neck and upper body of the over-matched Gaal. Her hands were gashed with defensive wounds in a desperate battle for survival.
Bonola cut up her corpse and loaded the victim’s parts into a hockey bag belonging to her younger son, who was sleeping upstairs. Her husband and the couple’s older son were on a tour of colleges for the teen to attend.
Video captured Bonola dragging the bag through the darkened streets of Queens at 4:15 a.m., leaving a blood trail leading back to Gaal’s Tudor-style home.
Neither the victim’s husband nor her two sons attended Bonola’s sentencing or provided the pre-sentencing family impact statements typical in such high-profile homicides, leaving a Queens prosecutor to speak on their behalf.
“I believe that this sentence will hold the defendant accountable for what he has done,” said Assistant District Attorney John Kosinski. “I believe it will give the family some closure … and be allowed to move on and begin the healing process.”
Bonola, his long black hair in contrast with his bright prison garb, stood mutely as the sentence for manslaughter was imposed. But shortly after his arrest in the gruesome killing, he confessed to police in a single sentence that barely hinted at the carnage that followed Gaal’s repeated requests for him to leave.
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“We went down the basement to talk,” he said. “And it turned into an argument.”
Bonola left the murder weapon behind, and his jacket was found inside the park near the duffel bag, police said. The killer — who told the Daily News in a jailhouse interview after his arrest that he was still in love with his victim — also suffered an incriminating cut to one of his hands, officials said.
While Gaal’s family kept a low profile, steering clear of the courtroom and the media, Kosinski said they were “involved in the case from the very minute it occurred” and faced “a long and arduous journey” of recovery.
The killer and his victim met while Bonola was doing work on Gaal’s home, with the handyman given a spare house key to slip inside, cops said.
On the night of her death, Gaal she attended a show in Lincoln Center with friends before stopping for a nightcap at a neighborhood bar. The blonde Hungarian immigrant arrived home at 12:20 a.m., with Bonola appearing about 10 minutes later.
Investigators quickly identified Bonola as a suspect, arresting him four days after the body was found. Earlier in the day of her death, a neighbor recalled, Gaal was frolicking with the family dog in the yard before her trip into Manhattan.
Once his time is served, Bonola faces five years of post-release supervision and possible deportation to his native Mexico as an illegal immigrant.
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