In a move that surprised the police department, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Crimestoppers are offering rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) in the murder of Pelham Bay resident John Kelly in 2006.
Kelly, 43, was the Friday-night bartender at local watering hole Jimmy Ryan’s at 3005 Middletown Road and the superintendent at 3505 Bruckner Boulevard, where he was gunned down in cold blood while removing Christmas decorations from the front of the building on January 15, 2006 at approximately 8 p.m.
Police immediately ruled the death a homicide, leaving many in the community to wonder who committed the crime against the popular bartender and local handyman, and Irish-immigrant who left a wife and three children behind.
Now, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the responsible for the crime, and Crimestoppers is following suit offering up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the unknown assailants.
Almost one year to the day of the murder, police arrested a resident of the building where Kelly lived and charged him with the homicide.
Police arrested John Basile, who at the time was living at the same building where Kelly was the superintendent, on January 14, 2007.
However, Kelly’s neighbor had an airtight alibi, witnesses saw him having dinner with friends in Castle Hill at the time of the killing and the grand jury did not charge him with murder.
Basile was devastated and found his reputation in taters after the arrest, according to his wife. Basile did not have a criminal record, nor did he own a gun, she said.
Now, according to sources, the police believe they may have a lead that will break the case wide open.
“Bronx Homicide has new information about the case,” the source said.
Mayor Bloomberg’s press office declined to comment on the renewed interest in the case, or the decision to use executive privilege to implement Local Law #48, Section 1993 and offer the reward.
If you have any information regarding this crime, call (800) 577-TIPS. You don’t have to give your name, and can refer to the crime by its code number: BX-335.