Ellen Rae Greenberg a sta b victim

Ellen Rae Greenberg, born on June 23, 1983, in New York City, was a 27-year-old American woman who tragically d*ed on January 26, 2011, after sustaining 20 stab wounds. At the time of her d*ath, she was a first-grade teacher at Juniata Park Academy in the Juniata neighborhood of Philadelphia. Ellen resided in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia, where she lived with her fiancé in an apartment.


On January 26, 2011, amid a blizzard in Philadelphia, Ellen Greenberg left work and returned to her apartment. Tragically, at around 6:40 p.m., she was found deceased, having suffered twenty stab wounds, including ten to her back and neck. Additionally, there were eleven bruises in various stages of healing on her right arm, abdomen, and right leg. Her fiancé, Samuel Goldberg, discovered her body.

Initially, the crime scene was treated as a su*cide. However, after the autopsy, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office initially classified the case as a hom*cide. The following day, the Philadelphia Police Department changed course, stating that Ellen Greenberg’s d*ath had not been conclusively ruled a homicide and that investigators were considering it suspicious. Ultimately, the case was reversed, and in February 2011, it was officially declared a su*cide.

Further investigation

On March 15, 2019, The Philadelphia Inquirer published an investigative report on its front page, delving into the suspicious circumstances surrounding Ellen Greenberg’s d*ath. Cyril H. Wecht, a forensic pathologist known for challenging the single-bullet theory in the John F. Kennedy assassination, reviewed the case and concluded that it was “strongly suspicious of homicide,” questioning how it had been labeled a su*cide. Similarly, Henry Lee, a renowned forensic scientist who testified for the defense in the O. J. Simpson murder trial, examined the case files and asserted that the number and nature of the wounds and bloodstain patterns were consistent with a homicide scene.

A significant point of contention was the stab wounds that penetrated Greenberg’s brain. Wayne K. Ross, in his analysis, highlighted that such wounds would have caused severe pain, cranial nerve dysfunction, and traumatic brain injuries. The original medical report indicated that neuropathologist Lucy Balian Rorke-Adams had concluded there were no such wounds. However, in an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Rorke-Adams stated that although it was possible she had seen the body and made comments during the time it was observed, she had no records of the examination and couldn’t confirm the reports in question.

Legal action

In October 2019, Greenberg’s parents initiated a civil suit against the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office and Marlon Osbourne, the pathologist who conducted the autopsy, in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The lawsuit aims to change the manner of d*ath to “homicide” or “undetermined,” citing new information and Osbourne’s admission that he altered the manner of d*ath at the insistence of the police. Utilizing photogrammetry, a technique unavailable at the time of Greenberg’s d*ath, a 3D anatomical recreation of her wounds was created, revealing that not all of her stab wounds could have been self-inflicted.

In January 2020, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas permitted the case to proceed beyond the motion to dismiss stage. The trial was scheduled to commence in 2021. Then, in August 2022, the Chester County District Attorney’s office announced the reopening of the investigation into Greenberg’s d*ath. This decision came shortly after the Pennsylvania Attorney General relinquished the case due to a conflict of interest.

Media coverage

Following The Philadelphia Inquirer’s investigation, the case gained significant attention within the true crime community. It was featured on various platforms including the Dr. Oz Show, People Magazine, 48 Hours, Inside Edition, CBS Philadelphia, Good Day Philadelphia (FOX29 Philly), ABC Harrisburg, CBS Harrisburg, Penn Live, NBC’s Oxygen network, the Daily Mail, and Law.com. The suspicion surrounding Greenberg’s d*ath was also highlighted as the lead episode in the second season of the true crime television show, Accident, Su*cide or M*rder.

Numerous podcasts have also delved into Greenberg’s d*ath, including the Criminology Podcast featuring Cyril H. Wecht, Crime Junkie, and Morbid: A True Crime Podcast.

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