The Torso Killer
Valerie, a former Scottsdale, Arizona salon owner was convicted of killing her husband in the grisly 2000 "torso murder". Pape pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the slaying of her husband, Ira Pomerantz. His headless, limbless body was found in a dumpster behind an east Mesa supermarket.
Friends of Valerie Pape, including state Sen. Russell Bowers,
said that they could not believe she was guilty of killing and dismembering her
"Valerie Pape showed my paintings in her salon," said Bowers, an avid artist. "She is a very gentle, decent person, and I'm astonished at this."
Merle Bianchi, of Paradise Valley, was Bowers' administrative assistant for several years, and introduced Pape to the senator. Bianchi's own husband died in a homicide.
It was to Bianchi's house that Pape went in the fall when she sought refuge from her husband, Ira Pomerantz, 60, a bar owner.
"They looked and perhaps took some things, but I don't know what," Bianchi said Sunday. "I only know that Valerie was the most kind, warmest, most gentle person you ever met in your life. She was naive and trusting."
At the time of the murder she was 47-years-old, and a French citizen. She admitted to police that she had dumped Pomerantz's headless, legless, armless torso into a Mesa trash bin that day. It was four days after finding him dead at their home, she said.
Pape told police she found her husband's clothed body lying face up in a pool of blood in her Scottsdale home on Monday morning. A gun lay nearby. Her husband had been fatally shot in the back, police said.
Then, on Friday, she dumped the body behind the Bashas' at McDowell and Power roads in Mesa. It remains unclear what Pape did with the body during those four days. Pape told investigators she disposed of the body because she feared being
accused of his murder. 'Afraid,' friend says Bianchi said Pape "was terribly afraid" of Pomerantz. "She started coming to my home last fall, shortly after my husband was murdered," Bianchi said. "She called me one night and said Ira had thrown
knives at her. She ran out the back door and said could she come and stay with me." Bowers also knew about Pape's problems.
"I think highly of Valerie, and it makes me sick to my stomach to think this could happen to her," Bowers said. "I knew her husband beat her up. I've seen her face. It was a sickening thing."
She made a claim from jail for the return of her personal property taken into police custody during the investiagtion/trial. She claims Mesa police improperly turned over $16,000 worth of personal items, including designer lingerie, family photos and keepsakes, collected during the investigation to Pomerantz's daughter, Stacy. The claim was triggered by an investigation of Stacy Pomerantz. She is suspected of passing checks in Pape's name around Palm Springs, California.
A List of The Items Included:
• 1 black purse, "Saks 5th Ave," $300
• Blue leather wallet from Paris, $200
• 1 ring with black pearl/diamonds (inside wallet), $6,000
• Gold chain with medal (inside wallet), $500
• 1 waterman gold plated pen, $200
• Credit card holder (from Paris), $100
• Black leather gloves and silver (from Paris), $50
• Black leather "Guess Collection" jeans, $400
• Sentry Fire Safe Box, $50
• Black sunglasses, $150
• Black Falchi bag, $50
• Black bag and Motorola cell phone, $300
• 2 snake skin suits (Paoio Santini), $1,400
• Bag hair curlers, $30
• Black leather hat, $50
• 2 pair eyeglasses (Police/France), $360
• 1 black jacket "Bebe," $160
• 2 black pants, "Bebe" and "Piein Sud," $300
• Brown heels shoes, "Via Spiga," $180
• Yellow/white watch, $600
• Black teddy, "Aubade," $180
• Oster toaster oven, $40
• Green Ralph Lauren umbrella, $100
• Name plate, Michel Sauvage, $25
• Telephone with answering machine, $100
• Toastmaster electric knife, $20
• Beige patterned comforter, $200
• Chrome thermos, $20
• 19 computer disks, $100
• Books, $200
• Sony tape recorder, $200
• Tapes, $50
• 2 white lace pillows, $50
• Currency from business, $2,960
• Box with bracelet, $300
• Fanny pack with "Yves Saint Laurent" brushes, and "Dior" and Sothys makeup, $200