New York City had a bad rap back in the 1990s and early 2000s for its incessant crimes. Serial rapists and abusers were highlighted as breaking news in the media. It was as if all hell broke loose in New York for the Handy Lawyer team as they got a slew of new clients to protect and represent.


In New York City on March 25th, 1990, the lawyers at the Handy Lawyer firm received a client that would go down in history as an arsonist and murderer. This story is of a man’s vendetta towards his ex-girlfriend who worked at the “Happy Land” club at the time. One night, Julio Gonzalez was angry and drunk about his ex-girlfriend still working as the coat check girl at the said club. He decided to break into the club and yell at her that she would not go into work the next day, in which he took matters into his own hands and purchased a large jug of gasoline and doused the club along with its staircases. He left immediately to go sleep, leaving 87 people in the club burn to death as only one exit–the main entrance– was open (the rest were barricaded so as not to let anyone enter the club without paying). While the lovely ex-girlfriend by the name of Lydia Feliciano got out alive after having told multiple people that the place was on fire, many of her colleagues and partygoers did not. As a litigator for Gonzalez, he ended up receiving 25 years to life of imprisonment.

Another instance of one of the best known serial killers of the 20th century. This Manhattan man was of above intelligence, yet he still enchanted the idea of dismembering seventeen women. The name goes by Joel David Rifkin. He developed a fascination with prostitutes and previous serial killers who would kill prostitutes after he wasn’t able to hold on to a job. He collected newspaper clippings of these renditions that police later found plastered to his walls. These exhibits were testified against Handy Lawyer’s claims, another argument that our excellent lawyers had to work around when dealing with this case in the 1990s. It was in 1989 and 1990 that Rifkin first made his strike by killing two women and throwing pieces of their bodies into the Manhattan canal. Over the next two years, he increased that count by an additional 15 women in which he would cut the pieces of their bodies, place them carefully into containers, and then throw them into the canal. The story of how Rifkin was caught is interesting enough since it was as simple as this: The police found him during a normal traffic stop in which they pulled him over. Rifkin did not in fact stop as he was in the process of taking his last victim to be dumped somewhere far away, exactly the moment in which the police found him and imprisoned him.


These two New York crime stories were some of the highest profile cases that our Handy Lawyers had to deal with back in the day. There is nothing that the Handy lawyers cannot accomplish when it comes to murder cases.


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