It has been more than 10 years since the body of schoolteacher and bride-to-be Ellen Greenberg was found in her home by her fiancé, Sam Goldberg.
Her shocking death by stabbing was initially ruled a homicide, then suicide - and the case was closed. But questions have swirled, and inconsistencies have led investigators to reopen the case. A phone call by her fiancé at the time of her death now has investigators wondering anew - did somebody kill Ellen Greenberg?
Once Ruled a Suicide, Ellen Greenberg's Case Includes Chilling Updates
She had it all. A promising career, the man of her dreams, beauty and an upcoming wedding.
And just like that, one day she was gone, stabbed to death 20 times. Goldberg found Greenberg's body in their Philidelphia home and phoned 911, but it was too late to save his fiancé. Greenberg's death was initially ruled a homicide.
But in a truly bizarre twist, the medical examiner changed her cause of death - remember, that's 20 stabs - to suicide. The Sun reports, "The 27-year-old death was initially ruled a homicide but was later changed to suicide. Now, her family says new evidence suggests otherwise, as reported by Fox News.
Greenberg's parents Sandee and Josh told Nancy Grace the new evidence 'is that from many of her stab wounds, there's no hemorrhage.
'In other words, she wasn't bleeding; she was already dead.'
The parents added that one of the stab wounds was in the heart despite Greenberg being left-handed."
But there's more, and the inconsistencies have prompted investigators to reopen the case.
In particular, the phone call Goldberg made after allegedly discovering Greenberg's body is under the microscope because experts say it sounded rehearsed, and the odd way he described her body has alarm bells ringing.
Initially, Goldberg told the 911 operator that he believed she had slipped and hit her head. But then, he continued, "Her shirt won't come off, it's a zipper. Oh, my God, she stabbed herself."
As many have pointed out, it's very bizarre to suggest someone has stabbed themselves - much less 20 times - even if she weren't left-handed, upon finding them stabbed.
- Sandee Greenberg to Inside Edition about the death of her daughter and the resulting ruling of "suicide."
The authorities trying to make us believe that our daughter committed suicide when she didn't is just reprehensible to me.
Greenberg's parents campaigned for the past 11 years to have the case reopened, even commissioning forensics recreations to prove that she could not have physically inflicted 20 stab wounds on herself in the way they were delivered. The Chester County's District Attorney's Office finally agreed to reopen the case.
Greenberg's parents vowed to fight until the truth is uncovered.
How Common is It for a Domestic Partner to Committ Murder?
The question of whether or not Goldberg was involved in the killing of his fiancé is part of a larger pattern of revealing just how common domestic violence murder is.
Domestic violence is often silent from the outside. And many family and friends of victims after the fact said they had little or no clue that their loved one was being abused, and suddenly they're dead at the hands of someone they loved.
So just how common is it for a person to be murdered by their partner? The answer may shock you. 1 in 3-4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and for men that number is still shocking at 1 in 9. These incidents include, "severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc." per the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner and 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female. In these cases, nearly 70% included prior domestic violence in the relationship although only around 25% of the perpetrators had been officially charged with domestic violence.
The United Nations Office on Drug and Crimes released a study that revealed, "In 2020, approximately 47,000 women and girls were killed worldwide by their intimate partners or other family members. This means that, on average, a woman or girl is killed by someone in her own family every 11 minutes."
So given the scope of the problem, how likely is it for someone to be killed by their intimate partner? The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence explains, "From 1980 to 2008, nearly 1 out of 5 murder victims were killed by an intimate partner (Cooper & Smith, 2011). In fact, available research shows that women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner (husband, boyfriend, same-sex partner, or ex) than by anyone else (Catalano, 2013; Violence Policy Center, 2015). Approximately 2 out of 5 female murder victims are killed by an intimate partner (Cooper & Smith, 2011). In 2013, fifteen (15) times as many females were murdered by a male they knew than were killed by male strangers. For victims who knew their offenders, 62% were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of the offenders." For men, the number is significantly smaller but not zero - around 4.9% of male victims of homicide were killed by an intimate partner over the same period of time.
This all adds up to the very frightening reality that Goldberg is statistically the most likely person to have murdered Greenberg if her parents are right and it wasn't a suicide. Other stories in the news recently have drawn attention to this terrifying problem, but in a country where domestic violence is still spoken of in hushes - a solution is not forthcoming.