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Karen Florin tells here the remarkable story of how a few dedicated detectives, some already retired from police work, chased down leads and tips from a long cold case and finally brought a killer to justice.
The victim, Renee Pellegrino, had been freed from prison the afternoon before she was killed.
A law school graduate, Pellegrino had lost her way after the deaths of her father and sister, according to her mother. She used crack cocaine as an escape, then started turning tricks to support her drug addiction. She worked a route in downtown New London.
"We didn't care if she was a prostitute," McCarthy said. "We didn't care if she was a nun. She was somebody's daughter."
But Pellegrino's lifestyle did present the investigators with a problem.
"She was a very high-risk victim," Weiss said. "She was involved with multiple people with questionable backgrounds. Those are just tough cases to deal with."
The detectives greeted the conviction this week in the 1997 murder with relief. They have no plans to attend the sentencing, Florin writes. Their work is done, after all these years.