D.A. Vance Announces Trial Conviction of Roslyn Pilmar and Evan Wald for 1996 Murder of Howard Pilmar


March 8, 2019

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the trial conviction of ROSLYN PILMAR, 61, and her brother EVAN WALD, 45, for the murder of Roslyn Pilmar’s husband, Howard Pilmar, on March 21, 1996. A New York State Supreme Court found the defendants guilty of the sole count against them: Murder in the Second Degree.

“Howard Pilmar was savagely murdered at the hands of his wife and brother-in-law as he fiercely fought for his life. The defendants slashed and stabbed him more than 40 times, even continuing the attack after his heart stopped beating, and left his body lying on his office floor,” said District Attorney Vance. “For nearly 23 years, Roslyn Pilmar and Evan Wald evaded justice for their gruesome crime and thought they would get away with it, but today, a jury rightfully found them guilty of Murder in the Second Degree for planning Mr. Pilmar’s murder together and acting in concert to carry out the cold-blooded killing. I thank the prosecutors in my Office’s Cold Case and Forensic Sciences Unit and NYPD detectives for more than two decades of dedication to this case and ensuring that Howard’s death was never forgotten.”

As proven at trial, as of March 1996, PILMAR had embezzled approximately $200,000 from her former employer. She also owed nearly $15,000 in unpaid state taxes for the coffee shops she managed, called Phillip’s Coffee Shop, a business that the victim owned.

In the days leading up to the incident, PILMAR and WALD, who was also employed at Phillip’s Coffee Shop, made a series of unusual requests, such as requests for keys to the building and elevator, information as to how to close the office at night, and inquiries about the presence of video cameras in the building lobby. Then on March 21, 1996, the defendants met the victim at his office and slashed his throat, severing his windpipe, and stabbed him 48 times in his chest, torso, and back, penetrating his lungs and heart, killing him. PILMAR then collected $1.2 million from the victim’s life insurance, as well as other benefits such as ownership of the victim’s businesses, various real estate properties in Manhattan and Vermont, and sole custody of the couple’s then 10-year-old son. After receiving payments from the victim’s life insurance policy and collecting his other assets, PILMAR began repaying the debts owed to her prior employer as soon as January 7, 1997.

The case was reinvestigated by the Manhattan D.A.’s office beginning in 2013 after witnesses were found with new information. An indictment was subsequently filed in New York State Supreme Court on August 11, 2017, PILMAR and WALD were arrested on August 15, 2017. WALD was later extradited from Virginia to New York on October 19, 2017.

Assistant District Attorneys Elizabeth Lederer, Senior Trial Counsel of the Cold Case and Forensic Sciences Unit, and Melissa Hindman of the Special Victims Bureau, handled the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Melissa Mourges, Chief of Cold Case and Forensic Sciences Unit and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Supervising Detective Investigator Siobhan Berry, Investigative Analyst Holly Burns-LaRiche, Financial Intelligence Director David Rosenzweig, and former Trial Preparation Assistant Alison Miller also assisted with the case.

District Attorney Vance thanked the members of the NYPD’s Midtown South Detective Squad, especially retired Lieutenant James West, Detectives Arthur Caddigan, Gary Scollard, and retired Detectives Richard Breicke, Lawrence Marcario, Mary Dugan, and Hal Sherman.

 

Defendant Information:

ROSLYN PILMAR, D.O.B 6/17/1957

New York, NY

Convicted:

  • Murder in the Second Degree, a class A felony, one count

 

EVAN WALD, D.O.B. 11/14/1973

Lorton, VA

Convicted:

  • Murder in the Second Degree, a class A felony, one count