DA Vance: Bismark Lithgow Convicted at Trial of Murdering His 19-Year-Old Girlfriend

March 6, 2015

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the trial conviction of BISMARK LITHGOW, 26, for fatally stabbing his 19-year-old girlfriend in his Harlem apartment in February 2013. The defendant was found guilty by a jury in New York State Supreme Court of the sole count in the indictment against him, Murder in the Second Degree. LITHGOW is expected to be sentenced on April 1, 2015. 

“Francis Pellerano was brutally murdered at the hands of this defendant, who stabbed her more 38 times before callously leaving her body in a barrel in his room,” said District Attorney Vance. “Bismark Lithgow planned Ms. Pellerano’s death and later attempted to disguise his actions, showing no regard for human life. A jury rightfully found him guilty of Murder in the Second Degree in less than two hours. I would like to thank the jurors for their service on this difficult case, and my Office’s dedicated prosecutors for seeing that justice was done.”

As proven at trial, on or about February 28, 2013, LITHGOW stabbed his 19-year-old girlfriend, Francis Pellerano, 38 times in his apartment located on the corner of West 140th Street and 7th Avenue in Harlem. When NYPD officers arrived at LITHGOW’s apartment responding to a 911 call nearly three days later, they discovered the victim’s body inside a barrel in LITHGOW’s room. A black plastic bag containing a knife and blood-covered towels was found next to the barrel. 

Assistant District Attorney Dafna Yoran prosecuted this case with Assistant District Attorney Ryan Hayward, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Alfred Peterson, Chief of Trial Bureau 70, and Executive Assistant Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. 

Defendant Information:

BISMARK LITHGOW, D.O.B. 10/18/1988
New York, NY


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