Old Time Crime: Woman dismembered Scottsdale husband in 2000

and last updated 2020-01-27 12:05:56-05

Scottsdale made national headlines in 2000 when a woman was convicted of killing, dismembering and disposing of her husband's body.

The Crime:

On January 27, 2000, witnesses saw Valerie Pape, then 47 years old, drive up to a dumpster behind a Mesa grocery store and dump the torso of her husband, Ira Pomerantz. The torso, naked and wrapped in plastic, was later found by a delivery man but the rest of his body was never found.  

”The limbs and head were cut by an electrical cutting instrument"

Authorities arrested Pape the next day. When police told her what witnesses saw, Pape admitted to dumping the body. She said she came home on January 24th and found her husband already dead on the kitchen floor. Fearing she would be blamed for his death, she covered the body in plastic and went to work at the upscale Scottsdale Beauty salon she owned.

With continued fear of being blamed for the death, Pape did not call police when she returned home from work. Police believe Pape had help in dismembering and disposing of Pomerantz's body, but she only ever admitted to dumping the torso.

Pape never told investigators if anyone else was involved or what happened to the head and limbs.

The medical examiner determined that Pomerantz, 60, died from a gunshot wound to the back of his neck and his limbs and head were cut by an "electrical cutting instrument."

Police did find a receipt in her purse showing the purchase of a reciprocating saw. 

Past Domestic Violence allegations:

Scottsdale police received several domestic violence complaints at their home and Pomerantz was arrested at least one time in regards to those complaints. 

Pape said that she felt safer in the Estrella Jail than at home

"He never struck her mother in the seventeen years of their marriage; nor did he strike the children," said one of the Pomerantz children.  However, Pape painted Pomerantz as an alcoholic who had frequent flashbacks to his time serving in Vietnam. She also stated that Pomerantz was prone to violent outbursts, where he would hold a gun to her head, break things and, in one instance, threw knives at her.

Pape would later say that she felt safer in the Estrella Jail than at home.

Pape in Prison:

Pape was ordered to be removed by an immigration judge in 2008

Pape pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to sixteen years in prison. 

In the Perryville Prison, her records showed few disciplinary actions; she worked in the prison as a barber, beautician, painter and tutor.

In 2006 Pape requested a transfer to a prison in France where she lived before moving to Arizona. The Arizona Department of Corrections initially approved the transfer, but later quashed it when Pomerantz' daughters protested, believing France would release Pape on parole.

In January 2016, Pape finished serving her prison time and her custody was given to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ICE deported Pape to France on March 7, 2016.

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