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Man sprays woman in lift with petrol and sets her alight

By David Usborne

These horrific images of a man in New York spraying a flammable liquid over a woman in a lift before setting fire to her, were captured on CCTV.

The woman, who died of her injuries, was identified as Doris Gillespie, 64. She was returning to her home in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, on Saturday.

A police spokesman, Paul Browne, said the attacker had been waiting for her. "It was apparent he knew she was on the elevator," he said.

A 47-year-old man is being questioned on suspicion of murder. Mr Browne said the man walked into a police station overnight, smelling of petrol, and told officers he had started a fire.

The attack was captured by security cameras inside the lift and on the landing outside the victim's flat. The tapes show a man dressed like a pest exterminator entering the lift and taking it to the fifth floor. Later the same cameras caught Ms Gillespie, a post office worker, riding to the fifth floor, her arms weighed down with shopping bags.

The assailant was waiting. As she starts out from the lift, he sprays her with a fire accelerant. He then ignites his victim with a burning Molotov cocktail.

"It's horrific, I can't believe it's true," said Ben Olson, 37, who lives one floor higher in the same building.

Belfast Telegraph


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