Death Of Ellen Greenberg, Which Was Ruled A Suicide After She Was Found With 20 Stab Wounds, To Get New Look

·4 min read

It’s been more than a decade since a Pennsylvania teacher was found dead in her kitchen with more than 20 stabs wounds and a knife still plunged into her chest.

Investigators initially ruled Ellen Greenberg’s death a suicide after concluding there were no signs of forced entry but the Chester County District Attorney’s Office has recently announced it is taking a new look at the case, once featured on Oxygen’s “Accident, Suicide or Murder.”

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office relinquished the case in July after announcing there was an “appearance of a conflict” of interest, according to People. It’s now been picked up by the Chester County District Attorney’s Office, who has assigned an investigator and prosecutor to review the Jan. 26, 2011 death.

The move has come as welcome news to Ellen’s parents, who have long insisted their daughter did not take her own life.

Ellen Rae Greenberg
Ellen Rae Greenberg

“It is no surprise that the Greenbergs were greatly dissatisfied with the AG's handling of their daughter's matter," their attorney Joseph Podraza, Jr.,said in a statement to the news outlet. “They are hopeful the investigation by the Chester County DA will be thorough and objective. They will cooperate and provide whatever assurance that can to the Chester County DA if and when requested. They are hopeful for justice for Ellen."

Ellen spent the last day of her life at the elementary school where she taught first grade, but when an impending blizzard shut the school down early, Ellen stopped to fill her car up with gas before driving home to her Philadelphia apartment, Oxygen.com previously reported.

Her fiancé Sam Goldberg went to the gym around 4:45 p.m. and returned about a half-hour later to find that the swing lock had been flipped from the inside the apartment, locking him outside. He texted Ellen repeatedly, but got no response, and then forced his way inside the apartment with the help of a building security officer, according to an investigation report from Philadelphia medical examiner.

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Once inside he found Ellen “supine” with her head and some of her upper body resting against the lower kitchen cabinets with a 10-inch serrated steak knife sticking out of her chest. She had been stabbed more than 20 times with wounds to the back of her skull, neck and chest.

There was “no evidence of a struggle in the kitchen area or anywhere else in the apartment,” according to Fox News.

Investigators also didn’t find any note or suggestion inside the apartment that Ellen had been considering suicide.

Dr. Marlon Osbourne, a former pathologist with the medical examiner’s office, initially ruled the death a homicide. However, Osbourne later changed the ruling to a suicide after investigators were unable to find any sign of forced entry and only Ellen’s fingerprints were found on the knife.

In the weeks before her death, Ellen had been visiting psychiatrist Ellen Berman for what was described in the investigative report as “severe anxiety.” She mentioned in her therapy sessions that she “was having difficulty with work” and felt “overwhelmed.” But she reported “nothing but good things” about her fiancé.

Ellen was prescribed Ambien and Klonopin to help her sleep.

Ellen’s mom Sandee Greenberg told police that her daughter had been “struggling with something” before her death but was not suicidal.

“There was never any reason to suspect suicide in any way shape or form,” Sandee told Oxygen.com in 2019.

Her parents insisted that their daughter had always been squeamish about blood and would have never willingly inflicted so many knife wounds.

“She chickened out [of getting her ears pierced] — she didn’t like pain, her own pain,” her father Joshua Greenberg told Oxygen.com. “The whole thing, it just didn’t make sense. When we found out certain facts along the way — she had wounds on her back. How do you do that?”

He also questioned why she would have stopped to get gas on her way home if she was planning to commit suicide just a short time later.

In the years since her death, several prestigious forensic pathologists, including Dr. Cyril Wecht, have disagreed with Osbourne’s suicide finding.

After reviewing the case Wecht concluded the circumstances were “strongly suspicious of homicide.” He told Fox News on Tuesday he believed it was “highly, highly unlikely” she could have killed herself.

“In all my years of experience, and all of the homicides that I’ve done, and suicides, I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.

Wecht said he was “delighted” the case would be re-examined by the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

To learn more about the mysterious case, tune in to Oxygen’s “Accident, Suicide or Murder,” streaming now.