the girl from “trust” is dead

A few days ago it was being reported that Adrienne Shelly had hanged herself in New York. Family, friends and fans of the 40 year old actress, who is probably best remembered as the female lead in Hal Hartley’s films “The Unbelievable Truth” and “Trust,” weren’t buying it though. They were sure that she wouldn’t have left her husband and 3 year old daughter like that, without so much as a note… Well, it looks as though they were right… It’s now being reported that she was murdered by a construction worker in her building who didn’t like the fact that she complained about the noise he was making.

According to police, when the 5-foot-2 actress complained about the noise, the 19 year old construction worker, Diego Pillco, responded by punching her in the face. Thinking that he’d killed her, he then made a noose from a bed sheet and set out to make it look like a suicide. It may have worked too, if not for the fact that her family was persistent (they brought in their own person to do an autopsy after the New York coroner indicated that it could have been a suicide) and that the killer left shoe prints in the bathtub when he tied her up. Detectives were finally able to match the prints to a pair of shoes owned by the worker, an illegal immigrant, yesterday. During his interrogation, Pillco said that he was “having a bad day” when Shelly asked him to keep the noise down.

Making it all the more tragic, it’s not known whether she was alive or dead when she was hanged.

I hadn’t followed her career in years, but there was a time in my young adult life when I was very fond of her work, and it makes me incredibly sad to think of what she went through, and the fact that her young daughter’s memories of her will undoubtedly fade over time. Maybe it’s because I had a crush on her and the characters she portrayed, or maybe it’s because I identify with her as the parent of an almost 3 year old, but I’m finding it incredibly difficult to let go of this story.

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8 Comments

  1. danandkitty
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    I’m with you Mark. This is a really sad story. I loved her in the Unbelievable Truth and Trust. THe suicide story was sad, but the murder is real tragedy. I know that humans do ba dthings all the time, but stuff like this really does strike me as shocking. How could that guy do it?

    Anyway, thanks for acknowledgin her death. She was a fine actor.

  2. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    If you think about all the shit that could happen, you’d never leave the house. You can’t obsess about it.

    As for this case, the guy is blaming her, claiming that she slapped him first. There’s also a rumor that she may have threatened turning him in to the INS. Neither justify what happened, but you could see how something could escalate.

  3. mike_1630
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Wow… that’s really fucked up :(

  4. egpenet
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I can’t remember whether it was Hamlet or Lear or who kept repeating, “Lists, lists, Oh, damned lists.” Anyway, when I see Adrienne’s face, all I can think to say is: “Lips, lips, oh, damned lips!” Woof!

  5. mark
    Posted November 9, 2006 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    A story today by the New York NBC affiliate contained the following information:

  6. Dirtgrain
    Posted November 10, 2006 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Could be like “Mice and Men” when Lenny killed Curly’s wife?

  7. mark
    Posted February 15, 2008 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    It came out in the court case that Adrienne Shelly didn’t provoke the argument that led to her murder, as the man who killed her first claimed. He’s confessed that he killed her after she caught him stealing from her purse. Here’s a clip from the article:

    …The defendant first said he was renovating a third-floor apartment in Greenwich Village when Shelly came down and complained that he was making too much noise. Shelly used the apartment in that building as an office.

    Pillco initially said she called him names, they fought and he killed
    her accidentally. He said he then hanged her with a bed sheet to make her death look like suicide.

    On Thursday, Pillco admitted to the court that he was in fact robbing her when he killed her. He said he had eaten his lunch in the basement and was walking back up the stairs to resume working when he saw Shelly going up to her flat…

  8. Posted June 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I hadn’t followed her career in years, but there was a time in my young adult life when I was very fond of her work, and it makes me incredibly sad to think of what she went through, and the fact that her young daughter’s memories of her will undoubtedly fade over time.

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