Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Robert Zarinsky

98 and a Year

He was put in jail where guards were warned to not let him shave before he could be brought before a police lineup. But Zarinsky borrowed hair removal cream from a fellow inmate and presented himself clean of his trademark sideburns and goatee.

He was still identified by the four boys.

Another inmate who was in jail for passing bad checks was put into the same cell as Zarinsky. "We told him to find out what he could," said Guzzi.

Zarinsky admitted the truth, but prosecutor's refused to try him for murder, because there was no body.

"He (Zarinsky) said, 'I killed a girl, but the cops will never find her,'" said Guzzi. "And all we had him for was contributing to the delinquency of a minor with the girls he had offered the wine."

He was released on bail.

Prosecutors almost immediately started receiving anonymous death threats.

Zarinsky was found guilty, but appealed his case, which was later overturned.

According to the Star-Ledger, "The judge in the case interrupted the trial to declare an acquittal, saying the state had not proved its case.

"I am convinced the defendant stands before this court right now as a nucleus of many evils," Judge George Gray declared. "I feel that something should be done with this man...however, we live in a government of law, and not of men."

Zarinsky was a free man.

"I watched out for him for him all the time," Guzzi said. "Whenever there was a crime I'd say, 'Check Zarinsky. He's out there...""

Cut To: Five Years Later.

Two bodies are dumped near a swamp in Manalapan.

Joanne Delardo, 15, and Donna Carlucci, 14, both from the Colonia section of Woodbridge Township, were found dead, each of them strangled with an electrical cord.

"I said, 'Here we go again...,'" Guzzi said.

Two years prior, utilizing the most recent systems of identification, FBI agents linked the hair found on Zarinsky's ball-peen hammer not to Calandriello, but to Linda Balabanow, 17, of Union Township, whose body had been found under the docks of a Hess refinery on the Raritan River in Port Reading, Middlesex County, four months before Calandriello disappeared.

Balabanow, whose body had been weighed down by an eight-foot-long tire chain, had also been strangled with an electrical cord.

Middlesex County agencies refused to prosecute.

"He (Zarinsky) killed the Balabanow girl just as sure as I'm talking to you. But the prosecutors didn't feel they had enough," said Guzzi. "I was positive he killed her, plus the two other girls."

Guzzi said, "Thank God for Jack Mullaney."

John T. Mullaney was the assistant Monmouth County prosecutor before retiring in 1978 to start his own practice in Eatontown; he perused the Zarinsky file and gave Guzzi a call.

Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office logo
Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office logo

"Mullaney thought we could go to trial on the Calandriello case just on circumstantial evidence," Guzzi said. "I said, 'I've been saying that for five years.'"

Armed with a search warrant and an indictment for murder, police raided the Zarinsky home where they found, among other items, a black, portable transistor radio belonging to Linda Balabanow with the serial numbers scratched away.

According to the Star-Ledger, "Middlesex County authorities didn't think they had enough evidence to bring Zarinsky to trial for Balabanow's murder, but Monmouth County authorities were willing to gamble (on the Calandriello case)."

"I stuck my head out...," Mullaney said, according to the Star-Ledger. "I just thought, there were just too many dead young females, too many bodies."

Mullaney tried Zarinsky in Monmouth County for the murder of Calandriello.

And this time he was found guilty.

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