Handyman David Bonola arrested in case of murdered Queens mother stabbed more than 55 times
The handyman lover of Queens mom Orsolya Gaal was charged Thursday with her murder — and police said he committed the “horrendous” crime after confronting her over their recently-ended on-off affair of two years.
David Bonola, 44, was arrested late Wednesday after officers canvassing the area for surveillance footage spotted him and took him back with them to the 112th precinct, where he made “incriminating statements,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said at a press conference.
He was charged with murder, criminal tampering and criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly stabbing Gaal, 51, nearly 60 times in the basement of her Forest Hills home with a kitchen knife early on Saturday, cops said.
The ponytailed suspect was less forthcoming when quizzed by reporters, spitting out expletives as he was led out of the 112th Precinct Thursday afternoon.
“F–k you, mother f–kers!” Bonola, sporting a white Tyvek suit, screamed before he was shoved into a waiting police car.
Bonola, who cops said has no prior arrests, was “a handyman who was employed by Mrs. Gaal” for about two years — and during that time they had “an intimate affair,” Essig revealed Thursday.
The ponytailed suspect was less forthcoming when quizzed by reporters, spitting out expletives as he was walked to a waiting car.
Bonola, who cops said has no prior arrests, was “a handyman who was employed by Mrs. Gaal” — and had been “having an intimate affair for approximately two years,” Essig revealed Thursday.
They had re-sparked their on-off affair earlier this month, just to break up again — and Bonola “came back … to speak about the relationship again,” added Chief Julie Morrill, who led the investigation.
He is believed to have arrived at Gaal’s home in the early hours of Saturday, just 10 minutes after the mom-of-two got home from an evening out at Lincoln Center and then a drink alone at a local bar, Essig said.
The on-off lover was “either let involuntarily, or he uses a key he has knowledge about hidden in a barbecue.”
“A heated argument ensues between the two in the basement. A knife is brandished, a violent struggle ensues, resulting in our victim being stabbed ruthlessly and brutally in excess of 55 times, causing her demise,” Essig said.
“Bonola then retrieved a hockey bag belonging to Mrs. Gaal’s son, placed her in the bag and — as video showed — was seen rolling the body down the sidewalk, leaving a bloody trail through the streets of Forest Hills,” Essig said.
Detectives found the likely murder weapon at the scene, as well as his jacket, which he appeared to have tossed while fleeing the scene.
Detectives also found where he appeared to have stashed his blood-soaked boots, T-shirt and bandages, Essig said.
Bonola also suffered serious cuts to both his own hands during the attack, and was treated at a local hospital, the cop said.
He also admitted sending disturbing text messages to his victim’s family from his murdered lover’s phone, officials said.
Police stressed that the handyman acted alone.
“I just want to assure the public and especially the residents of Forest Hills, that there are no outstanding suspects at this time,” Essig said.
A Facebook account under Bonola’s name previously commented on some of Gaal’s photos — as well as sending her public messages of “love” and “heart” emojis.
“Es la mujer más hermosa” — Spanish for “She is the most beautiful woman” — he wrote alongside one photo of her in May 2020, along with a blushing face emoji covered in hearts.
That message also included an emoji of Guatemala’s flag, months after Gaal posted that she loves “everything Guatemalan” — and a year after she posted photos of her own trip to the Central American country.
“Your loving sight,” he also wrote in Spanish to a screenshot that May of her posing during a Zoom party with friends.
That same month he also posted a heart and a simple “Hola” to a childhood photo of Gaal — one she posted sandwiched between two gushing tributes to her husband, with photos from their wedding day.
The scantily used account, which suggests he was a scriptwriter, also sent a heart to a photo Gaal posted in October 2019 of her in a field. The mom gave a thumbs up to his comment each time.
Neither appeared to be officially listed as friends Thursday on their accounts, including another under his name that was used a little more regularly.
Police quickly suspected that the killer knew Gaal since there were no signs of a break-in, and because the violence suggested it was personal and fueled by anger specifically toward her.
They focused on her handyman, understanding that he had a romantic relationship that went south, sources said.
Gaal’s 13-year-old son was upstairs in the house at the time his mom was brutally murdered downstairs, and was briefly taken to a precinct for questioning, saying he did not know where his mom was.
Her 53-year-old husband, Howard Klein, was in Oregon with their 17-year-old son visiting colleges at the time.
The handyman confessed to sending threatening messages to Klein from Gaal’s phone, including one warning, “Your whole family is next.”
Before the arrest, Klein had feared that his whole family was at risk, he told The Post.
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