Alex Bodnar
49 Years Old

November 19, 1940 to August 3, 1990

Alex Bodnar, of Blooming Grove, New York, was a highly decorated New York City Police officer who was respected by all, even the criminals. He was very witty and always joking - his wife often called him "Bozo" the clown. Together, they had one daughter who was Alex's pride and joy.

Upon moving to Orange County, New York, from the Bronx, Alex took pride in having a beautiful home and loved gardening - he was always planting flowers. He and his wife went out to dinner often and enjoyed traveling all over the East Coast and Canada. He also enjoyed stamp collecting and going to Atlantic City.

Alex could be described as a workaholic, and although he was retired from the police department, he worked a full-time job at the VA hospital in Montrose and a part-time security job as well.

Alex died a hero and his wife is very proud of his final act of bravery - what greater act of love. She found out later that his murder was a mistake - the intruders had broken into the wrong home, so not only did Alex safe his wife's life, he saved another woman and her five children as well. His wife now works with crime victims as a tribute to Alex.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

In the early morning hours of August 3, 1990, Alex Bodnar, 49, of Blooming Grove, New York, and his wife were in bed asleep when Ronald Cummings broke into their home. Cummings, high on alcohol and crack cocaine, was apparently unaware that Alex was there and was holding a knife above Alex's wife and was "slicing" her pajamas while threatening to kill her. When Cummings cut his hand, Alex's wife awakened Alex. Cummings then demanded money from Alex while still holding the knife to his wife's chest. Alex tossed a can containing some money to Cummings and was stabbed in the chest, causing him to roll out of bed onto the floor. Then, with Alex watching, Cummings attempted twice to rape his wife. Alex, a retired police officer who had survived 22 years of duty in Harlem, New York, crawled to the bathroom to retrieve his revolver. Cummings let go of his wife and went after Alex, stabbing him five times, but not before Alex was able to shoot and kill Cummings.

Donald Carrington, an accomplice, was waiting in the driveway. When he heard the shots, he took off. Carrington was apprehended three months later and charged with felony murder. Unfortunately the jury only found him guilty of two counts of first degree burglary and sentenced him to 8 and 1/3 to 25 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 1999.

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Alex Bodnar