Yesterday, police arrested Jerome Isaac for the stunningly brutal murder of Deloris Gillepsie. Police say that Isaac set the 73-year-old woman on fire in her Prospect Heights building's elevator on Saturday afternoon, and that he made incriminating statements to the cops: "I set the fire in the hallway, and I set the fire in the elevator."

According to police, "Isaac sprayed her with a flammable liquid, used a barbecue lighter to set her ablaze, tossed a Molotov cocktail at her and then sprayed her again for extra measure even though she was already engulfed in flames, screaming in agony," the Post reports. Hours later, police say Isaac turned himself in at a transit police station while "reeking of gasoline." The NY Times reports that the cold, methodical nature of the killing was shocking:

Whatever transpired between Ms. Gillespie and Mr. Isaac, the detached way in which he carried out the attack was extraordinary, according to police officials who watched the surveillance footage.

While Ms. Gillespie was out buying groceries, he rode the elevator to her floor and, outfitted like an amateur exterminator, waited for her to return, the police said. As soon as the elevator delivered her, Mr. Isaac was blocking her exit.

He sprayed her face with liquid from the hose that snaked around his torso. As she turned and shrank back into a corner of the narrow cab, he doused her with it. Then he went through with his plan: He lighted the fuse on the bottle bomb in his other hand and set Ms. Gillespie aflame. She dropped to the floor, engulfed and screaming.

But Mr. Isaac was not finished yet, the police said. To ensure that Ms. Gillespie did not survive, he tossed the long-necked bottle into the elevator with her. He sprayed more of the fuel on her. Only then did he run away.

Isaac, 47, was allegedly upset that Gillepsie hadn't paid him for various odd jobs he performed, believing she owed him $2,000. (Initially, it was suggested there was a romantic relationship, but relatives say that's not true.) Gillepsie's relatives say that Isaac, who lived in the neighborhood, stole items from her, so she refused to pay him. Initially, Gillepsie had trusted Isaac enough to give him a key to her home, but then she changed them: "She was desperately scared of him," a relative told the News.

The suspect reportedly told police he fell asleep on a rooftop before turning himself in. Neighbors said that Isaac didn't seem crazy, but was more of a loner: One told the Post, "He’s always out riding his bike. He collects empty cans and bottles Sometime, he’ll have a big bag of them . . . He was never friendly. I’ve never seen him talking to anyone."

And the Daily News' online deputy managing editor Lauren Johnston lived in the building where the murder occurred and had fond memories of Gillepsie:

The suspect, Jerome Isaac, is someone I’ve seen many times. He did work for Delores. She was petite and needed help moving furniture. We talked about the weather. He didn't seem like a psycho who would later murder her in our elevator.

Delores was my neighbor for three years. I knew her the way you know fellow tenants who share your halls and elevators. She loved plants and handed them out to many tenants, including myself.

She once hauled a radiator cover into our fifth-floor hall and put plants all over it, big green ferns and draping spider plants. She watered and trimmed it every day until the building management forced her to move it.

I’d often find Delores sweeping or mopping the lobby. She took pride in the place and liked to keep it clean.

She talked often about tough years when the neighborhood was plagued by crime and drugs. She told me to put a deadbolt on my door and I did.