Police are still investigating the death of Simonette Mapes, the 29-year-old woman found stabbed to death in her Staten Island home yesterday afternoon. No arrests have been made, according to the police, and the investigation is ongoing. Which only makes the murder of Mapes—a social studies teacher at School for Classics: An Academy of Thinkers, Writers and Performers, an East New York high school where her husband also teaches English—all the more tragic. She was supposed to start teaching summer school there on Monday.
Mapes was found in her home's entryway by her husband just before 2 p.m., stabbed multiple times in the torso (and, according to unconfirmed reports, in the head). According to a neighbor Crupi was visibly distraught after calling the police, "He's like, 'She's dead! I came home! It was hot! She was dead! She's dead! She's dead! It was hot! I wasn't here. I had to work!' It was very, very weird." There were signs of forced entry, according to reports, though it was not immediately clear if anything had been taken from the scene. A home invasion gone wrong is certainly one of the working theories.
Soon after the news of her murder spread, the couple's apartment was surrounded by family and friends. According to another neighbor, "It must have been about 15 to 20 people. People were passing out on the lawn from crying, screaming, saying 'When did this happen?'"
Mapes and her husband, Jonathan Crupi, moved to the building about two years ago. Mapes was hired by the city in 2006 to teach social studies and had worked at several Brooklyn schools, according to the DOE. Since 2009, she had worked at the School for Classics, where her Facebook page makes clear she was no stranger to violence. On June 28 she wrote:
Crupi and I survived a shoot out today...Thank God we are ok, I'm sure over summer school we'll find out what the fighting was about. The Cypress Hill Projects are no joke. To all the wanna be gangstas of Staten Island (who say they are from Brooklyn but really aren't), be grateful you have what you have and stop trying to live a lifestyle you will never understand.
When friends expressed concern, she explained "Crupi and I are fine, no worries. I didn't mean to scare anyone. Its just a hazard of working in East NY, Brooklyn. Things like this makes you appreciate all the blessings you have ♥"