David Bonola: Orsolya Gaal's killer left 'creepy' love notes for women at coffee shop

Female workers at a local coffee shop were so fearful at Bonola's advances that they called cops on him multiple times


                            David Bonola: Orsolya Gaal's killer left 'creepy' love notes for women at coffee shop
Bonola would often give love notes and pieces of jewelry to female workers at the coffee shop (@ABC7NY/Twitter screenshot and David Bonola/Facebook)

QUEENS, NEW YORK: David Bonola, 44, has been arrested in the murder of Orsolya Gaal, the 55-year-old mom-of-two who was stabbed to death and disposed of in a duffel bag. Her body was discovered near a popular walking path in the Queens neighborhood, triggering fear among residents. Bonola has been charged with murder, criminal tampering in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, police said on Thursday, April 21.

NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said in a press conference that Gaal and Bonola, a dad-of-two, had been in an "off-and-on" relationship for at least two years. Bonola was employed as a handyman for the family's home. Although the two allegedly reunited in April, their relationship was considered at an end at the time when Gaal was killed.

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Bonola frequented an Austin coffee shop in Forest Hills where he allegedly used to leave “creepy” love notes for baristas. Female workers were so fearful at his advances that they called cops on him multiple times. “He would come up to us and ask for coffees and tell us that we looked pretty and make comments about how we look,” former barista Oliwia Pikulinski, 21, told New York Post. “He was creepy, he stalked people… It was known. Everyone knew he was a weird individual, especially in the Starbucks on Austin Street."

Bonola would visit the shop several times a week and order the same items -- a dark roast pour-over and a lemon loaf or banana nut loaf. “He even went as far as proposing to two of us, which is super unsettling because of how weird the interactions were,” Pikulinski claimed. The killer would often give love notes and pieces of jewelry to female workers, asking them to be with him. 

Bonola once allegedly wrote a letter and put it in the tip jar for one of Pikulinski’s coworkers, going to the extent of writing her name on the headphones he wore while sitting in the cafe “facing us towards the register,” Pikulinski said. The Richmond Hills resident, who works as a heating and air conditioning repairman, allegedly ask staffers “personal questions” such as their ages, birthdays, where they lived and went to school. “It was personal information that a customer should never ask,” Pikulinski said. “I’m speechless that it was him after all the creepy incidents that happened and how unsettling he made everyone feel, especially the females I worked with and even the customers in the lobby. It’s crazy to think about.” 

Cops were called on Bonola several times but he would leave before they arrived. The police would then take down reports and leave. However, an NYPD spokesperson said that although there are harassment complaints about the location, there is nothing that matches Pikulinski’s claims. 

Bonola was initially sought by investigators in connection with Gaal's murder. He reportedly knew of a spare key of the house. Bonola voluntarily came back to the precinct, where he made incriminating statements. Police believe that on Saturday, April 16, Bolona entered Gaal's home, but it is unclear whether he was let in or he used a key he knew was hidden in a barbecue outside. The two allegedly had a dispute of a "domestic nature", after which Bolola brandished a kitchen knife and stabbed Gaal about 60 times. 

The knife, that police recovered on the scene, was consistent with other knives in the home. Bonola then placed Gaal's body in a duffel back that belonged to her son and disposed of it. Video evidence later showed him rolling the bag down the sidewalk. Police believe Bonola fled through Forest Park. The jacket he was wearing during the crime was later recovered, besides a pair of boots, a t-shirt and bloody bandages.

Bonola allegedly received treatment at a local medical institution for wounds in both of his hands, that he possibly received during Gaal's "violent struggle" for her life. Gaal was murdered in the basement of her house while her son, 13, was upstairs. Bonola then allegedly took her phone and sent a bone-chilling text to Gaal's husband, saying, "Your whole family is next." At the time of the murder, Gaal's husband, Howard Klein, and their eldest son were traveling out of state. Law enforcement sources had earlier claimed that the murder may not have been pre-meditated.