Who was Ronald Massaro? Ex-WWE star Ashley Massaro's brother killed in NYC, months after her mysterious death
Last month, a person was stabbed in New York City. The victim has now been identified as the 39-year-old brother of late World Wrestling Entertainment star Ashley Massaro. As reported by abc7, police said Ronald Massaro was stabbed around 9.15 pm on Saturday, November 21, at the corner of West 38th Street and Eighth Avenue in Midtown.
The report details that the Smithtown resident was found unconscious and unresponsive with stab wounds to his torso. Ronald Massaro was taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, where he was pronounced dead at 9.40 pm. As per police, 52-year-old Lawrence Downing, of Midtown, was arrested on November 22 and charged with alleged second-degree murder. It's still not known if the attack was targeted or random in nature.
The NY Daily News reported, the 39-year-old was still dealing with his sister Ashley’s apparent death. As per the report, Ronald had checked out of a rehab facility in Riverhead, L.I., few hours before he was attacked, his friend Keith Hanlon told The News. Hanlon said, “He got out of rehab and got on the train. And that was it. Out of a program and on the train, and not even 12 hours later, he was gone.”
According to Hanlon, his friend called him after hopping on the Long Island Railroad and he noted a new sense of closure in Ronald’s voice. He sounded “uplifted and so ready,” Hanlon said. He continued, “He was ready to live life. Since his sister’s passing, I’d never noticed him have this voice. Something hit him. I really believe he started to accept things and understand what life was about.” Hanlon added, “‘It finally hit me, and I’m ready. I can do this. We can do this together.’ Those were his exact words. “I lost him in the Midtown tunnel. His last words were, ‘I’m about to hit the Midtown tunnel, I’ll call you.’”
About 45 minutes before he was killed, Ronald tried to call Hanlon again. Hanlon missed the call. “I had my phone on battery saver, and I missed a FaceTime at 8:30 [p.m.]. And I feel guilty, because I feel like if I’d gotten him on FaceTime, he could have stopped for a few seconds. A few seconds could have changed everything,” Hanlon said.
Another close friend of Ronald, Doreen Apicella-Marrero, mourned that the Massaro family now has two children to grieve. “This is a horrible time for his family,” she said. “After his sister passed he had it hard adjusting emotionally.” The report also states that Ronald was a former model with experience working in healthcare. He was working in fashion around the time of his death. Hanlon said he was working with a clothes designer in Georgia and hoped one day to start his own brand or business.
In 2019, TMZ Sports reported about Ashley’s death. According to report, sources told it was a suicide. However, a CNN report states, the Suffolk County medical examiner's office declined to release a cause of death, citing a New York law that allows the withholding of information that "would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."
She had won the 2005 WWE Raw diva search, which included a one-year, $250,000 contract. She wrestled for WWE from 2005-08. After her death, as reported by Newsweek, her attorney published details from the wrestler's lawsuit against WWE. The account had shocking details about an encounter between Ashley and an unknown soldier during a WWE trip to visit the troops in Kuwait. The affidavit details how the man allegedly drugged and sexually abused her on the tour, and alleged that WWE management, including CEO Vince McMahon, told her to keep the incident private because it would “ruin the relationship between the WWE and the US Military.”
WWE released a statement in regards to the accusations. It read: “WWE is saddened by the death of Ashley Massaro, and we reiterate our condolences to her family. However, we regret that her attorney Konstantine Kyros, who filed multiple cases against WWE, lost all of them, and was sanctioned multiple times by the Court for repeated misconduct and false allegations, is using Ashley's death to further his malicious campaign against WWE by releasing an affidavit that she submitted to the Court and later apologized to WWE for being involved with, so we wish to make certain things crystal clear.”
The statement further read: “At no time was Vince McMahon or the management of WWE ever informed by Ashley Massaro or anybody else that she had been sexually assaulted, drugged, raped or sodomized by a military doctor with a nurse standing guard while on a goodwill tour in 2007 to US military bases in Kuwait. In fact, if she ever articulated such a claim to WWE, we would have reported it immediately to the Base Commander.” It concluded by stating, “At no time was there ever a meeting with Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn, John Laurinaitis or other company executives in which she told them of such a claim and was instructed to keep it quiet.”
These remarks were made by third-person and individual organizations, MEAWW cannot confirm them independently nor does it support these claims. The respective references are linked in the article.