Murder In The Big Apple: Broken Dreams on Broadway: Catherine Woods Murder

Catherine Woods Murder – On November 27, 2005, David Haughn made a shocking discovery when he returned to his New York City Upper East Side apartment: his roommate Catherine Woods had been murdered in the bathroom. At first, the police believed it to be a “crime of passion,” but as their investigation progressed, they discovered jealousy as an element that provided new details in this tragic tale.

In “Murder in New York City” Season 1 Episode 09 “Broken Dreams on Broadway,” Catherine’s murder and subsequent investigation leading to her killer are told in captivating detail, allowing readers to learn more about its intricacies and mysteries. The book allows viewers to delve into its complicated details.

As we explore this enthralling tale, we will discover the motivations, circumstances, and evidence that led to the perpetrator being brought to justice. New York City witnessed an unimaginable crime that shattered lives; this account will provide valuable insight into how criminal justice systems function and law enforcement efforts to discover the truth.

Catherine Woods Murder Plot

Catherine Woods Murder Plot

Catherine Woods of Ohio grew up in a loving and close-knit family. She developed an intense interest in dance and other performing arts disciplines from an early age. Encouraged by understanding parents, Catherine made the courageous choice to pursue her dreams by moving to New York City at just 17 years of age. There, she met David Haughn – an acquaintance from her past – whom she eventually moved in with on the Upper East Side apartment.

Catherine had grand hopes of making it big on Broadway, dedicating all her heart and soul to her career. Unfortunately, however, this resulted in tragedy when on November 27, 2005, David Haughn discovered her lifeless body and alerted emergency responders – only too late, however; Catherine had passed away before their arrival.

As soon as police arrived at the scene, they found Catherine lying motionless in a pool of blood. A first examination by medical professionals indicated she had sustained multiple stab wounds throughout her body; an autopsy later showed evidence of an attack with 15 or so stab wounds–including deep gashes to her neck–it became evident she had bravely fought for her life before succumbing. Since there were no signs of forced entry or entry by strangers into her house, investigators believe it could only have been someone familiar.

Catherine Woods’ tragic demise caused shockwaves through the community, prompting law enforcement officials to investigate her murder as soon as possible. Uncovering who committed this horrendous act became paramount; thus, we will explore this case thoroughly to shed light on its intricacies while simultaneously shedding light on events leading up to Catherine’s tragic, untimely demise, individuals involved, and efforts made by authorities for justice in pursuit of this matter.

Losing Catherine, a talented and bright young woman, is a stark reminder of life’s fragility and its devastating impacts. We seek answers for Catherine to honor her memory by uncovering the truth and holding those responsible accountable.

Investigation and Arrest
UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 30: Photo of Catherine Woods (r.) , 21, who was stabbed to death inside Upper East Side apartment she shared with her boyfriend David Haughn, 23 (l.) (Photo by Debbie Egan-Chin/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Investigation and Arrest

Police authorities initially focused their suspicions on David Haughn as the prime suspect in Catherine’s murder due to a shoe print found at the crime scene matching up perfectly with David’s size 10.5 feet. Although he protested his innocence and provided any requested evidence, authorities continued questioning him even though they soon learned of their prior romantic history and his longstanding involvement in it. Furthermore, evidence appeared to point toward David as being involved; yet upon further inquiry, David eventually disclosed she was involved with someone else.

Paul Cortez, an aspiring actor and Catherine’s partner at the time of her tragic death came under suspicion. Like David, Paul protested his innocence vehemently and offered the police an alibi by explaining he spent his day grocery shopping and the evening watching football with friends; further suggesting Catherine had an unknown stalker following her; yet before they could obtain his fingerprints, Paul secured legal representation and was let free.

Authorities initially found themselves unable to connect Paul as Catherine’s alleged stalker due to a lack of evidence. However, examining the crime scene yielded a significant breakthrough when detectives made an important find – a bloody handprint on an apartment wall that did not match David Haughn. Investigations then focused back on Paul after bandmates indicated he hadn’t attended practice that November, and Paul’s cell phone records placed him just one block from Catherine’s residence.

However, despite mounting suspicions against Paul, police lacked sufficient physical evidence to arrest him. When a woman came forward alleging Paul assaulted her the previous year and expressed her desire to harm him, law enforcement obtained his handprint, which matched up perfectly with that found at Catherine’s body as well as one near Catherine, which corresponded with what Paul was wearing at that moment in time.

Paul Cortez had left no trace behind him of what could have caused his murder; evidence such as shoeprints and handprints and testimony regarding his questionable alibi made a compelling case against him. With such damning evidence emerging quickly in their investigation, police made rapid headway.

Where is Paul Cortez Now
Freeze Frames of Paul Cortez accused of killing Catherine Woods listens to closing arguments on February 13, 2007 at 100 Centre St. (© Frances Roberts)

Prosecution of Paul Cortez

Paul Cortez protested his innocence vehemently upon arrest and entered a plea of not guilty when brought before the court; however, against all odds, the jury reached a different verdict. They found Paul guilty of second-degree murder despite Paul’s protestations, eventually receiving a life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years.

Paul Cortez has maintained his innocence throughout his imprisonment at Sing Sing prison in Ossining, New York; yet was still found guilty and imprisoned despite efforts to have his case reviewed and to overturn it through various appeals; unfortunately, none were successful before judges, leading them to uphold Paul’s conviction despite all attempts. Presently incarcerated there and scheduled for release sometime between 2030-2035, Paul remains imprisoned there until then.

Paul Cortez’s conviction for the murder of Catherine Woods illustrates the complexities inherent to our criminal justice system. While legal proceedings found him responsible, Paul continues to maintain his innocence – his claims becoming an ongoing source of contention between Paul and legal professionals. Only time will tell whether further developments or evidence might shed new light on his case, affect its course, or even alter it entirely.

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