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NYC Comedy Club Owner & Nanny Murdered; Suspect is NJ Boyfriend

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David Kimowitz was an owner of the Stand Restaurant and Comedy Club in Union Square in Manhattan. Photo Credit: thestandnyc.com

By: Chester Andersberg

It was the stuff that headliner writers’ and crime reporters’ dreams are made of: Manhattan comedy club owner and his live-in nanny murdered, and her boyfriend is a suspect.

Joseph Porter, 27, of Elizabeth, N.J., has been charged with two counts of murder and weapons possession in the murders of David Kimowitz and nanny Karen Bermudez-Rodriguez at Kimowitz’s home on Walton Road, Essex County, according to prosecutors.

“I heard a woman screaming, ‘Oh my god!’ over and over and over,” Kathy Cantwell, 63, told a reporter from the New York Daily News. “It was at 6 a.m. My window was open. I didn’t see anything. Someone was screaming from the top of their lungs.”

Police reportedly arrived at the scene to find 26 year old Bermudez-Rodriguez on the ground several houses away, according to Essex County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly told the Daily News.

“Kimowitz, a father of two baby girls, was found dead inside the house, authorities said. His wife and children were not home at the time of the attack, Fennelly told the Daily News. “Kimowitz was an owner of the Stand Restaurant and Comedy Club in Union Square in Manhattan. The popular venue first opened in Gramercy in 2012, then moved to a larger space on E. 16th St. last month. It’s hosted such comedians as Tracy Morgan, Janeane Garofalo and Judah Friedlander.”

Comedians in the area weighed in on social media. Comic Matt Davis tweeted, “God damn this news about David Kimowitz. RIP, sir.” Fellow comic Daniel Lobell noted on Facebook, “RIP David Kimowitz the world will miss you!” Added comic Chris Millhouse, “RIP David Kimowitz, such a tragedy & my condolences to his family.” Laurie Kilmartin noted tweeted, “I’m so sad and horrified to hear of the death of David Kimowitz. A club owner who loved comedy and comics. A terrible loss for his young family, and the NYC comedy community. RIP David.”

NorthJersey.com quoted a Kimowitz neighbor as saying that the family had relocated to the area roughly a year and a half ago. “The neighbor said that Kimowitz had extended family in the area, which was part of the reason the family had relocated there. The neighbor continued, “There was always a nanny around, his wife was pretty quiet. He was a very happy guy, they had just renovated the house, which had been abandoned for a couple of years… they were young and just starting out in the suburban life after having lived in Manhattan. He was always very nice,” reported heavy.com.

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