2008-12-05 / Top Stories

Mutilation Murder Goes To Court

By Howard Schwach

The body of Eric Goodridge is removed from the Arverne home. The body of Eric Goodridge is removed from the Arverne home. A Rockaway woman, who spent most of the last year in a Staten Island mental institution, has been arraigned on charges of smothering her stepfather and mutilating his body in her Arverne apartment in July of 2007.

Court documents supplied to The Wave by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, identify the alleged murderer as Brigitte Harris, 27, of 436 Beach 69 Street. She is charged with murder in the second degree and manslaughter in the first degree in connection with the death of her stepfather, Eric Goodridge, 55, of Staten Island.

Police responding to the murder location at about 1:15 p.m. on July 28, 2007 for a call reporting that a man was bleeding at that location, made a gruesome discovery — the body of a man bound, hand and foot, with material wrapped around his head and his penis cut off.

Detectives quickly began a search for Harris, who rented the upstairs apartment. She had been seen at the home shortly before the 911 call.

Police records show that bloody scalpels, that were later found to have been purchased online, were found near the body.

Brigitte Harris, seen here on her MySpace webpage, has been charged in the mutilation slaying of her stepfather in 2007. Brigitte Harris, seen here on her MySpace webpage, has been charged in the mutilation slaying of her stepfather in 2007. Also found near the body was a note that said, "He wrecked my life. At first, I blamed myself, but now I know that it wasn't my fault."

Local sources at the time told The Wave that Harris murdered Goodridge to exact revenge for alleged sexual abuse that began when she was a young girl.

At the time, Harris' sister, Carleen Goodridge, told reporters that both she and her sister had been abused by their father from the age of three.

By the time police caught up with Harris, however, she had checked herself into the Bayley-Seton Hospital in Staten Island. She remained there for several months pending charges.

Court documents now charge that Harris covered her stepfather's mouth and neck with a thick towel, forcing the towel into his mouth, causing asphyxiation and killing him.

It is believed that the mutilation to his body was done post-mortem. On her MySpace webpage, Harris referred to herself as "Lady Vengeance" and the "Original Dark Angel."

Police and prosecutors search for evidence in the Arverne home where the murder took place. Police and prosecutors search for evidence in the Arverne home where the murder took place. She had reportedly cancelled her cable television service, bought surgical blades on E-bay and stockpiled sleeping pills prior to the murder.

Attorney Arthur Aidala, who represents Harris, said on his website, "The Harris family is in crisis and what they have been through is unthinkable: a father molesting the daughters that he is obligated to protect. The pattern of abuse transpired over a generation and has left the surviving members to live with scars."

Harris will be back in court today, December 5, for a case conference.

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