On an early morning in April, the remains of Orsolya Gaal, an NYC-based mother of two, were found by a man walking his dog in a park near where she lived with her husband and two children. Gaal had been stabbed more than 50 times and her body stuffed into her 13-year-old son’s hockey duffel bag. A trail of blood led directly from the bag to her home. Investigators first questioned her son, but they’d soon discover that Gaal was brutally murdered by her former lover.
This week, David Bonola, a former handyman for the family, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter. “This heinous killing devastated an entire family, left two boys without a mother, and horrified the surrounding community,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. The 44-year-old faces 25 years behind bars.
According to NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig, Bonola and Gaal began “an intimate affair” in 2020 when he was hired to work at her home, and the pair maintained a sporadic relationship on the occasions he was contracted to complete projects around the house. Days after Gaal’s remains were discovered, police not only recovered the murder weapon inside the victim’s home but found Bonola’s jacket inside the park. Footage from a neighbor’s surveillance camera also showed Bonola wheeling a duffel bag.
Essig told reporters in the aftermath of Gaal’s murder that they’d learned the two had a “heated” argument about their relationship inside the family home. “He is either let in voluntarily or he uses a key he has knowledge about hidden in the barbecue,” said Essig. “A heated argument ensues between the two in the basement. A knife is brandished. A violent struggle ensues, resulting in our victim being stabbed ruthlessly and brutally in excess of 55 times.”
The argument, according to court records, was prompted by Bonola’s belief that Gaal had given him HIV. After she returned from a night out, Bonola arrived and confronted her at her home. “She gave me HIV,” Bonola allegedly told detectives after his arrest in April. “She lied to me, she used me. She told me that she loved me. She couldn’t be with one person.” Of their confrontation, Bonola also told detectives she “took a phone call from another guy” and “said she was going to see him,” without providing any other details. “That made me angry. I couldn’t accept it,” he allegedly told them. Gaal denied that she had HIV, told Bonola that the affair was over, and “grabbed the knife and told him to leave her house or she would kill him.”
Bonola then confessed that he grabbed the knife and cut her neck. “She kept fighting and we fall. She was moving and trying to grab me so I stabbed her in the neck to get her to stop attacking me.” Over 50 stabs would follow.
“In the past, she told me that she had sent a man to jail so I sent a message to her husband pretending to be that guy because I was scared,” Bonola told detectives. “I took her laptop because she had sex videos on the laptop. I threw her laptop in the Hudson River where I used to visit her.”
According to authorities, Bonola will undergo a five-year post-release supervision after fulfilling his 25-year prison sentence. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 16.