Three years after the murder of Co. Clare native John Kelly, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Crimestoppers are offering rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for his murder. Kelly, 43 when he died, was gunned down in cold blood on January 15, 2006 outside the building in the Bronx where he lived and worked as a superintendent. He was taking down Christmas decorations outside the apartment building in the Bruckner Boulevard area in the Bronx at 8 p.m. when he was murdered. Bloomberg is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the crime. Crimestoppers is also offering up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of Kelly's killer. The night of the murder, a bus driver who was passing the building noticed Kelly's body slumped on the sidewalk and alerted the police. Kelly was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx where he was pronounced dead. Doctors said he died from a single gunshot wound to the head. Police immediately ruled the death a homicide, leaving many in the Irish community to wonder who committed the crime against the popular Friday-night bartender at local watering hole Jimmy Ryan's at 3005 Middletown Road. The only clue left for police to work with was the single shell found not far from Kelly's body. In January 2007, a neighbor of Kelly's was arrested and charged with Kelly's murder. John Basile, 43, was brought in for questioning by detectives from the 45th Precinct on January 14 2007, nearly a year to the day that the murder took place. Basile, who resided with his wife and step-daughter at 3505 Bruckner Boulevard, the same building Kelly lived in, was picked out of a line up by an eyewitness. However, Basile had an airtight alibi for the night in question. A witness testified in court that she saw Basile having dinner with friends in Castle Hill at the time of Kelly's death, and Basile was not charged with murder. Kelly, who played football in Gaelic Park under the Clare flag for years, was buried in his hometown of Sixmilebridge. Kelly, who lived in New York for more than 20 years, is survived by his wife Ann, also from Sixmilebridge, two daughters, Lauren and Nicole and a son, Kevin. The family moved back to Ireland shortly after the murder. It is believed that police have a break in the case and hope that an award will urge witnesses to come forward. For those with any information regarding this crime, call (800) 577-TIPS. No name is required, and callers can refer to the crime by its code number, BX-335.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore