A young Irish American woman who lives in the same building as Michele Lee — allegedly murdered by boyfriend Gary McGurk — told IrishCentral.com she didn't know her neighbor but is "delighted they found someone for her murder."
Carrying a bag of groceries, she said "For the past few weeks, I haven't been able to sleep — worried that it was some random person who could murder again."
She admits she's looking forward to a peaceful night's sleep tonight.
Although she was not at home the night Lee was brutally murdered, the woman said she got a call from her family in Ireland the day after the news broke, asking if she was all right.
An Irish bartender, who lives with her husband on the floor above Lee, said she "doesn't want to get involved" and asked for her name to be witheld.
"I never saw the girl at all, and I'm so relieved that someone was caught for her murder," she said, also adding she was not in her apartment the night Lee was murdered.
She said that although McGurk was a familiar face, she had never seen him in her building or in the bar where she works.
Jackie King, a bartender in The Courtyard, which is around the corner from the apartment Lee lived in, told IrishCentral.com that she thinks she recognized McGurk's face, but said he was definitely not a regular in the bar.
"It's an awful thing to happen in any neighborhood, and I'm just glad they have found someone for it," said King, who hails from County Louth in Ireland.
Echoing the sentiment of others in the neighborhood, she said "I'll be sleeping better tonight, that's for sure."
Kathleen Reid, Irish American bartender at Maggie Maes in Sunnyside across the street from Lee's apartment, said she hopes McGurk "will be put away for a long time."
Reid said she was shocked to hear that the accused killer also came from Ireland.
"I'm glad at this point to find out it's an isolated incident," she said, adding "I think everyone around here is glad."
Sean Bradley, who was having a drink after work in Paddy Duggans pub in Sunnyside, said McGurk "didn't have the face of a killer."
"He looks like a child," Bradley said.
Bradley, who lives a few blocks from Lee's apartment, was quick to point out that "McGurk "is innocent until proven guilty."
"You never know how these things will pan out."