Simeonette “Sissy” Mapes Crupi, the daughter of an Air Force veteran, dedicated her life to teaching high school students with unwavering diligence and passion. Known for her commitment to not only educating but also changing lives, she was a beloved figure among her students. Sissy was discovered dead in her own home, showing signs of a brutal attack. Initially assumed to be a burglary gone wrong due to evidence of forced entry, the circumstances surrounding her death became increasingly suspicious after her funeral. The case of Simeonette Crupi unfolds in ‘American Monster: Staten Island Love Story,’ shedding light on her life and the investigation that eventually revealed the true identity of her killer.
How Did Simeonette Mapes-Crupi Die?
Simeonette’s early years were marked by frequent relocations due to her father’s military service. She completed her education at Fort Hamilton High School, where she discovered her passion for teaching. Pursuing her academic journey, she earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education from the College of Staten Island, Willowbrook. It was during her college years that she crossed paths with Jonathan, her future husband, and the couple eventually made their home in New Springville by 2009.
Simeonette went on to become a dedicated educator at The School for Classics: An Academy of Thinkers, Writers, and Performers in Brooklyn. Beyond the classroom, she actively supported students in need, even using her funds to assist with graduation essentials such as caps and gowns. Jonathan, also an English teacher at the same school, was concurrently pursuing his Master’s degree to secure a full-time position.
On July 5, 2012, just days shy of commemorating their fifth wedding anniversary, Jonathan returned home at around 2 p.m. to discover his wife lifeless at the bottom of the stairs. Overwhelmed with shock and distress, he urgently contacted the police, conveying that their residence had been subjected to a burglary. Upon the police’s arrival, the 29-year-old was found lying face down, and signs of a disturbance were evident, with furniture overturned and objects broken. Following an investigation, it was determined that someone had pushed her from the top of the stairs and subsequently inflicted multiple stab wounds on her back, leading to her death. The coroner’s report also confirmed that she had bled to death after sustaining multiple stab wounds to her back and her neck.
Who Killed Simeonette Mapes-Crupi?
During Sissy’s funeral, Jonathan’s grief was evident as he cried, wailed, and, in a moment of heart-wrenching sorrow, threw two roses into her coffin as it was being lowered. However, unbeknownst to others mourning, officials harbored suspicions regarding his account of a botched burglary. They thus looked deeper into him, and an examination of his computer revealed concerning internet searches such as “how to throat slash” and “what destroys DNA?” Adding to the doubts, there was his alibi – he’d claimed he’d left home around 7:30 a.m. to fetch books for his wife’s summer school, but it was contradicted by school staff who affirmed she already had all the materials.
The evidence against Jonathan continued to accumulate, and one of the most damning revelations was his frequent engagement with sex workers. During the period when he purportedly attended his Master’s classes, investigations unveiled that he was predominantly occupied with a specific sex worker known by the alias Miss Pumpkin, with whom he had maintained a relationship for over three years. Police also discovered that the time interval between Jonathan’s stated departure from the house and the moment he claimed to discover his wife’s lifeless body coincided with his meeting with Miss Pumpkin.
Four months after Simeonette’s tragic death, the police apprehended Jonathan, who maintained his innocence. At his trial in 2015, prosecutors indicated she’d discovered her husband’s infidelity and confronted him about it. Moreover, she was allegedly displeased with his lax attitude towards his Master’s classes, considering her own dedication to academics. They claimed that, in a fit of rage, Jonathan pushed her down the stairs and fatally stabbed her. He then staged the burglary to throw off the investigators. During the trial, Miss Pumpkin also came forward to testify. She stated that on July 5, Jonathan unexpectedly called her to meet urgently, deviating from their usual practice of planning a day or two in advance. She further revealed that during their meeting, he’d asked her if she had heard anything about a man killing his wife.
Jonathan’s trial unfolded over five weeks, culminating in a verdict on September 23, 2005, where he was found guilty of the second-degree murder of his wife. At the time, this 33-year-old received a sentence of 25 years to life. Nevertheless, even at his sentencing, Jonathan vehemently maintained his innocence, a stance that neither the judge nor Sissy’s family found credible. In 2016, he made a controversial move by creating a dating profile on the website convictpenpals.com, a decision that drew disapproval from Simeonette’s grieving family. Despite his attempts to challenge the sentencing with an appeal in 2019, it was denied, and he continues to serve his sentence.
Read More: Where is Jonathan Crupi Now?