In May 1976, a 22-year-old young woman named Patricia Silberstein killed her ex-boyfriend Tony Wojcik in a brutal manner. Though she claimed he was abusive and she did so in self-defense to escape from his clutches, the evidence couldn’t justify her motive. The case was a shocking revelation for the residents of Mount Vernon in New York for the unique sentencing the perpetrator received. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Deadly Women: DIY Burial’ takes the viewers through the case of Patricia and how the police finally caught her. So who exactly is Patricia Silberstein? Let’s find out!
Who is Patricia Silberstein?
Patricia Silberstein was born in October 1953 in Yonkers, New York. The 20-year-old worked at a Wall Street Bank in early 1974. She was a stand-out employee, ambitious and hard-working. At her new workplace, Patricia met 26-year-old Anthony “Tony” Wojcik, and the two hit off instantly. As per the show, both were going through divorces and started living together within 1 month of dating. Tony loved jewelry, and Patricia used to gift him gold chains and rings.
The show stated that Patricia even got a tattoo of his name when it was considered too scandalous and not so common as now. Within a few months, the charm slowly started to wear off. Patricia realized that Tony’s commitment was only skin-deep as he started dating other women and did not try to hide them from her. It was stated on the show that Tony was not only infidel but also an alcoholic and consumed alcohol throughout the day.
As per the show, when Patricia poured his bottle out of the window, he physically assaulted her, beating her quite badly. Patricia then broke off with him, resigned from her job, and moved to Mount Vernon, New York, in 1976. She started an automotive repair shop business with her brother there and also began seeing a new guy. The show stated that Tony kept calling, harassing, and even threatening her. One time he met her on the streets, as per the show, chased her to her car, broke open her window, and ripped off her chains and other jewelry.
Ultimately, on May 19, 1976, Patricia agreed to meet Tony, but on her terms. She picked him up in her car and drove him to her shop. As per Patricia, Tony was drunk that day as well and allegedly tried to kiss her forcefully. She further claimed that when she rejected his advances, Tony struck her across her face. However, she got hold of a baton she kept by the driver’s seat and ran off to the property next door to her shop – the Mount Vernon incinerator. As per the show, Tony ran after her but tripped and fell down the stairs and Patricia repeatedly hit him with the baton until she fractured his skull.
The show mentioned that the beatings caused Tony’s brain to start leaking out. There was blood all over, and a panicking Patricia dumped him in one of the incinerators and fled the scene. She went to his 125 Mount Hope Place apartment in the Bronx and staged the place to look as if a robbery had been committed. But Tony was not dead; he crawled out about 3 feet from the 20 feet bin, bleeding until he died of hypovolemic shock. The police arrived at the scene, and it was not long before they identified the ex-girlfriend who worked next door. She surrendered a few days after the incident.
Is Patricia Silberstein Alive Today?
When brought in for questioning, Patricia broke down and confessed to the crime. She was arrested in May 1976 and was tried for second-degree murder. A jury convicted her of manslaughter in July 1977 and was sentenced to more than 22 years in jail. The judge sentencing her said, “On the day Anthony Wojcik was killed, Patricia Silberstein was 22 years, 7 months, and 6 days. That will be her sentence.”
He further added, “The jury felt intent to kill was not established.” However, Patricia Silberstein appealed against her sentence, and it was reduced to 15 years. She served her sentence and was subsequently released in 1992. Just three years after her release, in 1995, the 41-year-old reportedly died of natural causes, the exact details of which were not disclosed to the public.