News

Special report: murder victim Jennifer Schipsi's final hours

What really happened on Oct. 15, 2009, in Palo Alto

The following narrative is based on testimony and evidence presented in the five-week-long, first-degree murder-and-arson trial of Palo Alto businessman Bulos "Paul" Zumot, 37, whom a San Jose jury found guilty on both counts on Feb. 10. Zumot's victim -- girlfriend Jennifer Marie Schipsi, 29, a Palo Alto real-estate agent -- had dated Zumot for two years prior to her death on Oct. 15, 2009. Zumot's sentencing is scheduled for April 21.

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Comments

1 person likes this
Posted by Sonny
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 18, 2011 at 7:32 am

Excellent reporting.


2 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2011 at 11:28 am

Not excellent reporting, but sleazy reporting. Nothing else to write about on a rainy Friday afternoon?

Take it from someone who had a friend who was murdered -- this is not only sleazy, it is painful to the victim's family and friends.

Enough.


1 person likes this
Posted by inahurry
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 18, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Yes, excellent reporting. Very sad, but riveting.


2 people like this
Posted by BlamingTheVictim?
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 18, 2011 at 12:15 pm

This is the worst article I've ever read in the weekly. A total exercise in blaming the victim, it sounds like it was written by the "Committee to get Zumot a Light Sentence". Some examples: 1) Saying Zumot "tossed" the cell phone at her. You don't TOSS things AT people, you THROW things AT them. 2) Quoting him in sympathetic ways like "Zumot said he stayed at the station well past 1 a.m. that night and felt hungry and tired." Poor guy! Hungry and tired! While quoting her (a DEAD person who has no opportunity to put her own spin on things) in unsympathetic ways like "U turned part of my heart black," she wrote in the same message. "Stay the f--- away so I can regain my happiness and satisfaction." 3) Using terms like "obscene", "provocative", "stormy" to describe her words and behavior.

WEEKLY EDITORS, WITHDRAW THIS PIECE! IT IS REPULSIVELY BIASED REPORTING.


1 person likes this
Posted by Shame
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Feb 18, 2011 at 12:46 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

This reporting looks objective to me. Clarifies some finer points of the trial. Thanks for the well-written summary. Definately a high-maintenance relationship. Ah, youth. Is this the norm these days for mobile phone usage and frequency of texting? No wonder we need more cell towers. Curiosities: Why would one drive up Lincoln to get to or from Addision? How can soot not be found in the lungs of a heavy hookah user? Those iPhones must be well constructed to survive being thrown at people.


1 person likes this
Posted by Wow
a resident of another community
on Feb 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I can't wait to see the re-enactment on TruTV. Riveting stuff indeed.


1 person likes this
Posted by Karen Brill
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


1 person likes this
Posted by Domanica
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Feb 18, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Domanica is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


3 people like this
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

Gennady Sheyner has done an amazing job of tying together all the pieces presented in the trial that led to the conviction of Zumot. I attended almost every day of the trial, and over the five weeks, the various components became sort of a Quentin Tarentino movie in my head. The jury had a lot of testimony to sift through. This article succinctly wove five weeks of testimony into an easy to follow time-line and review of over a year of commentary. To "BlamingTheVictim:" "tossed" is the word used in court by the witness of record. Jennifer's text message said "thrown," the witness said "tossed." That's how trials go. The reporter didn't just make that up as you seem to think. Again, thank-you to Gennady Sheyner and to the Palo Alto Weekly for reporting on this from Oct. 15, 2009, until now, for the tweets, the daily online, and for the many hours spent in court.


3 people like this
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

To "musical:" 1) Why would somebody drive up Lincoln to get to Addison? The supposition is that he parked on Fife, walked the few steps to the house with his gas can), returned to his car on Fife, then zoomed down Lincoln where he was spotted. Lincoln is a wider and faster street for zpeeding downtown to Da Hookah Spot. Drive it some time. It makes sense. 2)The IPhone was either "tossed" or "thrown" at somebody sitting in the back seat of a Range Rover. It could've been Baccarat and withstood it. 3)I'm pretty sure a medical examiner can differentiate between soot from a house fire and tobacco. What amazed Me about the texting is that he could carry on with it during an anger management class. The instructor must be a master at anger management himself.


1 person likes this
Posted by The Truth
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2011 at 1:37 am

The Truth is a registered user.

Innocent until proven guilty. But as the writer of this article knows, this monster was proven guilty by a jury of his peers. I find it interesting that even after the guilty verdict, Mr. Sheyner still uses phrases such as "The police believe..."
I also find it interesting that when detailing the "final hours" of poor Jennifer's life, Mr. Sheyner barely touches on the fact that she was brutally strangled by Zumot, that Zumot spent the hours after killing Jennifer erasing damning text messages from both of their cell phones and that in his final act of cruelty, he poured gasoline over her lifeless body and set her on fire.
Those Mr. Sheyner, were Jennifer Schipsi's final hours.


1 person likes this
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Feb 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

I think posts to this article and to previous ones show an ignorance of our justice system. The jury did not prove Zumot guilty. They were presented evidence that led them to believe "beyond a reasonable" doubt that a verdict of "guilty" was the correct decision on their part. There is a reason that the alternative was "Not Guilty" instead of "Innocent." A trial and verdict do not establish innocence or guilt in the broader meanings of those words--only Guilty or Not Guilty based on the evidence and the charge they have been asked to rule upon. Whereas one might find opinion and statements of belief in an editorial, this was a report; a reporter would be negligent to not simply quote what was presented by others.


Like this comment
Posted by Paly Alum
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 20, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Paly Alum is a registered user.

I think the reporter did an excellent job! It's very clear, easy to follow and has great amount of detail. Obviously, the negative posters here are close to either Zumot or Schipsi.

The Truth, the reporter did mention she was strangled. How can he elaborate on that? No one knows what exactly happened. And the article does mention Zumot deleting messages and gas used.

Obviously, Zumot hasn't seen enough crime shows or he'd know that gasoline can be detected after a fire.

It's too bad Schipsi enjoyed so much drama in relationships. To tell people she feared he'd kill her and still engage with him? Sure, drama can be "fun" in a relationship, but it gets old after awhile. And she was clearly pretty enough to be able to find someone else. Her photo is beautiful; no wonder someone would be obsessed with her.


Like this comment
Posted by _JFJ_1
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2011 at 2:35 pm

_JFJ_1 is a registered user.

another stupid article exploiting the beauty that was JENNIFER SCHIPSI, it would be nice to actually see a report done with integrity and respect for this beautiful woman who lost her LIFE at the hands of Bulos Zumont and not the life of the killer


Like this comment
Posted by AnnaNicoleSmith
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Feb 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

AnnaNicoleSmith is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language].


Like this comment
Posted by AnnaNicoleSmith
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Feb 22, 2011 at 10:52 am

AnnaNicoleSmith is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language].


Like this comment
Posted by AnnaNicoleSmith
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Feb 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

AnnaNicoleSmith is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language].


1 person likes this
Posted by AnnaNicoleSmith
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Feb 22, 2011 at 11:10 am

AnnaNicoleSmith is a registered user.

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff].


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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