Crews cut overgrown bushes where woman was murdered

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Safety changes are underway at a park that became a murder scene.

Crews were cutting the overgrown shrubs at Masten Park in Buffalo on Friday. Two days ago, the body of 52-year-old Jerald Goldsmith was found on the steps leading up to the park.

Raymond Backey lives a block away from the scene on Dodge. When News 4 interviewed on Wednesday, he took umbridge with the tall bushes, saying, “The city doesn’t clean up, doesn’t make any sense.”

And he wasn’t alone.

Neighbor Angie Sullivan said, “It’s a little disconcerting that one side of the stadium is well groomed, but the side facing the neighborhood never gets cut back.”

Though the City of Buffalo spokesperson said the city cuts the grass and bushes several times a year, and had as recently as Monday this week, following the murder and complaints, crews cut back the section outside the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion, where Goldsmith was killed, which had remained overgrown.

Goldsmith, a mother of seven and a grandmother, was found around 8 a.m. Wednesday by a man on the way to the store. News 4 spoke to the man, who did not want to be identified, who told us that Goldsmith suffered a lot of trauma to her face, and her pants and shirt were partially pulled off.

Police have ruled her death a homicide, but have not said how she was killed.

Her brother, Mark Goldsmith said, “This is not something that just randomly happened. Things built up to this. To leave her the way she was left would be a level of rage. This would be the end of it.”

Goldsmith was murdered near Masten Park, where a lot of kids go to play basketball and hang out after school. One of the top high schools in the area, City Honors, and the growing Buffalo Medical Corridor are just a few blocks away.

“This is a neighborhood that at one point had a lot of crime in it and that has really turned itself around,” Common Council President Darius Pridgen said. “And so for this to happen, to what appears to be an innocent victim, is distressing.”

Pridgen said checked out Masten Park himself on Wednesday, and could see the overgrowth problems the neighbors are worried about. The city lawmaker had the brush cut down and said he is going to meet with the Department of Public Works to make sure the area is properly lit.

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