- Last Updated: 9:18 AM, November 23, 2012
- Posted: 12:42 AM, November 23, 2012
He danced on their graves.
The door-to-door salesman charged as the serial killer who gunned down three Brooklyn shopkeepers went out dancing right after allegedly murdering the last victim, a friend of the suspect’s girlfriend told The Post yesterday.
“We dance every Friday night. On Friday, he came to the club at 9 p.m.,” the pal said, recalling the arrival of Salvatore Perrone with his girlfriend.
Perrone, 64, of Staten Island, was fresh-faced and clean — less than two hours after allegedly shooting shopkeeper Rahmatollah Vahidipour, 78, in his Flatbush clothing store.
“He was very elegant. We said, ‘You look nice.’ His face looked good. He didn’t have his bag — he left it inside the apartment,” the neighbor said on condition of anonymity.
“He killed someone at 7:30, and he went dancing at 9. How did he do that?”
Perrone was arrested and charged Wednesday with the killings of three Middle Eastern store owners.
The killing spree started in July, when Mohamed Gebeli, 65, was found dead in his Bay Ridge clothing shop. Isaac Kadare, 59, was found shot to death in his 99-cent store in Bensonhurst just over a month later.
All three were shot with the same .22-caliber weapon, police said.
Perrone — whom cops dubbed “John Doe Duffel Bag” after the luggage he was seen toting in surveillance footage near the scene of last Friday’s murder — was busted after a Bay Ridge pharmacy employee recognized him as a regular, law-enforcement sources said.
The footage marked a break in the case for investigators.
“He went to the wrong place. He stuck out on the video,” a law-enforcement source said, noting Perrone was one of the few white people caught on camera.
Perrone confessed to the murders only after talking to someone he thought was a CIA agent, law-enforcement sources said.
Police have not cited a motive, but all three victims were Middle Eastern, and probers suspected the killings were race based.
Perrone was said to have referred cryptically to a master plan during his interrogation.
“He had a grand plan for world peace, and it involved the CIA and $800,000 that he was going to get from the CIA,” a law-enforcement source said, adding that Perrone did not elaborate.
The suspect also demanded to speak with an Italian CIA agent and called himself a patriot, law-enforcement sources said.
The murder weapon — a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle with a flashlight taped to it — was found in his duffel bag at the Midwood, Brooklyn, apartment of his girlfriend, Natasha Charova, with whom he often stayed when he wasn’t at his decrepit house on Clove Road in Sunnyside, Staten Island, cops said.
Perrone celebrated his birthday yesterday by being arraigned on three counts of second-degree and one count of first-degree murder before he was shuttled to Rikers Island.
His court-appointed attorney said that Perrone denied confessing and that he could have mental-health problems.
“From my conversation with him, it did seem like he had some mental-health issues,” attorney Ken Jones said. “His affect is just a little different.”
Neighbors agreed the clothing salesman was eccentric — and said he had been building on his house for years before giving up. He split up with his wife about 10 years ago, they said.
“We always thought he was a little strange. He’s had that house since at least 1990, and he’s never finished it,” said Pier Freta-Scimeca, 59, who lives across the street. “No one liked him. He would yell at kids, make accusations to get people in trouble. Every neighborhood has that one guy no one likes, and that’s him.”
Her husband, Dudley Scimeca, added: “He’s been a strange apple for 20-plus years. He used to sit on my steps drinking, staring at his home in the middle of the night muttering to himself.”
Said another neighbor: “I know his life was in freefall. Business was failing, and he couldn’t get that house built. You didn’t see him very often.”
Law-enforcement sources said Perrone had a history of domestic disputes with his girlfriend, Charova — and a roommate said he once flashed a knife.
“He pulled a knife on our roommate last year,” said Justin Flood, who lives with Charova. “I wasn’t there, but my roommate came in later and told me. The cops came and just told him to leave, you can’t stay here tonight. He wasn’t arrested.”
Cops also were called to his Staten Island home after his family complained he was acting crazy, law-enforcement sources said.
Police say Perrone may have been planning another murder.
“We know that he went to other locations and asked questions that indicated . . . that he very well planned to come back,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
Before the last killing, Perrone cased another nearby clothing store and asked an employee whether he closed up at night by himself, cops said.
Additional reporting by Gillian Kleiman, Josh Saul and Amy Stretten