• This Day in Crime History

    January 16: 1936: Serial Killer Hamilton Howard “Albert” Fish was executed in the electric chair in Sing Sing Prison. He was responsible for at least 5 murders, including 10-year-old Grace Budd whose murder he was sentenced to death for.

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Joel Schoenfeld murder 1/5/1991 *John Valverde was convicted in revenge murder; Released from prison 2008*

crime tape

Photographer Slain in Argument in Village
Murdered Photog a Sex Offender
Arrests in a Killing Police Say Was Revenge
Fotog’s Killer Gets Max
Matter of Valverde v Dennison
’91 Killer free soon
Once a killer, now a CEO: Ex-Con works to turn youths around

The Perfect Murder: A Shot in the Dark



Identifying and Location Information
As of 12/26/16
DIN (Department Identification Number) 92A5665
Date of Birth 11/06/1969
Race / Ethnicity HISPANIC
Custody Status RELEASED
Housing / Releasing Facility GREEN HAVEN
Date Received (Original) 07/07/1992
Date Received (Current) 07/07/1992
Admission Type
County of Commitment NEW YORK
Latest Release Date / Type (Released Inmates Only) 04/22/08 PAROLE DIV OF PAROLE

Crimes of Conviction
Class B

Class C

Sentence Terms and Release Dates
Under certain circumstances, an inmate may be released prior to serving his or her minimum term and before the earliest release date shown for the inmate.
As of 12/26/16
Aggregate Minimum Sentence 0010 Years, 00 Months, 00 Days
Aggregate Maximum Sentence 0030 Years, 00 Months, 00 Days
Earliest Release Date
Earliest Release Type
Parole Hearing Date 09/2008
Parole Eligibility Date 05/17/2002
Conditional Release Date 05/17/2012
Maximum Expiration Date 05/17/2022
Maximum Expiration Date for Parole Supervision
Post Release Supervision Maximum Expiration Date
Parole Board Discharge Date 05/05/2011


42 Responses

  1. I know John and went to school with him. I am so happy to hear this news. I received the letter yesterday from him. Some people deserve a second chance. John is one of them..He will be doing great things with his life. As we get older we are able to (hopefully) walk a mile in other peoples shoes before we jugde.

    Best of luck and love to the Valverde Family

  2. I went to high school with John..This was an unfortunate tragic story all around. After having paid the consequences for his actions, I am glad to see that John has excelled despite his circumstances and his story of giving himself a second chance , is inspiring. Best of luck always.

  3. John Valverde went into a murderous rage after his girlfriend told him she had sexual relations with her photographer Joel Schoenfeld seven months earlier. The girlfriend claimed the sex was not consensual but she never complained to the police or anyone else. Valverde then plotted to murder Schoenfeld by obtaining an illegal handgun. Valverde went to Schoenfeld’s Manhattan studio under the guise of wanting to hire him as a photographer. Valverde then shot Schoenfeld in the back of the head and fled. After the murder Valverde’s girlfriend started dating another man and eventually married him.

  4. When he committed this crime, John’s anger about what had happened to his girlfriend along with his uncontrolled frustration, anxiety, pain and feelings of helplessness took over. John has learned how his extreme emotional state combined with his lack of maturity or understanding of how to deal with those strong emotions dramatically influenced his thinking, which then influenced his behavior, resulting in his violent reaction. John lacked the self-awareness and self-control to prevent a terrible wrong doing at his own hands. He, and all others who suffered terribly as a result of what he did, will live with that for the rest of our lives.

    With the benefit of time, increased maturity, much soul searching, a lot of teaming, greater understanding and with the help of many mentors, we are certain that never again could such a thing ever happen with John. The circumstances of John’s case are unique, perhaps in the entire N.Y. State prison system, and are completely isolated. John was 20 years old when his then girlfriend was raped. After his arrest, time on bail, trial and current time in prison, John will be 36 when he appears before the Parole Board for a third time in 2006. He has spent all his 20s and now half his 30s paying for his actions. Before this crime, John had never had any contact with the police and criminal justice system. He was in college, working. and beloved by his family and friends. Since the crime, he has led an exemplary life in prison. His crime was an aberration. Even the Attorney General, during one of John’s parole appeals, conceded that John is a role model prisoner who poses no threat to society.

    John now has a profound commitment to being. life-giving in all that he does. We believe his record and history while in prison indicate that, and are 100% confident that commitment will carry through the rest of his life. John knows he owes a debt to society and to all those for whom he caused so much pain. We wholeheartedly believe John is ready now to continue that commitment even more effectively “on the outside.”

    It is our hope and prayer that John’s actions and contributions while incarcerated will be viewed as indicative of what John not only can, but will, accomplish. Never again will he be the kind of person who allows his emotions to outweigh his rationale. Also, we have no doubt that the learning and increased understanding that John has gained in so many different ways will make a positive difference in this world. He cannot change the past-much as he wishes he could-and he wishes that every day. But, he can and will change the future. This is John’s promise and we know he will honor it.

  5. What happens when John finds another girlfriend or gets married and he gets jealous again? He did not have to go there with a gun. He was pissed and shot the man in the head and he serves half of his sentence? That is BS

  6. I knew both John and his girlfriend. John’s release is a long time coming. I wish him nothing but the best.

  7. Let’s clarify something. John did not serve half of his prison sentence. He received a minimum sentence of 10 years after a jury found that he committed his crime under extreme emotional distress. A role model inmate is supposed to get out at the minimum sentence but under Pataki, the parole laws lost all meaning. Accordingly, John served 16 years. The longest he could have been incarcerated is 20 years (his conditional release) so he nearly served his entire sentence. The 30 year number just means that they could keep him on parole for an extra 10 years (something that will not happen for a someone like John). Nobody condones John’s crime. He was a stupid, emotional and jealous kid who loved his girlfriend more than life itself. That does not mean that John is that same kid after 16 years of incarceration, maturation, soul searching and serving others. Take a moment to Google him and become informed about him before posting uninformed and nonsensical posts. Those of us who know John (and hence have the most credibility about his character) know that John will be a productive and law abiding citizen. What he did was wrong but he has proven that he deserves a second chance.

  8. Clairfy all you want but that doesn’t change the fact that he killed someone. I won’t waste my time googling his name because I don’t have that need.

  9. paulie
    No I wasn’t forgetting but you are forgetting that he went there with the intent to kill him. I could understand if he did it while the man was in the act of offending someone but he went there with the intent to kill him and I personally think he should have to spend the rest of his life in prison. You can not know for sure that he won’t kill again. You are hoping but you don’t know that for sure.

  10. And how do you know that the perv wouldnt have raped again? This is a no win situation, I think we can all agree on that. But I’d trust a changed man who murdered someone as a young dumb man, before I trusted that an adult pervert would never rape again. The perv was an adult who had a history of being a perv.

  11. I wouldn’t trust any of them.

  12. Yes, let’s throw them all in prison and throw away the key because we do not believe a good person can ever commit a crime! Let’s keep them in prison forever, despite the law, because we simply can’t know that the person will never commit a crime again! Let’s pay the tremendous tax burden to keep good people in prison, even if they served most of their sentence and proved that they are “no threat to society” (which was admitted about John by the parole board and the NY Supreme Court)! Let’s ignore the circumstances of the crime and the person’s rehabilitation “because we don’t have that need” — all we need to know is the crime itself! Yes! This is the answer to all our problems!

    I suspect Lavonna would change her tune if someone she loved made a single terrible mistake in an otherwise law abiding and admirable life.

  13. George
    You don’t know me or what my family has ever went through so don’t go around assuming anything when it comes to me. Whose gonna pay the funeral bill the next time he kills? YOU?
    No one knows for sure that he won’t do it again and it is more than likely he will and when he does maybe it will be your family he murders, what then?

  14. I think Lavonna’s point is if everyone took the law into their own hands, this world would be even crazier than it is. Sure, I have a few rapists AND murderers in mind that I would like to kick the s**t out of, or even kill. Can’t do it though. That, I believe, is Lavonna’s point. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

  15. You are not wrong but I also think that once someone kills it is likely they will do it again. I don’t think that is something anyone should take lightly.
    He went there with the intent to kill and in my opinion he forfeited his right to be free.

  16. To John & Family: Wishing you the very best of luck on your freedom from your ordeal. I am also in the same kind of problem because my son was convicted of second degree depraved indiffence murder for trying to save a family members life..Anyone who hasn’t been in this situation will never understand that a person deserves a second chance when they commit a violent act which never should have occurred but things happened & you can’t change it.

  17. Jack,
    I agree with you 150%. He should never be allowed out.

  18. I agree also. I didn’t know all the facts about this case until now. That was premediated murder.

  19. Yo, Lovonna and Jack -yeah lets throw them all in prison. The government had enough of them,oh no, wait maybe they don’t, that’s why they are privatized. Put them all in prison. Do you know that we have an insane amt of people in prison per capita in this country- look it up. The powers that be are taking away all of our constitutional rights in order to put us there. Why? Because there’s good money in the judiciary system (fines, court fees, lawyers, judges salaries…) Oh, and great money in those private prisons – making goods for free for companies – modern slavery. Our tax dollars, n**** pls, Taxing our salary is unconstitutional 16th amendment was never radified. That’s a whole other discusion. But to keep people in prison who have no priors, that have kept their nose clean while in the system and dedicated themselves to educating themselves and earning degree after degree with massive support from family and friends ( no scumbag has huge rallies outside of court houses) for his freedom. He deserves to be out here with us now.
    I met John when I had to show him the ropes of how to be a door monitor in 5th grade when he transfered to PS154 – a shy quiet gorgeous boy. Congrats on your new freedom John, your new life!!!
    Peace, Bel

  20. Bel,
    Your point is?

  21. Hel Bel & any other Valverde fans,
    No matter what you or anyone else says John Valverde is a cold blooded murderer. It doesn’t matter that he was never caught for prior criminal acts or how well he behaved in prison or how many friends he has. Valverde is still a cold blooded murderer that will never change. Valverde shot an innocent man in the back of his head and blew his brains out all over the floor and walls. Valverde should have be given a lethal injection. It’s a crying sham that US taxpayers had to foot the bill for Valverde’s incarceration for 16 years while Valverde was enjoying prison life, prison food, and homosexual intercourse. Now that Valverde has been sprung from prison he could murder again at anytime without warning. Once a murderer, always a murderer. Pray that you or your family don’t become John Valverde’s next victim.

    • You know… Life would be so much better if… let’s say we get rid of need for lab animals. And replace them with Violent criminals. Particularly RAPISTS and serial killers. This way, since we’re trying to help humans from disease, and give better medicinal and beauty products, we ought to test it on other “humans”. seeing as how these types of criminals are Not human. This way they can suffer in pain and die slowly. Now, isn’t that better than execution? As for John? he did the RIGHT thing. He didn’t just go out and kill anyone undeserving, you know. But what do you care? Only for the rapist it seems. How sad. I wonder where Joel’s grave is, that’d make a nice spot for a pile of excrement.

  22. Hey Christine,
    If what you claim is true then you should have insisted at that time that the police arrest Schoenfeld. If the police didn’t want to do their job then you should have gone to the DA’s office.
    Regardless of how big a pervert and molester Schoenfeld may have been it doesn’t give Valverde or anyone else the right to murder.
    Remember the first time someone commits murder is the hardest, after that it’s very easy for them to kill again. You should hope and pray that you or your family never cross paths with that muderous scum John Valverde.

  23. yes, jack, you are absolutely right. i was young and naive and really thought the police would do the right thing (boy was i young and naive). plus, i felt humiliated by the whole thing. i remember the detective had an attitude like, well you weren’t raped (i got away), and you DID go into his apt willingly….etc. if this happened now i would know exactly what to do and of course i would be a lot more assertive. and please, i don’t think anyone is arguing what he (john) did was right (not even john). my point was i am empathetic with john and especially his then gf because i too felt angry that schoenfeld could keep continuing on getting away with his perverted, outrageous behavior. this was 20 years ago. i doubt today it would be ignored and poo pooed like it was back then. and just for the record….joel schoenfeld was really creepy. he was gawky and pasty and very unarttractive and old with this gross beard. i seriously doubt john’s gf had sex with him willingly, you have that all wrong dude. schoenfeld wasn’t even a legit photographer. that was one of his scams (he had a few; roommate, gal friday, models) to get young models into his apt (it wasn’t a studio, it was a 2 bedroom apt, one room had a camera set up with all this weird clothing and props…the other was a regular bedroom). i remember him telling me he worked for vogue. later i checked that out and it was a lie. he never worked for vogue. anyway, don’t miss the bigger picture here. this case was big (it was featured on maury, hard copy, geraldo, got nationwide attention) becasue schoenfeld was so brazen with his antics and because NO ONE DID ANYTHING ABOUT IT. well, except one person.
    ps…..i am now a child therapist and work with trauma and crime victims. i guess everything happens for a reason.
    what do you do besides judge people?
    (retorical….don’t really want to know)

  24. Christine what you are now saying about a dead man who can’t defend himself is, “joel schoenfeld was really creepy. he was gawky and pasty and very unarttractive and old with this gross beard.” My question to you is, if what you claim is true then why did you move into Schoenfeld’s apartment and live with him as a roommate? Didn’t you see all those things that you claim were wrong with Schoenfeld before you moved in? Or are you deaf, dumb, and blind? Your story smells rotten to the core.


    I have removed several comments that were derogatory about the victim. This is a violation of my comment policy. REGARDLESS of what the victim had done in his life, this is not the place to come and extol and praise his murder. Even if you personally believe he deserved it for what happened with John’s girlfriend. DO NOT talk unkind about the victim. If you can’t abide by that, then don’t comment. Any more like those, and they too will be removed.

  26. To blog owner I believe calling the young girl who was raped a “whore” qualifies as derogatory and that post should be removed. The ignorance here is very sad. I’m happy to say that John has been living an upstanding life in the past 6 months… he works as a paralegal, pays taxes, contributes to church and charities, and has shown himself to be a truly caring individual. I know it is early, but those of us who know John know that JJ is completely wrong and that John will never commit a crime again. Also, let us not forget that the judge and jury, the people who truly knew this case from front to back, handed down the verdict and judgment. Farewell…

  27. George,

    Thank you for noticing that, as I missed it. It has now been removed.

  28. I am happy to hear that John is doing well. Much love.

  29. Lavonna,
    I do not know where all of your harsh judgment and anger towards John comes from – as it appears that you know nothing of him personally – but frankly, I feel sorry for you. I have known and loved John for the last 10 years. Despite the terrible choice that he made and the consequences that stemmed from that, he lost 16 years of his freedom as a result. Even being free, I know that this is something that he will spend the rest of his life making peace with. If you knew him at all, you would realize that his actions were an aberration, and that he is a kind, loving, and productive member of society who was supported by friends, family, politicians, corrections officers, and clergy, because he deserves a chance to move forward in the next chapter of his life. You might also be interested in knowing that he was in contact with the victim’s family, and that they did not oppose his release. I say these things not as an ignorant person, but a mature woman who loves him and as a mother. I am also an attorney and well aware of the goals of the penal system, which by the way, include rehabiliatation and a re-introduction into society. I hope that next time you will be less harsh in your judgment of John and others. None of us are without our faults, and even though I do not know you, I am sure you have your own faults as well. John’s homecoming was a joyous day for so many. Perhaps you could respect that.

  30. Kimberly, why you felt the need to call me out I don’t know, nor do I care. I am not the only one on the blog who feels the why I do.
    He went with the intentions of killing Joel and he should be in prison for the rest of his life.
    I do have faults but I will never be known as a murderer! I really could care less on you being an attorney, like what? that is supposed to impress me? Doesn’t.
    I have the right to my opinion and if you don’t like it then tough crap.

  31. Hey Kimberly,
    The fact is that your son John Valverde is a cold blooded murderer. He plotted and planned a murder in advance, obtained the gun, and blasted an innocent man’s brains out of his skull. That’s 1st degree murder. He should have gotten life in prison or the electric chair. Society and the hard working taxpayer’s had to foot the bill to keep your son in a cage for 16 years. Most people don’t buy that rehabilitation nonsense especially when it comes to committing murder. The reason John is now free to kill again is your money was able to retain a good ‘Liar for Hire’ a/k/a a lawyer. I hope and pray that more innocent people are not harmed and killed by John Valverde when he snaps again.

  32. Hey “Jack”
    Kimberly did not say she is HIS mother, she said AS a mother..and how could she be his mom if she said she has known him and loved him for 10 years. Duh. obviously she’s just a jailhouse groupie ( lawyers get desperate too) who was romantically involved with an incarcerated man. If you’re going to bash, at least get your stuff straight!

  33. I knew both and John and his exgirlfriend. Contrary to other posts she did not go off and meet someone right after the murder and get married. That information is incorrect and unfair. John, regardless of what anything feels about him as a person, paid his debt to society. He served most of his sentence. What more could he have done? Further more, the man John killed, was a rapist. He had a history of assaulting women. Not this this is an excuse, but we should also remember that this was not just any random person. Anyway, I am wishing John and his family as well as his ex girlfriend all the best. I hope they will both be happy.

  34. I “worked” for Joel in exchange for my photos as one of his secretaries as well. I made a few calls, dusted the apartment and ate tootsie rolls the first night (yes the hours were usually in the evening) The second evening I arrived to find him setting the table for dinner for the two of us. I was 18, new to NY, naive and trying to act tougher than I was, so I shut the door behind me and said “what’s up?” He went into the kitchen and came back out with his pants unzipped, holding a kitchen knife and smiling. I immediately turned, opened the door and ran as fast as I could from West Street back to Wash. Sq. Park. I ran so fast that I threw up when I stopped. I’d left my backpack at his apt. I bought new textbooks and didn’t tell anyone what happened for months because I was so embarrassed that I got myself into that situation. My heart still races when I think about that night in 1991.

    My thoughts are with everyone connected to this story in any way.

  35. I went to a theological school and completed master degree with John Valverde at NYTS.

    Johnny is a great human being, a sincere, caring and bright guy that couldn’t tolerate that his girl friend was abused by that brute beast joel.

    I would take the law on my hand if something happened to any woman and I learned it.

    There is no question on my mind, I know John and I sure John Valverde is doing fine. Please John write whenever you can.

  36. I wouldn’t put my hands on fire for him but everyone deserves a second chance plus previous to this his record was clean. Now I hope with all my heart he keeps his nose clean and he do not heart nobody else. But realistically he has paid his debt to sociaty and sooner or later they’ll have no other choice but to set him free. PEACE!

  37. Almost three years now and John is doing great. He is the director of a “green” initiative for the Osborne Association. He also does public speaking to try and prevent others from taking the law into their own hands. He has been a law abiding citizen who pays his taxes. He continues to prove all the ignorants wrong. But he never forgets his debt to society…

    • Hi my name is Wanda and would love to get in contact with John. We dated when we where kids, and I visited him in prison. I’m so happy he’s doing well, would you tell him I send my love?

  38. When I first saw an article about an ex-con becoming a ceo, I was afraid it was a serious criminal allowed back into society. But after learning of Who and Why… I was happy to see this happening. Here we have a fella trying to turn things around for himself and help others… Apart from that, Personally, I feel what he had done was RIGHT. I don’t understand why serious sex offenders are forgiven. But when it comes to someone getting rid of one of those freaks? There’s an aim to condemn Them! And then I go onto this particular page and find so many posts by SAINTS. Really? Most of you are better than him? Not one of you have a guilt of your own? And you have more care and concern for a rapist than a guy who felt the need to wipe the world clean of that Creature? I applaud his efforts and his past action. Yet, am disgusted by the judgment here.

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