David Kimowitz was the owner of Stand Up Comedy Club in New York City. He died tragically on August 3 at the age of just 40. Kimowitz was stabbed to death at his home in Maplewood in northern New Jersey along with his family’s nanny, Karen L. Bermudez-Rodriguez, 26.
The nanny’s boyfriend, Joseph Porter, 27, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, has been arrested in relation to the crime, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens said in a statement. Porter is facing charges of two counts of murder, possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal restraint.
Kimowitz was the owner and operator, along with his wife, Laura Kimowitz, of The Stand Restaurant and Comedy Club close to Union Square in New York City. In addition to his wife, Kimowitz is survived by the couple’s two pre-school age children.
His comedy club is regularly described as one of the top comedy venues in New York City and has hosted comedians such as Dave Chappelle and Tracy Morgan.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Were Called to Kimowitz’s Home on the Morning of August 3 After Getting a Report of an Injured Woman
Police were called to Kimowtiz’s home in Maplewood in north New Jersey at around 6 a.m. on the morning of August 3, Essex County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly said in a press release. Property records show that Kimowitz lived with his family along Walton Road in Maplewood, the center of the police investigation. They bought the house in April 2017.
The New York Post reports that police were called to the home after a woman who was jogging by saw the injured woman. That woman was Karen Bermudez-Rodriguez. A witness told ABC New York that Bermudez-Rodriguez had stab wounds in the head and torso.
Bermudez-Rodriguez was rushed to Beth Israel Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Bermudez-Rodriguez was a native of Colombia.
2. Comedians Have Taken to Social Media to Mourn the Loss of Kimowitz
Kimowitz’s death was confirmed in a tweet from comedian Matt Davis who wrote on Twitter on the morning of August 4, “God damn this news about David Kimowitz. RIP, sir.” While comedian Daniel Lobell wrote on Facebook, “RIP David Kimowitz the world will miss you!”
Comedian Chris Millhouse also paid tribute writing, “RIP David Kimowitz, such a tragedy & my condolences to his family.” Laurie Kilmartin meanwhile tweeted, “I’m so sad and horrified to hear of the death of David Kimowitz. A club owner who loved comedy and comics. A terrible loss for his young family, and the NYC comedy community. RIP David ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️.”
A neighbor told NorthJersey.com that she had spoken with Kimowitz’s brother on the day of the attack. That neighbor said Kimowitz’s brother said the comedy club owner and his family’s nanny had been killed.
3. Joseph Porter Was Seen in the Area on the Night Before the Stabbing, Neighbors Said
NBC New York was the first to report that the victims of the stabbing were an au pair and her employer. The station, citing sources, said that Bermudez-Rodriguez had managed to escape from her attacker but that he caught up to her outside of the home.
TapIntoSOMA reports that Kimowitz’s wife and their two preschool-aged children were on vacation at the Jersey Shore at the time of the stabbing. The website goes on to say, citing neighbors, that Porter was seen in the neighborhood on the night before Kimowitz and Bermudez-Rodriguez were killed.
A neighbor told NorthJersey.com that Porter was a “fixture in the neighborhood” and that he could regularly be seen sitting in his sedan car in the area.
While speaking to the New York Post, another neighbor said, “A couple of people are saying they saw him pacing up and down the street the day before. He was doing the same thing last week. A couple of the nannies were having a party the night before it happened and he was lurking in the wood off to the right.”
4. One Neighbor Said Kimowitz & His Wife Were ‘Just Starting Out in the Suburban Life After Having Lived in Manhattan’
Speaking to NorthJersey.com, one of the Kimowitz’s neighbors said that the family had moved into the area around 18 months ago having renovated the home.
The neighbor said that Kimowitz had extended family in the area, which was part of the reason the family had relocated there. The neighbor continued, “There was always a nanny around, his wife was pretty quiet. He was a very happy guy, they had just renovated the house, which had been abandoned for a couple of years… they were young and just starting out in the suburban life after having lived in Manhattan. He was always very nice.”
5. Kimowitz Was a Native of New Jersey
According to his Facebook page, Kimowitz was originally from Rockaway, New Jersey. On that page, Kimowitz describes himself as the proprietor of The Stand Comedy Club and Restaurant. He attended Newark Academy High School in Livingston, New Jersey, and Columbia University in New York City. Kimowitz’s wife is originally from Peoria, Illinois. The couple was married in New York City in July 2013.
Kimowitz’s high school classmates started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a college fund for his children.
“He was full of genuine warmth and humor, both to those of us that knew him well and to those that just shared a few classes with him and were amazed he got God Street Wine to play in our gym,” the campaign’s organizer, Randal Vegter wrote. “We, his high school classmates, can’t stop thinking about his wife Laura and his two girls Ava and Emma. This fund is for a 529 college plan for the girls. We hope that they get to have the kind of education Dave received. Please donate and then share with others. College is expensive. Thank you.”