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Husband Charged With Butchering Wife After Spat About Overcooked Pasta

Thu., Aug. 31, 1995

An insurance executive was charged with tearing out his wife’s heart and lungs and impaling them on a stake in a fight about overcooked ziti.

Richard Rosenthal, his 4-month-old daughter with him in his car, was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder after he followed a couple home and tried to engage them in a driveway conversation about gun control, police said.

The couple’s license plate read “357-BAN.” Rosenthal told the court-appointed forensic psychologist that he thought the plate referred to .357-caliber Magnum handguns.

The couple called police, who found the baby in the back seat of Rosenthal’s car, along with a plastic bag full of bloody men’s clothing, Middlesex County prosecutor Martin Murphy said.

Police followed a trail of blood from Rosenthal’s stately Framingham house to the woods and found the beaten, mutilated body of his wife, Laura Rosenthal.

Laura Rosenthal, 34, had been slit with a butcher knife from her throat to her navel, and her organs had been placed on an 18-inch stake in a nearby garden.

Her face also had been pummeled with a softball-size rock, leaving her so disfigured that she was listed as “Jane Doe” on Rosenthal’s arrest report. It took more than a day to identify her.

Investigators said Rosenthal, 40, told them his wife had chided him for burning the ziti. “I had an argument. … I overcooked the ziti,” they quoted Rosenthal as saying.

It was not clear when Laura Rosenthal was killed. She was last seen alive on Sunday, police said.


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