A horrific crime resonates, nearly 25 years later


It was the crime of the century in our community, and the horror of those days is never far from the surface in the South Shore towns where the families of Kelly Ann Tinyes and Robert Golub lived and worked and went to school. It was 1989 when 22-year-old Robert was convicted of murdering his neighbor, 13-year-old Kelly; he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

This November, nearly 25 years later, Robert Golub applied for parole, and was denied. However, seeing his face in the press and hearing his newly minted confession have split open the old wounds.

Twenty-five years ago next March, on an ordinary school day, 13-year-old Kelly went to the house of her neighbors John and Robert Golub, ages 14 and 21. Two other 14-year-old boys were also at the Golubs’ home that afternoon. According to testimony at the trial, a call from the Golub home to the Tinyes home, a few doors away, had prompted Kelly’s visit.

I remember these details very well. I was the editor of the Nassau Herald at the time, a columnist for the newspapers and the mother of a 14-year-old girl who knew all the kids involved. The day after Kelly went missing, police discovered her strangled and mutilated body stuffed into a plastic bag and shoved into a closet in the basement of the Golub house.

Eventually, Robert Golub was tried and convicted of second-degree murder. I attended every day of the trial, reporting for our newspapers, and will never forget the faces of Victoria and Richard Tinyes as they heard testimony and saw jurors react to crime scene photos, photos of the savage attack on their daughter. During breaks, members of the Tinyes and Golub families screamed and tore at one another in the hallways and the bathrooms of the courthouse. It was as if all the hallmarks of civility and peace in our small communities had suddenly been displaced by this unnatural act of violence.

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