New York Post
January 7, 2004

COP WIDOW: NIX PAROLE

By JOE McGURK

Herman Bell    
HERMAN BELL
At time of his arrest.
 

Wearing her late husband's police shield, the widow of slain Officer Joseph Piagentini led a rally yesterday to keep her husband's killer behind bars.

Diane Piagentini, surrounded by supporters who included PBA President Patrick Lynch and officers from the entire region, pleaded with officials to deny parole to Herman Bell, who was convicted for the 1971 execution-style murders of Piagentini and his partner, Waverly Jones, in Harlem's Colonial Houses.

"The officers were savagely murdered simply because they wore the blue uniform of the NYPD," Piagentini said. "They should never be free to walk on the streets of New York or anywhere else."

She broke down after the rally outside the 32nd Precinct station house in Harlem as she recalled the night cops came to bring her the bad news.

"They tried to tell me he wasn't coming home — I couldn't comprehend it, I still can't," she said.

She said she intends to read a victim-impact statement at Bell's parole hearing Friday in Manhattan.

Lynch said a petition drive has collected 20,000 signatures of people opposing Bell's release.