Murderer of WWI Veteran in 1976 Pleads Guilty

A Queens New York man, who hacked up an 81-year-old veteran in front of a little girl more than four decades ago, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges, prosecutors said last week.

Martin Motta, 75, is facing 20 years in prison for the 1976 slaying of George Seitz.

“For the gruesome murder of a World War I veteran, the defendant eluded arrest for more than 46 years,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “Now he is headed to prison thanks to the collaboration between the NYPD and our Cold Case Unit.”

Motta was arrested in November, two years after an anonymous caller directed police to the backyard of a home on 115th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens, where Motta buried Seitz’s body parts.

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In November 2021, reported that for decades, what happened to George Clarence Seitz, who vanished from Queens on a winter morning in 1976 on his way to get a haircut, was a mystery.

Through these combined efforts, investigators were able to confirm that the remains found were those of George Clarence Seitz, a veteran of World War I.

Further investigation revealed that Mr. Seitz, then 81-years-old, went missing at approximately 10 a.m. on December 10, 1976. He was last seen leaving his home in Jamaica, reportedly on his way to get a haircut.

That was until November 2021 when the New York Police Department arrested 74-year-old Martin Motta in Jamaica, Queens in connection with Seitz’s slaying, officials confirmed to

Motta was arraigned on second-degree murder charges in the decades-old slaying by Justice Kenneth Holder after his Nov. 3 arrest following a grand jury indictment, prosecutors announced.

On March 12, 2019, the World War I veteran’s skeletal remains were excavated from the backyard of a home in Richmond Hill, Queens after a woman who grew up there called police and reported seeing a corpse being buried in her backyard in the mid-1970s.

The 81-year-old veteran’s body had been dismembered at the neck, shoulders, and hips, prosecutors said.

Read more here and here.


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