Lulu and Leo Krim (Lulu & Leo Fund)
For the first time since the brutal 2012 murder of two children, their nanny apologized for murdering them. “I’m very sorry for everything that happened,” Yoselyn Ortega said, tearfully in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday. “I hope that no one goes through what I have gone through.”
Marina and Kevin Krim, the parents of the children, were unmoved by the apology, appearing in court yesterday to call Ortega “evil” and provide emotional statements before Ortega was sentenced. Marina Krim said, “I’m here today to finish this horrible chapter of my and my family’s life… The defendant may think she destroyed Lulu and Leo, but she is a failure in this, too. Lulu and Leo are powerful forces. They are two stars now who will always lead us forward.”
Kevin Krim said to the judge, Gregory Carro, “The defendant is an evil and utterly dangerous narcissist and a complete failure. It is right that she should live and rot and die in a concrete and metal cage like the ugly dark shadow of Lulu and Leo’s bright shining lights… I trust that you do not need this request from Lulu and Leo’s dad after all you’ve heard and seen, but I will make it anyway: In your sentencing decision, please follow the law as you always have by ensuring that the defendant can never leave prison alive.”
Carro also rejected Ortega’s apology, calling her “pure evil,” and sentenced her to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 50 years.
Last month, Ortega was found guilty of murder for the deaths of Leo Krim, 2, and Lulu Krim, 6. Ortega had been the Krim family nanny, taking care of Leo, Lulu, and three-year-old Nessie. On October 25, 2012, Marina Krim returned to her Upper West Side home with Nessie, and discovered the fatally stabbed bodies of Lulu and Leo, alongside Ortega, who was in the process of stabbing herself.
A neighbor heard Krim’s screams and described them as “bloodcurdling.” A detective testified than Lulu had 30 stab wounds while Leo was nearly decapitated.
Ortega rejected a plea deal in April 2016, which would have recommended a 30 year sentence, opting to go to trial and use an insanity defense, claiming she was haunted by demons.
The prosecution said that Ortega, feeling desperate about money, was angry about her workload and wanted to get back at the Krims. During a bedside interview while hospitalized, Ortega allegedly told investigators, “You don’t know what they made me do. You don’t know what that lady did.”
Judge Carro said during the sentencing, “Your planning and forethought regarding your suicide plan on that day was certainly unmistakable.”—Ortega left her documents for her son—”What’s unclear, and it’s unclear mainly because you claim you have a lack of memory, is why you decided to take the lives of the children.”
The Krims said Ortega’s sister posed as a legitimate reference, essentially tricking them into believing Ortega was a reliable nanny, and now they are pursuing legislation, Lulu & Leo’s Law, to criminalize the act of lying to get day care positions. The couple, who welcomed two sons following the tragedy, founded a non-profit, the Lulu and Leo Fund, to bring creative programs to children.
When the guilty verdict was announced in April, the Krims released a statement saying, “We want to thank the judge and the jurors for their commitment to justice and their public service over this long and difficult trial. We are deeply indebted to the district attorney’s office and the NYPD for their care for our family, and their determination and dedication over the past five and a half years to see justice done. This process has been very challenging for us, but it has also reaffirmed our love of New York: a city that Lulu and Leo loved dearly. We got through this trial because of our family, our friends, our fellow New Yorkers and the loving memory of Lulu and Leo’s lives.”