Suspect arrested in cold case samurai-sword death

Weapon used in 2008 killing of Humberto Brindis was his own samurai sword

Humberto Brindis (pictured) was found dead from a stab wound inside his Holyoke apartment on June 1, 2008.

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Nearly seven years have passed since the killing of 44 year-old Humberto Brindis of Holyoke, but now, police have finally arrested a suspect. According to a news release sent to 22News by the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office, 22 year-old Ismael Rodriguez was arrested Tuesday on a murder charge, following an investigation by Holyoke Police, state police, and the District Attorney’s Office.


On June 1, 2008, Brindis was found dead on the floor of his apartment at 554 South Street in Holyoke, suffering from a wound caused by a samurai sword he owned. Police had collected and examined forensic evidence, but no suspect was identified, and the case remained a mystery for years.

Holyoke Police Detective Jennifer Sattler and State Police Sgt. Brendan O’Toole recently renewed the investigation, with the help of Assistant District Attorney Laurel Brandt. According to the DA’s office, they determined probable cause to arrest and charge Rodriguez, who was ordered held without the right to bail during his arraignment Wednesday in Holyoke District Court.

“Although the murder of the victim, Humberto Brindis, went without answers for almost seven years, the commitment to justice by Detective Sattler, Sergeant O’Toole, and ADA Brandt never wavered. Their determination and dedication deserve our appreciation,” District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said in a statement. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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