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Altman accused of brutal murder after serving 13 years for robbery

READ MORE: Altman accused of brutal murder after serving thirteen years for robbery
Amid an applauding group of onlookers, New Hanover County sheriff's deputies arrested 33-year-old Gerard Altman for the murders of Laura and Jim Gallagher on Thursday. The 911 call came in Wednesday morning. Caller: We've been trying to contact these people for two weeks. We're friends and we've decided to come over. We looked in the back window and we saw pill bottles. Dispatcher: OK. What's the name of the people you're looking for? Caller: Laura Gallagher and Jim Gallagher. And there may be a third party involved. We don't know because we can't reach her son. We've been trying to track him down too. It was that call that set the search for the Gallaghers' killer in motion. Detectives' prime suspect, 33-year-old Gerard Altman, was taken in to custody a little more than 24 hours after the Gallaghers' bodies were found. "It appears to be a very brutal and cold blooded murder,” said Dep. Charles Smith of the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Altman was staying with a friend at the Reserve Apartments. His friend apparently didn't know about the warrants for his arrest, but after seeing Altman's picture was all over the TV and papers, that friend called 911. The Wilmington Police Department and Sheriff's Office worked together to get Altman in to custody. Lindsey Caldwell witnessed the arrest. “There was a SWAT team a whole mess of them, surrounding the whole building guns and all,” Caldwell said. Investigators still haven't disclosed a motive for the murder and haven't officially released the Gallaghers' cause of death. Friends of the Gallaghers said Jim was battling cancer and was a retired New York police officer. Both he and Laura were well-loved by many people in the community. Altman served 13 years in a New York state prison for 2nd-degree robbery. He was released in 2007. He is expected to go before a judge Friday morning. The bodies of the victims are being sent to Chapel Hill for autopsy.

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Oh my...

This whole thread is nonsense. Thank you Laurie for the comment blow mine. My family was also friends with Gerry's family, and I know Laura and Jim tried very hard to help Gerry get straightened out, just as they had straightened their own lives out. These people tried in vain, even in retirement, to give their son a better life, and he just didn't want to accept it. As much as I disike saying it, because he was once a friend, I do hope justice is served, as Laura and Jim won't get another chance...neither should Gerry.


Ok, I knew this whole family. I will start by saying, What in hell are you people taking about? theres no racism here. Gerry is Italian and I believe Greek. Get ur facts straight. He was adopted by Laura when he was an infant. Jim was his step father. He has a brother and a sister that also was adopted in order to keep the kids together. Gerry and I dated in High school. He was nothing like what everyone is saying. At least back then. His family was very structured, Average catholic family, bonded and if anything I can say he was spoiled by his mother. When we were about 17 or 18, he was arrested, I used to receive letters from him from jail, then I cut all communications. U people have no idea of this family. Laura and Jim were good people, and they made no mistakes in raising Gerry other than trying to help him. As far as the YANKEE comments. GIve it up people. I lived in NY until I was 20 yrs old and I live in Florida now. the people here are just as bad as what u think New yorkers are!! Oh, and by the way, kept mentioning YANKEE. Gerry had a room full of NY YANKEE fan collecter items. People who knew him when I did are in total shock right now. Never in a million yrs did we think he was capable of this. like i said, he was a good kid. I know because i knew him and his family. Let laura and Jim RIP and get over yourselves and ur comments when u know NOTHING!

I'm Glad

I'm glad to see people are writing in saying what a great person this guy was like they did with Cory Vann and most other fool who get killed or kill some one because of their criminal acts. It's time we call trash,trash and quit trying to justify their live of crime just because they are dead. I say pump this fool full of poison ASAP so we don't have to support his sorry A** in prison. His parents didn't deserve to dies at the hands of low life scum like him.


That is one crazy and sad comment. I knew neither of these people but at least have enough respect for the death to just let it go. Good people do sometimes get mixed up in the wrong thing. Granted, yes, they both might have been trash but unless you know that just back off and keep your uninformed comments to yourself.


I have respect for the dead when they deserve it. This guy did not deserve it, and I will comment any time I feel like it. The first fool could have tried to sell drugs to my children or my friends children. Granted if he had done that he would have gotten a face full of fist from my 2 older ones. One of which is a federal law enforcement officer with the United States Coast Guard. My other 2 children have to much intelligence to mess with that crap. As for being uninformed, I looked up Vann's record on line he was worthless, and the latter was even worse.


Their mother must be pretty darn intelligent then cause it doesn't come from the other half



Murder arrest

My goodness people, first I don't see any reference to Yankees, just reported that this person spent time in a New York prison. None os us can claim to be "from here", or at least very few of us. I am from Rock Hill, SC, moved to the area 35 years ago, and have met so many people from "up north", even Jersey, who are absolutely delightful to be around and are very good friends. I don't care what their accent sounds like.

murder because you couldnt make this a racial issue due to color, we are having an issue of northeners vs southerners....get over yourself, people are killed everyday all over the world. This is a murder, it has nothing at all to do with anything else. Therefore comment on the murder issue at hand and leave your ignorance home

He murdered his parents! If

He murdered his parents! If the liberals in NY had dealt with him like they should have, then we wouldn't have to.

rsmith, He murdered his

rsmith, He murdered his parent's here not in NY he served 13 years for 2nd degree robbery in NY. How many people in NC serve that much time for robbery.. you can look it up. I'll tell you not a lot of people..go to the state web site and look up the past few years 2nd degree robbery in this state is lucky to serve 5 years. Don't forget NC has structured sentencing.


Are you guys kidding me with this "its because he is a yankee he did these crimes". get off it...I am a yankee..born and raised in North East PA and I have never been in any kind of trouble...seems like the southern way of thinking will never end...racism, discrimination etc etc....get over if I were to join this "pointing fingers at the region where you originally are from" I would have to put on the plate that Southerners are much slower thinkers and are backwards uneducated farmers (yeah they would probably want to reelect Jesse Helms even though he has passed away)....but I wont go there!

I used to date him

I dated him a couple of times we would go out to bars downtown and he got in a couple of fights. He was always scamming anybody and everybody. I have no idea how he had money now I guess he got it from his mom.


We have a winner!

If you dated him a couple of

If you dated him a couple of times and new he was a "scammer" and a "user", what does that say about you? I happen to know that regardless of what happened, and no one really knows what happened, except the parties involved YOU "people" have no right to judge him. If this was your son whether you are from the North or the South is that what you would find important to talk about? You all sound completely ignorant and I won't say its because you are from the South (although I am tempted) but again who am I to judge. Lets leave that to GOD!!!!

I thought it was hillarious

I thought it was hillarious that onlookers were applauding as he was being arrested

First a female from NJ, now a male from NY.....

I think I am seeing a trend here.


Y'all better look in your own backyard...


Come off it! Jesus, where someone is from does not dictate whether or not they will be a murderer!!! I'm from New Jersey and I haven't killed anyone. There are plenty of Wilmingtonians, or North Carolinians, that murder each other every day. I'm sick and tired of everything being blamed on "being a northerner". I doubt his reasoning for killing was "because he was from New York". That's just plain ignorant.


All I hear and read from Northerners is how they "enrich" the areas to which they relocate. Please, keep that "enrichment" up there. Just ask anyone in Florida and California, the Northern deluges have resulted in nothing but disaster for the victims of these "enrichments."

The yankee Factor

AMEN, and thank you for saying it, too! I totally, 100% agree. That said...get ready to be blasted and cursed for daring to suggest the yankee factor. The yankee transplants can't stand it when they are confronted with the fact that their loud voices, ear-grating accents, and toxic societal and criminal issues have followed them down here. Prepare to be assaulted as part of their ongoing and relentless stranglehold on Southerners and Southern culture. Even though the physical fighting ended in 1865, make no mistake...the war continues as long as they attempt to blot us out and turn us into the next "Joy-zee".

Wow - Profiling?

First of all, if we "degrade" your areas so much just ask yourself why our school systems are ranked by far HIGHER in the level of education than that compared to those in the South. I live in FL, born and raised in NY and NO I do NOT have an accent like you are describing. You don't like being called hicks, rednecks, so why start in w/ the Yankee comments. Personally, I enjoy being called a Yankee cause I am proud of my roots. Equally, you should be proud of yours. However, where a person is from is not the reason why they commit murder. There is an equal amount of crime in the south as there is in the north. I mean to be quite frank, Florida is the safe haven for sexual predators...shall we mention that???

comment to 1969

I have seen your comments on other boards in the past. Do you sit around all day and night and post on this web site.. OMG !!!! just get a life... No matter what the topic you always think you are right and everyone else is must be a joy to have around at parties. LOL

yankee factor

WOW!!! you southerners should get help!

From a Southern Girl

Why can't we all just get along??????

In 1973, had I known.....

...that three million of them were going to follow me down here, I'd have kept on heading South and would likely be in Tierra del Fuego by now. I never wanted to change the place. I loved it the minute I arrived. Now? I stand in line at Food Lion and it sounds like I'm in a Bowery Boys movie. "Hey Mahj! Yuh bruddah's comin' next weekend so we should pick up some bee-ah fuh him. He drinks Shaaafah in the bot-tulls, right? I watch thousands of acres of pristine woods being razed to build housing developments that would rival Levvittown. They're like cockroaches - another three thousand show up everynight. Worst of all, they move here because the taxes are so low, then do everything they can to get the taxes raised...... ....of course, if you inbred idiots had managed to WIN back in 1865, none of this would be happening. Carpetbaggin' CS...he hates EVERYONE!

Excuse me, I am from

Excuse me, I am from Levittown. We are educated intelligent people here. And I am related to Laura Gallagher. Laura Jean to her family. I have a question. Where is Gerard's father in all of this? Who you say? I say Bill Altman the man who adopted Gerard with Laura Jean. Her first husband. What did he ever do to help Gerard? Bill oh Bill where are you, in a bar somewhere with your head hanging down? Gerard started to go wrong around the time he was living with his adopted father Billy. Gerard is from NY. Laura Jean and Jim where from NY. The moved to NC and Gerard came down when he got out of jail. End of story. Right Billy?


THAT is awesome!

come on where does anyone

come on where does anyone get off saying it's because he was from NY. His step-father was a retired NYPD. and I'm sure has help 100's of people on the job before he retired. He was prpbably involved in drugs (neighbors has said that there were a lot of cars coming and going since he moved in with his mom) so where he is from has no meaning to this case.


Get over yourself Bubba.