Man convicted of Bellaire wig store murder in 1998 up for parole much to dismay of victim's family

Mycah Hatfield Image
Friday, March 24, 2023
Daughters want no mercy for mother's killer who's up for parole
A woman whose only wrongdoing was going to work on the day a Bellaire High Schooler unleashed a deadly attack. Twenty-four years later, that killer is up for parole, and the victim's daughters want nothing but to keep him behind bars.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The daughters of a woman brutally murdered in 1998 vowed never to stop fighting for justice for their mother. Twenty-four years later, the fight continues.

Manuela "Manny" Silverio worked at Wigs by Andre in the Weslayan Plaza for 23 years, fitting people battling cancers for wigs.

Yvette Menendez and her mother planned to leave for Miami on Black Friday in 1998. They even had their suitcases packed. Silverio told her daughter that she had gotten called in to work for the busy shopping day. Menendez went ahead to Florida. Her mother planned to meet her.

"I was talking to my mother at four in the afternoon on Black Friday, and at 4:11 she was dead," Menendez said.

A teenager, who was later identified as Dror Goldberg, entered the store and slit the single mother's throat. The 19-year-old also stabbed the owner 14 times and injured her husband. They both survived.

"All she did was go to work that day," Silverio's daughter Yvonne Palmer said. "That's it."

The case was filled with twists and turns, but Goldberg was eventually charged with murder and was convicted in April 2000

A jury sentenced him to 48 years.

"I would have liked a life sentence, but I know he has to be behind bars for 24 years, and I am satisfied with that," Palmer told ABC13 in 2000.

Now, 24 years after her mother's murder, Goldberg is up for parole for the first time.

"That's like a 'pause' his time being in there, then 'play' he gets to get out, and he gets to be with his family," Menendez said. "He murdered our mother. Why should he be going back to his mother when he took mine?"

Both women plan to testify at his parole hearing in August.

Palmer said they believe he will remain behind bars if the criminal justice system does not fail them. She said she does not think it will.

"They are humans," Palmer said of the parole board. "They have to read this story. They have to. It's more than just a prisoner with good behavior. They have to read the story. They have to know what he did and what he'll do again and what he's capable of doing."

Three years before the murder, Goldberg, who was attending Bellaire High School at the time, got in trouble.

Susan Pendergrass had just started working as a police officer with Houston ISD. She went through his backpack and found his journal with disturbing entries.

"His title was 'How to kill a woman,' and he took you there," she said. "It wasn't a novel. It wasn't a poem. It was him. It was his thoughts. He said and did the exact thing he did when he slaughtered their mother and when he tortured (the owner)."

According to the women, the journal was not admissible in the trial, but Pendergrass took the stand.

"In his writings, he wanted an audience of women," she recalled. "I remember going into this wig shop after to speak to (the owner), and there were these mannequins all along the top, and they weren't like any other mannequins you usually see. They were very striking. They were very realistic, and I believe that was his audience of women."

Both Pendergrass and Silverio's daughters believe if he is released, he will pose a danger to the community.

"There's no women where he's at," Palmer said. "He hates women, according to his books. He hated women. He wants to kill them. He wants to rape them. He wants to do all kinds of things to them. So when he comes out, he will never come out. We never want him to come out. We will never give up on this."

The parole hearing for the now-44-year-old man is set for August.

Goldberg is currently housed at a prison in Rosharon. He has maintained his innocence through a website that reads "Justice for Dror Goldberg" and details the flaws in the case.

Silverio's daughters ask anyone willing to write letters on their mother's behalf to keep Goldberg in prison.

"If he gets out, it could be their mother too," Pendergrass said. "It could be their sister. It could be their daughter."

"It will happen again," Menendez said. "Somebody else's family will be devastated."

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