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Scholarship Fund Honors Slain Roxbury Mom and Son Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to PrintShare to More
Scholarship Fund Honors Slain Roxbury Mom and Son Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to PrintShare to More

Published on: 03/22/2023


ROXBURY, NJ – (Updated 3:03 p.m.) A new scholarship fund has been created in memory of Succasunna resident Kellie Ventricelli and her son, Anthony, killed March 7 by husband and father Peter Ventricelli.

The goal of the GoFundMe effort, created by friends of Kellie Ventricelli, is “to help Roxbury High School students on their career journey to technical vocational school, which will help develop their trade.” The organizers note that Anthony, a 15-year-old sophomore at Roxbury High School, “was accepted into a technical vocational school to become a welder following his graduation.”

They say the scholarship will be a yearly fund set aside for Roxbury students. As of today, more than $6,000 has been donated.

Unhappy About Money for Killer's Parents

The day after the homicides, a GoFundMe page, called The Ventricelli Family Memorial Fund, was set up by Peter Ventricelli's nephew, Carlo Ventricelli. It has raised more than $70,000.

"I can't believe it," said Carlo Ventricelli today. "I want to express how thankful I am to everyone for being there for us. And the generosity; I literally can't speak. I'm still in a state of shock."

Money from Carlo Ventricelli's effort is earmarked to offset not only the funeral costs of all three in the family but also the “financial responsibilities” of Peter Ventricelli’s father, Carl Ventricelli. That has irked some people, including Long Valley resident Stephen Shankman.

He said he and his wife were close friends of the Ventricelli family for two decades, going on vacations with them, loaning them money and more. The relationship between the Shankmans and Peter Ventricelli soured somewhat a while ago, said Shankman, but he stressed that his wife and Kellie remained “closest friends.”

Shankman said the family was long struggling with finances, many related to Peter’s business partnership with - and compulsion to help financially – his father. Shankman has posted extensively on the “Nextdoor” site, asking people to think twice about continuing to send money to the first GoFundMe page.

He discussed the creation of the new scholarship fund and urged people to contribute “if you feel that you were helping the memories of Kellie and Anthony, and now realize that the funds are (being) used for all funerals, including Peter's, and any extra is to be used to help pay the mortgage of Peter's father.”

But Carlo Ventricelli sobbingly disputed Shankman's portrayal of his intentions, stressing that he loved Kellie and Anthony and cannot fathom what brought his uncle to do what he did. He said he is supporting the new GoFundMe and was forced to start his because "when this happened there was zero money" to do anything.

"It’s a really weird position to be in," said the 37-year-old. "Somebody you looked up to your whole life, overnight he becomes a monster. Not just to himself. He selfishly took my aunt and cousin with him."

Carlo Ventricelli, on his GoFundMe page, said all his grandfather's money came from the construction business he had with his son.

"With the loss of the family comes the loss of our family’s business," he wrote. "The business was the sole income keeping my grandparents in the house that they built in 1965. Any additional funds will go towards keeping my grandparents in their home."

Those who gave money without realizing that should know that “GoFundMe provides a method to correct that, called the GoFundMe Giving Guarantee," Shankman wrote on Nextdoor. "It is used to either remove or transfer funds. If you donated to the other GoFundMe account and desire to redirect your donation from that one to a real way of honoring the REAL VICTIMS ... use this link: and fill in the information requested and select ‘I made a mistake on my donation’ and explain why you'd like to transfer your donation to the scholarship.”

Carlo Ventricelli is hoping people won't seek refunds. "There's a lot of financial responsibility to be taken care of  and we don't have the money," he stressed. "This Steve guy is trying to advocate taking money away from our families." 

Domestic Violence?

Authorities said the murder-suicide took place between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. at the family’s 37 Justine Place home. Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll said the 57-year-old contractor used a handgun to enact a “tragic murder-suicide brought on by domestic violence.”

He has not discussed the evidence that led investigators to reach that conclusion.

In an interview, Shankman had high praise for Kellie Ventricelli, saying she was frank, honest and open-hearted and would not have kept secret from her friends and colleagues any ongoing domestic violence taking place in the home.

“Kellie never mentioned anything to my wife,” he said, noting the two were together about a week before the murders to get their nails done. “I do know she had a fight with Peter about money going to the father, rather than paying their bills.”

But if Kellie Ventricelli felt fearful, “she would have brought it up,” Shankman said. “She knows we - as well as other friends – would take her in, as well as Anthony. She had a wide array of friends, and she had no problem talking to my wife and other people.”

According to a post on the GoFundMe page created by Carlo Ventricelli, a wake for Anthony and Kellie will take place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 23 at Tuttle Funeral Home in Randolph. The funeral service will take place 10 a.m. March 24 at St. Therese Church in Succasunna.

Author :Fred J. Aun

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