A Community Rattled: The Murder of Joao Souza

By Colby Cho
Volume 68, Issue V

Binghamton University engineering student and Blind Brook High School graduate Joao Souza, 19, was fatally stabbed in his dormitory on April 15. This murder came just five weeks after another student murder at Binghamton, leaving those at the university and in Blind Brook grieving and shocked. The murderer, caught on security footage wearing dark clothing and partially concealing his face, was identified by police as 20-

Photo Courtesy of Danielle Goz

year-old Michael M. Roque. It was quickly concluded by investigators that this murderer had motive, though it was not completely clear what the motive was.

Those who knew Joao have been hit hard by the devastating news, but his friends and family, especially his best friend, classmate, gym partner, and prom date, Danielle Goz, will remember the way he lived not died.Joao (pronounced “Jwow”) immigrated to the United States from Brazil in eighth grade, where he quickly made friends and acclimated to the Blind Brook community. His Brazilian background made him interesting to all those whom he encountered, and his easy-going and sweet personality made his transition that much easier. Joao’s talent on the soccer field also won him a large following, as he was a star at both the club and school levels.

Souza simply loved everything American. The culture fascinated him, especially American cars. According to Goz in an interview with LoHud, Joao was just trying to live out the American dream, which included going to prom, going to college in America, and living out the rest of his days here in what seemed like inevitable prosperity.

Joao will be fondly remembered and mourned by those who were close to him and the Blind Brook community. Joao’s parents, returning from Brazil, received the communities’ condolences on April 18.


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