On Feb. 20, Robert Golub will return to the parole board to seek his freedom. The victim's family has secured thousands of signatures asking to deny his release. NewsdayTV's Drew Scott reports. Credit: Newsday/Kendall Rodriguez; Photo Credit: New York State Department of Corrections; Dick Yarwood; Newsday File Photo

Time has done nothing to ease the pain of Richie Tinyes and his family.

Just shy of the 35th anniversary of the murder of his sister, Kelly Ann Tinyes, by a neighbor, he said he still thinks about it every day.

On March 3, 1989, 13-year-old Kelly, who was babysitting her brother, was lured into the neighboring Valley Stream home of Robert Golub, a 21-year-old bodybuilder who beat, strangled and “sexually mutilated” her body, according to court testimony. He was convicted of murder in 1990 and sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars.

On Feb. 20, Golub will go before the parole board for the seventh time to seek freedom.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Robert Golub was convicted of murder in 1990 and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for beating, strangling and sexually mutilating 13-year-old neighbor Kelly Ann Tinyes.
  • Golub will go before the state parole board on Feb. 20 for the seventh time to seek freedom.
  • Kelly Ann's family members, including mother Victoria and brother Richie, will once again attend the hearing, now via video feed, to testify in opposition of Golub’s release.

For the Tinyes family, every parole hearing rekindles those painful memories.

“It's tough. Never the day or a minute goes by that I don't think about her,” Richie Tinyes told Newsday. “It's tough. Everybody thinks time is good. Time doesn't [help]. Doesn't make it easy. It actually makes it harder. You don't want to forget.”

And Tinyes and his family will once again attend the hearing, now via video feed, to testify in opposition of Golub’s release. He is 56 years old.

“We just want him to stay in jail. That's where he belongs. He is a vicious murderer. I don't want him out,” Kelly’s mother, Victoria Tinyes, said. “The community, we did a big petition. They don't want him out. He's going to move next door to somebody. Can you imagine that?”

Kelly Ann Tinyes was 13 years old in 1989 when...

Kelly Ann Tinyes was 13 years old in 1989 when she was killed by neighbor Robert Golub.

Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly, in a letter to the parole board last October, wrote: “Given the violent circumstances surrounding the crime, I respectfully request that parole is denied and that Golub is compelled to serve the maximum sentence in prison.” 

Golub’s hearing was postponed to March after he failed to secure proper support outside of prison.

Tinyes said he doubted Golub was reformed. It was only in 2013, around the 25th anniversary of Kelly’s killing, when he was up for parole for the first time, that he admitted the crime.

“Twenty-five years without any remorse? No. He didn't say, ‘I'm sorry.’ Didn’t say, ‘I did it.’ Didn’t say any of that for 25 years. And then all of a sudden when the time comes to get out, he wants to say, ‘I did it,’ and take responsibility for it? I think you’re a day late and a dollar short, my friend,” Richie Tinyes said.

Golub told the parole board he hadn’t meant to kill her, but was taking a “ridiculous” amount of steroids at the time and flew into a rage.

He said she fell down the stairs. Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that he “suffocated, strangled and mutilated” the girl.

After he killed her, he stuffed the body in a garbage bag, then put her inside a sleeping bag and stuffed it in a closet under the basement stairs of his family’s home, according to testimony.

“All of a sudden you say you're reformed and you're ready to go free,” Richie Tinyes said, scoffing. “You say, ‘Oh, I did it.’ But if you look at how he says he did it, it doesn't make sense. He said he knocked her down the stairs. Really? Knocked her down the stairs? So, who did all that other stuff, like biting and kicking and punching her? And cutting her up? Who did all that other stuff?”

Robert Golub is led away by detectives from Nassau police...

Robert Golub is led away by detectives from Nassau police headquarters in Mineola after his arrest on March 23, 1989, for killing Kelly Ann Tinyes. Credit: Newsday / Michael Ach

Kelly’s mother is also skeptical of the late confession.

“He admitted everything. He didn't at first because he's a monster. But then he did,” she said.

Kelly’s father, Richard Tinyes Sr., had been the family’s rock during the ordeal. He died in September 2020.

“It wasn’t COVID,” Richie said about his father. “His heart gave out. He died of a broken heart.”

There has been lingering anger from Tinyes' family toward the Golubs, who lived in the same neighborhood for nearly two decades after the conviction.

It’s been hard on the family.

“I don't know how my parents did it. I don't know how they stuck together,” Richie Tinyes said. “The love they had for each other and me and my sister and all these things that were going on and they just stayed strong. And they never, they never let up. They always pushed forward with this. My father pushed and that's what I have to do now because my father's not around. So you know, we have to continue to push forward. It's not easy.”

Now, he thinks about how the murder affects his four kids.

“I don’t tell them about what happened to her,” he said. “How do you go into those details? I can’t.”

He said he showed them the online petition that his family had set up opposing Golub’s release.

“How do I explain to them and then when people say something to them, how do they explain it to those people just like when I was a kid when people said very, very mean things to me when I was a kid?” Richie Tinyes said.

He said he tries to teach them broader lessons from the tragedy, the same lessons his father taught him.

“I just tried to instill in my children, like my parents did with me, to be a better person and look out for people and just try your best,” he said.

Robert Golub appears in a New York State Department of...

Robert Golub appears in a New York State Department of Corrections photograph in November 2013. Credit: New York State Department of Corrections

Richie Tinyes said he hasn’t written a letter to the parole board yet, though he’s all too familiar with the process.

“The day of [the parole hearing], I write a letter,” he said. “I let it build up.”

He said he takes the day off from work, drives to the hearing so he can be there at 9 a.m. because he feels compelled to speak for his sister. But the experience is exhausting.

“I'm absolutely drained at the end of that meeting,” he said. “I just want to bury my head in the sand.”

Correction: This story has been updated to correct Robert Golub's age on the date of the murder.

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