Final moments of TV set designer captured by surveillance cams

Posted at 11:10 PM, Apr 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-18 12:20:20-04

NEW YORK (PIX11) – The NYPD made a new push to get two “persons of interest” identified, in the January 2013 murder of a TV set designer who worked for ABC’s daytime program, “The Chew.”

“He was good at what he did. He was humble,” said Ivan Giovanettina’s co-worker, Isaac Mercado.  “He was very creative. He wasn’t a show-off.”

In the surveillance footage released again from January 10, 2013, Ivan Giovanettina is seen strolling up Tompkins Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, with a cell phone in his hand, about 9:30 pm.  As he’s about to make a right turn on Halsey Street, where he was renting a brownstone apartment, detectives noticed on the footage the 41-year-old set designer from Italy had caught the eye of two other men.

“We see two males come across the street, who look to be following the victim,” said Detective Grady Langston of the 79th Police Squad.

All three men go out of frame, but then a few minutes later, another camera picks up a different view on Throop Avenue, a block away.

“We see two males running across the street on Throop Avenue, which is the next corner down,” said Detective Langston.  “We do see the victim chase the same two individuals.”


A $12,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the capture of Ivan Giovanettina’s killer.

What’s not seen is what happened next. Giovanettina was discovered with a single gunshot to his torso near the corner of Macon Street and Throop Avenue.  The slug came from a .380 caliber gun.

“We do have a witness who overheard the gunshot,” said Detective Albert Arredondo of Brooklyn North Homicide.

But police don’t have anyone yet who’s identified the two, persons of interest.

The quality of the video surveillance is very good, and the NYPD Crime Stoppers unit is asking PIX 11 viewers to take a very close look.  There’s a $12,000 reward being offered to anyone who can help win the conviction of Giovanettina’s killer.

“I broke down and cried,” said his colleague Mercado.  “I broke down and cried like a baby.”

Mercado recalled that Giovanettina used to call him at night with ideas for the next show.  The set designer’s mother was battling breast cancer in Italy, but she flew to New York after his death for a memorial service.

“He loved his mother, he loved his father; they live in Switzerland,” Mercado told PIX 11.  “He’d call them pretty much every day.”

Anyone with information can call the NYPD Crime Stoppers unit, at 1-800-577-TIPS.  All calls will be kept confidential.