Amanda Wienckowski / Dec. 05, 2008 / Buffalo, NY

Amanda Wienckowski
Amanda Wienckowski was a beautiful young woman who was attempting to better her life after succumbing to a heroin addiction and prostitution when her life was taken. She had just enrolled at a community college and had written a sweet note to her mom apologizing for things she did and said when she was addicted, promising to get her life on track.

On the night of December 5, 2008, she went into a seedy neighborhood on Buffalo, New York's East Side. Her mother reported her missing on December 7. Amanda's body was discovered on January 9, 2009. She was frozen solid, naked, beaten and stuffed upside down in a garbage can.

One of her alleged killers, Antoine Garner, is currently serving 18 years for raping and strangling another woman.

This case is unusual in that Solve Crimes, Amanda's family and even the Buffalo Police Department knows who murdered her. The problem is that the official medical examiner's report lists Amanda's death as an accidental overdose – despite large finger-shaped bruises on her neck and the way her dead body was hidden for five weeks and eventually dumped in a garbage tote.

Amanda's mother, Leslie Brill Meserole – who has diligently fought for justice for Amanda through the media and courts since 2009 – has joined with Solve Crimes to right this egregious wrong done to her daughter. Rather than starting with the typical "who did it," we first need to place public pressure to overturn the initial medical examiner's report and correctly designate Amanda's death as a homicide.

Until then, even Buffalo Police are unable to investigate Amanda's case further or make any arrests. Help us right this wrong for Amanda and her family once and for all. Follow this case here and on our podcast and YouTube channel. You can also join the discussion in the forum.

solve crimes victim facts

DATE OF CRIME(S):

CRIME(S) AGAINST:

LOCATION(S) OF CRIMES:

AGE:

OCCUPATION:

NAMED SUSPECT(S):

Friday, December 05, 2008

Rape, Murder

Buffalo, NY

20

Student/Police Informant

Antoine Garner, Adam Patterson

SOLVE CRIMES MEDIA FILES

Podcasts

YouTube Videos

Episode Images

Image
Episode 2 - An excerpt from Adam Patterson's statement to police on December 9, 2008... already talking about Amanda in the past tense. He first wrote, "she was bartending there" but then changed it to "she is a bartender there."

Case Documents

Have you read these reports? If you found anything we should be asking questions about, please tell us using our Cluetip page.

Solve Crimes Crimeline

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  • Amanda Enters East Buffalo Neighborhood

    Antoine Garner

    Driven by family friend Adam Patterson to see Antoine Garner.

  • Adam Patterson Interviewed

    Adam Patterson is interviewed by Buffalo Police Department.

  • Garbage Tote Reported Missing

    Garbage Tote

    Antoine Garner’s neighbor Maliaka Frida is asked by Buffalo Police officers if she had seen or heard anything unusual. She said her garbage tote was missing.

  • Antoine Garner’s Home Searched

    Antoine Garner’s Home Searched

    Buffalo PD searches for Amanda in Garner’s home.

  • Amanda’s Mother Arrives At Patterson’s Home

    Adam Patterson

    By request of Patterson, Leslie goes to his home to find only Amanda’s purse, makeup bag (with unopened needles inside) and cell phone charger on the table when she arrived. Patterson claims that Amanda never came home (she was living in Patterson’s home at the time). Patterson does not say that he was with her on 12/5.

  • Amanda’s Mother Files Missing Persons Report

    Buffalo, NY Police

    Leslie files a missing persons report for Amanda with Buffalo Police.

  • Missing Persons Report Filed w/ NY State Police

    New York State Police

    A missing persons report for Amanda is filed with New York State Police.

  • Search For Amanda Continues

    Buffalo PD searches hospitals and the morgue for Amanda.

  • Police Interview Rape Victim

    Buffalo PD questions an alleged rape victim of Antoine Garner.

  • Missing Person Flyers Distributed

    Missing Person Flyers Distributed

    Buffalo PD distributes Missing Person flyers with Amanda’s photo/info.

  • BOLO for Amanda, Garbage Tote Released

    BOLO for Amanda, Garbage Tote Released

    Buffalo PD issue a BOLO (Be On Look Out) for Amanda and a blue garbage tote with 159 Spring St. written on it.

  • Amanda’s Body Found

    Amanda’s Body Found

    Amanda’s body is discovered inside the missing garbage tote in an alcove of a church across the street from Antoine Garner’s home by Buffalo PD Officer Thomas Duffy, Jr. Her body is naked, frozen solid, and upside down in the garbage tote.

  • Amanda’s Body & Tote Taken to Medical Examiner

    Amanda’s body – still inside the garbage tote – is taken to the Erie County, NY Medical Examiner’s office for proper processing.

  • Garner Questioned, Arrested for Rape

    Antoine Garner Booked

    Buffalo PD again questions Antoine Garner, but do not have enough evidence to arrest him for Amanda’s murder. Instead, he is booked for the rape of the other alleged victim.

  • Autopsy Performed

    Autopsy Performed

    After thawing overnight, Amanda’s body is autopsied by Dr. Dianne R. Vertes.

  • Amanda’s Body Released

    Amigone Funeral Home

    Amanda’s remains are released to Amigone Funeral Home.

  • Cause of Death Announced

    Erie County Medical Examiner

    The Erie County Medical Examiner’s office releases report finding Amanda’s cause of death is an accidental overdose.

Solve Crimes News Clippings

Buffalo News

POLICE & COURTS

16 December 2008

Niagara Gazette

BUFFALO: Body of Lewiston woman found

9 January 2009


Buffalo News

Lewiston woman's body found in garbage Police question man in case involving drugs, prostitution

10 January 2009


Buffalo News

Autopsy results awaited in 2 deaths

11 January 2009


Buffalo News

Vigil reflects love for woman, 20

12 January 2009


Niagara Gazette

BUFFALO: Autopsy awaited in Wienckowski case

12 January 2009


Niagara Gazette

BUFFALO: Police waiting for autopsy results

12 January 2009


Buffalo News

A fast path to a short life How one young woman's fling with heroin came to a tragic, terrible end on Buffalo's East Side

18 January 2009


Buffalo News

Mother stands by son in Wienckowski's death

20 January 2009


Buffalo News

No physical signs in E. Side death Police await autopsy and toxicology results

22 January 2009


Buffalo News

Slain woman's mom joins East Side anti-violence effort

25 January 2009


Buffalo News

Woman in tote died of drug overdose With no signs of
violence, death has been ruled accidental

18 February 2009


Buffalo News

Mother upset over finding of drug overdose

19 February 2009


Buffalo News

More testing under way on body found in tote

24 March 2009


Buffalo News

A tragedy that can't go unresolved

8 June 2009


Buffalo News

Police files sought in woman's death Parents' lawyer asks Niagara County judge to intervene in Buffalo case

19 September 2009


Buffalo News

Parents are on a crusade for the truth

27 September 2009


Buffalo News

Lawsuit in woman's death shifted to state court

1 October 2009


Buffalo News

Funds sought for autopsy on woman from Lewiston Family members pursue outside examination

14 November 2009


Buffalo News

Suspect acquitted in case linked to Wienckowski Cleared of sex counts in separate incident

22 November 2009


Buffalo News

Second autopsy suggests strangling Lawyer releases
details from Wienckowski exams

2 May 2010


Buffalo News

Attorney and former detective question original Weinckowski autopsy

3 May 2010


Niagara Gazette

Family: New autopsy shows body found in tote was strangled

3 May 2010


Buffalo News

Officials rebuked on Wienckowski death; Aided by Delano, family says autopsy missed clues that would have indicated strangulation

4 May 2010


Buffalo News

Turn over all the evidence on Amanda

5 May 2010


Buffalo News

Seeking justice for Amanda; County should cooperate with family to end mystery of young woman's death

12 May 2010


Buffalo News

Deal sealed to complete 2nd autopsy on victim; City, county agree to supply body parts

26 May 2010


Buffalo News

Wienckowski evidence stirs morgue clash

3 June 2010


Buffalo News

Her family fights lies with love

4 June 2010


Buffalo News

County findings in death cases provoke unending debate 3 rulings on cause draw criticism in science that's ultimately inexact

9 June 2010


Buffalo News

Expert to get data on Wienckowski

10 June 2010


Buffalo News

POLICE & COURTS

10 June 2010


Buffalo News

Another take on Wienckowski's death; Police raise idea of asphyxiation

20 June 2010


Buffalo News

More questions than answers in Wienckowski case

21 June 2010


Buffalo News

DNA on Wienckowski backs murder scenario, mother says

22 June 2010


Buffalo News

Wienckowski evidence still being withheld; Attorney says requests refused

3 July 2010


Buffalo News

Medical examiner might face questioning about competency

28 July 2010


Buffalo News

Woytash testimony restricted

14 August 2010


Buffalo News

City argues to retain 'horrific' autopsy photos

20 August 2010


Buffalo News

Wienckowksi autopsy ordered released; Erie County medical examiner must send all material to pathologist hired by family

22 October 2010


Buffalo News

Woytash steps down earlier than expected ; Medical examiner's autopsies questioned

26 October 2010


Buffalo News

At vigil for Wienckowski, Pridgen vows to help family

6 December 2010


Buffalo News

By candlelight, vowing to solve a death ; 2 years later, vigil calls for truth on Wienckowski

10 January 2011


Art Voice

Who Killed Amanda Wienckowski?

3 February 2011


Buffalo News

New effort in dumped-body case

17 February 2011


Buffalo News

Volunteers seek information on death

21 February 2011


Buffalo News

Under a cloud in Wienckowski death, man accused of harassing her mother; Garner is arraigned in Tonawanda court

15 September 2011


Buffalo News

Figure in Wienckowski case gets arrested again, this time in assault

16 September 2011


Buffalo News

Garner in court stare-down with accuser; Proclaims innocence on way to arraignment

21 September 2011


Buffalo News

Alleged choking by Garner carries overtones

28 September 2011


Buffalo News

Strangulation finding expected

22 November 2011


Art Voice

Amanda Wienckowski Autopsy: Murder

23 November 2011


Buffalo News

Second autopsy on Wienckowski shows beating, strangulation

23 November 2011


Buffalo News

Sedita vows to consider evidence in 2nd autopsy DA could prosecute in Wienckowski case

24 November 2011


Buffalo News

Wienckowski ruling to stand, lawyer says County to reject foul-play finding of second autopsy in letter to family

6 January 2012


Buffalo News

Amid vigil for victim, a dispute deepens

10 January 2012


Buffalo News

Impartial review needed Amanda Wienckowski's troubling death calls for an independent inquiry

15 January 2012


Buffalo News

3rd expert says death should be reclassified DA calls for renewal of Wienckowski probe

8 February 2012


Buffalo News

Chasing the sordid story of Amanda Wienckowski's
death

8 February 2012


Buffalo News

Pathologist not budging on Wienckowski; County chief affirms drug overdose, as mother alleges breach of promise

9 February 2012


Buffalo News

Change in Wienckowski death certificate is pursued

14 February 2012


Buffalo News

Wienckowski case figure in more trouble; Garner is charged with raping a 16-year-old girl he impregnated three years ago

8 March 2012


Buffalo News

Wienckowski case prompts push for felony law on handling remains

16 March 2012


Buffalo News

Abuse of body should be felony Wienckowski case shows the need for law on treatment of human remains

21 March 2012


Buffalo News

Wienckowski case’s key figure tied to Clarence home invasion

4 October 2012


Buffalo News

Wienckowski case's key figure tied to home invasion

5 October 2012


Buffalo News

Dispute in cause of Wienckowski death reaches Council

28 January 2013


Buffalo News

2 more experts challenge county on cause of Wienckowski’s death

30 January 2013


Buffalo News

Assault trial puts focus on figure in Wienckowski case

31 January 2013


Buffalo News

New inquiry needed to find out how Wienckowski died

1 February 2013


Buffalo News

Victim testifies at Garner trial

2 February 2013


Buffalo News

Jury convicts Garner of strangulation

6 February 2013


Buffalo News

Breaking silence in Wienckowski’s death

10 February 2013


Buffalo News

Questions in Wienckowski death need answers

14 February 2013


Buffalo News

County attorney advice noted in Wienckowski dispute

22 February 2013


Buffalo News

Law would make improper disposal of body a felony

12 March 2013


Buffalo News

Antoine Garner pleads guilty to sex, robbery charges

4 April 2013


Buffalo News

Garner sentenced to 18 years amid specter of Wienckowski case

14 May 2013


Buffalo News

Saturday fundraiser planned to further Wienckowski case

7 June 2013


Buffalo News

Wienckowski family hopes to hire private investigator

8 June 2013


Buffalo News

Garner’s harassment charge is dismissed; Wienckowski’s mom blames DA

2 July 2013


Buffalo News

Rally for Amanda Wienckowski set for Sunday

25 October 2013


Buffalo News

Rally to call attention to unsolved homicide

26 October 2013


Buffalo News

Wienckowski’s family, friends rally for answers in her
death

27 October 2013


Buffalo News

$100 million suit claims county mishandled Wienckowski case

10 January 2014


Buffalo News

Auction to help push to reopen Wienckowski case

27 May 2014


Buffalo News

State Legislature poised to approve ‘Amanda’s Law’

11 June 2015


Buffalo News

Amanda Lynn's Law OK'd by Senate, Assembly

22 June 2015


Niagara Gazette

GUEST VIEW: Progress was made during recent state Legislature session

3 July 2015


Buffalo News

Amanda Wienckowski’s mother finds reassurance, but no answers, in crime scene photos

6 July 2015


Buffalo News

Wienckowski’s mother wins round in court for details about death of her daughter

13 July 2015


Buffalo News

3 lawyers helping Amanda Wienckowski’s mother get records on her death

25 August 2015


Buffalo News

Evidence is released to mother in effort to solve Amanda Wienckowski’s death

14 September 2015


Niagara Falls Reporter

Amanda's Frozen Body a Dilemma For Would be Homicide Investigators

29 September 2015


Niagara Falls Reporter

Antoine Garner Prime Suspect In Amanda Wienckowski Murder

29 September 2015


Niagara Falls Reporter

Judge Denies Family of Slain Woman Access to Official Records in Case

29 September 2015


Niagara Falls Reporter

Mother's Crusade in Search of Justice for Murdered Daughter

29 September 2015


Niagara Falls Reporter

Murder Victim's Role as Informant A Key Motive in her Brutal Slaying?

29 September 2015


Buffalo News

Judge refuses request by Wienckowski’s mother for jail logs of man she suspects in daughter’s death

29 October 2015


Buffalo News

Witness comes forward on 7th anniversary of Amanda Wienckowski’s mysterious death

23 January 2016


Buffalo News

DA declines to reopen case of woman found dead in garbage tote

15 April 2017


Buffalo News

Mother of woman found frozen in garbage tote sues county officials

23 April 2017