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Dengrove Collection Writeup

Transssexual Murder Trial -- Ferrara & Arnold

Robyn Arnold was raised rich in Mount Vernon, driving a daddy-bought Cadillac and receiving an $80,000 inheritance. Robert Ferrara grew up poor in Rockland County and became a bartender.

The only thing the two of them had in common was John Delia. John discovered early that he had a love of musical performance and cross-dressing. In 1978, at age 21, he came out as a homosexual and began an affair with Robert Ferrara, among many others.

John began to pursue the possibility of a sex change, but, in December 1979, he met Robyn Arnold, who was a nurse in the plastic surgeon’s office where he’d gone for a consultation. The two began dating. John abandoned his plans to become a woman and instead took up weightlifting. In spring of 1980, the pair announced their engagement. John changed his mind, not just about the marriage, but again about his sexual identity. Robyn not only agreed he should go through with the operation – she paid for it.

John Delia became Diane Delia in November 1980. He chose the name because he’d been impersonating Diana Ross in gay discos for years. The following summer, Diane Delia married her former flame Robert Ferrara, but she continued a number of extramarital entanglements, including with Robyn Arnold.

Allegedly, on the night of October 7, 1981, Robyn Arnold and Robert Ferrara drove John/Diane Delia to a wooded area and each shot Delia twice in the head.

The jury convicted Ferrara and acquitted Arnold. He got twenty to life; she married a dentist.