Steinberg, Lisa

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Steinberg, Lisa Gender: F
Elizabeth Launders
born on 14 May 1981 at 08:14 (= 08:14 AM )
Place New York, New York, 40n43, 74w0
Timezone EDT h4w (is daylight saving time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 23°36' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 04°26 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 03°14'

Lisa Steinberg
photo: Anthony22 (talk). Original uploader was Anthony22 at, license gfdl


American adopted child and homicide victim beaten to death by her adopted father when she was six years old. The death of Lisa Steinberg sparked a controversial trial and media frenzy. The legal case was one of the first to be televised "gavel to gavel."

She was the daughter of Michele Launders (born 23 October 1961, New York City) and was given up for adoption by her to attorney Joel Steinberg (born 25 May 1941, New York City) and Heddy Nussbaum (born 8 August 1942, New York City) his common-law wife of 17 years. Lisa Steinberg was then abused through her childhood, a bright, articulate first grader she cried when she had to go home.

Joel Steinberg was under the influence of crack cocaine when he hit Lisa on the head around 7 PM on 1 November 1987 rendering Lisa unconscious. After the attack, he left the apartment to party with friends; Nussbaum at first did nothing. At roughly 6 AM the next morning, Lisa stopped breathing. Shortly thereafter, Steinberg telephoned 9-1-1 at Nussbaum's urging. After police arrived at the scene, Lisa was transported from the apartment to Saint Vincent's Hospital. The child remained in the hospital for three days and died after being removed from life support on 4 November.

Another child was adopted in 1986, Travis Smigiel (whom they named Mitchell) and neither adoption was legally followed through on. Both adults were charged with murder, Hedda was freed and Joel was convicted of manslaughter on 30 January 1989.

In New York State at that time, first-degree murder applied only to those who killed police officers or had committed murder while already serving a sentence for a previous murder. The jury was unable to convict Steinberg on the more serious charge of second-degree murder, but it did convict him of the lesser charge of first-degree manslaughter. Judge Harold Rothwax then sentenced him to the maximum penalty then available for that charge — 8​⅓ to 25 years in state prison.

On 30 June 2004, he was paroled under the state's "good time" law, which mandates release of inmates who exhibit good behavior while incarcerated after having served two-thirds or more of the maximum possible sentence. After his release, Steinberg moved to Harlem, where he took up work in the construction industry.

On 16 January 2007, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division (New York's intermediate appellate court) upheld a $15 million award against Steinberg to Michele Launders, Lisa's birth mother.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Crime : Assault/ Battery Victimization 1 November 1987 (Adopted father hit her on head)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Homicide 4 November 1987 (Injuries from assault, age six)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Family 30 January 1989 (Father convicted of manslaughter)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Arlene Nimark quotes Beekman Hospital Records for 8:14 AM given in New York Post 11/11/1987.

Sy Scholfield quotes 8:12 AM from mother's biography, I Wish You Didn't Know My Name: The Story of Michele Launders and Her Daughter Lisa by Michele Launders (New York: Warner, 1990), page 97: "At eight-twelve in the morning on May 14, 1981, Lisa was born..."


  • Family : Childhood : Abuse - Physical/ Verbal (Abused by foster dad)
  • Family : Childhood : Adopted
  • Passions : Criminal Victim : Homicide victim (Beaten to death)
  • Personal : Death : Short Life less than 29 Yrs (Beaten to death, age six)
  • Notable : Famous : Criminal cases
  • Notable : Famous : Newsmaker
  • Notable : Book Collection : Crime Collection