(Herald Sun) Linda Stein, real estate agent to the stars and a pioneer in New York's punk music scene, has been found beaten to death in her Manhattan apartment.
Her body was discovered by her daughter Mandy, lying in a pool of blood on her living room floor.
Yesterday the city medical examiner's office ruled the grisly death a homicide.
"She died of blunt impact injuries to the head and neck," the official report said.
Ms Stein was one of the city's top power brokers, known for a star-studded client list that included names such as Steven Spielberg, Michael Douglas, Angelina Jolie, hip-hop mogul Damon Dash and designer Calvin Klein.
She rose to prominence in the 1970s as the manager of legendary punk rock band the Ramones.
She broke into the real estate business with the sale of a home to Madonna. She met the pop star through her ex-husband, Seymour Stein, the record producer who discovered the material girl.
Her tough sales style reportedly made her the model for the fictional real estate broker in the movie Wall Street.
"She was an icon in the business, and lived for the business," said Dottie Herman, the CEO Prudential Douglas Elliman realty, where Ms Stein worked.
"She was quirky, but brilliant and driven. They don't make them like Linda theses days."
Police were probing the horrifying attack yesterday, and could reveal no suspects.
Sources said Mandy Stein was visiting from her home in Los Angeles when she entered the apartment with a friend and found her mother face down on the living room floor, fully dressed. No murder weapon has been recovered and there were no signs of forced entry.
After Mandy Stein called 911, paramedics arrived and pronounced her mother dead at the scene.
Her death has left her friends and business associates stunned.
"Who would want to kill Linda Stein?" asked a shocked Howard Lorber, chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman.
Ms Stein had been battling cancer on and off for 12 years, but she had become very active again recently in the real estate game.
She was known by her pals as a tough-as-nails "Yiddishe mama". In a 1991 New York magazine profile, Ms Stein was described as "diminutive, brassy and caustic (with) a face as expressive as her truck driver's mouth".
"She wants desperately to be in the thick of things," one pal told the magazine.
Another said: "Her nerve is beyond anything. You can't help but admire her."
In addition to daughter Mandy, Ms Stein is survived by daughter Samantha Stein-Wells, her father, Ira Adler, her sister, Arlene Adler, nephews Mark and David, and three-year-old granddaughter Dora Wells.