Kidnapped Hasidic Millionaire's Charred Body Found in Long Island Dumpster

Menachem Stark Owed 'A Lot of People Money'

vos iz neias

By Forward Staff

Published January 04, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

A charred body has been found in a Long Island dumpster and police say the corpse is that of kidnapped Hasidic millionaire Menachem Stark.

The body was found Friday afternoon and police say it has been identified as Stark, the prominent Satmar real estate developer who was kidnapped at the height of a blizzard Thursday night.

The victim was found in a dumpster at a Getty gas station in Great Neck, L.I. just before 4 p.m. Friday, Nassau County cops told reporters.

“There was a smell — it was horrible,” gas station owner Fernando Cerff told the Daily News. “I got a really bad feeling about it. I knew something was wrong by the smell. It was just too strong. So I called the cops.”

A funeral for Stark was expected Saturday night at Lodiner Bais Medrash on Marcy Avenue in Willamsburg.

Law enforcement sources told the New York Post and Newsday that tests showed the body was that of Stark, 39, a father of eight with a string of foreclosures and other bad real estate deals to his name.

“He owed a lot of people money,” one source told the Post.

Newsday reported the body was badly burned. The Post said Stark died of suffocation and it is not clear if he was set on fire before or after his death.

The frantic search for Stark will now become a tangled murder probe.

Video surveillance cameras show Stark, who reportedly had $4,000 on him, being attacked as he left his real estate office on Rutledge Street, just a stone’s throw from a police precincthouse at 11:30 p.m. Thursday as winter storm Hercules pounded the city.

At least two men subdued him, bound him with duct tape and tossed him in a light-colored van.

The search got off to a halting start when his wife first called the Shomrim Jewish security to report him missing. It took the group some time to call police, possibly giving whoever snatched Stark time to get away and cover their tracks.

Stark’s family quickly pleaded with the community for help — and promised a $100,000 reward for information. As Shabbat arrived, they also asked Jews to pray for Stark, who reportedly maintained close ties to rabbis on both sides of the bitter split within the Satmar community.

Although his family described him as a well-liked developer, Stark has a string of bad real estate deals in his past and is panned by tenants as a shady slumlord.

Even his brother conceded that he may have had enemies among former or current business partners or others.

Detectives will now pick through the details of those deals to see if any spawned enough bad blood to make someone want to kill Stark.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.