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!
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • 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.