Was Menachem Stark Killed Over 'Small' $20K Debt to Contractor?

Cops Eye Creditor in Kidnap of Hasidic Developer


By Forward Staff

Published January 17, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Police believe Menachem Stark was kidnapped and killed over a relatively small $20,000 debt to a contractor — and investigators are closing in on the Brooklyn developer’s suspected murderers.

The contractor has been tied to both the Dodge Caravan that was used in the kidnapping of Stark, and to a cell phone that was subsequently found attached underneath Stark’s own car, police sources told the Daily News

Click to see the rest of the section, Click for more stories about Menachem Stark

Stark, a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidic community, had a tangled business history and owed six-figure debts to several creditors and former associates.

He spent most of his last days pleading with friends and business partners for a large loan — and ironically may have secured the cash that could have saved his life in the days before his abduction on January 2, the New York Post reported.

But investigators started focusing on a much smaller unpaid debt after recovering the light-colored van used in the kidnapping — and tying the vehicle to a particular contractor, whom they have not identified.

Stark was snatched outside his real estate office in Williamsburg on Thursday, Jan. 2 around 11:30 p.m. His body was found in a dumpster in Great Neck, Long Island, the next day.

Police sources say he died of “compression asphyxiation” possibly from being choked or sat on during a struggle.

Investigators believe the abduction may have been concocted to scare Stark into forking over the money he owed and was not originally planned as a murder.


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!
  • 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?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • 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.