Hasidic Slumlord and ‘Scammer’ Found Dead in Dumpster; Police Probe Slows to a Crawl Because It’s the Sabbath January 4, 2014

Hasidic Slumlord and ‘Scammer’ Found Dead in Dumpster; Police Probe Slows to a Crawl Because It’s the Sabbath

Menachem Stark went missing two nights ago, after he left his office in Williamsburg, NY,

… from which he ran his seedy empire — which once included the notorious Greenpoint Hotel on Manhattan Avenue, a flophouse so decrepit and drug-filled, the feds seized it in 2005. … Stark’s irate tenants complained of squalid living conditions, and opponents of his development projects indicate he had several enemies. …

“[W]e think he’s a scammer,” said one law enforcement source.  “And he f–ed over a few people.”

It seems likely that one of his enemies settled the score — in an unbelievably brutal manner. Yesterday afternoon, Stark’s body was found smoldering in a dumpster.

The father of eight died of suffocation, sources said. His body suffered severe burns to one hand and below the waist; it is not clear if he was set on fire before or after his death.

It’s a shocking crime that NYPD homicide detectives wanted to investigate while the evidence was still fresh. Unfortunately, the police probe slowed down dramatically last night and today. That’s because most of Stark’s relatives, acquaintances, and associates are observant Jews who refrain from using electricity on the Sabbath — which means that for about 24 hours, they refused to answer phones and doorbells.

In other words, the same religion that Menachem Stark claimed to live by may help his killer(s) escape justice.

It is the most ironic Sabbath story since the one from last September, about the New York heroin ring whose members devoutly shut down their drug-dealing business for the duration of the weekly Jewish observance.

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  • Bdole

    But, did they find the hat?

  • That’s his comb over.

  • Tony Miller

    What if the cops just knock on the door?

  • Vukota Pecota

    The victim’s family also didn’t call the NYPD until hours later, instead opting for the far superior Orthodox Jewish patrol.

    “When he didn’t return home Thursday night, Stark’s worried wife reached out to friends, who then notified Shomrim, the neighborhood Orthodox Jewish patrol. The NYPD was alerted hours later — around 2:30 a.m. Friday, police said.”


  • lloydsev

    I thought the exact same thing … you ring, no answer, you knock on the door, no answer, then leave.

  • This looks more like using the religion as an excuse not to cooperate. Among many of the more ultra-Orthodox Jewish sects there are strong taboos against cooperating with secular authorities. Those who do are labeled “mosers” which more or less translated into “informant”. There’s no halachic problem with answering a door once the doorbell has rung on Shabbat so this looks like a pretty transparent excuse.

  • Randy Meyer

    Reading this, growing up in a Jewish home and maybe watching too many cop shows, I can’t help but think that the killers had to know that they might get off scott free by doing this so close to the Sabbath.

  • Lilly Munster

    I’ll bet the silly horsehair hat will smolder for days.

  • Lilly Munster

    Dig the hat. He couldn’t decide between the Duck Dynasty look, or just the Shirley Temple perm rod curls. So he did both.

  • i’m a little confused. my family was in the real estate business for many years (grandparents) and i can only think of a few situations where the feds, as opposed to the state authorities, would be involved in shutting down a flophouse. maybe real estate law is different in NY.

  • Interesting that the family and friends were slow to respond as I had learned delayed justice was a crime, not only in Jewish law but in American law.

  • Dick Fitzwell

    it says doorbells in the article

  • bismarket 1

    I really shouldn’t laugh but……….

  • the moother

    The fancier the hat, the less trustworthy the mofo. Also, he has shyster written all over his pretty face.

  • westcoast77

    He went missing just a couple of days ago. Maybe we can wait a little bit longer for the wheel of justice to grind through here. God only knows.

  • midnight rambler

    Indeed; given the kind of outfit he ran, it wouldn’t be surprising if his family or associates know who it is and prefer to take care of the business themselves.

  • jrg1981

    So the family didn’t answer the door or call the police when he went missing. Something smells fishy and I’m pretty sure it isn’t shellfish.

  • L.Long

    AHole crook got wasted-Ya so? The sad part is that the system failed AGAIN as the suspected crook did not go to court-make the whole affair very public and show how these holey-er than thou’s are MORE immoral and crooked then atheists. Then the state could have helped the people he was messing with. Although according to the Re-PUKE-ians ‘these poor low lifes don’t need not stinking help!’

  • GubbaBumpkin

    And people accuse the Pastafarian of having a silly hat.

  • WallofSleep

    “The fancier the hat, the less trustworthy the mofo.”

    I know someone who would like to have a word or two with you…


  • Pitabred

    That, or he was doing things over state borders. Chicago is entirely in Illinois, whereas NY is right next to Jersey, etc. and lots of interstate commerce goes on.

  • Cris Waller

    Unfortunately, they aren’t horsehair. They are usually made from sable or marten fur- often, just from the tails of the animals- which means that they are extremely cruel pieces of headware.

  • Justice is such a joke in New York that it’s just as well he didn’t get to burn public resources (including our time) through the whole process. That may sound rather libertarian of me, but there are some people who are capable of changing one’s views at least temporarily, and that bastard is one of them – there are few criminal personalities which are lower, more cowardly, and obnoxious than the slumlord! I know it would be more gratifying for the victims to make him face justice and have the satisfaction of throwing his ass in jail, but first he would get everything a vain crook would want – his pretty mug plastered all over every news site and TV station, allowed to showcase his Michael Jackson wardrobe through courthouses, and then he would get to waste our time with endless appeals and parole hearings. He got to do none of that, and he died as he deserved to – alone, and in the face of retribution – now in that case, justice is served!

  • Terry Firma

    How do you know they didn’t call the police? He was abducted on Thursday after sunset, almost a day before the Sabbath started.

  • Jennifer Lakewood

    What is that hat made of? Is it human hair?

  • [insert Game of Thrones joke about gruesome Stark deaths]

  • Mommiest

    I think it was the “drug-filled” aspect; the Feds probably don’t care that it was run down.

  • There’s a lot of shadiness in NYC real estate that probably doesn’t go on in most cities that don’t have the housing shortage they have there. I lived there for 15 years at it was kind of amazing what went on (both landlords and tenants) that I don’t think would be legal or tolerated almost anywhere else. (Maybe Boston or San Francisco which have similar housing shortages.)

  • Cris Waller

    Dead weasels, see above…

  • It’s funny you should say that.

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