Back in January, surveillance videos captured the nighttime kidnapping of landlord Menachem Stark as he left his office in Williamsburg: Two men could be seen binding him with duct tape, forcing him into a van, and driving away. A day later, Stark’s partially burned body was found in a Dumpster outside a Long Island gas station. It soon became clear that Stark, a father of seven and a prominent member of Brooklyn’s Hasidic community, left behind a lot of angry people: He and his real-estate company were in major debt, and his buildings had a history of tenant complaints. (His problems inspired the widely criticized New York Post headline, “Who didn’t want him dead?”) While many suspected that Stark’s murder had something to do with his shady business practices, there seemed to be almost no developments in the case for four months. Now the NYPD says that three suspects are being questioned in connection with the death.
CBS 2 reports that one of the suspects may be “a contractor who Stark owed a large sum of money to.” And, according to the New York Post, “Cops believe the kidnapping was originally intended to be a robbery and not a murder.” For now, the police aren’t saying much about the people in custody, though NYPD chief Bill Bratton told reporters that he hoped to charge them with something by the end of the day.
“The pace of the investigation has accelerated over the last 24 hours and hopefully will continue to accelerate over the next 24 hours to its conclusion,” he said. “The District Attorney and I would hope to be in a position in the very near term to be to give you more specifics as to the status of the case but at the moment I’m going to have to leave it that it’s accelerating and it’s moving in a very quick direction.”