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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Monday, August 21, 2017

New information has been revealed through an email that has surfaced regarding the abduction of Brooklyn landlord Menachem Stark in 2014.

Mayor Bill de Blasio received an email from JSR Capital chief developer Jona Rechnitz, who recently skipped town bound for California and was the alleged recipient of several favors from the De Blasio administration, claiming that a Hasidic community patrol had known for two hours that Stark had been kidnapped before finally contacting law enforcement. 

On Friday, August 4, the email with the message title “Hassidic [sic] Jew burned” was released. In the message, the mayor was informed that the Shomrim patrol was aware of Stark’s abduction.

In the email dated January 4, 2014, Rechnitz wrote, “The shomrim knew 2 hours before they called then [sic] NYPD. Maybe police could have caught the killers early enough had they known.” 

A jury has convicted Kendel Felix of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree murder in the case; he was arrested in April 2014 and tried in September 2016. He faces 25 years to life in prison. 

Cousins Erskin and Kendel Felix accosted Stark on the street as he left his office, located at 331 Rutledge Street in Williamsburg, on January 2, 2014, at approximately 11:30 p.m. After he fought unsuccessfully to escape, Stark was forced into a waiting vehicle and driven away from the location. Kendall and Henry allegedly joined their relatives. At some point, apparently while being restrained, Stark died of asphyxia.

According to the investigation, Erskin Felix, who was in the construction trade with Kendel Felix and Irvine Henry, had done work for Stark. Erskin Felix allegedly planned to extort money from Stark and enlisted Kendel Felix to help kidnap him, forming a conspiracy which also involved both Kendall Felix and Irvine Henry.

Upon discovering that Stark was dead, the four relatives allegedly returned to Rutledge Street, intending to retrieve physical evidence and dispose of Stark’s body. Upon arrival, Erskin and Irvine Henry got out of the vehicle, only to find the crime scene already flooded with police. As alleged, Erskin then directed Kendel and Kendall to go elsewhere to dispose of the body. They drove to Nassau County, threw the body in a dumpster and set it on fire.

Approximately 17 hours later, a Nassau County police officer found Stark’s partially burned body in a garbage dumpster behind a gas station in Great Neck, Long Island. The Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Stark and determined that the cause of death was asphyxia by compression of the neck and chest.

By Hannah Hayes