Thursday, October 28, 2004

The dark, ignored side of our community

This is horrible. A kind, poor old rabbi, 75, who used to help people who were less independent than him, took in a tenant to help pay the rent after his wife died earlier this year. For the past few months, he had been complaining that the tenant, one Howard Goldstein, had stopped paying rent, smoked too much and was a bit 'mad,' but couldn't find a way to get rid of him. Two days ago, the police found the rabbi's body decomposing in his apt. Goldstein had apparently bludgeoned him to death with a baseball bat five days earlier, after the rabbi, Rahamim Sultan, had demanded he pay up his share of the rent.
Beyond the tragedy, the story has a rather bizarre angle. When they came to arrest him, Goldstein, who usually wears a black suit and black hat, was
dressed in a gray blouse with a plunging neckline, dark slacks and pink high-heeled shoes, a police source said. His face was made up with bright red lipstick and blue eye shadow that clashed with his long beard, the source said.
"It's the craziest thing I've ever seen: a cross-dressing Hasidic killer," said the source. "He had a full face of makeup on - with a beard."
Adds the NY Post: "Inside Goldstein's locked bedroom, cops found walls plastered with pornographic pictures and portraits of Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, the Lubavitch sect leader."
Sultan, incidentally, didn't have enough money for a funeral. The center where he used to eat paid for it.

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