A New York newspaper has been criticised by a Chasidic murder victim’s family for its “disgusting” headline which asked: “Who didn’t want him dead?”
The New York Post, covering the kidnap and murder of a Brooklyn landlord, described Menachem Stark as a “slumlord” and said he “had so many enemies that investigators say they almost don’t know where to start looking”.
The insensitive coverage drew the wrath of local politicians as well as the victim’s family and friends.
Senator Simcha Felder and City Councilman Stephen Levin called on the Post to apologise, as did Jewish papers with a mostly Orthodox readership.
However Stark’s brother-in-law Abraham Buxbaum said: “Apologies won’t help, the damage is done.” He called the headline “disgusting” and said it was “just adding salt to the wound”.
The paper defended its coverage and headline, saying: “The Post does not say Mr Stark deserved to die, but our reporting showed that he had many enemies, which may have led to the commission of this terrible crime.”
Stark’s body was found 3 January on Long Island, after he was kidnapped in the heavily Satmar section of Williamsburg the previous evening.
He was suffocated before his body was dumped and burned, with video footage reportedly showing him being taken outside to a van after a struggle with unknown abductors near his office.