The Kings County (Brooklyn) New York Medical Examiner and the NYPD have refused to exhume the body of Howard Frank – a moderately mentally ill homeless beggar with a million-dollar-plus photo collection – and do an autopsy, telling Frank's brother that because there were no signs of physical violence on the body, NY law forbids them from doing it – even though more than a dozen people who knew Frank were told by him during the last 24 hours of his life that he was going to be murdered.
Medical Examiner, Police Stonewall Autopsy In Death Of Million Dollar Beggar
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Kings County (Brooklyn) New York Medical Examiner and the NYPD have refused to exhume the body of Howard Frank, a moderately mentally ill homeless beggar with a million-dollar-plus photo collection and do an autopsy.
Detective Colazo, a NYPD homicide detective attached to the Medical Examiner's office, reportedly told Frank's brother yesterday afternoon that because there were no signs of physical violence on the body, NY law forbids them from exhuming it – even though more than a dozen people who knew Frank were told by him during the last 24 hours of his life that he was a "dead man" and was going to be murdered over an $80,000 debt.
More than a dozen people who knew Frank were told by him during the last 24 hours of his life that he was going to be murdered. They also report that he was frantic, terrified and acting very strangely. He was not suicidal, they strees – he was aftaid of being murdered.
Police made no attempt to interview most of these people.
An autopsy was not done when the body was originally found on June 28, 2012 because, Det. Colazo reportedly told Frank's brother, there were no external signs of foul play. Frank looked Jewish (he was wearing tzitzit when found floating in the Gowanus Canal in Red Hook, Brooklyn), and the M.E.'s office contacted Misaskim, the haredi organization that deals with funerals for indigent Jews, shiva minyans, and blocking autopsies. (Haredim consider an autopsies to be a desecration of the body that is forbidden by Jewish law, and only permit autopsies in very narrow – and very rare – circumstances.)
Instead, the body was released to Misaskim before Frank's brother or other members of the family were contacted.
In fact, police relied on Misaskim to locate Frank's family instead of doing the job themselves.
Frank's brother only learned his brother was dead because he began calling friends and rabbis Friday afternoon looking for Howard, telling people that Howard was missing.
Frank's brother had worked for Rabbi Mendel Belsky and both brothers knew Belsky well. Frank's brother called Belsky looking for Howard at approximately 5:00 pm Friday June 29th, reaching Belsky on his cellphone. Belsky allegedly told Reuven Frank that, "Your brother isn't missing. We know where he is – he's in the morgue. Misaskim is looking for you."
Belsky reportedly had Reuven Frank's contact information. But like the NYPD and like Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein, who also allegedly knew how to contact Reuven Frank, and other rabbis involved, no one called Reuven Frank or any other member of the Frank family to notify them of Howard Frank's death. It was reportedly only because Reuven Frank was looking for his brother that he found out about the death.
The $80,000 Howard Frank said he owed was used to pay for the storage fees for Frank's more than 1 million entertainment industry photos – a collection that includes photographs from every television show broadcast from 1948 through 1990 – and to being digitizing all of them.
The collection is thought to be worth in excess of $1 million.
It is unclear who inherits these photos.
A man who met Howard Frank in a flea market and who took Frank into his home when Frank became homeless approximately six years ago, Frank Pohole assumed control over much of Howard Frank's photo leasing business after Frank moved into Pohole's house – which had no running water or electricity.
Pohole is an extreme right wing figure with alleged ties to militia groups.
Frank's business allegedly paid Pohole's back taxes.
Pohole allegedly arranged the $80,000 loan from a friend, mostly paid out in covering the monthly storage fees for Frank's photo collection.
After years of being unable to repay, the loan was recently called in. Frank was allegedly forced to sign over the rights to some or all of his photo collection to the lender and Pohole, to be paid to them only of Frank died.
He was found dead in the Gowanus Canal only days later.
The M.E., police and the Shomer Hadas funeral home all allegedly refused to give a copy of Howard Frank's death certificate to Frank's brother. A cousin, named executor of Howard Frank's estate, was reportedly told that he would receive a copy in the mail. That was several days ago. Allegedly, no copy has arrived.
Yesterday, after telling him what clearly appear to be untruths about the M.E.'s ability to exhume the body to do an autopsy, Detective Colazo told Frank's brother the cause of death currently written on Howard Frank's death certificate.
What is that cause of death?