Howard Frank, who was (almost certainly) murdered in the summer of 2012, allegedly tried to extort and blackmail haredi rabbis after they allegedly broke their promises to help him out of a financial crisis. One of those rabbis is the alleged kidnap and torture ringleader Rabbi Mendel Epstein.
Exclusive: Dead Beggar May Have Tried To Extort Rabbi Mendel Epstein
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Howard Frank, the eccentric Jewish man who begged at Brooklyn haredi synagogues, was found dead, floating in the Gowanus Canal in the summer of 2012.
Police initially mishandled the case but, as FailedMessiah.com exclusively reported, recently reopened it and are finally investigating it as a potential murder.
Frank, desperate for money to save his priceless T.V. shows photo collection that cost him thousands to store and preserve, was upset that several haredi rabbis who promised to help him financially had failed to do so.
One of the rabbis Frank allegedly dealt with was Epstein – who was arrested Wednesday night on extortion and kidnapping charges related to forcing recalcitrant husbands to grant their wives a get (Jewish divorce).
As FailedMessiah.com exclusively reported last year, Frank had allegedly collected damning information, including audio tapes and perhaps photos, on several haredi rabbis and tried to use that information to blackmail the rabbis after they broke their promises to help him.
Frank told at least a dozen people on the evening he died and during the day before his death that "they" were going to kill him and that he was a "dead man."
And then he was only a few hours later, found floating in the murky water in a secluded area far from anywhere he would have been able to get to easily by foot, without a mark or a bruise on his body.
Listen to what Rabbi Mendel Epstein told an undercover FBI agent about his use of electric cattle prods to torture recalcitrant husbands:
“Basically the reaction of the police is, if the guy does not have a mark on him then, uh, is there some Jewish crazy affair here, they don’t want to get involved.”
An eccentric victim who cannot swim and who is terrified of water. A cattle prod to the heart. A shove into the bay.
A – nearly – perfect crime?