Decades of Crimes of Passion, Protests, Bank Robberies, and Other Mayhem in Sunnyside, Queens

Monday, April 6, 2009

January 8, 1961 - Murder on Queens Boulevard!

From the January 8, 1961 New York Times - Hyman Medwedowsky, 39 years old, was shot to death on Queens Boulevard at 43rd Street, just a block from his home (he lived at 48-05 42nd Street). Mr. Medwedowsky owned the Abel Construction Company of 29th Street in Long Island City. His assailant, Gordon Rogers of Manhattan (51 years old and a possible "associate" of Mr. Medwedowsky) was last seen fleeing in a 1961 Oldsmobile convertible. Revolver and vehicle were quickly located, "one shell discharged".

From a 1961 issue of The Utica Observer (NY) - Mr. Medwedowsky was no saint, according to the newspaper: he was accused of operating a chimney repair racket just a year before his murder! According to the police, he was also known as Nick Morey (an alias, the plot thickens!). He would make his way through the neighborhood, telling residents that their chimneys were in danger of collapse and had to be repaired (he would then charge them exorbitant fees to fix the teetering towers). Lack of evidence saved his hide from a grand-larceny conviction, the Observer reported, but perhaps jail would have kept him alive longer - the twisted hands of fate - escape jail but falling into the arms of death. Nice fella.

More details on the assailant also came to light: he was flashily dressed and appeared to assist Mr. Medwedowsky down the stairs of an apartment house, only to appear alone moments later. A resident of said apartment house later heard moaning coming from the stairwell - John Carley then leaped from the window to help the stricken huckster (who he thought was suffering from a heart attack not a gunshot wound to the chest). Carley recalled Medwedowsky begging, "I need air, I can't breathe!" right before he fell unconscious.

A mysterious woman was later taken into custody at Mr. Medwedowsky's home. Who was this woman? If I can dig anything up, I will let you know - otherwise, she might have disappeared into history.

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