Thursday, September 29, 1977

Body of Diamond Broker Found As Missing Gem Cutter Turns Up

The body of a 25-year-old diamond broker who vanished last week with up to $1 million in gems was found yesterday, his head smashed by blows from a wooden plank. The body was bound as stuffed inside a small box in the office of a diamond cutter on West 47th Street. There was no trace of the gems he had been carrying in a wallet. The police were led to the body of Pinchos Jaroslawicz by the diamond cutter, 31-year-old Shlomo Tal, himself the object of a police search since his wife reported him missing on Monday. The police found him sleeping in his wife’s car in Queens. The diamond cutter claimed that the murder was committed by two masked men who struck Mr. J on the head and by whom he himself was abducted and robbed several days later. Mr. J died of head injuries and asphyxiation after a plastic bag was put over his head.
Mr. Tal said he kept silent about his associates murder and had concealed the body in a box under a workbench out of fear that the murderers might harm his own family. “We are certainly not accepting his story or any story at face value.” Keenan Chief of Detectives

One of the points the police found puzzling is why the attackers left him unharmed after driving him around in his own car for three days.

The body was found stuffed into a wooden air conditioner box about 2 x 2 x 3. Mr. J was still alive, but unconscious when the bag was placed over his head.

Mr. Tal told police that his abductors had taken $180 from him, but had overlooked $30,000 in gems that he had hidden under the driver’s seat. He told numerous conflicting stories about the events that transpired.

excerpt from Leonard Buder NYT 9/29/77

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