A 47-year-old former publishing executive who was arrested three weeks ago by the police in East Hampton LI as a suspect in 37 motel burglaries, was found dead yesterday, apparently of a drug overdose, in his East Side Manhattan apartment, the police reported.
The police identified the dead man as John Rodney, a former executive at Conde Nast (most recently advertising director with American Home magazine.
A note with a formal apology to his victims and family was found alongside his body in his apartment at 166 East 63rd Street. In the robberies $550,000 in jewels and other valuables were taken.
Shortly after 1 AM on August 20, detectives who had staked out a motel where there had been a rash of robberies said they saw Mr. Rodney trying to enter several motel rooms. He subsequently entered a room rented by the police as a trap.
But the most recent so-called “cat burglary” occurred in Southhampton the weekend Mr. Rodney was being detained by the police.
Excerpt from John McQuiston Sept 8, 1977 New York Times