Moved to New York City from Galecia, Poland shortly after World War I.
He saved up his money and eventually opened a laundromat on East 132nd street.
He had a large ground floor apartment where he both lived and ran his business.
East 132nd Street wasn't a great part of town and robberies happened often.
Isidor was a cautious man who had multiple bolt locks on all bolts and windows.
He also allegedly never opened his door for anyone he didn't know.
March 9, 1929
Around 10 pm, Isidor returned to his apartment after making fresh laundry deliveries to several customers.
Shortly thereafter, his next door neighbor, Mrs. Locklan Smith, heard loud gunshots followed by a thud coming from Isidor’s apartment. Another article said just screams and no shots. Who knows.
She ran to her nearest Harlem police station to report what she had heard.
A patrolman named Albert Kattenborn was the first in the scene.
He found the door was locked from the inside so he tried to get in via a small window above the door, but it had been nailed shut from the inside.
He smashed the window, but found that it was too small for him to get in.
So he grabbed a small child from the crowd that had formed and shoved him through the window to unbolt the door.
Inside the apartment, Isidor was found dead on the floor, with two holes in his chest and one in his left wrist.
Because the door was locked from the inside and the windows were unbroken and nailed shut, suicide was initially believed to be the cause of death.
However, no gun was found in the apartment or even the surrounding area, so that basically ruled out suicide.
A search for fingerprints turned up only Isidor’s prints and since the door was locked from the inside and the windows were unbroken and nailed shut, murder was also considered unlikely.
Nothing had been stolen from the apartment, even the money from the cash register or Visitor’s pockets, which ruled out robbery as a motive. (Robberies were a common crime in that area.)
Police searched for hidden doors a murderer could have gotten in through or a secret contraption Isidor could have used to make his suicide look like murder, but nothing was found.
It was thought that perhaps he'd been shot through a window, but since they were all nailed shut and unbroken this seemed highly unlikely.
Also somehow they were able to tell by the wound in his wrist that he was shot at closer range than the window would have provided.
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