MysteriYES

A comedy mystery podcast in which two friends discuss a weekly mystery.

Isidor Fink

  • Isidor Fink

    • 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.

  • Murder

    • 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.