Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder in the Intensive Care Unit

Foiled

Joseph Ferdenzi, Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) Appeals Director at the Bronx District Attorney's Office, reported at this writing in 2007 that no files related to the Einstein Medical Center homicide investigation by the DA's office were found after a thorough search by his staff, himself personally and also by the office's Chief of Investigations. Ferdenzi also claimed to have reached out to former staff from 1977 and some long time employees of the office for help in locating the files, seeing that his office takes the FOIL requests "very seriously." Ferdenzi said that he and his staff "made a good faith effort" to comply with the FOIL request. The FOIL Appeals Director said it was very possible the files had been destroyed over the ensuing years.

FOIL requests made to the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner returned negative results as well. Ellen Borakove, Public Affairs Director & Records Access Officer, wrote that unless they could be provided with names and the dates of death of the victims there was little they could do in locating the files among the millions they maintain.

Identifying the records in question may prove difficult, but the names and records of the victims should be among the millions they have. Then-Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Baden testified before a New York state commission empowered to investigate the five deaths at the Bronx Psychiatric Center in 1977 that all hospitals referring cases, "must forward to us clinical information on a form provided to the hospital by our office which is the report to the Medical Examiner of the medical and circumstantial conditions surrounding the death of somebody who dies in a medical institution."

One Police Plaza has had the FOIL requests in front of them for six months with no response, negative or positive forthcoming despite the fact they have the date of the start of the investigation and even the NYPD-assigned case number.

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