On March 9, 1929, Polish immigrant Isidor Fink finished delivering some laundry and returned to his small New York apartment. Only 15 minutes after Fink entered the apartment, terrible screams (but no gunshots) were heard coming from inside. The neighbors summoned a police officer, who arrived to find both doors locked from the inside and the windows nailed shut, also from the inside. The windows were also too narrow for an adult to climb through, forcing the police to gain entry by means of a small child, who unlocked the door after the cops lifted him through the transom.
Fink was discovered lifeless on the floor with three gunshot wounds to his chest and wrist. A search of the apartment failed to turn up a weapon. The only fingerprints belonged to the victim. Fink’s money had not been stolen and it would have been impossible for an intruder to lock the doors from the inside after leaving the apartment. But suicide also seemed impossible, since there was no obvious way for Fink to dispose of the weapon. It’s also unclear why a suicidal Fink would have shot himself in the wrist and chest. Increasingly puzzled, the cops went over the apartment in search of a hidden door or secret entrance. They found none.
As a classic case of a seemingly impossible crime, Fink’s murder has attracted considerable attention over the years. Crime buffs have suggested that a killer might have been able to bolt the door from the inside using a piece of string, but it’s not clear why anyone would develop such an elaborate plot to kill an ordinary laundry owner. Additionally, the neighbors called a police officer immediately after hearing screams, leaving a very narrow time frame for a killer to escape.
After all these years, the crime remains unsolved.
Maybe one of you mystery buffs out there could come up with a solution. Couldn't hurt to try, right?
Coffee out on the patio this morning!