The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on December 12, 1976 · Page 63
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 63

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 12, 1976
Page 63
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C12-Palm Beach Post-Times, Sunday, December 12, 1976 If Drug Overdose Didn't Kill Her, What Did? "long history of drug overdose,.'";. These two apparently false assertions on the medical examiner's re-"l port led to the closing of the case. .. ",, On the contrary, one reliable source in that office said, "Every-' Turn to WHAT DID?, C13 n" before she died, Dorothy took a doctor's physical that included blood and urine tests. She was found in perfect health. Police are unable to find any record of the arrest listed by the medical examiner on Dorothy's file. Nor are they able to document a -1 i RALPH EDWARDS II .. . r r Furniture WICKER v ,0 LAMPS 850 NO. DIXIE LANTANA PHONE 585-7600 if ; I . 0 ' y '11 X ' i 'itp H Sm 1 1 hi ' 1 1 mm iiiniiiiim mm Hit tl- S- W w- tii fe0()O?lQy j f if J11 I A W UPI Telephoto Ideal Christmas Gift! RESTORATION and COPYING OF PHOTOGRAPHS All Work Done On Premises RESIDENTIAL STUDIO 683-9661 4370-1 2th St. Ext. 1 milt N. of OhiKhobM off Military Troll 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. - Eves, by Appointment Dorothy Bonnie Feingold, 24 at Death . . . UPI investigation reopens case Ballet acts foundation, inc. "Billy can be very, very charming," said a young woman who knows him well. "He and Dorothy hit it right off." Billy had just broken up with a girlfriend and was living alone in his five-room penthouse. In the fall of 1975, he invited Dorothy to move in with him. His condition was that she pay a portion of the rent; hers was that she have a bed of her own. In December, Dorothy moved into the penthouse. Mrs. Feingold said she didn't like the arrangement. But when Dorothy took Billy to Long Island to meet her parents, they found him "pleasant and refined." Moving uptown opened the doors of a world Dorothy had never known. It was a world of show business millionaires and new-breed poets, the climbers and those on their way down. "It was like a party without an end," says Peter Sperling, who introduced Dorothy to Billy. Newly found friends included the daughter of a North Carolina politician and the "drop dead chic" couple who managed several rock stars. A friend described them as "the kind who would have Linda Ronstadt over for cocktails." But beautiful people were the exceptions. It was a circle dominated by young, disenchanted suburbanites, a retinue of drug dealers, penny ante hustlers, porn movie queens and middle-aged men on the make. Billy Bukowski's early background was not unlike Dorothy's. But police records show that in later years he was arrested twice, once on a marijuana charge and later in connection with the production of pornography. At the time of Dorothy's death, Bukowski was on court-imposed probation. Some of Dorothy's friends report they saw a bottle of lactose in the penthouse apartment. Lactose, or milk sugar, is favored by drug dealers to "cut" or dilute heroin before a street sale. Family and friends say Dorothy had nothing to do with such drugs. "I've known her for a long time and I think that if she would have used any hard drug, she would have told me, at least to joke about it," said Terry Ryan, a nursing student who grew up with Dorothy and was in almost daily contact. "She didn't use anything when she was with me," said Ralph Shnelvar, a former boyfriend now living in Chicago. Said Peter Sperling: "I would have fainted if she did (use heroin or morphine). I've been around rich junkies for a long time and would know if someone was using it." "She always was against people using drugs," Dorothy's mother said. "She couldn't understand how such people could be happy." Robin Preisler, a friend now living in Allentown, Pa., said, "If she was shot up, someone prepared it for her and injected her." Dorothy occasionally took diet pills, her family and friends said. At parties, she usually limited herself to one or two glasses of wine. In January, less than three months ED. NOTE: The medical examiner's report was terse: Dorothy Bonnie Feingold, a 24-year-old part-time student from Long Island, died of a drug overdose. This determination, based in part on an unsubstantiated report that she was an addict, forestalled further police investigation, and the case was dropped. But a four-month investigation by United Press International raised questions about the cir-cumstancees of Miss Feingold's death and prompted the Manhattan District Attorney's Office to reopen the case. By TOM HILLSTROM and RICHARD SISK NEW YORK (UPI) - The call came into the Midtown North detective squad at about 1 p.m. Sunday, March 28, from a lawyer in the firm of criminal attorney Louis Nizer. The lawyer said there was a dead " woman in his client's midtown penthouse apartment. The body had been there all weekend. No, he didn't know what killed her. He gave an address and hung up. Detective Joseph Delagera took the call and routinely notified and Medical Examiner's Office, the uni-J formed desk sergeant and the homicide squad. The body was in the bedroom of the penthouse apartment at 21 West 58th St., a short walk from Central Park. It was the body of Dorothy Bonnie Feingold, 24, 5-foot-3 and 99 pounds, an attractive part-time student from suburban Long Island. She was nude on her stomach in bed, partially covered by a flowered quilt, her long brown hair splayed against the white of a pillow. Nine days later, the case was closed by the Medical Examiner's Office, written off as just one more of the 1,200 or so drug overdose cases ih the city this year. The language on the official documents was terse "acute morphine intoxification." But at least one veteran detective believes the case was more complex and four months of tracing Miss Feingold's activities supports that view. What emerges is a picture of a gregarious and curious young woman from the suburbs who ventured into the city to discover a now urban .. lifestyle. What she found was an ex- otic underworld populated by rock stars and ex-convicts, heroin addicts and porn movie queens, beautiful people and aging flower children. Dorothy Feingold's death was not reported to authorities for at least 36 hours. There were other puzzles: a cryptic telephone call to a neighbor of her parents-, strangulation marks on her neck in the weeks be-, fore her death and unsubstantiated f reports of a prior arrest and prior drug overdoses. "The case stinks," said Delagera, a 11-year veteran of the force. ' As a result of UPI's investigation into Miss Feingold's death, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office has reopened the case. "Her family should have been given some answers," an assistant district attorney said. "Hopefully, we can give them some." Two men were present at Dorothy's apartment when police arrived. They were William (Billy) Bukowski, her 24-year-old roommate, and his attorney. They gave this account to police: On the night of Thursday March 25, Miss Feingold and Bukowski visited a neighbor's apartment for drinks, leaving about 2 or 3 a.m. Friday. ' MA NliCRACKER Doctor, 'JAM Marie Hale -, J i MtlVft Later that morning, Bukowski awoke, dressed and spoke to Dorothy at about 10 a.m. She was due at work at 9 a.m. but told him to reset the clock for 11 a.m. He did and left for work at about 10:40 a.m. After work, Bukowski joined friends for dinner and dropped by a bar. He returned home shortly after midnight and found Dorothy unconscious. Getting no response when he shook her and finding her skin cold, he concluded she was dead. It upset him and he began drinking and taking pills, he told police. Of the next 24 hours, he remembered nothing he said. When his head cleared early Sunday morning, he obtained the attorney who called police. Delagera, the detective, recorded Bukowski's story. A homicide detective also listened to the account, examined the apartment and decided to do no more pending the medical examiner's report. This was normal procedure. In New York City, the medical examiner investigates all deaths that occur without the presence of a physician. Like coroner's juries elsewhere, the medical examiner determines when a death warrants further investigation. According to the medical examiner's file, Dr. Robert Cerwin arrived at the apartment at 4:45 p.m., nearly four hours after Miss Feingold's death was reported. In his handwritten report, Cerwin quoted Bukowski as saying the party was Friday, not Thursday, and that Dorothy had ingested "pills." He noted that rigor mortis was total and estimated the time of death as 11 o'clock Friday, specifying neither a.m. nor p.m. but apparently meaning a.m. Cerwin recorded the apparent cause of death as "drug overdose" and added: "Deceased had long history of drug overdose and one prior arrest." The statement carried no direct attribution; it was and still is - unclear on what basis it was written. According to Dorothy's friends and family, the statement was false. Miss Feingold's body was removed ( presents Ballet Arts Company in A Complete Ballet Bv TSCHAlkOWSKI 1UUI r avorite December 29-30, 1976 PALM BEACH AUDITORIUM Tickets 4.50, 6.00, 7.50 available at Auditorium! 0 to the Manhattan mortuary as case No. M76-2674. With the body, Cerwin sent a glass syringe with needle and cap, an empty piece of aluminum foil, a wine glass with residue and a vial containing white crystals and a label reading, "Malaic Anhydride -To Dot from D.N. with love." Police said the syringe, vial and foil were found in a dresser drawer. The wine glass was on a bedstand. The vial was presumed to contain morphine or heroin. No other drugs were reported found. A day later, Dr. Eugenio Torres, a visiting pathologist at the morgue, performed an autopsy. Some 8,000 autopsies are performed annually with assembly line efficiency at the modern blue-tiled facility. Torres noted a small 1-inch "abrasion" on the right buttock, but otherwise found the young woman had been well-nourished and healthy. He specifically noted there were no needle punctures the "track marks" of a junkie - on the young woman's forearms. He set aside a container of stomach juices for analysis and withheld specifying the cause of death "pending chemical examination." On May 24, nearly two months after Miss Feingold's death, the chemical tests were completed. The toxi-cologist said morphine was present in her liver, bile and urine. There were no traces of alcohol or other drugs. The report contained no mention of the stomach juices, and one morgue official later reportedly told authorities the container "might have been lost." On an unspecified subsequent date, Chief Medical Examiner Dominick DiMaio signed the report, listing the cause of death as "acute morphine intoxification." With DiMaio's signature, the case officially was closed. Less than a year earlier, Dorothy Feingold met Billy Bukowski at a birthday party in Greenwich Village. At the time, she was living by herself in a small studio apartment in the Village. She found it lonely and sometimes frightening, her friends say. Fifth Floor BEAUTIFUL. WANTED CHRISTMAS CAROLS 8-Track Tape Our Keg. Price $4.99 Just $2.99 ; With any $10. Purchase ORDER YOUR POINSETTIAS ! AND BEAUTIFUL, LIVE CHRISTMAS PLANTS NOW. Wire Service Available distinctive and original designs in : trees and decorative accessories. ; Now offering new conveniences for our shoppers. Plantscaping, flower arranging (live and artificial) hanging baskets, macrame's, and new accessories for every holiday. Custom designed Christmas trees, total coordinated plan for your home or business, leasing and rental service available, and storage if needed. 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