Daily News from New York, New York on January 10, 1999 · 4
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Daily News from New York, New York · 4

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 10, 1999
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-i ifJ ' 1 o II II CO UJ By JORGE FTTZ-OIBBON and JOHN Daly News Staff Writers A Bronx millionaire who cops first thought died of a heart attack in 1996 might have been gunned down in his Riverdale mansion by an armed rob-; ber, the Daily News has learned. Forensic tests performed on Alfred Hunt Howell indicate that there were fragments of lead in The lab tests were ordered after murder suspect Nicolaj Amman confessed to investigators that he shot Howell after the 83-year-old millionaire surprised him as he was burglarizing the mansion. The forensic tests and Amman's confession raise serious questions about how police handled the initial investigation of the death. Police had concluded that Howell died of natural causes and released the body of the retired banker and philanthropist for cremation without an autopsy. i . But when Amman arrested in 1997 for an unrelated burglary in Westchester County, but eventually confessed to killing Howell told investigators that he shot the millionaire, the victim's ashes were exhumed from a cemetery in Pittsburgh and tested for Qssinger a WASHINGTON Henry Kissinger told Chinese leaders the Soviets planned to amass enough nuclear weapons to destroy their counr try, and secretly offered U.S. satellite information even before the Communist government gained American diplomatic recognition, according to transcripts of top-secret talks. "We would be prepared, at i . ... . 1 X MAjrT U.TVTEK FORMER Secretary of State Henry Kissinger your request, through whatever sources you wish, to give you whatever information we have about the disposition of Soviet forces," then-Secretary of State Kissinger told the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations in 1971. The specific reference MARZUUJ his ashes, sources told traces of bullets. "It appears to be a perfect murder committed by an imperfect murderer," a source familiar with the probe said. A spokesman for the Bronx district attorney's office declined to comment f i ; ; Inspector Michael Collins, a police spokesman, said the "entire case is still being reviewed." ; ' i i j ; . , Hunt Howell, the victim's son, said he was aware of the suspect's confession, but was reluctant to comment, on the investigation. , . . i j "By virtue of not knowing the implications of what I say,; I want to be more circumspect than usual," he said 'Obvi-; ously ... we were disappointed and disturbed that it didn't come to light sooner." i Cops and detectives from the 50th Precinct went to Howell's stately home overlooking the Hudson River on April 23, China pal? was to Soviet forces ! deployed during the war that year between India and Pakistan. But Kissinger offered a web of intelligence sharing in meetings with Chinese leaders, including Chairman Mao Tse-tung. The transcripts of secret Kissinger conversations that may have changed history are being re-lea-ed today by the National Security Archive of George Washington University. A quarter-century later, President Clinton has come under fire for allowing the transfer of satellite-launch technology to China by U.S. civilian companies. The News. 1996, after the millionaire's body was found lying in blood in his bedroom. An empty wallet on the bed apparently did not raise the cops' suspicions. Howell appeared to have sustained a head injury, but because cops found no evidence of forced entry to the mansion, they concluded the -man had suffered a heart attack and fallen io the floor. Police contacted Howell's private physician by phone. The doctor told cops that Howell had a heart condition, and then offered to sign the death ' certificate that would release the body to a funeral home. The corpse was wrapped in a shroud and cremated. "I did harbor some suspicion at the time," Hunt Howell said. "My father was on blood thinners for a mild heart condition, but he was very active. I was dismayed when I heard about the empty wallet The police never contacted me about that until much later." Family members contacted Bronx Supreme Court Justice Daniel Fitzgerald about their suspicions, and he referred the family to a lawyer, Larry Sheehan. The lawyer who coincidental has been appointed by the court to represent Amman never met with the Howells, and the suspicions remained unexplored, t The investigation was reopened after Amman was arrested for burglary in Westchester and told cops there that he had information about the slaying. ; : : Amman first tried to pin the slaying on two other -men, claiming he was only a lookout. After a police probe cleared the two men, Amman admitted pistol-whipping the victim and then shooting him. - The current murder indictment says Amman struck Howell "with a dangerous instrument" Detectives close to the case say they don't believe Amman shot Howell, and have floated the theory that the victim was bludgeoned with a candlestick holder. But that alleged weapon apparently was sold by Amman and melted for its gold. TTODGDAV OKI KHZWtf VnE2K Plan your day early with the city's sawiest guide to what's happening. From book signings . to, film premieres, you'll see it here first. , BEAM ME UP: Voyager' star Kate Muigrew wants off show. eyes cdot gafaiiy By ERIC MINK - H - .;-'- -y-' - , Daily News TV Critic f PASADENA, Calif. A photon torpedo broadsided Paramount TV's fabled rnulti-bil-lion-dollar "Star Trek" franchise, sending company executives scrambling yesterday to contain a possible contract breach. ' i i Talking with TV critics here, a highly emotional Kate Mulgrew, who stars as' ; Capt Kathryn Janeway on ' "Star Trek: Voyager," vowed Friday to seek an ; early release from Starfleet and her contract Praising the show and her colleagues, Mulgrew said she wanted to devote more time to her teenage children and to her impending : marriage to Tim Hagan, a ' Cleveland politician. She also said she couldn't continue working' 80-hour weeks, and that she was fed up with Hollywood, which she said lacks intimacy, a sense of community and the cultural energy of New York, which she plans to return to for theater work. Paramount, responding 'at warp speed, issued a statement in which' Mulgrew says that she "cannot imagine not participating in "Voyager's" entire run, whatever that may be." , Professional tensions may be fueling Mulgrew's discontent "Voyager" cast member Jeri Ryan, who joined the show last season as an intriguing human-alien of spectacular beauty ' named Seven of Nine, told reporters that the year had been extremely difficult ' ' "Voyager," is Paramount's only truly successful series on its troubled emerging UPN network. Airing at 9 p.m. Wednesdays, it is the current network standard-bearer of the immensely profitable 33-year-old "Star Trek" tradition. , ; i i AC ' 3

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