Christopher O'Connor, age 22, went to L'Amour East (also known as "The Edge"), Friday evening, April 10, 1987 around 10:30pm with two friends, Vinny Cavasos and Deborah Faller.
The bands Motorhead and Savage Grace were playing that night. At around 11:30pm, O'Connor was seen by another friend, Marina Kono. O'Connor, a large man at 6 foot weighing approximately 228lbs., was known to consume large quantities of alcohol and this night was no exception.
According to police reports of interviews with Marina Kono and Deborah Faller, O'Connor was last seen inside the club around 11:30pm-12 midnight. At or around 2:30-3:00am, Frank O'Connor, brother of the deceased who came to the club separately, and Vinny Cavasos, went looking around inside the club for Christopher. (Earlier Frank O'Connor had seen his brother asleep yet arousable in the bar area of the club). Around 2:30 to 3 am in searching the club, they did not find him but were
told that the bouncers had earlier ejected Chris from the club via the side door. Frank and Vinny took Christopher's leather jacket which contained his credit cards and both went home.
A witness told police that he saw two guys in front of L'Amour East around 4:15am. He said they were "really drunk" and were "pushing and shouting at each other". He said he noticed the heavy set white male (presumably O'Connor) was on the phone making a call. The other male was oriental and slim. The white male was saying something about his coat.
O'Connor made two phone calls from a pay phone at the corner of 76th St and Queens Blvd. outside the front of the club:
(1) 911 call running from 04:21:57 to 04:25:22
O'Connor describes how he had been badly beaten (punched my eye out-gushing blood-need stitches). He is able to describe his location and says he needs an ambulance. [Many portions of the call consists of "talk-overs" by O'Connor and the 911 officer and are therfore unintelligible to the unamplified ear.]
(2)Collect call to his employer at 4:26am (verified by phone records)
O'Connor told his employer that "they have my jacket and he (O'Connor) "would take care of it" and hung up the phone.
An oriental male in an affidavit to civil attorneys on October 31, 1989 stated that he first saw O'Connor in the early morning of April 11, 1987 in front of the club. He "observed an argument between several men who were bouncers at the club and Christopher O'Connor. Mr. O'Connor was trying to get into the club and was saying that he wanted to get in to get his jacket. The bouncers did not let him into the club." The oriental man, encouraged by the bouncers, then got into a fight with O'Connor. According to the witness, at or around 4:30 to 4:45am, he saw O'Connor return to the front of the club
and get into an argument with the bouncers trying again to get into the club to get his jacket. He next saw three or four bouncers drag O'Connor through the front entrance of the club and through a door on the right just inside the front entrance. He waited in front of the club for about 5-10 minutes and then left.
According to Radio Run tapes, the 911 Call was dispatched to officer David Churchill at 4:27am. Churchill reported from the location of the pay phone used by O'Connor at 4:37am that there was "nobody" there.
O'Connor's body was found around 1:45pm April 11, 1987 by Riza Dekidjien, a porter employed by L'Amour East, when he took out garbage from the club to the dumpster in the alley. Dekidjien also lived at L'Amour East. The body was found face up by the dumpster in the alley.
A medical investigator, Dr. Vinciquerra came to the scene at or around 3:30pm. His notes indicate Rigor: Fixed and Lividity: Not fixed. He noted superficial abrasions found on abdomen and face.
Other Pertinent Information
News accounts reported that the State Liquor authority began proceedings against the club as three of its bouncers were convicted of assaulting a patron in 1984. Michael Marciano, was identified as the manager of the club, the apparent licensee being Prokyr Kyaryakopoulos, however the news identified him as merely a front man for the real owner, Joseph Guarino. Guarino, a former NYCPD officer, was dismissed from the force. In 1973 Guarino was charged with raping a 16 year old girl and pled guilty.
Guarino was also known to "own" the Palm club in Queens where one of its bouncers, Patrick Bannon, shot (execution style) an off-duty housing officer, Paul Heidelberger, and another patron, John Camarda on the sidewalk on July 18, 1992.
Politically powerful City Councilman Morton Povman defended L'Amour East, its management and its bouncers.
Adding an element of criminal conspiracy to this case was the finding by the coroner Josette Montas that O'Connor died of an acute alcohol overdose -"acute ethanolism" as his blood alcohol level was .39 g% at the time of autopsy. While there is no dispute that O'Connor was drinking heavily the night of 4/11/87, what is most suspicious however, is that Montas makes NO mention of the numerous bruises, cuts and abrasions on O'Connor's face and body which are most obvious on the autopsy kodachrome slides. Further, Montas makes NO mention of
lividity on the chest and back, dirt and abrasions on the back (dorsal aspect) of the hands and arms (from dragging), nor the ligature markings on the neck.
It appears that there was also a complete "lack of interest" by Queens Chief Assistant DA Norman Rosen in the office headed by John Santucci which raised concern among the O'Connor family. It also appears that Queens political power broker Morton Povman was exerting pressure to see this death was ruled as accidental. Povman is also one of the top executives for The Democratic John F. Kennedy Club.
On 6/15/89, Riza Dekidjien (53 year old porter who found O'Connor's body) was found dead inside the premises (no signs of forced entry) brutally beaten and bludgeoned. Dekidjien was scheduled to speak to attorneys for the O'Connor family to possibly shed light on the events leading up to O'Connor's death within days of his death.
The NYPD reopened two cold cases of Christopher's death and the murder of the witness to his demise, Riza Dekidjiev. Please contact us ASAP at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone @ 212-697-0644 if you have any info.
We need your help!
Fund Justice for Christopher.