, and is offering a $100,000 reward for
information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible
for O'Connor's death.
Salem contends that O'Connor, who had been ejected from the club,
went back inside to retrieve his coat and wallet and was beaten by
"Justice for Christopher is very important, but I also want to
protect others from those people who killed Christopher," Salem said.
Issues raised by Salem, private investigators and pathologists he
hired, and by Scarpa, who reviewed the case without fee through his
affiliation with the Queens chapter of Parents of Murdered Children,
Despite a .39 blood-alcohol level, O'Connor made a fairly lucid call
to 911 after he was ejected from the club. He gave the operator the
phone number he was calling from, the street location and stated, "I've
just been assaulted. ... They stole my jacket. They took my ... wallet.
... He punched my eye out."
He then called Salem and left a message saying, "They have my jacket.
... I'll take care of it."
Montas did not take into account the 911 tape in her autopsy
findings, and ignored evidence that O'Connor's body may have been
dragged to the location where he was found.
L'Amour East was owned by Joseph Guarino, an ex-cop with a shady
The club janitor, Riza Dekidjiev, who found O'Connor's body, was
himself bludgeoned to death two years later inside the club - several
days before he was scheduled to meet with lawyers representing
O'Connor's mother in a civil suit. His killing remains unsolved.
Patrick Clark, a spokesman for current Queens District Attorney
Richard Brown, said in a statement: "While we have great sympathy for
the O'Connor family, his death was carefully and thoroughly investigated
when it occurred 17 years ago. No evidence was found at that time to
indicate that he died as the result of foul play, and there would appear
to be no basis now to warrant a reinvestigation of the tragic incident."
Former Queens City Councilman Morton Povman, who represented the
nightclub, said that the victim "brought on his own problem."
"He was drunk and he got in a fight outside the establishment, and as
a result of his getting in a fight and falling to the ground, he died,"
Povman said, adding that the club paid O'Connor's mother a $60,000
settlement without admitting any wrongdoing.
According to NYPD reports, witnesses saw O'Connor engage in a pushing
match with another man outside the club, and said he fell to the ground
"I feel that his friend [Salem] sincerely believes there was foul
play," Povman said, "but he's in error."