WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES DECEMBER 9, 2021 27
OUR NEIGHBORHOOD: THE WAY IT WAS
accounts supposedly worth $6 million.
Detectives said last night that they
would question Mr. Margolies as part
of the investigation of the four murders.
But they refused to say whether he was
considered a suspect.
Miss Barbera’s body was found in
Franklin Place, a cobblestone alley
between White and Franklin streets,
Miss Barbera, who had been working
for the Camera Service Center at 645
West 54th St., left work at about 5:30
p.m. Monday, April 12.
Her car, a blue late model BMW,
was parked in a lot on the roof of Pier
92 at the Hudson River and 54th Street.
James T. Sullivan, the city’s Chief of
Detectives, said the police believed the
killer was in a white van parked next to
Miss Barbera’s car when she arrived at
about 6 p.m.
Chief Sullivan said the three CBS
employees — Edward M. Benford, 59,
Leo A. Kuranuki, 54, and Robert W.
Schulze, 58 — might have seen the gunman
shoot Miss Barbera or try to force
her into his van.
When the men, who were in the lot
to get their cars, intervened, the killer
fatally shot each of them, Chief Sullivan
“They came forward selfl essly and
did try to assist Miss Barbera,” the
Chief said at Police Headquarters.
“They acted heroically. Unfortunately,
it had tragic results.”
The killer was described by witnesses
as a man in his 30s. Chief Sullivan
said ballistics tests showed that the
three CBS employees had been killed
by bullets fi red from a .22-caliber gun.
Miss Barbera’s body was found about
three miles from the parking lot. Chief
Sullivan said she had been killed by
a single shot from a small-caliber
weapon, probably a .22-caliber gun.
For 17 years, Miss Barbera had lived
in a fourth-fl oor apartment in Ridgewood.
The building superintendent,
Joseph Clundt, said she had recently
told him that “someone was aft er her.”
Mr. Clundt said that in the last year,
she had put metal bars on her windows,
changed the lock on her front door and
installed a burglar alarm in her car.
Miss Barbera, who was about fi ve feet
tall and wore glasses, also told Clundt
that she was taking karate lessons.
Another mystery in the murder case
is the disappearance of Mrs. Chin, who
was a bookkeeper at the Candor Company
and lived at 631 Cumberland Ave.
in Teaneck, NJ.
Sgt. Richard Ruffi no of the Bergen
County Sheriff ’s Department said Mrs.
Chin, who is 46, visited Miss Barbera
in Ridgewood on Jan. 5 and had spent
the night there.
On the night of Jan. 6, according to
Sergeant Ruffi no, Mrs. Chin was seen
near Miss Barbera’s apartment, being
pushed into her red 1978 station wagon
by a ski-masked man. Her bloodstained
car was found a week later in
Manhattan on 36th Street, between
10th and 11th avenues.
Chief Sullivan said a .22-caliber
shell casing found in Mrs. Chin’s car
apparently matched the shell casings
from the gun that killed the three CBS
No shell casing was found near Miss
Less than a week aft er the murders
of Barbera and the three CBS employees,
police in Kentucky picked
up Nash (using the Bowers alias) as
he drove a stolen minivan. Though
initially identified as a getaway
driver connected to the murders, an
investigation would ultimately reveal
that Nash acted alone, on Margulies’
Nash, who lived in Keansburg, New
Jersey, had a lengthy rap sheet before
the murders. His record included a
1952 larceny conviction that got him
a three-year sentence; a 1962 larceny
conviction that carried a nine-month
sentence; and numerous other arrests
in New York and New Jersey.
According to a report in the April
29, 1982, Ridgewood Times, FBI agents
had been tailing Bowers in hopes that
he would lead them to the killer, when a
routine check at a Kentucky roadblock
led to Bowers’ arrest. Bowers had been
convicted March 24 on charges of possession
of a forged taxi license, and had
failed to surrender on April 13 to begin
serving a 22-day sentence.
When police arrested Bowers, he
was driving a van that had been
painted black over its original white
or off-white; a witness to the slayings
told police the killer fled in a white
Bowers was also carrying a New
York driver’s license giving his name
as Donald Nash and his address as
Keansburg, New Jersey. Police sources
said Bowers has used the alias of Nash
for about 20 years.
The investigation revealed that
Margulies, who was convicted in 1982
for fraudulent activities, reached out
to Nash and arranged to have Barbera
and Chin murdered. It was reported
that Nash asked for and received
$8,000 per killing.
Nash was charged with four counts
of murder, and a fi ft h count of conspiracy
to commit murder. That fi ft h
count represented the presumed
killing of Chin, whose body was
never recovered following her Jan. 6,
1982, disappearance near Barbera’s
Margolies was sentenced to a
28-year prison term on Dec. 15, 1982,
for his fraud conviction. Prior to his
sentencing, then-Assistant U.S. Attorney
Ira Block claimed in court that
Margolies ordered the hits against
Barbera and Chin, though up to that
point, no formal charges had been
fi led against him.
Nash’s trial took place over the
course of seven weeks in the spring
of 1983 in Manhattan Criminal Court.
The case was prosecuted under the
supervision of then-Manhattan District
Attorney Robert Morgenthau.
Without any eyewitness testimony,
The New York Times reported,
the prosecution relied upon a
mountain of circumstantial and
scientific evidence to make their
case against Nash. The prosecution
called 127 witnesses and presented
380 exhibits of evidence, including
ballistics reports and a record of a
phone call from Nash’s home phone
to Barbera’s unlisted number, which
took place about six weeks before
It took the jury of nine men and
three women all of 13 hours of deliberation
to render a guilty verdict
against Nash on all fi ve counts. He
was later sentenced to a cumulative
prison term of 100 years.
Nash’s evil streak continued even
behind bars. In 1994, he was charged
with brutally murdering a fellow
inmate at the Auburn Correctional
Facility, taking his life with a large
board equipped with razor blades.
Nash would die in prison in 2006.
As for Margolies, he would later be
charged and convicted for his role in
the killings and be ordered to serve
50 years behind bars.
Sources: The New York Times, AP,
the University of Virginia Law School
and the Ridgewood Times.
* * *
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The Way It Was” that you would
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The apartment building on Grandview Avenue in Ridgewood where
Margaret Barbera lived is shown in this 2017 photo.
Photo via PropertyShark/Christopher Bride