Excerpt from Page 136

Murder at the Yeshiva by Stewart Bird

Excerpt from Page 136:

Donnie Franklin got small in a hurry. Dynaburski and
Shuman checked his former haunts in Harlem. Franklin was
not going to surrender easily, and if there was a shootout,
Shuman had to make sure he came out alive. Hirsch hadn’t
come up for air yet either. He was in the wind. Shuman’s
main concern was that Hirsch didn’t escape the U.S. jurisdiction.

Finally, they caught a a break when Franklin’s Lincoln
Town Car turned up in the middle of Van Cortlandt Park in
the Bronx not far from Mosholu Parkway. Shuman and
Dynaburski got there in a hurry. It was a burned-out hulk of a
car; even a few tires had burned when it was set on fire. The
mobile crime unit came by and got pictures of two tire tracks.
Shuman and Dynaburski searched around the wooded area to
no avail.

Excerpt from Pages 121 and 122

Murder at the Yeshiva by Stewart Bird

Excerpt from Pages 121 and 122:

“There was a witness in the apartment. She heard Gibson
talking to someone but didn’t hear any shots fired.
When it got quiet, she opened the door and found him
dead. Therefore, the Glock had a silencer. Now, you tell
me—who’s shooting someone on a stairwell in Harlem with
a silencer?”

“Who do you like?” said Shuman.

“Mordechai Hirsch.”

“So he’s murdered before.”

“He’s in the city at his diamond store on 47th. He was
never questioned.”

“Why did he do it?”

“Motive: revenge for his father’s murder.”

“The shooter did seven years,” said Shuman.

“Seven years for killing his father—not enough. Hirsch
gave him a different sentence.”

“I like it D., Hirsch could be our killer.”

Excerpt from Page 106

Murder at the Yeshiva by Stewart Bird

Excerpt from Page 106:

He turned down Ludlow, found Shuman’s address, and
got buzzed into the building. He noticed that the A apartments
on the first floor faced the street. Since Shuman lived
in 4A, his apartment would also face the street. He walked
back out on the street and saw an abandoned apartment
building across the street with its Keep Out signs and large
locks on the front door. He made a note to return during the
day to check it out. He turned one last time to look up at Shuman’s
fourth-floor apartment. He’d sized up Shuman from
the beginning. Just a damn cop doing his job, nose to the
grindstone, all with that sickly pleasant face. Hirsch slipped
into that familiar comfortable domain of vengeance. He
walked down past the bar scene again with his beatific smile
back in place. What Hirsch liked the most was that he looked
like a victim. This led people to underestimate him, not
guessing what he was capable of. Little did they know he had
a derringer in an ankle holster that could blast two forty-five-caliber
bullets in a flash.

Excerpt from Page 97

Murder at the Yeshiva by Stewart Bird

Excerpt from Page 97:

Shuman and Dynaburski were coming in for the night
watch. Several detectives sat watching television in the small
day room. A medium close-up shot of Ellsworth Smythe was
on screen. It was the eleven thirty news on Channel 3.

“Tonight, we will look at one of the most bruutool murdahs
in the city.” Boos rained down as everyone simultaneously
repeated “brutal murder” in their own imitations of
Smythe. “And the incompetent police department”—more
boos—” has still been unable to solve the heinous attack on
innocence and faith, a crime that has not been seen in our fair
city in a century. What follows after weeks of investigative
work and interviews with police and yeshiva sources is out
special report.” More laughter came from the detectives.

Excerpt from Page 85

Murder at the Yeshiva by Stewart Bird

Excerpt from Page 85:

The bright colors in the children’s room seemed too cheerful
for the task at hand. Issac and Ruth Sofer and their twelveyear-
old son Eliyahu were seated on one side of a blue
wooden rectangular table. The family seemed calm and selfassured.
Facing them were detectives Vosner, Shuman, and
Dynaburski. Vosner was seated opposite Eliyahu, who looked
younger and more innocent than his age. Mulroy watched
through a two-way mirror.

Vosner spoke first. “I’m Lieutenant Miriam Vosner, the
head of the special victims unit at the 204. You know Detectives
Shuman and Dynaburski?”

“Yes, we do. They’re the reason we’re here,” said Sofer.

Excerpt from Page 74

Murder at the Yeshiva by Stewart Bird

Excerpt from Page 74:

Shuman and Dynaburski parked their car down the street
from the yeshiva.

“Where’s the Armani suit?” said Shuman. “I didn’t recognize

“Just changing my look to a little more conservative, I
guess,” said Dynaburski.

“You look like the missing Blues Brother.”

“Very funny.”

“It’s time for Jacob to tell us what he knows. There is no
way he doesn’t know something about the murder.” They
walked into the yeshiva.

Dynaburski’s face was pressed against a pane of glass as he
watched the activity at the beis medrash, where Jacob Hirsch
sat with a group of four students. He was arguing a point, and
his arms were flailing about. They all seemed to be talking at
once when the Rosh Yeshiva, seeing the detectives, walked to
the door.

Excerpt from Page 63

Murder at the Yeshiva by Stewart Bird

Excerpt from Page 63:

Four black SUVs were parked outside Minsky’s Steak
House in Williamsburg. One detective stood outside the private
dining room where Hirsch and Walker had just finished
eating. Hirsch sat at the table for four wearing his blue
British suit. His black yarmulke sat on his head, and his
black fedora sat resting on the seat next to him. Across from
him, sat Mayor Clarence Walker. A dark-suited assistant
with an iPhone and earphones approached the mayor with
a whisper.

“He gives me shit, and now he wants me to do him
favors?” said the Mayor. “Tell Rodriguez to go fuck himself.”

“Yes sir,” said the assistant as he walked away.

Excerpt from Page 58

Murder at the Yeshiva by Stewart Bird

Excerpt from Page 58:

Shuman knew that most TV stations covered a press conference
with one camera crew, which followed the speakers
and then turned to the audience to get a b-roll of audience
reaction. However, Smythe was probably going to produce
one of his sensational documentaries with one or two facts
thrown in to make the audience believe it had something to
do with actual news.

The Rosh Yeshiva, Yarmolinsky, and other rabbis took
their seats at the tables, followed by the board in black suits,
white shirts, and black hats of various kinds. In the background,
Shuman recognized Mordechai Hirsch sitting off to
the side next to Mayor Clarence Walker, a light-skinned black
man with a broad nose and a pencil-thin moustache. Shuman
wondered how Hirsch got the Mayor to attend this press conference.
And finally, there was the ubiquitous Botnik sitting in
the front row of the auditorium.

Excerpt from Page 51

Murder at the Yeshiva by Stewart Bird

Excerpt from Page 51:

The Turkish bath had been around for more than a hundred
years on the Lower East Side. It had always been used as
a mikvah for the Orthodox community. It had separate sections
for men and women but was also open to the public.
Mordechai Hirsch sat wrapped in a large white towel, throwing
water on the sauna rocks. The steam and heat rose into the
already hot room. Hirsch returned to his seat on the third-tier
wooden bench. Donnie Franklin, a black man in his midfifties
with a muscular build that suggested enormous power,
had on a white towel that didn’t cover the red and green tats
on his body. He sat a few feet away from Hirsch.

Hirsch was very happy with himself. He had built a
worldwide business out of nothing. The image of his father
Solomon was never far from his thoughts, and Hirsch always
pictured him at his jewelry store in Harlem, sitting on a stool
hunched over the table studying a diamond with his loop.
The key image for Hirsch was hunched over. He worked
hunched over. He lived hunched over. His father feared
everything. No, Mordecai Hirsch would not kowtow to anyone,
anytime. His father was a sort of conservative Jew who
didn’t keep a kosher household and didn’t celebrate all the
holidays. But Mordechai Hirsch was a real Jew, an Orthodox
Jew, who kept a kosher home and sent all his children to the
yeshiva. If anyone didn’t like that he was Orthodox and
prayed humbly every day, well, they could go to hell, or he’d
send them there personally. As the Lord said, I will render
vengeance to my enemies

Excerpt from Page 46

Murder at the Yeshiva by Stewart Bird

Excerpt from Page 46:

Shuman pulled up just past 25th on Lexington. St. Brigid’s
was off Lexington Avenue. It was a respectable school— not a
high-end Catholic girls’ school that prepared the elite for the
Ivy League, but respectable nonetheless. It was a six-floor, gray
stone affair with large doors made of solid wood and shiny
brass hardware. Crosses of various sizes adorned the front of
the building.

A smiling sister sitting at a desk inquired about their business.
She looked at their shields and sent them to the main
office. Sister Teresa, the assistant principal, said, “Yes, we have
a student named Kelli.”

“Her last name, please?” said Shuman.


“We’d like to speak to her, if you don’t mind,” said

“Could you just let us know what it’s about?” said Sister

“A homicide.”