Village Voice
October 10,1989

THE WRITING ON THE WALL
By Paul DeRienzo

The East Village neighborhood where Daniel Rakowitz committed his bizarre murder is part of Manhattan’s 9th Police Precinct. The commander of the precinct is Deputy Inspector Michael Julian, who replaced Gerald McNamara. (McNamara was transferred to a Queens Precinct after last year’s police riot in Tompkins Square Park.)

According to Julian, 9th Precinct officers were aware of Rakowitz and some of his strange declarations and habits six months before the Tompkins Square Park riot. Julian said Rakowitz had come to the precinct headquarters on East 5th Street while McNamara was in charge looking for a "police job." Julian, who denies that the police hired Rakowitz, mid Rakowitz later threatened to cut my head off" and "cut my heart out." Julian said Rakowitz also "talked to women" and often "talked about rape." The young deputy inspector said he "never took it seriously."

Activists in the park confirmed Julian’s story. They say Rakowitz bragged afterwards that he had talked with police about a job.

The gruesome nature of Rakowitz’s crime and the media attention has fed an almost equally gruesome rumor mill throughout the East Village community where Rakowitz tried to find acceptance. Photographs of graffiti on the apartment door where the murder occurred quoted the pop group Fine young Cannibals, amending the title of their recent hit: "SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY… (SO 1 KILLED HER)" and adding the incredibly tasteless "IS IT SOUP YET? Many were led to believe that the slogans were the work of Rakowitz but the actual graffiti writer was a neighbor, musician Stephan Ielpi.

Hearing the story from the building’s super, who claims he walked in while Rakowitz had Monika Beerle’s head in a soup pot and her torso in the bathtub, Ielpi scrawled the words "to force the issue into the open." (The police dispute the super’s claim, saying only one Person had seen the body in the apartment) lelpi says he didn’t believe the super but his curiosity was aroused after repeated searches of the apartment by the police. Eventually, a Voice reporter, Sarah Ferguson, called lelpi to tell him that the police had denied them was an investigation. Angered by this news, lelpi wrote the graffiti on Rakowitz’s door. Ielpi says he is also the one who hung flowers on the door "to show that some people in the neighborhood are remorseful."

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