The precinct detective sat across the table from the suspect in a small, windowless interrogation room in the far corner of the precinct. He knew the suspect would not crack easily. The man was not some stickup kid who'd botched a robbery, not some crack fiend looking for quick cash, not some corner boy settling a score.
Amanda Rosario remembered a big gray room, and she remembered the smell of it. She hated the smell of it. She was on her mom's lap, she remembered, and her dad sat across from them. Her mom wore dark jeans and her dad had a thin face. That's all she remembered of the last time she saw him. She was three at the time.
On a normal day, it's not hard to get to the 11th floor of 100 Centre Street, the hulking gray building that houses much of Manhattan's criminal court system. You pass through a set of gold-rimmed doors and a metal detector and step into a dingy elevator, where no one speaks and some of your fellow riders might be in handcuffs, fresh from central booking in the basement.
At 8:09 a.m. on Valentine's Day 2012, Liloutie Ramnanan pulled her sedan into the parking lot of the Pay-O-Matic Check Cashing on South Conduit Avenue in South Jamaica, Queens. She'd worked as a teller there for 16 years. It was a steady job. It paid better than minimum wage and business was good. The economy had been improving but there remained enough distrust in traditional banks to keep a steady stream of customers at her window.
Stanley Cohen abruptly stops responding to voicemails. When you dial his cell, you hear the telltale sound of an overseas phone call, followed by a hold message in Arabic.Cohen is known to friends and foes alike as an eccentric of the highest order, a foul-mouthed criminal-defense attorney with unruly gray hair, a Saddam Hussein-straight-out-of-the-spider-hole beard, and a long history of representing enemies of the people the world over.