It’s My Turn
Retired Detective Ed Henson worked the streets and housing projects of Rockaway for more than 20 years. He was hired by Kareem Bellamy’s attorneys to find Anna Simmons, a woman who had disappeared after telling detectives that she knew the murderers of James Abbott in 1994. Henson’s involvement eventually led to Bellamy’s freedom. Along the way, however, prosecutors charged that he and former FBI Agent Joe O’Brien provided information that led to the now-infamous bogus tape made by career criminal Michael Green. One of the charges made by Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal was that Simmons did not exist, a figment of somebody’s imagination used to deflect detectives from the real killer. In some cases, we have deleted names because the person still lives in Rockaway, the real killer of James Abbott may still be on Rockaway streets, and there is no Statute of Limitations in a murder case.
I read the article in the NY Law Journal regarding the Bellamy decision today, and I can’t imagine that the Office of the Queens District Attorney would write such a slanderous letter, but then again, after all the deceit by [the DA’s] Bureau Chief Brad Leventhal, it’s no surprise I suppose.
I feel the letter was a total disgrace and slaps each of us who worked on the case in the face, to say the least. Brad Leventhal should be disbarred for the criminal performance he displayed during these hearings. I have never experienced anything like this in my entire Law Enforcement career. Brad was totally deceitful and outright LIED many times during these hearings.
I remember the first meeting with Brad Leventhal at his office just a day or two after I informed him of the information I learned from Mike Green indicating Ishmael Melvin’s involvement in the Murder of James Abbott.
At the meeting between us, I asked Brad to administer a polygraph test to Green and advised him that Green was immediately available and willing to be interviewed and submit to a polygraph. (Green was actually waiting outside on Queens Boulevard.) Brad told me that they don’t do that, and said that the Polygraph was all BS anyway, and declined the opportunity to speak with Mike Green himself. During further discussions at this meeting with Brad, he made a statement to me saying that in this day and age, with this administration, the Bellamy case would have never been authorized for an arrest, would have never resulted in an indictment, or a conviction. Brad also commented to me that he looked into the Bellamy case and it sounded very similar to the Tankliff case.
During the 440 Hearings [to rule on new evidence], Brad refused to listen to anything that made any sense. Some of the things that Brad ignored were incredible. We brought him every possible piece of evidence that could’ve, should’ve and would’ve cleared Bellamy, and he chose to ignore us and let his ego run out of control. Brad chose to embrace Ishmael Melvin! (He’s listed on the DD5 as the person who murdered Abbott as we all know ... go figure)
Brad had an opportunity to have his Detectives go and interrogate Rodney “Turk” Harris. Rodney had been noted as an accomplice to Ishmael Melvin in the stabbing death of Abbott on an original follow-up report by the NYPD. Why Brad refused to act on this is beyond anything I can think of, especially since Rodney was the one doing the inquiring. Makes me wonder if Rodney was getting a little nervous that the past was about to bite him in the ass. (We learned from Green that there was finally a motive for this killing which was NEVER established originally. Melvin was apparently jealous that Abbott was talking to his woman.) This being so, I figured Rodney may have reached out to cooperate since it was Ishmael with all the reasons to go after Abbott and there was “chatter” in the streets that Detectives were looking into the case.
Brad was informed that Rodney came to [Bellamy attorney] Tom Hoffman’s office, and when he asked Rodney to take a polygraph test, Rodney refused! That would have been a reason for me to pick him up and have a chat if I were still a Detective.
Joe O’Brien went and located the owner of the Laundromat where the alleged Anna [Simmons] supposedly worked. Brad was made aware of this, but was too busy trying to avoid the truth in this matter. This could have possibly put the Anna issue to rest if he got off his ass and went and spoke with the guy or had his Detectives do it.
Brad was made aware of the fact that we learned of several people who knew an Anna that worked at the Laundromat on Beach 54 Street many years ago, and refused to help out. One woman, [name deleted], was supposedly a good friend of Anna’s, and she lived in 364 Beach 56 Street. Joe and I established the fact that [name deleted] lived there, but she was apparently afraid to get involved and wouldn’t call us back. Joe and I made several visits to her apartment and even spoke with her son and left a message. Brad could’ve applied for a material witness order or a subpoena and have [name deleted] brought into the DA’s Office. Brad could have also brought in her friend [name deleted] who lived back on Beach 56 Street in Edgemere and he refused to entertain that information as well. I had located several witnesses that were in the area 15 years ago and STILL there in the area, that knew an Anna in the Laundromat.
Brad ignored the fact that there were TWO Laundromats on Beach 54 Street at the time of the original incident. No one ever brought that up before. I think that would’ve been quite important had I been assigned this case when it happened.
When I testified, I did mention the fact that I felt that the Detective was not being truthful, and never went to the Laundromat to interview the owner in an attempt to locate an Anna. It was quite obvious when the Detective wrote the follow-up report months later and claimed that the Manager of the Laundromat refused to give his name – Total BULLSHIT! I don’t know of any Detective that would have left without the guy’s name. You could ALWAYS get the name. Very convenient that the Detective didn’t have a name. This is information that any competent attorney would have brought up as an issue at a trial. The Defense attorney should have had a Private Investigator go and speak with the owner of the Laundromat back then.
I found it amazing that the Detective testified that he went into the building that the alleged Anna gave as her address and he claimed that he knocked on the door that was listed as Anna’s address, and the woman told him that there was no Anna living there, and the woman refused to give her name or talk to the Detective – BULLSHIT!
If you came out of the building where Anna supposedly lived, according to the DD5 (if I recall correctly it was 410 or 411 Beach 54 Street), you could walk about 100 feet away and you were in the Edgemere Management Office. The Housing Authority was always willing to help with tenant listings. As a matter of fact, the Detective Squad usually had a current listing of all the NYC Housing Tenants right in their Office. I know this BECAUSE I WAS BASICALLY THE LIAISON BETWEEN THE 100 and 101 PRECINCTS AT THE TIME FOR THE HOUSING POLICE DETECTIVE
SQUAD, and I was the one who everyone asked to get the printout because I had a good reputation with the management!
Brad was made aware of the fact that [name deleted] knew an Anna from the Laundromat, and when I found that out innocently while sitting in the hallway of the courthouse, he turned it around and tried to make us out as the bad guys (Joe O’Brien and me). Again, if Brad had any doubts, he could have had an intelligent interview with [name deleted] like we did, but no, he was a total arrogant scumbag!! [Name deleted] said several times during the conversation that Anna always teased her when she was pregnant that she was having more than one baby because she was so big while carrying. [Name deleted] had worked at the Associated food store located on Beach 54 Street and Beach Channel Drive – a few doors away from the Laundromat at the time.
Look for the remainder of the column in the next issue.