Cold case couple - ‘No smoking gun’ in murders

The Brooklyn Paper
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The investigation into the murders of Marine Park attorney Mark Schwartz and his wife Christine Petrowski-Schwartz is over a month and a half old and is quickly becoming one of the neighborhood’s first cold cases in recent years, police and prosecutors said last week.

Refuting a published report that a secret grand jury had been empanelled to weigh the evidence against a possible suspect, officials from the Kings County District Attorney’s office said that no such panel exists.

An imminent arrest is unlikely as well, according to NYPD officials.

“There’s no smoking gun, so this could take awhile,” said one police source, who added that detectives are keeping aspects of the case close to the vest.

While a detective from the 63rd Precinct is assigned to the case, detectives from the Brooklyn South Homicide Squad — which focuses on hard-to-solve murders — is also involved, officials said.

Schwartz and Petrowski were gunned down inside their East 33rd Street home near Fillmore Avenue on July 16.

While no one has been arrested for the slaying, investigators believed early on that the victims knew their killer, who somehow managed to subdue the couple’s protective German shepherd – which was found tied up in the backyard the next day – before shooting both of them in the head as they slept.

Possible suspects included a former business partner of Schwartz’s, officials said.

A whole slew of possible suspects was unearthed just recently when a series of unofficial wills were released in which Schwartz and Petrowski remarked from the grave how they felt about relatives and former husbands and business partners.

The Schwartz and Petrowski families made a push to have the contents of these wills, which the police had already investigated, sealed because the information inside “is potentially embarrassing to the memory of the decedent and his family.”

Judge Margarita Lopez-Torres denied the motion and had the wills released to the press early last week.

The wills were pretty inflammatory, with Schwartz leaving nothing to his “greedy” brother and with Christina Petrowski-Schwartz giving a $10,000 gift in his name to a battered women’s shelter.

“To my brother who I know hopes to be in my will, well, here you are,” Schwartz joked in a 2006 will, claiming that he wasn’t bequeathing his brother “zero dollars.”

“I believe this sum is fitting as you are probably the most greedy person I know,” Schwartz wrote to his brother.

Police told reporters that Schwartz’s estranged brother is not a suspect in their murders.

Petrowski-Schwartz also lashed out at her “estranged family” who “were never there for myself or my children, but always there for their distorted version of Catholicism,” according to published reports.

She bequeathed $1 each to his mother, father, two brothers and sister and “request that they donate same to their precious church to whom they have a greater allegiance than to their first child and sister.”

Schwartz also explained in one of the drafts that when he dies he wanted to be “outfitted in scuba gear and cast over the side of a vessel into the ocean.”

In another prophetic line, Schwartz referred to Robert Delvicario, the named executor for the unofficial will, and bequeathed $50,000 as well as his guns and knives, according to the New York Post.

“To Bobby, never will your gun shoot when you need it,” Schwartz wrote.

Attorney Michael Kaplan, the attorney for the Petrowski estate said that none of these wills were “old copies” that were never signed.

“The feeling of the family is that [these wills] should not have been made public since these documents were photocopies and not originals,” he told this paper. “If the police didn’t obtain these copies, they never would have made it to court.”

Kaplan said that neither Schwartz nor Petrowski-Schwartz had an official will. Both he, as well as attorneys for the Schwartz family is filing a “letter of administra­tion” with the court, which will allow the family to divvy the estate without a will.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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