New suit claims celebrity jeweler Jeffrey Jeffrey Rackover helped his surrogate son James, hide body of slayed Manhattan partygoer Joseph Comunale who he’d stabbed to death
Suit claims celebrity jeweler Jeffrey Rackover helped his surrogate son hide body of slayed Manhattan partygoer
James Rackover and his pal Lawrence Dillion, 28, have been accused of killing Joseph Comunale, 26, in his Manhattan apartment in November 2016.
The civil lawsuit filed by the Cummunale family alleges the older ‘father-figure’ provided cleaning supplies that James Rackover used to clean the apt where Joseph Comunale had been stabbed to death
The suit also alleges that Jeffrey, 57, and James, 26, lived together as lovers in Jeffrey’s his Upper East Side apt for several years
Jeffrey in exchange for “sexual pleasure [provided James], in return, [with] drugs, money, a luxurious lifestyle and other benefits”
In late 2015, the lovers mutually agreed to separate and Jeffrey rented James an apt in the same building in Manhattan, NY where they had lived as a couple, and the murder occurred
‘Jeweller to the stars’ Jeffrey Rackover, 57, provided paper towels and cleaning supplies that James used to clean the Upper East Side apartment where Joseph Comunale had been stabbed to death, the lawsuit according to a lawsuit filed Sunday in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The bombshell civil suit comes the same week James Rackover and two co-defendants are due for a pre-trial hearing in the high-profile criminal case.
The lawsuit was filed by Bob Abrams, an attorney for Comunale’s family. It adds a new twist to the murder case, alleging that Jeffrey Rackover “intentionally and knowingly [provided] the means to conceal Joey’s murder.”
Papers allege that James, 26, lived with Jeffrey in his Upper East Side apartment for several years before the grisly slaying.
Jeffrey “experienced sexual pleasure from [James] and, in return, [James] received drugs, money, a luxurious lifestyle and other benefits,” from Jeffrey, the suit charges.
The lovers decided “they should no longer live together,” around late 2015, and the well-heeled Jeffrey rented James an apartment in the same building on E. 59th St. and Sutton Place.
Joey Comunale was stabbed to death on Nov. 13, 2016 in the new residence Jeffrey leased for James.
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LawrenceDilione was taken into custody in Nov 2017
Prosecutors said Joseph Comunale a 26-year-old graduate of Hofstra from Stamford, Connecticut, had joined James and another partygoer, Lawrence Dilione, at James Rackover’s home following a night of partying at a Chelsea club.
Rackover is the adopted son of prominent New York City jewelry dealer Jeffery Rackover who also lived in the building.
The men were He was joined by three women. On Sunday evening, the women that he was with left the building without him. Also, a luggage cart was called to the room where the party took place. A man is seen pushing two items of luggage out of the building on the cart.
On Monday, Comunale’s dad reported him missing. Later that evening, police dogs discovered what is believed to be his blood residue on a luggage cart as well as bloody pants and sheets.
Two days later his body was found 55 miles south of The Grand Sutton Tower along the Jersey Shore in the town of Oceanport. A cadaver dog discovered the body in a shallow grave in swamp land behind a Florist shop.
Parts of his body were found “chopped” in suitcases at the scene and there had been an obvious attempt to torch the remains.
The narrative so far is that a fight ostensibly over cigarettes, resulted in Dilione, 28, knocking out Comunale, according to a statement from Dilione to police.
During a subsequent fight over cigarettes, Dilione knocked out Comunale, leading James to pummel him further, then strangle him and stab him in the head, and attempt to dismember him with a serrated knife, according to a confession Dilione allegedly made to cops.James then strangled Comunale and stabbed him, Dilione said in his statement. James then allegedly tried to dismember the body.
there have been suggestions that the duo the victim because he rebuffed their sexual advances.
James Rackover along with his pals Lawrence Dilione, 28 and 29-year-old Max Gemma have been charged over Comunale’s death.
Victim: Joseph ‘Joey’ Comunale was strangled, stabbed and dismembered by the suspects
The new lawsuit is based on events as they unfolded in the period just after the victim was killed and when the alleged killers, James and Dilione allegedly tried to get rid of the body.
Jeffrey Rackover had said in a statement, issued by Bo Dietl, that he had entered the apartment during that time to walk James Rackover’s dog and not seen anything unusual.
“He had not noticed anything wrong…notwithstanding the fact that Joey’s decomposing body was in the apartment at that time and that a heinous and bloody murder had been committed therein,” papers read.
James Rackover and Dilione were charged in May with murder in Comunale’s death.
Both were ordered held without bail when the murder indictment was filed.
Gemma who is not suspected in Comunale’s death was indicted in connection to the alleged cleanup effort. He joins Rackover and Dilione in facing charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence
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