By Michael Daly
At 4 p.m. on Dec. 11, 1974, rookie Police Officer Angel Poggi set off from the 23rd Precinct in East Harlem for his very first time on patrol.
His training officer, Detective Ray Flynn, was on the seat beside him as Poggi took the wheel of the radio car. Poggi dutifully recorded each call in his memo book as they went from one job to another.
“A gun run… a psycho… domestic abuse… a burglary,” Poggi recalled to The Daily Beast on Saturday. “Interesting.”
He added simply, “That’s what I wanted to do.”
They were nearing midnight and the end of the tour and Poggi was about to head back to the stationhouse when the radio crackled again.
“We received a call of a possible dead body,” he remembered.
Moments later, the cops pulled up to an abandoned tenement at 336 E. 110th St., the address given by a woman who had telephoned the report anonymously to the police. Flynn headed for an exterior doorway leading into the deep darkness of the cellar.
“He told me to go up the stoop,” Poggi would recall.
Poggi ascended the steps to a big set of double doors, sticking into his overcoat pocket the one radio that squad cars carried in those days. He tried to open the door on the left first, but it barely budged. He thought that perhaps a body was blocking it and he used his flashlight to peer inside. He saw that part of the foyer wall had fallen on that side.
He tried the door on the right and as it began to open he saw something delicate and almost imperceptible.
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Source: The Daily Beast