Building Blast Part of Unusual Suicide Attempt

Jul 10, 2006 12:47pm

A Manhattan townhouse collapse was part of a successful doctor’s highly unusual suicide attempt in the midst of a bitter divorce, police said. Officials tell ABCNews.com Dr. Nicholas Bartha engineered the blast at one of New York City’s most prestigious addresses in order to also prevent his estranged wife from obtaining the proceeds from the sale of their multi-million dollar Manhattan townhouse. A rambling, electronic suicide note spelled out the doctor’s reasoning, senior officials said. In it, Dr. Bartha allegedly indicated he intended to kill himself and blow the building up at the same This, investigators said, explained the unusual nature of the unsuccessful suicide bid. Senior police officials, investigators and Office of Emergency Management officials all confirm, in addition to the contents of the note, that a gas explosion was the cause of the collapse of 34 East 62nd Street this morning. The doctor survived the collapse and is reported by police to be in critical condition. According to New York state court papers, Dr. Bartha had abused his wife, who was born in Nazi-occupied Holland, by posting "swastika-adorned articles and notes affixed around their home."

The Appellate Court found that Dr. Bartha "intentionally traumatized plaintiff, a woman of Jewish origin born in Nazi-occupied Holland, with swastika-adorned articles and notes affixed around their home, and became enraged when she removed them. He ignored her need for support and assistance while she was undergoing surgery and treatment for breast cancer. He systematically cut off her access to marital funds and credit as a means of psychological abuse."’

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