The unsolved 1968 murder of Irene J. Izak Who Taught French at Binghamton North High from 1964 to 1966.
The unsolved 1968 murder of Irene J. Izak. Irene Izak, 25, was from Scranton, PA, born in the Ukraine. From 1964 to 1966 she taught French at North High in Binghamton NY and then in 1967 she taught French in Rochester NY. Irene Izak, a young French teacher from Scranton, Pennsylvania, was headed toward a new job and the promise of a new life in Quebec. She never reached the border that early June morning. Her still unsolved murder that took place in Watertown, NY, on a island that’s part of the Thousand Islands between Canada and the US. Savagely bludgeoned, her face and head pummeled with rocks (possibly a large metal flashlight), Irene’s body was discovered in a ravine by a state trooper patrolling Route 81 in Jefferson County, who had previously stopped her for speeding (in a 1960’s VW bug what the hell?).
photo credits WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES.
It was the summer of 1968, the whole country was in turmoil. Unsolved murder of Binghamton North High French teacher Irene J. Izak on June 10th 1968. Just 5 days earlier on June 5th, 1968 Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by a Palestinian. Senator Robert Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after winning the California presidential primary. Immediately after he announced to his cheering supporters that the country was ready to end its fractious divisions, Kennedy was shot several times by the 22-year-old Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan. He died a day later. The summer of 1968 was a tempestuous time in American history. Both the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement were peaking. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated in the spring, igniting riots across the country. In the face of this unrest, President Lyndon B. Johnson decided not to seek a second term in the upcoming presidential election. The whole country was in turmoil on June 10th, 1968 when petite French teacher Irene Izak was beaten to death by New York State Trooper David Hennigan, who served in the Army from 1957 to 1960.
The early morning hours of June 10, 1968, when the 25-year-old Ms. Izak, whose family had fled Ukraine during World War II, was driving her Volkswagen Beetle north along Interstate 81. Her ultimate destination was Montreal, where the longtime Francophile had an interview for a teaching job. While passing through the Watertown area, her car was stopped by a New York state trooper named David Hennigan. From there, she made her way to the toll booth entrance to the Thousand Islands Bridge. Not long after that, her body was found off the side of the road in the St. Lawrence River by, of all people, Trooper Hennigan. Later inquiries indicated her neck was broken from a blow to the back of her head at the base of her skull (brain stem) from a large metal flashlight, like what State Troopers carried in the 1960’s.
After being dragged over the guardrails and down into a grassy ravine, Ms. Izak was bludgeoned over the head with a series of rocks. However, her body showed no signs of sexual assault, and her purse lay untouched in the car. By all appearances the killing was done in a fit of rage. As state police began their investigation, they picked up several problems with Trooper Hennigan’s story. For one thing, his uniform was stained with Ms. Izak’s blood. He said he got it on him when he raised her head to check for vital signs, an action that goes against police protocol. In addition, the toll booth operator said Ms. Izak was extremely distressed during their encounter, during which Trooper Hennigan passed by in his unmarked cruiser.
Also, Trooper Hennigan said he had stopped Ms. Izak for speeding, but tests revealed her Volkswagen wasn’t capable of going the 75 miles an hour he claimed she was going (in a 1960’s VW bug what the hell?). And the fact that he was able to spot her body with such ease, despite the pitch-black conditions, puzzled investigators. “There’s so many ingredients here,”. Trooper Hennigan was ultimately taken in for questioning, but his wife showed up and dragged him out. His role as a potential suspect effectively ended there. “We would hear her father say in Ukrainian, ‘They covered up for one of their own,'”.
WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES, 12/17/2010…”The body of Irene J. Izak, a 25-year-old French teacher from Scranton, Pa., was found in a ditch near the grounds of DeWolf Point State Park on Wellesley Island early on June 10, 1968. She had been savagely bludgeoned about the head, although a revived investigation 12 years ago revealed a blow to the back of her neck was likely what killed her. The murder was reported by a state trooper, David N. Hennigan, who had stopped her car about an hour and 20 minutes earlier on Interstate 81 near Watertown. No arrest was ever made. Late in 1998, the victim’s remains were exhumed at a cemetery outside Scranton for examination by Dr. Michael Baden, chief forensic pathologist for the state police. He made the determination about a blow to her neck from a round cylinder item, like a large flashlight.
No coincidences in a murder case, this is 1968 out in the middle of nowhere and a foreign born young woman Irene Izak 25 who speaks with Russian/Ukrainian accent (born in Ukraine in 1943 during WWII) appears to have had a run in with a NY State Trooper and ends up dead. He served in the Army from 1957 to 1960 during the cold war, hate crime? During the 1960’s and 1970’s a large metal flashlight was used as a billy club by law enforcement, I know I was hit by one in Binghamton.
Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota SEX, CRIME CHEATERS & TERRORISM at http://www.wbipi.com