An advertising executive who has fought his wife over a divorce for three years — and allegedly burned down a house he was supposed to give her — is now holding her hostage in South Windsor, Connecticut. Richard Shenkman, aka Richard Shenkman Tyler, a principal of Prime Media in Bloomfield (which doesn’t appear to be doing so hot), was accused in April of forging wife Nancy Tyler’s name to insurance documents and of burning down his East Lyme beach house, which was to go to his wife in a proposed settlement. He is believed to have kidnapped Tyler, a lawyer, from a parking garage near her workplace this morning, and at present they are in their house, which Tyler was supposed to vacate this afternoon and is now surrounded by police. The troubled executive threatens to kill his wife and other persons allegedly inside. He has also apparently fired off a gun and demanded that a story about his legal problems be removed from the Hartford Courant‘s web site and that police send in a priest for “last rites.”
Update: They got the wife out of the house at 8:27 p.m. and took her away in an ambulance. Shenkman is apparently still in there.
Update 2: Shenkman talked to New London Day reporter Karen Florin by phone this afternoon. Among his ravings: “The only ones I want to die are cops,” “the lightweight judges, always end up in the divorce court,” and “I don’t do very well with negotiations.” He let the wife talk too; she seemed, understandably, to be playing along. Since she left, shots have been heard and the house is on fire.
Update 3: They took Shenkman away in an ambulance. No word as to his condition.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 7, 2009