News & Politics

Mystery Unfolds Regarding Explosives in East Village’s Marble Cemetery


The story of the explosives found today in the East Village’s New York City Marble Cemetery at 2nd Street keeps getting weirder. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly just gave a press conference that explained, to some degree, how explosives would end up in such unlikely a bomb-spot as a cemetery (dead people being pretty much the least susceptible among us to such an attack) — but also just lead to further questions.

In June of 2009, he explained, the cemetery caretaker was putting in some new bushes when he found a bag containing 8 one-and-a-quarter-pound sticks of military-grade C4. Kelly said it was “unclear” if the cemetery caretaker knew what was in the bag, which he put next to a fence, where it stayed until yesterday. Yesterday, a volunteer worker found the bag and moved it to a trash can, and today, decided to call in the “suspicious package.”

There was no detonating device on the explosives, so they would not have gone off. But police became further concerned when they found a “rambling note” attached to a police car in front of the 9th Precinct on 5th Street that contained religious ramblings, including something to the effect of “Stop putting Christ on 2nd Street” and signed “Jesus Christ.” That, along with writing found in chalk on 2nd Street that said, “I really hope one of you finds this” made them consider a possible connection to the discovery of the C4.

The police don’t know whether those three bizarre things are related, nor how long the chalk has been on 2nd Street, but are continuing to investigate. Kelly remarked that the C4 looked like it had been buried in the cemetery for a long time and that forensics teams would work to investigate the materials’ age and origin.

There are currently no charges against the caretaker, and no one was in danger. We’ll update as we learn more.

Reporting by Sergio Hernandez


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