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Queens hoarder remembered as ‘loving’, ‘kind-hearted’ friend

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The Emmy Award-winning woman who was found mummified and buried under a pile of garbage in her Queens home Tuesday was a beloved neighbor whose friends were concerned about her well being for months.

Evelyn Sakash, 66, was found surrounded by debris in the house after her sister hired a cleaning crew to clear out her College Point home to see if she was inside.

Neighbor Laraine Memola, 68, told The Post that she had a gut feeling about her good friend’s demise — and insisted police search the house in October.

“Everybody told me I was wrong, because I knew she was in there. I knew it. And I begged them,” Memola said. “I begged the detectives working on the case to go in there. They guaranteed me she wasn’t in there.”

Memola said she met Sakash — a television, film and Broadway production designer — at a College Point VFW, and later moved right across the street from her. The duo became fast friends soon after.

Evelyn Sakash had a career in show business working as a production designer on shows like films like "Mermaids" and "Still Alice."
Evelyn Sakash had a career in show business working as a production designer on productions like “Mermaids” and “Still Alice.”

“I conversed with her on almost a daily basis and she was just compassionate, loving, giving to both people and animals,”  Memola, a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, said.

“I have never known a more pure gentle kind-hearted spirit. And I hate to see a lot of the negativity that is being spread or written because of the hoarding.”

The two always hung out in public, and Memola said she was in the dark about Sakash’s deadly habit.

“I didn’t know that Evelyn … I never went in her house, so I didn’t know she was doing all that,” she said.

Sakash skipped grades in school and graduated Queens College with high honors, according to her friend.

She worked on dozens of notable sets since the mid 1980s, winning an Emmy for her work on “Between the Lions.”

The production expert also dressed stages on Broadway, Memola said. But that work dried up with the rest of show business at the start of the pandemic.

Memola, and dozens of friends in a private Facebook group called “Evelyn We Love You,” have been agonizing over Sakash’s disappearance since October. When the bad news came Tuesday night, Memora was in a enough of a frenzied state to require hospitalization.

"Made in America" was one of the films Evelyn Sakash worked on during her career in show business.
“Made in America” was one of the films Evelyn Sakash worked on during her career in show business.
Alamy Stock Photo

“I got so upset last night when all this was discovered. And it was what I said and no one addressed it,” Memola said, referring to her October preminiation. 

“I was tired. I was walking and I just fell in the middle of the street.  I was so upset and I had to go to the hospital, and I have a small fracture in my arm,” she said.

“I do feel good that we got the closure but I don’t feel good about the outcome,” the friend said.

“She was a wonderful spirit, a wonderful soul. Always loving and giving.”



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Suspect arrested in fatal Brooklyn stabbing

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Police have apprehended a suspect in the fatal December stabbing of a Brooklyn man, cops said on Saturday.

The suspect, John Headley, 32, also of Brooklyn, was taken into custody Friday and charged with murder and weapons possession for the Dec. 12 knifing of Ken Baird, 37, police said.

Baird was stabbed multiple times in the chest following a dispute on Crown Street near Utica Avenue in Crown Heights at about 6:40 p.m., police said.

EMS transported Baird to King County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

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Man dies after jumping from Staten Island Ferry

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A 53-year-old man died Saturday after jumping from the Staten Island Ferry into the chilly waters of New York Harbor, police said.

NYPD Harbor launch officers pulled the man out of the water after responding to reports of a jumper near the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan at around 2 p.m.

“He jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock,” an NYPD spokesman told The Post. He jumped off the Ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi, police said.

The unidentified victim was removed to Pier 11 and transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 3:10 p.m.

A newsstand worker said there were “about 50 or so emergency people” at Pier 11 following a valiant effort — which included CPR — to save the man’s life.

Ferry1

An NYPD spokesman says the 53-year-old man “jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock.”

Michael Dalton

Ferry3

The 53-year-old man was transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Michael Dalton

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Kemp Lashes M.L.B. as Republicans Defend Georgia’s Voting Law

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Mr. Kemp, who is gearing up to run for re-election in 2022, has striven to re-enter the good graces of Republican voters after becoming a central political target of former President Donald J. Trump because of his refusal to help Mr. Trump overturn the state’s election results last year. A former secretary of state of Georgia who has his own record of decisions that made voting harder for the state’s residents, he is again a key G.O.P. voice leading the charge on the issue.

On Saturday, he repeatedly tried to paint the league’s decision as driven by Stacey Abrams, the voting rights advocate and former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia who is seen as likely to challenge Mr. Kemp again next year.

Ms. Abrams, one of the most prominent critics of Georgia’s voting law, has pushed back on calls for sports leagues and corporations to boycott the state. She said on Friday that she was “disappointed” baseball officials had pulled the All-Star Game but that she was “proud of their stance on voting rights.”

In defending the law in Georgia, Mr. Kemp singled out two Democratically controlled states, New York and Delaware, and compared their voting regulations with the new law in Georgia. Those states do not offer as many options for early voting as Georgia does, but they have also not passed new laws instituting restrictions on voting.

“In New York, they have 10 days of early voting,” Mr. Kemp said (New York actually has nine). “In Georgia, we have a minimum of 17, with two additional Sundays that are optional in our state. In New York, you have to have an excuse to vote absentee. In Georgia, you can vote absentee for any reason.”



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