Candidate Aron's father dies in New York robbery

August 27, 1994|By Frank Langfitt | Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer

The father of U.S. Senate candidate Ruthann Aron was beaten to death Wednesday during a robbery at his home in upstate New York, according to police there.

David Greenzweig, 77, died as a result of multiple head blows at his house in the mountain resort town of South Fallsburg.

Police were searching yesterday for a suspect who they believe stole Mr. Greenzweig's 1984 Cadillac El Dorado and some cash. They said that the motive for the killing was robbery and that the suspect was acquainted with the victim. They would not say what, if any, weapon was used.

Ms. Aron, who is running in the Republican primary, will spend the weekend in South Fallsburg, campaign officials said. A funeral is expected to be held tomorrow.

The slaying stunned both family members and campaign staffers.

"It's a shocking, disgusting, violent crime," said Dr. Barry Aron, the candidate's husband. "That shouldn't happen to anybody."

Dr. Aron said his wife was handling the sudden loss as well as could be expected. "Ruthann is a very strong person," he said. "She is really upset. Obviously, she's going to be somewhat distracted for a while."

Campaign manager Craig Esty said he thought Ms. Aron would return to the campaign early next week and expected that she would attend a televised Republican Senate debate scheduled for Tuesday in Baltimore.

Mr. Greenzweig was killed while renovating the house in which his daughter grew up. Fallsburg Police Lt. Bart Rasnick said that while working on the old family home, Mr. Greenzweig was living in another residence.

When he failed to show up there Wednesday evening, friends went looking for him at the old house, Lieutenant Rasnick said. They arrived about 8 p.m. and found the home locked. Looking through a window, they spotted Mr. Greenzweig's body in the basement.

Police arrived and broke a window to enter the home. Lieutenant Rasnick said police believe that the killer locked the door behind him as he left. Lieutenant Rasnick said that there was no sign of forced entry but that police assume Mr. Greenzweig left doors unlocked while he worked during the day.

South Fallsburg is a summer resort town in the Catskills with a permanent population of about 16,000. In a recent interview, Ms. Aron said she grew up working in a diner her parents ran there. Mr. Greenzweig also ran several kitchens at hotels in town. He was divorced from Ms. Aron's mother.

Mr. Greenzweig's death comes a little less than three weeks before the Sept. 13 state primary. Ms. Aron, a Montgomery County real estate developer, is a political newcomer running in a field that includes former Tennessee Sen. Bill Brock and state Del. C. Ronald Franks.

"Ruthann didn't have enough on her shoulders," said Dr. Aron with a hint of bitterness yesterday. "Now she needs this."

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