Martin Tankleff

Martin Tankleff was 17 when he was arrested for killing his parents, Seymour and Arlene Tankleff, in their home on Long Island. He had confessed following hours of interrogation by police.  Martin was convicted and has served 16 years of a 50 year sentence.  It was September 7th, 1988 and Martin was getting up and preparing for the first day of his senior year in high school. He discovered his parents stabbed and bludgeoned.  His mother, Arlene Tankleff, was dead.  His father, Seymour Tankleff was unconscious but alive.  Martin called 911.  He was given instructions to give first-aid to his father. Martin told the police that he suspected Jerry Steuerman, his father’s business partner at Strathmore Bagels.  Steuerman owed his father hundreds of thousands of dollars and Seymour had recently demanded the money.  Steuerman had allegedly threatened his parents earlier in the summer, and was the last guest to leave a poker game in the Tankleff home the night before the murders occured. Shortly after the attacks, as Seymour lay unconscious in the hospital, Steuerman faked his own death and fled to California. Oddly, he has never been considered a suspect by the Suffolk County police although the missing person report filed when he disappeared stated that he was heavily interrogated prior to his disappeance. It would appear that Steuerman had both the motive and the opportunity to commit the crime. Tankleff was interrogated by Detective James McCready who took the teenager to the police station and began an interrogation that lasted for hours.  Detective McCready faked a phone call and lied, which is a standard interrogation technique, and told Martin that his father had come out of his coma and identified Martin Tankleff as the killer.  Martin confessed at that point.  McCready then read Martin Tankleff his rights and drafted a confession document.  Tankleff never signed the confession.  The confession was later recanted by Tankleff. Years later, in an interesting twist, Detective McCready had been found to have perjured himself by the NY State Investigation Comission in a previous murder case. Tankleff’s Aunts and Uncles believe that Martin Tankleff is innocent.  Marty’s half-sister, Shari, who supported Marty at first, later stated she believes he is guilty.   In 2001, Jay Salpeter, a former New York City homicide detective and now a private investigator on Long Island, agreed to assist Tankleff in his fight to prove his innocence. The story becomes a little muddy at this point.  Steuerman’s son and a friend, Joe Creedon, are accused of selling drugs out of the bagel stores.  Events seemed to lead them back to Seymour Tankleff’s business partner, Jerry Steuerman.  Over the years, Creedon has bragged to many people about being involved in the Tankleff murders.  Creedon’s arrest records show he allegedly had been caught trying to burglarize one of the bagel stores. His accomplice was a man named Glenn Haris. Salpeter tracked down Harris, who told the investigator that on September 7, 1988, he was the getaway driver for what he thought at the time was a burglary of a home on Long Island. He said he drove Creedon and another man to the home and watched them go into the house as he waited in the car. Twenty or so minutes later they were back and told Harris to get them out of there.  Later Harris would say he saw one of them burning his clothes. When he heard the radio reports about the crime, Harris knew that something more than a burglary had taken place. Based on this evidence, Tankleff’s attorneys filed a motion for a new trial.  A Suffolk County judge ordered an evidentiary hearing, which lasted seven months, ending in March, 2005. Coverage in the NY Times, Newsday and on CBS’s “48 Hours,” has been heavy through the years. It has been reported that Tankleff has proclaimed his innocence for years, as has some of his family and many supporters.  It has always bothered me when the media reports that a convicted felon is proclaiming his innocence, as if that were enough to prove innocence.  What has a convicted felon got to lose?  But that is neither hear nor there.  A trial seems to be called for in this case.  If for nothing else but to find out what happened that night in 1988.  Tankleff is currently imprisoned in a maximum security prison in Comstock, New York.  If you would like more information follow the link, below.


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17 thoughts on “Martin Tankleff”

  1. Dave mentioned to me how when the cops came they never found the murder weapon but a few months later when he was down in basement playing ping pong the ball went under the water heater and there was the bloody knife. WTF?

  2. what was the house number on market street where this happened? I just bought a house on market street and I hope it isn’t my house. 😦

  3. I definatly think he had everything to do with it. I have so many stories describing his violence. Just found an old journal and they are all in that too. It makes me sick. He abused my son so bad and ruined his life.

    1. Dave negus the 55 year old who was Maureens x husband was furious at Maureen for keeping the children away from him. He is very violent and has a history of even biting people during fights. He is a very bad alcoholic when he does drink he becomes phycotic and totally blacks out. He is not safe when he drinks or other wise. He repeatedly molested my son right under my nose without me knowing it and thus destroyed two generations due to that carnage. When will someone do something. He told me one time that he would take it to the grave. Those were his exact words. He was raised in a very abusive childhood and he has told me many a story about that. He also said that after the cops searched the house a month or more later the knife that was used for the murder was found under the oil burner. when he was playing ping pong someone went to get the ball and saw the knife? What the heck??? I am angry that people get away with all kinds of bad things.

    1. I am Dave Negus Ex girl friend. Personally , I feel he had everything to do with her death. My son is now 27 and when we lived with him for over five years I did not know at the time and my son was not yet three when we first moved in but Dave molested him for a long time right under my nose and I did not know it. He has serious issues and he has the ability to kill. My sons life was destroyed and in turn in created alot of other hurt and loss. But God is in control and he will be the final judge!!!

    2. Dave told me he would “Take it to the Grave.” I think a cold case file needs to be executed. The only reason why I feel bad is for his two sons as they have seen his Dark side all too many times. I protected them from his rage so many times but you know how bonds are in families. Especially because they already lost their Mom. As strange and wounded as their Dad is, they would’nt need to be put through that too. They were good kids and did not deserve anything bad.

    3. :’-( I’ve thought about her as well as her boys and this case for years. I was at the house a couple of times and met little Davey. My heart will forever go out to those sweet baby boys. May Hod Bless and Be with them Always🙏

  4. Wow… I cannot believe I have found this site. I was a good friend of Maureen’s. I know first hand how badly things were handled. About 7 years ago I contacted Suffolk Country homicide. I asked about DNA testing on evidence from the scene.(it is my understanding that evidence from a crime scene is never discarded) DNA technology did not exist in 1984. Once again I was told by the chief of homicide there was nothing anyone could do. I do know that there was news articles on the poor condition of the county lab at the time of the murders. There has never been any cooperation from the police ,state attorney general. David Negus’s brother was a NYC cop. Hmmmmm?????

  5. someone should look into McCready’s association with pulse answering and alarm services,systems.
    many off duty detectives moonlighted there
    the majority of their alarms were in beltair
    during the state commision of investigation in 1987
    (see New York times, January 29,1987)
    the commander of the robbery squad Detective Lieut. John Gallager
    killed himself hours before he was to testify in private regarding
    misdoings of the robbery squad
    if this is the extent that the wall of blue will go to,
    to protect some of their own
    then too, like Marty “a cop with a badge” can become all of our living nightmares

  6. I knew Maureen, peripherally. When I was a teenager, growing up here in Port Jeff, I knew the family and met Maureen, who I knew had been dating Dave, at her brother-in-law Peter Negus’s funeral. I had moved away from the area and resided here “on and off” over the years. I want to be reminded of the facts of this case again. It’s been a very long time and I, as you, are shocked and amazed there is little at all I can find on the internet regarding her. I have strangely been contemplating her for months and I, as well as a housemate (who is not from here and not familiar with the case), have possibly had some “activity”. I can not imagine her families pain – I’m thinking of bringing this story up with an editor friend who works at the Times Record (who I sometimes write for). I’m going to have to do some leg work, but if you could help re-familurize me with the case (address, it was Dave Negus who had been charged and aquitted, right? The content of that contractors dream, etc, etc..) I’d be greatful. This is an abomination – this woman deserves justice (something not dished well in the old and corrupt boys club known as the suffolk county judicial system). We finally got justice for Marty – Maureen deserves the same and I feel it is something she is calling for, if only to provide her with the respect of not just “convieniently” being buried and forgotton – any information would be appreciated. Thanks…

  7. I am very curious to know more about the Maureen Negus murder, as it appears there were many leads not pursued , including an alleged dream in which Maureen herself appeared to a local contractor. Why has this case been silent for over twenty years?
    The family still suffers. Why hasn’t anyone “cold-cased” this?
    or for that matter, why haven’t the Ghosthunters gone to the home,
    where she died and where her ex-husband still lives?

  8. I agree that detective Mcreedy was deeply involved
    this case is identical to the Maureen Negus murder trial
    in which James Mcreedy and Rafferty pergered themselfs among other things
    Where is the justice for her two small children
    now adults
    I pray the truth will come out
    and the killers will be aprehended

  9. Thanks for your comment. The kid was definately framed and it’s just amazing that the bagel man, Jerry S, continues to walk free while Marty is imprisoned. I hate injustice and thanks for putting criminal bastards where they belong-IN PRISON.

    Remember the “Free Leonard Peltier” bumper stickers? Maybe a FREE MARTY-DUMP SUFFOLK D.A. SPOTA bumper sticker is needed.

  10. I found this “blog” doing a google search on Marty Tankleff. I have been an advocate for since the evidentiary hearings commenced which resulted in Suffolk County Judge Stephen Braslow unjustly denying Marty a retrial. I was a veteran of the NY State Police for 23 years, most as an investigator involved in every serious type of felony investigation including murder. I, too, don’t believe everyone in prison is innocent although they profess to be. I put a bunch of them there myself. I do believe 100% in Marty’s innocence after thoroughly examining the facts and have been obsessed with not only exonerating him but holding the vicious murdering bastards that killed his parents accountible. We know who they are. However, even if one weren’t convinced of Marty’s innocence there can be no denying that Jay Salpeter presented tons of new evidence which should have granted Marty a retrial. I have discovered that Marty’s failure to get a retrial have more to do with current Suffolk County DA Thomas Spota’s close association with both the cop, James McCready who framed Marty and Seymore Tankleff’s business partner, Jerry Steuerman, the bagel guy, who commissioned the murders. Additionally, it should be no surprised that McCready and Steuerman had a close association with each other long before the homicides. Helllllooooo!!!!!!!!!!!! BTW, McCready also opened up a bar with Shari Rother, Marty’s half sister who inherited everything from her father with the conviction of Marty. That might explain her change of heart. Not one of Marty’s family (other than Shari) have ever for one second suspected Marty but have always known it was Jerry Steuerman who employed Peter Kent and Joey “Guns” Creedon to murder Arlene and Seymore Tankleff. As you now know, the case should be heard by the NYS Appellate Court, in Brooklyn. Barry Sheck of the Innocence Project and many other leading legal scholars have expressed support for Marty as well as every member of the media covering the story (who all know he is innocent). If the Appellate Court upholds Judge Braslow’s outrageous ruling, we will know it is not due to the facts presented. It will show that the system put in place to protect us fails miserably. I want to thank folks like you who have been getting out the word on the Internet.

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