2006_01_deathdance.jpgWe were watching the Today Show this morning when former NYC DA Linda Fairstein was on the show, flogging her new mystery book, Death Dance, about a murder at Lincoln Center that was inspired by the real life murder of a musician at the Metropolitan Opera. And the real life murder story is what intrigued us, as this was the first we'd ever heard of it. It turns out that a musician, Helen Mintiks, was raped by a stagehand in a stairwell at the Met during an intermission in 1980 (which definitely made us too young to remember the circumstances) and seems to have been a sensational murder story back then. A stagehand, Craig S. Crimmins, then brought Mintiks to the roof of the Met and kicked her into a ventilation shaft, which killed her. A 2004 NY Times "Following Up" article noted that Crimmins, found guilty of Mintiks's murder in 1981, was up for parole (seems like he was probably denied parole). And, by looking at the search on NYTimes.com for article about the murder, it seems that a detective was accused (by the defense) of manipulating Crimmins during questioning and that Mintiks' husband sued Crimmins and the Met. A non-fiction book about the 1980 murder, Murder at the Met is available through resellers on Amazon.

Linda Fairstein's name is familiar to many because she was the prosecutor in the Preppie Murder case. It's hard not to think that the DA in early Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episodes played by Judith Light wasn't a little based on her.