Yesterday's story about a dead shark on the N train transfixed a languid city, and was reported everywhere from the New York Times to the Associated Press to the Times of India. Funny/insensitive photos were taken with the shark, the Taiwanese animation team immortalized it in a short film, and the Discovery Channel issued a statement denying that it was planted there to promote Shark Week. And so that frivolous chapter was closed... or SO WE THOUGHT.
Despite all the reportage, no one knew how the shark ended up on the subway. (We do know what became of its corpse—an MTA spokesman told us it was thrown out with the trash. That's right, no autopsy, no Medical Examiner's report, the perfect crime.) But this morning we received an email with the tantalizing subject line: "Shark on Subway - New Clues - Solved Mystery." Our tipster, who included these photos, writes:
My name is Domenick and I read your piece on the shark on the subway. Here is the real story, I was working that day and my neighbor decides to go to the beach with her family and invites my kids as well. While they were at Coney Island the little shark washes up right by where they were.
The life guard moves the shark and people ask him if they could take it, while others wanted to take pictures with it. My neighbor, who took the photo, texted me to say how "boss" my daughter was by holding the shark while the boys in the group were afraid to even get close. Our neighbor and my kids took some pictures with it and then a guy took the shark with him.
Domenick's neighbor, Alicia Vicino, is absolutely positive the shark spotted on the subway is the same shark her family encountered on Coney Island Tuesday. She tells us another group at the beach announced they were keeping the shark, and says, "I don't know what the hell they were gonna do with it, but i guess they took it on the train! It's got to be the same shark. It looks the same. And it was on the N train, which goes to Coney Island. We were cracking up when we saw it on the news. We said, 'That's our shark!'"
Vicino described the shark from the beach as approximately three feet long and heavy. "My kids are really into sharks," she added.
Well, I guess we can close the file on this one! (But check back for at least three more Subway Shark follow-ups today.)