Contact Us
Stamford Daily Voice serves Stamford, CT
Return to your home site


Stamford Daily Voice serves Stamford, CT

Nearby Towns

police & fire

Fight Over Cigarettes Led To Murder Of Stamford Man In Manhattan

Joseph "Joey" Comunale
Joseph "Joey" Comunale Photo Credit: Lacerenza Funeral Home

STAMFORD, Conn. -- The murder of a Stamford man in a Manhattan East Side apartment in November is recounted in horrific detail in court records, according to the Stamford Advocate.

The killing of Joseph Comunale on Nov. 13 began with a fight over a cigarette, said the Stamford Advocate, citing a statement by one of the defendants in the case, Lawrence Dilione, that was submitted in court.

Dilione, 28, of Jersey Cit, N.J., and James Rackover, 25, of Manhattan have both been charged with hindering prosecution, tampering with physical evidence and concealment of a corpse in connection with the case. A third suspect, Max Gemma, 29, of Oceanport, N.Y., was charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence. All suspects have pleaded not guilty to their charges, and none have yet been charged with the actual murder.

Mark Bederow, a defense attorney for Gemma, filed a motion citing the statement that Dilione gave to police after the murder, where Dilione said the 26-year-old Comunale was beaten unconscious after a night of partying, said the Stamford Advocate. Bederow said there is no evidence Gemma was present for the killing, the Stamford Advocate reported.

Dilione reportedly told police days following the killing that Rackover had been the one that killed Comunale, said the Stamford Advocate, citing court records.

“All I did was punch him, then James said he didn’t want to go to jail and then James stabbed him," Dilione said, according to the Stamford Advocate.

After Comunale was stabbed multiple times, his body was thrown from a fourth-floor apartment window and buried in a shallow grave in Monmouth County, N.J., police said. His body was partially burned before it was buried in the remote area, police said.

Comunale was a 2008 graduate of Westhill High School and a 2012 graduate of Hofstra University. He worked as a sales associate at Tri-Ed in Elmsford, N.Y.

Click here for the Stamford Advocate story.

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Stamford Daily Voice!

Get the news you need to know on the go.

Welcome to

Stamford Daily Voice!

Hi! You've read our articles so we know you like our reporting. To keep reading please join our mailing list.

Get important news about your town as it happens.