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Chess Master Brutally Murdered in New York City

Oct. 25, 1962 - Abe Turner (pictured left with Bobby Fischer in 1958), a chess master who was one of the top players in the country, was found stabbed to death today in the basement of a Manhattan building where he had been working as a clerk for the magazine Chess Review. The 38-year-old tournament player had been stabbed 9 times and placed inside a large wall safe. “This is incredible,” said Jack Battell, executive editor of Chess Review. “He was here in the office, alive and cheerful, at 2 p.m. Then he went down to the basement to get rid of some rubbish.” The body was found at 3:25 p.m. by the superintendent of the building at 134 West 72nd St. Tonight, the police arrested a clerk-typist employed by the publication. The suspect, the police said, admitted the crime and said he had thrown the knife into Central Park at 84th St. The police quoted him as saying he had committed the murder because “the Secret Service” had ordered that Mr. Turner be killed “as a spy.” Mr. Turner, who was 6 feet tall and weighed 280 pounds, had apparently been killed and then dragged along a 40-foot-long basement corridor to the safe. The door was ajar. The police found a claw hammer and some surgical instruments near the body and thought at first that Mr. Turner had been beaten to death. But a quick medical examination disclosed nine stab wounds.


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