03-06-2010, 07:46 PM #1
OH - Arthur Shapiro, 43, Columbus, 6 March 1985
On this date twenty five years ago on March 6, 1985 in Columbus, Ohio, Columbus lawyer Arthur L. Shapiro was gunned down in cold blood by an unknown gunman. The murder made front page headlines in the Columbus newspapers back in 1985.
Arthur L. Shapiro was in his parked car with an unknown man at a local cemetery. Shapiro suddenly ran away from his car and ran to a condo located next to the cemetery where he was gunned down by an unknown gunman chasing after him.
In the beginning of the murder investigation and twenty five years later, Columbus LE authorities still suspect that Columbus accountant Berry L. Kessler had a direct connection and a motive in the Shapiro murder case.
Before his murder, Arthur L. Shapiro and Berry L. Kessler were both under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service. Shapiro was investigated for failing to pay his income tax and was scheduled to give testimony before a federal grand jury. Kessler was under investigation for helping Shapiro create false tax shelters.
Berry L. Kessler plead guilty in 1986 in a Columbus federal court of helping Shapiro file false tax returns and received probation on those charges.
Even though Berry L. Kessler had a direct connection and motive, Columbus LE authorities didn’t have any evidence to file charges against Kessler in the Shapiro murder case.
The Shapiro murder case wasn’t the only murder case in Columbus for which Berry L. Kessler was investigated and never charged with by Columbus LE authorities.
In 1970, Kessler’s business partner Frank Yassenoff and Yassenoff’s fiancée were found murdered. No suspects have ever been arrested and the Yassenoff murder case is still open and remains unsolved.
Nine years after the murder of Arthur L. Shapiro, Berry L. Kessler was in federal court again in Columbus.
In 1994, Berry L. Kessler was found guilty in federal court in Columbus of hiring a hit man to murder another business partner, John Deroo in Florida. Kessler was also found guilty of plotting the death of another business partner, Perce Yankey. Kessler had life insurance policies on both men. Berry L. Kessler was sentenced to life in prison without parole on the federal charges.
Berry L. Kessler was also convicted and sentenced to death in 1997 in the state of Florida for the murder of John Deroo. In 1999, The Florida Supreme Court overturned Kessler’s 1997 murder conviction.
Berry L. Kessler was retried, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005 in the state of Florida for the murder of John Deroo. Six months later, Berry L. Kessler died in 2005 at the age of 84 at a federal prison in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Arthur L. Shapiro murder case is still open and remains unsolved to this day.
03-06-2010, 08:35 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2004
All this after he turned 65?
Makes you wonder what this Barry Kessler did earlier in life if he killed all these people after he turned 65. Most people look to retiring then.
What are the specifics in the case involving Shapiro? It does not sound like Kessler gained much from killing him (if he was the one responsible), since he was later tried and convicted anyway.
03-06-2010, 10:21 PM #3
It could have been that Shapiro may have knew too much about something or someone and he was killed to keep him from testifying before a federal grand jury.
The Columbus news media reported a decade after Shapiro's murder that there were speculation by Columbus LE that Shapiro's murder may have been a mafia style hit.
I found online an old news digest from the Securities & Exchange Comission from 1972 regarding activities that Berry Kessler was involved with as an accountant back then.
I also found Kessler's appeal to the Florida Supreme Court regarding his 1997 murder conviction.
But you're right. It does make you wonder what Berry Kessler did before he was 65.
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