New York City’s last unsolved murder of 9/11

Nineteen years ago on 9/11, a total of 2753 people were killed at the World Trade Center by Al Qaeda terrorists.

But one more person was murdered on that terrible day, shot to death on a dark Brooklyn street just before midnight.

Almost two decades later, amid yearly tributes to the victims at the World Trade Center, his death on a Bed-Stuy block is still unsolved.

The victim was Polish immigrant Henryk Siwiak, a 46-year-old father of two. Siwiak came to the United States 11 months earlier looking for work, according to a WNYC report from 2011.

Siwiak was staying near his sister in Far Rockaway. On the morning of 9/11, he arrived at the Lower Manhattan construction site where he had been working, but the site had closed due to the terrorist attacks.

“So he walked to Brooklyn and sometime later went to a Polish employment agency,” states WNYC. “There he was offered a job: to clean a Pathmark supermarket in Flatbush. The pay was around $10 an hour and he would start that same night.”

He went home to Queens and called his wife. “He borrowed a map from his landlady,” Siwiak’s wife, Ewa, later told WNYC. “I spoke to her later. She tried to stop him, told him it wasn’t a good neighborhood, it was not a good time to go there, and definitely not on that particular day.”

That night, Siwiak took an A train and got off at Utica Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, which was unfortunately a long way from the supermarket.

Apparently trying to find the store, he ended up on Albany Avenue between Fulton and Decatur Streets (above right, the block in 2019).

At 11:45 pm, residents heard gunshots. Siwiak was hit in the chest. He made it up the stoop at 119 Decatur Street (above left, in 2011) and rang the doorbell before dying, the New York Times reported in 2011.

The gunman got away. Was it a robbery? Money in Siwiak’s pockets had not been taken, according to the Times.

“His widow has theorized that Siwiak was targeted in the aftermath of the attack because he looked Middle Eastern, with a dark complexion, and spoke with an accent,” states the Daily News article. “And she noted that her husband wore an army fatigue jacket and camouflage pants on the night he was blown away.”

To this day, police still have not said they have any leads. (At right, 119 Decatur Street in 2019)

His case remains cold, his death a mystery overshadowed by the horrors of 9/11 and memorialized by no one outside his family.

[Top image: Wikipedia; second image: Google 2019; third image: Todd Heisler/NYT; fourth image: Google 2019]

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13 Responses to “New York City’s last unsolved murder of 9/11”

  1. Tom B Says:

    I can believe the widow’s theory. After the capture of hostages in Iran, I was harassed by men in a car while crossing the street at night in a small quiet community in Ohio. They were taunting me with middle-east accusations. I am very white. It is a scary feeling when being targeted for some thing you didn’t do. It reminds me of the NYC draft riot mentality. Mob anger is fatal, as we see now in the Pacific Northwest.

  2. chas1133 Says:

    Interesting and sad facts…there are several layers to the Towers attack. I spent time at GZ, totally absorbed in the aftermath…easy to see how this case went cold. This is worth looking into…NYPD does have a Cold Case Squad…many waiting for justice

  3. George Quinn Says:

    First…be very careful what you say about 911. Second: never believe anything the media says….It was orchestrated by stupid people for insurance purposes. All the supposed hijackers are still alive, save for one who died in a traffic crash in Abu Dhabi about 2006. One works for FORD in Cincinnati. He sued the gov’t and won a pile of money. Ask yourself. Why no airplane engines? Why no bodies, How can steel melt from jet fuel that burns at 1500 degrees and steel melts at 4300 degrees. I worked at building the towers and the vertical beams are 2 feet x 4 feet welded end to end, which took a week for each joint. No plane ever flew through the towers. Yes I can prove it. Then ask yourselves..Why no plane at the pentagon and why no plane in PA. Actually flight 93 landed in Cleveland with 44 passengers & crew..Well documented. Google “Zietgeist” to learn more than you know now. Also Google 911 the pentagon, behind the smoke & mirrors by Barbara Honnegger. You won’t learn any less. Why was a STEALTH bomber flying super close to sach tower? Why were cameras pointed exactly to the supposed point of impact?

  4. chas1133 Says:

    Comments should be screened before garbage like George Quinn posted goes up on the board….please…

  5. The "The Suburban Exodus That Never Was" Tuesday Edition Says:

    […] shooting death of Henryk Siwiak, killed on 9/11/2001, is the last unsolved murder of 9/11. (Ephemeral New […]

  6. Mark Says:

    What a sad and tragic story. I doubt a cold case team would ever be able to solve this, not after 19 years. This was too low profile, especially on a day like that.

  7. Demetra Says:

    How tragic!! Anything is possible and I hope they find who did this. RIP.

  8. Horrifying Upright Canine Encounter Near Navajo Reservation, Arizona – News of the Unknown Says:

    […] New York City’s last unsolved murder of 9/11 […]

  9. Tina Opines Says:


  10. Tasia M Says:

    Check out the wife very carefully

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