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In bizarre testimony, defendant threatens prosecutor

By
NED KILKELLY

NEW YORK -- A self-professed marijuana dealer accused of killing a Swiss dancer and boiling her body parts threatened Wednesday to squirt stale urine from a water gun in a prosecutor's face during bizarre testimony that swung from grotesque to darkly comic.

Daniel Rakowitz, facing murder charges in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, also demanded to enter his own 'evidence,' advocated the use of marijuana by all adults, announced plans to run for president if acquitted, and staunchly defended his innocence.

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He also gave a list of the name-brand items he used to clean the bones of the deceased, which he said he had to do because they were starting to 'smell.'

Rakowitz, often ignoring questions and directives from Judge Robert Haft, took the stand armed with his own papers, at one point holding up an issue of 'High Times' magazine and turing to an article titled, 'Reefer and Racism,' eliciting laughter and looks of bewilderment from the jury.

Moments earlier, he demanded the opportunity to submit 'evidence,' apparently some of his medical records, before continuing to answer questions during a sometimes hostile exchange with assistant district attorney Maurice Mathis.

At one point, Mathis asked Rakowitz if he had wanted to hurt him during testimony last week. 'I would really loved to have broken your nose,' Rakowitz responded.

'If I'm freed after this thing, I'm going to get a machine-gun water pistol, fill it with urine, let it stagnate, and spray it all over your face,' Rakowitz said, pointing at the prosecutor.

Rakowitz is charged with killing Monica Beerle on Aug. 19. 1989, at her apartment on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Beerle, 26, was a dancer who left Switzerland in 1985 to take dance classes in New York. She was trying to kick Rakowitz, a vagabond and marijuana dealer, out of her apartment when he allegedly struck and killed her.

Prosecutors allege he then chopped up her body, boiled the parts and fed them in a soup to the local homeless.

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