Kidnap victim Harvey Weinstein dies

May 26, 2007 at 9:58 PM
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NEW YORK, May 26 (UPI) -- Harvey Weinstein, a New York businessman who spent 12 days buried in a pit when he was kidnapped in 1993, has died at age 82.

Mark Weinstein, his son, told The New York Times he had been ill for some time. Harvey Weinstein died May 13 in Manhattan.

Harvey Weinstein -- then chairman of Lord West Formal Wear, the company his father founded -- was abducted as he ate breakfast in a Queens, N.Y., diner. His kidnappers kept him buried in a pit near the Henry Hudson Parkway in upper Manhattan while they negotiated a ransom payment.

Police detectives dug him out after one of the kidnappers was followed after picking up $3 million. The man, Fermin Rodriguez, turned out to be a former Lord West employee.

"Thank God you're here, and I'd like to have a cigarette," were Weinstein's first words on his release.

Weinstein later told his sons that his experience as a Marine during World War II -- including serving as a gunner on Iwo Jima -- helped him survive the ordeal.

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