Collyer Brothers Park is a small pocket park in Harlem, providing a temporary reprieve from the surrounding urban sprawl. But visitors taking a break on one of the park’s benches may be surprised to know that the park only exists because of the bizarre behavior of two brothers that would eventually result in their grisly death.
On April 8, 1947, workman Artie Matthews found the body of Langley Collyer just ten feet from where Homer died. His partially decomposed body was being eaten by rats. A suitcase and three huge bundles of newspapers covered his body. Langley had been crawling through their newspaper tunnel to bring food to his paralyzed brother when one of his own booby traps fell down and crushed him. Homer, blind and paralyzed, starved to death several days later. The stench detected on the street had been emanating from Langley, the younger brother.
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