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Savyon Zabar's death in Upper West Side apartment ruled homicide, police say

The death of Savyon Zabar on the Upper

The death of Savyon Zabar on the Upper West Side has been deemed a homicide, the NYPD said on Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. Photo Credit: Theodore Parisienne

The death of a man found inside his Upper West Side apartment on Wednesday has been deemed a homicide, police said Friday.

Officers called to the West 81st Street apartment, between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues, around 10:30 a.m. found Savyon Zabar unconscious and unresponsive with no visible trauma to his body, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS personnel.

An NYPD spokesman said it appeared that Zabar had been strangled to death, but the city medical examiner’s office has not yet released a cause of death.

Zabar, 54, was well known in the New York City gay club scene and was often referred to as “Big Ben,” according to published reports.

Those who knew him took to social media to express their shock and sadness over his death.

Police said there was no evidence of forced entry at the fourth-floor apartment. There are no suspects at this time, police said. 


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