Murder of Kean rival remains unsolved

Among the unsolved murders profiled in the Star-Ledger today was Harry Dudkin, a 78-year-old Assistant Essex County Prosecutor who was killed on March 5, 1987 at his family stationary store in East Orange. “At first, detectives theorized that he had fallen and hit his head, but an autopsy the next day uncovered a .38-caliber slug in his head,” the Star-Ledger wrote. “By the time detectives canvassed the neighborhood, the crime was two days old.” Only then did investigators realize that the store’s daily receipts were missing. About forty years before his murder, Dudkin almost went to Congress. He was the Democratic candidate for the House in 1948 against five-term Congressman Robert Winthrop Kean, the father of the future Governor and grandfather of the ’06 U.S. Senate candidate. President Harry Truman called for his election during a campaign appearance in Newark on October 6, but on Election Day he lost to Kean by 4,737 votes — 53%-45%. He ran again against Kean in 1950, but lost by 8,598 votes — 54%-46%.

Murder of Kean rival remains unsolved