This Week in Riverhead History: Body found under garage in Wading River

The following stories were excerpted from Riverhead News-Review issues published 15, 20 and 30 and 100 years ago this week:

20 years ago …

Wading River man arrested after body found under garage

A woman’s guilty conscience reportedly led police to the grisly discovery of a dead body entombed under the cement garage floor of a Wading River home on Jan. 25, 1992, we reported in that week’s issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

And for five years, the man who was arrested, 42-year-old Roert Henry, continued to live in the very house that concealed the evidence of his alleged crime, we wrote.

Riverhead police said they received an anonymous call from a woman who said she watched Mr. Henry shoot Laurence Marrs during an argument on Christmas Eve 1986. After four hours of cutting through the floor and several iron posts that had apparently been used to reinforce the concrete, police found the body of Mr. Marrs, who died from a shotgun wound to the head.

A prosecutor said the fact that Mr. Henry had continued to live in the house for five years after the murder showed a “hardness of spirit and a singleness of purpose.”

The anonymous woman said she declined to come forward about the crime for so long because Mr. Henry had threatened to kill her.

Postscript: Mr. Henry served three years in prison on manslaughter charges, state records show. He was paroled in 1996.

Redistricting plan would merge forks

The North and South Forks would be merged into one State Assembly district instead of two under the new redistricting plan proposed by the Legislative Task Force on Demographic research and Reapportionment, we reported in the Jan. 30, 1992 issue of The Riverhead News-Review.

Assemblyman Joe Sawicki said that week he was against the plan.

“There’s no reason to combine the two of us other than politics,” he said. “The East End deserves nothing less than two representatives.”

Postscript: A similar proposal was announced last week. In 1992, Assembly districts were supposed to have about 120,000 residents. Today that number is over 129,000.

15 years ago …

Fast food cooking on 25A in Wading River?

Is McDonald’s coming to Wading River? That was the lead of one page 3 story in the Jan. 30, 1997 issue of the News-Review.

Postscript: Yes.

Multiplex on Main Street

A multiplex in the Rimland building? That was the lead of another page 3 story in the Jan. 30, 1997 issue of the News-Review.

Postscript: No.

30 years ago …

Flanders residents hit school board for tax relief

A boisterous overflow crowd of about 100 Riverhead School District residents this week presented the Board of Education with a stinging message to control tax increases, we reported in the Jan. 28, 1982 issue of the Riverhead News-Review.

The residents were there to express concern over a 17.5 percent tax rate increase for district residents living in Southampton Town. Riverhead Town residents faced just a 2 percent increase in their tax rate.

“We are asking the board to consider our plight,” said Flanders resident Angela Serini. “We are asking that you make a conscientious effort in these critical times of economic depression to bring us a budget that we can approve.”

Postscript: Similar concerns exist today, with no clear path of resolution ahead.

100 years ago …

Papers were served Jan. 26, 1912 on 21 South Jamesport scallopers arrested for catching bug scallops, we reported in that week’s County Review.

They were to be sued in civil proceedings in the Supreme Court to recover a $60 penalty each, we reported.

[email protected]