Doctor getting divorce blew up home, dies from injury  

redmustang91 58M  
8979 posts
7/17/2006 7:51 am
Doctor getting divorce blew up home, dies from injury

A real life tragedy of a divorced doctor blowing up the family home rather than move out and sell took a further tragic turn as the doctor husband died from his injuries. A real life "War of the Roses". So sad.

Doctor Dies From Wounds Suffered in East Side Blast
The physician suspected of blowing up his $6 million town house on the Upper East Side as a way of taking vengeance on his former wife has died from the burns and other injuries he suffered in the blast, a hospital spokeswoman said yesterday.

Dr. Nicholas Bartha, 66, died at 11 p.m. on Saturday, said Mary Halston, an administrator at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell hospital.

Dr. Bartha, whose condition was complicated by obesity – he weighed about 350 pounds – and diabetes, had developed an infection and was breathing with the help of a ventilator.

In addition to Dr. Bartha, 10 firefighters and 5 passers-by were injured in the blast last week. The most seriously injured, Jennifer Panicali, 22, was treated for injuries from flying debris and glass at the same hospital and was released on Saturday.

Dr. Bartha, an internist, was never formally accused of causing the explosion, which investigators said resulted from a tampered gas line, but he was the prime suspect, according to the authorities.

Investigators were never able to interview Dr. Bartha, whom doctors placed in a medically induced coma because of the gravity of his injuries.

As a result of a protracted court fight following a ferocious divorce, Dr. Bartha was ordered to sell the town house, valued at nearly $6.4 million, and share the proceeds with his ex-wife, Cordula Hahn.

Dr. Bartha had vowed never to surrender the building. In an e-mail message to Ms. Hahn sent before the explosion, he wrote: ‘‘You always wanted me to sell the house. I always told you, ‘I will leave the house only if I am dead.’ You ridiculed me. You should have taken it seriously.’’

He also wrote, “When you read this lines your life will change forever. You deserve it. You will be transformed from gold digger to ash and rubbish digger.’’

Polly Passonneau, a lawyer for Ms. Hahn, said yesterday that her client would have no comment on her ex-husband’s death.

A lawyer for Dr. Bartha, Ira Garr, said, “It’s a very sad conclusion to a very tragic story.”

About two weeks before the explosion, Mark Baum, Dr. Bartha’s real estate agent, received a message that Dr. Bartha might be willing to sell the town house, something the doctor had not considered seriously three months earlier.

On July 7, however, three days before the explosion, Dr. Bartha was served with eviction papers because of the court battle over the property. And then on the morning of the explosion, Mr. Baum and others received a copy of the e-mail message that he had sent to Ms. Hahn. “The house represented his life, and he destroyed both,” Mr. Baum said.

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