The story behind the crime scene
by Ed Wendell
May 24, 2016 | 5422 views | 0 0 comments | 88 88 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Retired NYPD Det. Ike Ilkiw after a presentation at the Woodhaven Historial Society earlier this year.
Retired NYPD Det. Ike Ilkiw after a presentation at the Woodhaven Historial Society earlier this year.
“There’s a story to be told about every crime scene,” says retired NYPD Detective Ike Ilkiw. “People walk the streets of New York never realizing that they’re walking past historic, and infamous, locations.”

Ilkiw will be giving a free presentation entitled “12 Infamous Crime Scene Locations: A Modern Perspective” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7, at the Avenue Diner, 91-06 Jamaica Avenue.

This presentation is part of the meeting of the Woodhaven Historians, which meets on the first Tuesday of every month to view presentations on our community’s history.

Ilkiw gave the presentation earlier this year at the Woodhaven Cultural & Historical Society and it was very well received. Through pictures and personal anecdotes, Ilkiw reviews a dozen of the more infamous crimes in New York City’s history, as well as giving you a glimpse of life as a NYPD Detective.

Ilkiw grew up in Cypress Hills knowing what he wanted to do with his life. “I always wanted to be a detective, even as a kid,” he said. “I watched ‘Columbo’ and ‘Barney Miller’ and I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

A 20-year veteran of the force (14 as a detective), Ike describes it as often being “front row seats to the best show on earth. You see the best and the worst of everything in New York City.”

After retirement, Ilkiw combined his years of experience with his fascination in New York City’s history and started researching some of the more infamous locations. Soon he was a licensed tour guide, leading double-decker bus tours through the city.

That led Ilkiw to create New York City Adventure Tours, which offers such tours as the “Law and Order Walking Tour (Cops and Robbers) of Lower Manhattan,” the “Twin Bridges Walking Tour” (which takes you over the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges by foot), and “Crime and Vice in New York’s Old Five Points,” in addition to a tour of Green-Wood Cemetery.

Of these, the Law and Order tour is extremely popular.

“We visit infamous crime scenes in lower Manhattan and we visit television and movie locations,” he said. “We take people down to central booking and the criminal courts building.”

The two-and-a-half hour leisurely stroll takes you through Little Italy and Chinatown and makes a few stops at famous restaurants and pastry shops.

In less than two miles you will visit infamous locations such as the Ravenite Social Club, the former headquarters of the Gambino crime family, led by John Gotti.

The tour also includes a stop at the former location of Umberto’s Clam House, where Crazy Joe Gallo was gunned down. Celebrating his birthday with his family at the restaurant, Gallo was hit five times and stumbled out to the sidewalk where he died.

Along the way you’ll not only hear about infamous crimes, but also those from the world of Hollywood. Ike Ilkiw is a movie and television buff and loves to show off locations where productions were filmed.

In fact, Ilkiw even has his own movie credit (you can look him up on IMDB) as he received special thanks on the remake of “The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 for his advisory role to director Tony Scott.

The Law and Order tour takes place on Saturday and Sunday mornings starting at 10 am and cost $30. You can visit for more information.

Come out on June 7 and meet Ilkiw at the Avenue Diner at the next meeting of the Woodhaven Historians.

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