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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 31, July 30, 2006, Article 32

MORE ON THE FRANK LAPA/RAY YABLUM MURDER CASE

A couple years ago we had some discussion about numismatic author
and coin dealer Frank Lapa, who was convicted of murdering his
business patner Ray Yablum.  For background, here are links to
the articles in the E-Sylum archive:

LAPA COUNTERFEITS
esylum_v05n52a07.html

FRANK LAPA
esylum_v06n01a12.htm

LAPA MURDER CASE
esylum_v06n29a20.htm

Web site visitor Diane (Narvel) Reed of Ridgefield, WA writes:
"I was “Googling” names from my past and somehow did a search on
Ray Yablum and then on Frank Lapa. Why? Because I worked with both
of these men at the Chicago Coin Corporation at the time Ray
disappeared. I remember very well, watching the disintegration of
Frank during this time.  His behavior was the very reason I quit
working for Ray.

Frank was a covertly angry and aggressive man.  More than once I
had to defend myself from unwanted advances from Frank, at one point
I grabbed a pair of scissors off a shelf in the stock room to get
him to back off from his advances.  I finally had to tell Ray that
if he left me alone in the store with Frank I would walk out and
not be responsible.  Ray left me alone and I resigned the next day.

I was hired by a construction company immediately after I resigned
and on the train going into work I read about Ray’s disappearance.
I knew immediately that Frank had something to do with it.  I spent
the first two weeks of my new job being hounded (perhaps that is not
the best word) by the FBI for information.

I remember well, all the times Frank ranted in the basement offices
about how he “could just kill Ray.”  It was a comment most people
have heard others make and never paid given much credence to it.
I knew Frank was not stable. I also remember the odd calls I received
at home from Frank in the short time between when I quit and when I
read about Ray’s “disappearance.”

It is my understanding that Ray’s body was not identified by a ring,
but rather by a gold fist charm distinguished by three bands on the
wrist, that he worn on a chain around his neck.  When he was hit on
the head with the crystal ashtray, his head slumped forward. Frank
(or his ex-wife) removed the chain from Ray’s neck but the charm was
captured in the folds of his neck and was found when his body was
discovered.

I also remember the anguish Ray’s wife, Judy, suffered because his
body could/would not be released for burial for almost a year after
it was discovered.  If I remember correctly, he was murdered in
California, but his body was discovered in Nevada and the state line
issue came into play.

If there are any questions I might be able to answer, please feel
free to contact me.  It was such an incredibly long time ago, but
there is much about this that I remember like it was yesterday.

Could anyone tell me when Frank was released… when he died?"

[Here I am, amazed all over again by how The E-Sylum can help bring
together people and information from all over.  Earlier we had heard
directly from a police officer who worked on the case, and now we're
hearing from someone who knew and worked with both of the individuals.
Can anyone help answer Diane's question?   -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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