Letter offers solution to 75-year-old mystery about disappearance of Judge Crater

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Move over, Mark Felt. Just three months after the identity of "Deep Throat" was finally made public, authorities are chasing a new lead in one of the 20th century's other great unsolved mysteries: What ever happened to Judge Joseph Crater?

A recently discovered letter asserting that Crater was murdered and buried near the Coney Island boardwalk prompted tabloid headlines Friday about a case that has puzzled authorities ever since the newly minted judge entered a cab in midtown Manhattan and exited in parts unknown.

"1930 CRATER VANISH 'SOLVED,"' proclaimed the New York Post, although police said that wasn't quite the case. A Long Island woman discovered a letter left by her late grandmother, who claimed her husband once heard over drinks that a cop, his cab-driver brother and several accomplices had killed Crater and buried him on the current site of the New York Aquarium.

Police were uncertain about the letter's legitimacy, although they said they were combing through records to determine if any bodies had been unearthed during the aquarium's construction in the 1950s.

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