CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CN) – Taking a bloody family saga to court, the children of a man murdered by his nephew on Long Island say police helped cover up for other relatives who were in on the plot.
Jonathan Roman pleaded guilty to the 2014 killing of his uncle, John Frankowski Sr., but a new federal complaint by Frankowski’s children show that the case is far from over.
John Frankowski Jr. and Kim Delaney filed their case Monday, three years to the day that their father’s body was found strangled, an eye socket smashed in, in a hole behind the house owned by his sister, Jonathan’s mother, Sandra Roman.
The complaint says Frankowski Sr. had been under enormous pressure in the months before his death because he had been appointed executor of his mother’s roughly $200,000 estate.
With their murderous cousin given an 18-year prison sentence, John Jr. and Kim say Roman was just one member of what they call the “Coram Cabal,” named for the Suffolk County hamlet.
The siblings say their aunt Sandra and her sister, Annmarie Porter, ordered the brutal murder of Frankowski Sr., but that they and other members of the cabal have evaded prosecution because of their connections to Nassau County police and prosecutors.
Jonathan Roman’s brother, Stanley, is the son-in-law, the complaint says, of retired Nassau County police detective Ronald Dandrea.
Noting that their cousin Roman had prowled around Frankowski Sr.’s house several times in the months before the murder to intimidate him, the complaint says that “three other members of the Coram Cabal waited in a getaway car” on one such occasion.
On another, cousin Roman broke into the house searching for Helen Frankowski’s death certificate.
Sandra also attempted to intimidate her brother, the lawsuit alleges, accusing him of stealing from the estate and screaming, “we want our fucking money!”
Nassau County police allegedly never investigated Sandra Roman, however, nor did they interview Sandra’s children and grandchildren, according to the complaint says.
Delaney and her brother say there are eyewitnesses who said that Sandra Roman and several other family members “spent several hours in the home where John S. Frankowski Sr. was murdered and where his body remained to decay.”
In spite of this, however, police allegedlynever obtained any surveillance footage that would indicate who traveled to the murder scene that night.
Delaney and Frankowski Jr.’s complaint against police and prosecutors comes a year after they sued Sandra Roman and other family members.
The pair believe that Sandra distracted their father just long enough to enable Jonathan to attack from behind, then dragged his body to the basement before burying him.
Frankowski Sr.’s body was still in the basement days later, according to the complaint, when members of the cabal gathered learned that the house would be searched.
“Before leaving New Hyde Park, the Coram Cabal attempted to thoroughly clean the basement area of the body fluids that dripped out of John Frankowski, Sr.’s dead body as they wrapped him up with plastic,” the complaint states. “The police subsequently discovered these cleaning items, which included a deodorizer used to neutralize the smell that emanated from John Frankowski, Sr.’s decomposing body.”
Cellphone tower data allegedly shows that Jonathan and his mother left the New Hyde Park area, where Frankowski lived, at around 10 p.m that night.
Frankowski had no defensive wounds that would have indicated a struggle, his children say, noting that this is another piece of evidence police should have investigated.
Weeks after her father’s death, Delaney allegedly received a call from her aunt, telling her that Frankowski died falling down the stairs after an altercation with her son.
“The Coram Cabal appeared to believe that they had committed the perfect murder,” according to the complaint. “At one point, Stanley Roman, the son-in-law of the retired Nassau County Detective, Ronald Dandrea, actually bragged to plaintiff Kim Delaney that his father-in-law, the former Nassau County Detective, Ronald Dandrea, told him that the police would not look for John Frankowski Sr. because he was ‘old and white.’”
Perhaps most damning is a surveillance video from across the street of Jonathan taking the wrapped body from the house and placing it in Sandra’s white Crown Victoria, which was parked outside on March 3, 2014, four days before the body was discovered, the lawsuit states.
Nassau police later obtained a search warrant to search the car, but the siblings say this was a “sham search warrant” to delay recovering Frankowski’s body and to prevent Suffolk police from prosecuting other family members of the cabal.
New Hyde Park, where Frankowski lived, is in Nassau County. Coram, where the Romans live and where Frankowski’s body was discovered, is in Suffolk County.
Nassau County police and the county’s district attorney have told Delaney that there is no evidence other family members — including Sandra or the other aunt, Annmarie — were involved in the planning or aftermath of the murder.
An officer with Nassau County Police Department said the department does not comment on pending litigation.
Brendan Brosh, a spokesman for the Nassau District Attorney’s Office, declined to comment.
Delaney and Frankowski Jr. are represented by Melville attorney Brian McCarthy.