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Seven Arraigned In Kidnap, Beating Death of Long Island Businessman

April 9, 1985 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Seven people charged with kidnapping a businessman whose body was found stuffed inside a trunk let him die ″in the most heinous circumstances″ before asking for ransom money, a prosecutor said.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Renee White on Monday ordered the seven held without bail on charges of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree murder in the slaying of Thomas Vigliarolo, 62, of Long Island.

He scheduled a hearing for Wednesday.

Assistant District Attorney John Lenoir said each defendant had been ″an active participant″ in the kidnapping and beatings that resulted in the Vigliarolo’s death ″in the most heinous circumstances.″

Vigliarolo, missing since March 20, was found Saturday stuffed inside a steamer trunk in a Harlem apartment, Lenoir said.

The prosecutor called one defendant, Louis Miranda, 64, the ″organizer and contractor for this kidnapping″ and ″at one point he personally took part in abusing the victim.″

At least one suspect told police Miranda believed Vigliarolo, who operated the Nationwide Investment Corp. from his home, had swindled him out of $160,000 that was to be used in a deal that fell through, said Detective William Spurling.

Vigliarolo was lured the apartment of one of the defendants, then was driven to the Harlem apartment, where he was stripped, tied to a bed and fed once a day while his captors demanded that he pay money to Miranda.

When his body was found several days later, Vigliarolo had been ″burned with cigarettes, beaten with a blunt instrument, and his sternum (breast bone) had been fractured,″ Lenoir said.

He apparently died of ″asphyxiation and the deprivations of his imprisonment″ on April 2, days before a ransom demand was made Friday, the prosecutor said.