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Hundreds mourn slain Stamford man at funeral mass

November 23, 2016 GMT

STAMFORD — Hundreds of mourners gathered Wednesday at a funeral service for Joseph “Joey” Comunale, the 26-year-old killed after a night of partying in Manhattan, who loved ones remembered as fun, generous and especially devoted to his friends.

“Who in this room got a laugh out of Joey, raise your hand,” said Todd Greene, Comunale’s Hofstra University roommate, addressing mourners at St. Leo Parish.

“Four years with this kid at Hofstra, what I wouldn’t give to go back to that,” he said. “The one thing I take away from all this is that his friends, loved ones, everybody, has become one big family this week.”

“I couldn’t have come across a more fun-loving person,” Greene added. “He loved life.”

The crowd that showed up for Comunale’s mass spilled into the entryway at the Roxbury Road Catholic church. With a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” providing the moving coda, the service included remarks from his friends and father, Patsy Comunale.

“Joey would be mad at me for crying, because he never cried,” Comunale said.

“He loved his friends,” he continued. “He shared everything with his friends, I can assure you. My Marriott miles, my credit cards. I’m sure I paid for some of your meals, too. And if I had the opportunity, I’d do it all over again.”

James Rackover, 25, and Lawrence Dilione, 28, were arrested in connection with the killing, though prosecutors have not charged either with murdering the Stamford man. They were arraigned last week on lesser charges of concealing a human corpse and tampering with evidence. Rackover was indicted by a grand jury on Monday, while Dilione is scheduled to appear in court again next month.

Police believe Comunale was killed on Nov. 13 after a night of partying at Rackover’s apartment on Manhattan’s East Side. The Westhill High School graduate was stabbed 15 times and his body buried in New Jersey.

“We find ourselves here in this moment because of sin, sin that is in the world,” said Father James Grosso. “Evil, even.”