Thursday, June 6, 2019


Samuel Wolkoff- June 6th, 1958, forever etched in my soul. 

My father was gruesomely murdered on this day many years ago, at the age of 42. I was 10 years old. 

He lost his life that day, I lost my childhood, my inner peace, and my soul. Samuel Wolkoff was MY FATHER. Tragically, I hardly remember anything about him, and almost nothing about our relationship as father and son.Today's Blog is in memory of Samuel Wolkoff, My Dad, tortured and murdered (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE).

The rest of the year, the ever present demons make sure I remember those whose memories others have tried to erase, these are my family, they were human beings who will never be forgotten by me, they lived and never deserved to die in such horribly suffering ways. 

To me it's very personal when June 6th arrives every year, a very painful day. It has now been 61 agonizing years since my father Samuel Wolkoff was brutally tortured and murdered.
But there are also extremely evil people who visit here. I suppose they come for many different reasons and I can see they are from all over the world.

I get emails frequently, mostly anonymous from others about the monster subhuman animal who murdered my father. They vary from other victims families murdered by the monster, friends of his, and entities that shall remain not named by me. 

Some of you are the cowardly, but powerfully dangerous scum bags who murdered my father, some are close murderous associates of my father, as well as those of you in the arrogant, incompetent, corrupt law enforcement systems, whose agencies knowingly covered their asses, and in doing so, betrayed your sworn oaths to defend justice, by participating in covering up the truth, obstructing justice in this capital offense, which has no statute of limitations.

My father believed in kindness, honesty, family, hard work, ethics, and his rights as a human being to reap the fruits of his labor for himself and our family.

He was a man who did not run away from the corrupt animals who wanted a "cut of his business" for themselves. 

He believed in himself and the law enforcement, legal, supposedly ethical "systems" to protect him from those that wanted the business that he had built from nothing, with his blood and sweat.

He believed in a code of personal ethics, morality, integrity that dictated honor, family, respect, fairness, loyalty, faith in humanity, and that no one is entitled to steal from another human being their right to live.

On June 6th, 1958 the world was already very evil, corrupt, his life was cheap, and scum bags took what they wanted, from who ever they wanted. That was the day they took my father's life, his business, and all of our souls.

Today, June 6th, 2019, the world is infinitely more evil, more corrupt, life is even cheaper, scum bags enjoy their lives as they take even more of what they want, from whomever they choose.

Many of the murderers of my father, and their children are still alive. They have all done extremely well financially and live with a high standard of living for themselves, their families have all thrived in spite of their evil deeds. 

Yes, my father was a hero, he is a hero who sacrificed his life for his beliefs. Seems old fashioned, naive, for someone to believe so strongly in doing the right thing. 

Yet somehow, he who had nothing, created a thriving business, and maintained his righteousness of believing in goodness, his business associates, his relatives, the legal/law enforcement system, and that being a hard working, good person is to be rewarded.

In the end, his naive belief in the humanity of others, particularly his relatives (we know who you are) proved that he was DEAD wrong and he paid for it with his life. 

We all know each other, or about each other, you know I have hidden away safely the written confidential secret official documents with my honest law enforcement and political friends, the written proof of all documented detailed real facts that would expose the ugly truths. 

Nothing to be concerned about, it will remain buried. 

We know the deal that protects all of us, the reasons that nothing else has been done by any of us about my father's murder, the reason these documents will remain hidden, is the unspoken but very clear mutual understanding we all have forever, of don't ever again fuck with any of my family, and in return, we won't fuck with any of you by making the real truth public.

Was it worth the unimaginable pain that he felt as he was tortured slowly for 5 hours on the night of June 6, 1958? 

What must he have been thinking during those horrific hours of going in and out of consciousness as they repeatedly tightened and loosened a rope around his neck?

Samuel Wolkoff's cause of death, 5 long hours of tortured Murder By Strangulation. 

Try to hold your breath for as long as you can, then wait 40 more seconds, exhale, that will give you a tiny sense of the horrific way my father felt for 5  consecutive hours, a rope tied as a noose, was continuously alternately tightened, then loosened around his neck, while his hands were tied behind his back. 

Death, when it finally came, must have been a merciful release for my father.

Was it worth it to believe that your goodness would triumph above evil, that god would watch over you, that law enforcement would protect you, that your wife, and children would not suffer beyond imagination for the rest of our lives?

Justice not served, justice not given, nothing complicated, nothing new, an innocent, good person, a human life stolen without any remorse, it happens all the time. 

How can a loved one who dies suffering, rest in peace, ever? The answer is they cannot rest in peace because of the way they died.
Seems like a simple thing to believe and its even reduced to a short acronym, R.I.P., easy to write. I can't write it, not possible, not after all the never ending suffering of my father, and our family.

Was it worth it, my hero, my dear beloved father? 

Was it worth it?

The march of the dead continues, May/June are the saddest months for me, I dread this time of the year, horrifically gruesome memories of human, innocent lives of my family wasted. 

I am often intrigued as to why over 104,000 people as of this date have visited my Blog. 

There are many good people who come here, victims, families of victims, people seeking justice, those who are fighting against injustice, human beings who care. 

I see search terms on my blog from people who arrive looking for information about my father, a lot of other interesting search words that only "you" would know. 

There are visitors here who are criminals, murderers, organized organized crime family leaders, law enforcement, the curious, all are responsible by their actions or inaction's for the injustices that are specifically detailed in many of my different Blog posts about all the victims I write about.

For an ultra private person like me, a blog is obscenely public, personal, grossly revealing, definitely not my style, but  interestingly, momentarily cleansing, a way of coming out, being up front with unbearable realities, my reality. Mostly I do it for those that can no longer speak for themselves, who experienced unimaginable suffering that ended their lives. In this moment, my father's reality.

I do know that MY FATHER was a courageous HERO. 

Dead heroes, no matter how courageous they are, never get remembered by society for their acts of courage. They are quickly forgotten, except by those who loved them.
Was it worth it for MY FATHER, Samuel Wolkoff, to stand his ground and give up his life in such a terrifying, grotesque manner at the hands of cowardly pussy punks? 

The world did not care about his life and did nothing.

My father's fatal errors that cost him his life? He  believed in trust, in the sense of obligation to very close members of his family, by giving them a chance to change their ways.

The good deeds he did, paid back by these very same, who had him murdered. Horrifically ugly, but brutally true, and they all got away with it, no guilt, no conscience, didn't bother any of them, never mattered to them.

Today we remember my courageous father. He is not resting in peace, and he never will rest in peace, that is certain. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019



It always begins on this date every year.

My beloved sister Iris died on May 28th, 2004, and this marks the beginning of the period each year that fills me with incalculable suffering,
 inexplicable unfairness, tragedy that has wrought its massive destruction of so many good, loved members of my family, who deserved so very much better than they received in life and death.  

Once again, another year has passed and I dread the intensified agony of overwhelming grief that envelops me for these lost souls of my family during the upcoming months.

I need not be told that it is here, since the pain is always present, all the time, year round, but becomes insidiously unbearable as of this date, and in the next few months, every year.

I painfully miss and mourn those of my immediate family who have died, more so than at any other time, as each year passes.

Increasingly difficult, filled with the aching of a lifetime beaten down into the ever present, toxic, non stop personal demons, nightmares, flash backs, with memories vividly stamped inside my brain, as if it were just yesterday that we were all together as a family and of course, big sister and little brother.

I planted purple Iris flowers, one of them pictured above in the garden out front of my house when my sister died.

Each year I take new pictures as they spring to life and insert one on this blog in memory of her. 

I like the idea that they are perennials, returning every year, flowering in all their beauty, now looking so alive on another anniversary today of the day she died, after a courageous, painful battle to live. 

We do that a lot in my family, fighting to live life to the fullest, and when our time comes, refusing to let go until our last precious breath. They call our family fighters, survivors, and that is what we do in both living our life with happiness as a gift never to be taken for granted, and also the darkness which is part of remembering.

Iris was a unique and compassionate person who quietly touched everyone she met with her kindness and strength. 

Iris is missed by all of us who loved her. We will never forget her beautiful smile.

My sister was full of life, insightful, quiet, brave,

loyal, sagely wise, and then she was gone forever, horribly, excruciatingly painfully, and irrevocably. 

She deserved so much better in her short time on this earth but it was not to be.

Iris, my sister, a gift to me in life, was more beautiful in a million ways than these magnificent flowers. 

I will miss you forever my dear sister Iris, most of all, 

I will always miss your caring love. 

I love you. 

Love, Your little brother- Jerry.

Friday, February 8, 2019





                                 OUR HEARTS ARE BROKEN


For Magnolia Grill’s Karen Barker, life revolved around food. What a sweet life it was.

Magnolia Grill's Karen Barker: 'There’s no such thing as bad pie'

The Southern Foodways Alliance produced this film on Karen Barker, the James Beard Award-winning baker of Durham’s Magnolia Grill, talking about her love of pie. Barker died on Feb. 2, 2019. Watch the full film at

"Karen Barker, the James Beard Award-winning baker of Durham’s Magnolia Grill and one of the brightest stars of the culinary scene she helped establish, has died.

Her husband, Ben Barker, said she died Saturday, Feb. 2, from metastatic cancer. She was 61.
Karen Barker, known for her sublime and whimsical desserts, won the 2003 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef, a national award given each year to the country’s top baker. That she won for her work in Magnolia Grill’s Ninth Street kitchen in Durham, one of the very few chefs in a small market to ever win, expanded the scope of culinary excellence beyond just America’s largest cities and started to draw attention to the Triangle’s restaurants.
“It was a powerful win for her,” Ben Barker said Thursday in an interview with The News & Observer. “It proved you didn’t have to be from a major metropolitan area to deliver world class food.”


“Her desserts were extraordinary, complex, the flavors perfectly integrated and layered,” Ben Barker said. “She built a standard of excellence here.”
The married couple’s kitchen also launched the careers of numerous chefs and owners of some of the area’s most acclaimed restaurants, including Angus Barn executive chef Walter Royal, Scott Howell of Nana’s and pastry chef Phoebe Lawless.
After closing Magnolia Grill in 2012, the Barkers helped their son, Gabe, open Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro three years later. Karen launched the restaurant’s dessert program, highlighted by rich and seasonal gelato and renditions of Italian cakes. Gabe Barker has been a two-time James Beard finalist since then for the Rising Star Award.
Gabriel Barker, son of Ben and Karen Barker (in background), former chef-owners of Magnolia Grill, stands in the space of what will become Gabriel’s new pizzeria at 408 W. Weaver St. in Carrboro on Tuesday, June 24, 2015.
Chuck Liddy


A love of food was the centerpiece of Karen Barker’s life, never shying from the occasional slice of pie for breakfast.
Karen Barker, born in Brooklyn in 1957, grew up on the Russian-Jewish cooking of her grandmother and all the tastes of New York at the time. Her grandmother taught her how to bake and made her lunch every day.
“My grandmother used to tell me, you know, the one thing that you never skimp on in life is food,” Karen Barker said in an interview with the Southern Foodways Alliance in the mid-2000s, when Magnolia Grill was still open. “So for me it’s — it’s about my whole life — it’s my working life, it’s my social life, it’s what I do with friends, it’s what I do every day professionally. It’s what I like to read about, and certainly, it’s more than just sustenance.”
Ben and Karen Barker met on the first day of culinary school at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., 40 years ago this year, placed side by side in the classroom.
“Being in the kitchen with her grandmother, I know, is where she saw the love of food,” Ben Barker said. “The table was the centerpiece of the family for both of us. Food is where you got to share and know each other. It’s what we loved and understood.”
They quickly became a couple, and in the course of their relationship, pieced together the dream of opening their own restaurant, with Karen gravitating to the sweet side and Ben to the savory.
“She was always way more talented than I am,” Ben Barker said. “I’m kind of a good brick layer, I can stack them up pretty well. She made things that were really extraordinary.”
After graduation, the couple married and returned to Ben’s childhood home of Chapel Hill to begin their careers, hoping to work under famed chef Bill Neal at Crook’s Corner, but were turned away by the late Southern food master because of their formal training. Instead, they both worked under his proteges at La Residence and then later took over the Fearrington House kitchen from the legendary Edna Lewis.
Karen and Ben Barker pose on the day they opened the Magnolia Grill in 1986.
The Barkers opened Magnolia Grill in 1986 as a seasonally focused fine dining restaurant in Durham, during an era long before the city became the foodie darling it is today. Still, Magnolia Grill blossomed.
Karen Barker made the desserts, handled the books and arranged the flowers in the restaurant, while Ben Barker cooked the savory courses. They had an open kitchen, the labor of love in the food on display to the dining room. It’s standard these days but unheard of then.
“There were no other contemporary restaurants, really, at that time,” Ben Barker said. “It was somewhat advanced, the kitchen open to the dining room. The goal was to show there were human beings back there devoting great care and attention to your food.”
Ben Barker will admit to the slight dent of his ego in acknowledging dessert as the draw to Magnolia Grill, accounting for 65 percent of the restaurant’s sales.
Caitlin McCormick, pastry chef of the celebrated restaurant FIG in Charleston, worked at Magnolia Grill immediately after graduating from UNC, intending the job to be a brief stopover on the way to graduate school. Instead she found a deepened love of cooking and a new career.
Karen Barker’s dessert menus were longer than most restaurants, usually eight different sweet dishes, each one a knockout, McCormick said. There was always something chocolate, always some expression of seasonal fruit, always some sweet take on cheese.
“I thought she was a wizard,” McCormick said, noting she met her husband working at Magnolia Grill. “In the first month of working there, I realized this is my life and my world. I knew I never wanted to do anything else in my life.


Pie was Barker’s true love in the dessert world, Ben Barker said, predisposed with naturally cold fingers that wouldn’t melt the fat in the crust dough. Her philosophy was berries and fruits in their seasons, the likes of blueberries and peach in the warm months, sweet potato pie, perhaps, in the winter.
She was named Bon App├ętit’s Best Pastry Chef in 1999.
Karen Barker is in charge of the desserts at Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro. The current menu includes a Buttermilk Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta.
Juli Leonard
“She always felt sweetness was the last thing she was was absolutely looking for,” Ben Barker said. “There was a complexity, a layering of textures and flavors, ingredients integrated in a not-quite-expected way, that made her desserts a delight and surprise from start to finish.”
Ben Barker said Neal dined at Magnolia on a couple of occasions, referring to Karen as the ice cream queen.
“Pie is a delivery system for love,” Ben Barker said. “Though Karen believed there was no pie or cobbler that wasn’t better with ice cream.”
Chef Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham, the reigning James Beard Outstanding Restaurant of the Year, called the Barkers his “spiritual soulmates.”
“It was always ‘Ben and Karen.’ Those words were how you addressed them,” Stitt said Thursday in a phone interview. “They were a legendary couple, you could see and feel the love they had for one another. It was inspirational.”
Son Gabe Barker grew up in Magnolia Grill, doing his homework while his mom arranged flowers on the dining room tables and his father prepped for service. Not being a fan of cakes, his birthday dessert was often enormous chocolate chip cookies decorated with icing. His parents’ extraordinary care with food has been the largest lesson, he said.
“To be able to open Mercato with a really small pastry program, to walk in the door and have all these perfect recipes, was a tremendous benefit,” Gabe Barker told The News & Observer Thursday. “She’s not trying to reinvent the wheel. But it is perfect whatever she chooses to do.”
Karen and Ben Barker’s Pizzeria Mercato will be a full-service, casual restaurant serving “pizza Americano,” a hybrid of Neopolitan and New York pizza styles.
Gene Furr Gene Furr
In spending her entire career in the Piedmont of North Carolina, the girl from Brooklyn came to know the South through her senses, absorbing tradition and place through the produce of the season and the methods of the local cooks before her. Ben Barker estimates it took his wife a year-and-a-half to understand his mother’s strong Southern accent, but that the food itself became a kind of dialect.
“She was always receptive to adventure and new things,” Ben Barker said. “There was a fine genteel demeanor, but a powerful inquisitiveness ... My grandmother was a great baker and she wanted to learn that skill set. She learned the repertoire of Southern desserts: cobblers, cakes and pies, mastering and excelling in them, but putting her own imprint on them. I don’t think she ever felt she was usurping some Southernness; she loved to make delicious food and wanted it to be excellent. She became the greatest Southern baker who wasn’t raised in the South.”
When it came time to fill out Karen Barker’s death certificate, Ben Barker wanted it to say “Greatest Pastry Chef” as occupation. He was told that it was doubtful that would be permitted.
It was accepted as fact for the official record.
A memorial service for Karen Barker will be held in the spring, Ben Barker said. Though she loved flowers, in lieu of them the family suggests donations to child hunger organization No Kid Hungry."