We received the sad news this weekend that Markey Hayden Bena has died.
[Markey, (center) here with Slum Goddess and Johnny "Crutch"]
There are many rumors circulating about what may have happened to Markey. Some basic facts: He was found unconscious several days ago on Seventh Street. He never regained consciousness and died later at a hospital. In an e-mail to Bob Arihood, Markey's aunt said that there was only one mark on his head, which resulted from a fall onto the sidewalk grating. According to his aunt, the NYPD investigated the incident and concluded that he simply fell and hit his head. (Markey was prone to falling down, particularly when he had a few too many drinks.)
As for rumors, followers of Bob's Neither More Nor Less will recall several violent incidents in the past in which Markey had been attacked and beaten by a group of young males. (The first post on this topic was dated May 15, 2009.) In Bob's estimation, Markey had been attacked and beaten five times in the past year. Yesterday, on the hottest day of the year, there was talk in Tompkins Square Park that Markey had been pummeled by baseball-bat-wielding thugs and other scenarios that we'll refrain from circulating.
Regardless, while it's possible that something more happened here, the facts presented to Markey's family show that he died as a result from a fall. So until some further evidence is produced...
Markey was a friend to many people... and the neighborhood has lost another fixture.
Friday night, some of Markey's friends scrapped together enough money to drink to him with 17 King Cobras and a PBR. Friends have erected a memorial for Markey at 224E. Seventh St. near Avenue C.
Updated: A reader said detectives were in Tompkins Square Park this morning asking questions about Markey...
Melanie has a nice photo of Markey in the Park from this past March...
There is family memorial planned for:
Saturday, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m.
Andrett Funeral home, 353 2nd Avenue (at 20th Street)
Thanks to Bob Arihood for the two photos and assistance in gathering the facts for this post.