Fugitive sought in double stabbings

An international fugitive was caught on a security videotape hauling two suitcases out of the Brooklyn apartment building where two women -- his live-in girlfriend and her adult daughter -- were later found stabbed to death, the NYPD said Tuesday.

Police investigators wanted to question Nikolai Rakossi, a Russian immigrant, in the slayings.

The security camera showed Rakossi, 56, leaving the building about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, police said. Police spokesman Paul Browne said investigators believe Rakossi went directly to Kennedy Airport with a one-way ticket to Moscow. His Aeroflot flight departed at 7 p.m. and arrived in Russia at 12:30 p.m. Monday.

The bodies of Tatyana Prikhodko, 56, and her daughter, Larisa, 27, weren't discovered until five hours after Rakossi's plane took off.

The women, both nurses, were stabbed several times in the face, neck and torso. Two knives believed to have been used were recovered. The motive was unclear.

The NYPD said it was working with the State Department and Russian authorities to determine Rakossi's whereabouts.

40 cops face charges in ticket-fixing case

Up to 40 NYPD officers could be charged in a brewing Bronx ticket-fixing scandal, two law-enforcement officials and another person familiar with the case said.

The three people said the NYPD has used wiretaps to secretly record officers asking union delegates to have speeding and other traffic tickets torn up as favors for relatives and friends. One said the cases could be brought as early as July.

The three people spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is the subject of a secret grand jury probe.

Edward Mullins, the head of the sergeants union, said the department has turned a blind eye to the practice for years. He called the criminal case overkill.

Police, prosecutors and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association all declined to comment.

Brooklyn Botanic gets $7.5M donation

A philanthropic foundation has pledged $7.5 million to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to support improvements like expanded and restored gardens and better visitor services.

The gift from the Leon Levy Foundation led by philanthropist Shelby White is the largest contribution by a living donor in the institution's 100-year history.

The donation announced Tuesday will be part of the 52-acre garden's Campaign for the Next Century.

Some of the projects already undertaken as part of the campaign include a new herb garden, an expanded native plant garden and a water garden that will anchor a gardenwide water-conservation effort.

The garden is also working on a new visitor center and better entrances. It hosts more than 725,000 visitors a year.

Men cleared in rape seeking settlement

Some of the men imprisoned and then later cleared in the vicious 1989 rape and beating of a jogger in Central Park called on New York City to offer them a settlement.

The five imprisoned following the 1989 attack have each sued the city for $50 million. Two joined their lawyers Tuesday, on the 22nd anniversary of the attack, to ask for a speedy resolution. The city Law Department didn't comment.

Raymond Santana said spending much of his teens and 20s in prison has left him behind as he's tried to build a normal life. He says he has no steady work.

The five were cleared in 2003. Another man, who was already jailed for other crimes, confessed to the attack. DNA evidence supported his claim.

Compiled from wire reports

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