Three men charged with 2011 murder of Ditmas Park cafe owner

Ditmas Park asks: ‘Where is Josh Rubin’?
Rubin in 2011 before opening his Ditmas Park coffee shop.
File photo By Dan MacLeod

Three suspects have been charged with the grisly murder of Kensington businessman Joshua Rubin, the U.S. Attorneys Office announced Tuesday, marking the biggest development to date in the eight-year cold case. 

The 2011 murder of the well-liked coffee shop owner put the borough on edge, especially in Ditmas Park, where Rubin operated the Whisk Bakery Cafe. 

“After years of wondering what led to Mr. Rubin disappearing from his Brooklyn neighborhood and his body being found in rural Pennsylvania, his family and the community may finally get some answers,” said William Sweeney, Assistant Director in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

The three defendants, aged 27, 37, and 26, were each charged with murder through the use of a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. 

Rubin disappeared on Halloween night in 2011, after closing up Whisk and leaving his Kensington Apartment later that evening. A missing person report was filed at the 70th Precinct the next day, while Rubin’s charred corpse was recovered over 100 miles away in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Rubin was burnt beyond recognition and was not identified correctly until Dec. 21 of that year. 

The case drew the intrigue of the entire city, with reports emerging that Rubin had been dealing marijuana, and his distraught parents hiring a private eye to track down their missing son. 

According to the feds, Rubin was robbed of marijuana by the three suspects on McDonald Avenue between Parkville and Lawrence Avenues, and was shot and killed during the commotion. The suspects then allegedly burned and dumped Rubin’s body, authorities claim.