Family revisits ice cream king's death
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April 23, 2007

The woman stepped to the counter inside the Carvel store in Bay Ridge and ordered a chocolate ice cream cone. She handed the treat to her daughter, who took it with a big smile.

More than 1,250 miles south, Pamela Carvel, a niece of the late Tom Carvel, walked into the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and filed a complaint. She was not smiling.

She is not convinced that her uncle, the ice cream magnate known for his gravely voice and his famous birthday cakes, died of natural causes 17 years ago in his upstate New York home. She thinks he was slain -- killed because he realized employees had been stealing millions from his company.

To prove it, Pamela Carvel on Friday began the legal process to have her uncle's body exhumed from a Westchester County cemetery and an autopsy conducted. A private investigator for the niece says the doctor whose name is on Tom Carvel's death certificate has admitted he can't recall signing it -- and the handwriting that appears on another part of the document and explains how Carvel died does not appear to be his.
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Stealing from Tom Carvel? Is there nothing sacred anymore?