In 2010, New Yorker journalist Joe Nocera bought a house in Southampton, New York.
Not the fancy side of the Hamptons seen in shows like Gossip Girl and Revenge, but the quieter, more modest side where most the houses were pretty stock standard.
During Joe and his wife’s first summer in Southampton, they were introduced to their neighbour – a New York psychiatrist named Dr. Isaac Steven Herschkopf, who everyone called Ike.
Ike’s house was a little different to the one they were living in. It featured a two-storey guesthouse, a small wooden bridge and a fishpond. There was a huge sundial at the entrance to the basement and a miniature golf course.
Joe and his wife would often see another man on the property. Dressed in green, he would tend to the yard and buildings, and mostly kept to himself.
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One day, that man knocked on Joe’s door.
He told him he worked for a “very important psychiatrist in New York” and handed him a bundle of press clippings about Ike.
A few weeks later, the man returned with a formal invitation for Joe and his wife to join Ike at his ‘end-of-summer party’.
Joe went along and soon discovered the inside of the house was even more lavish and bizarre than the outside. The walls were covered with photos of Ike with famous celebrities. A photo of Joe and Ike would soon be added to the wall.
The next summer, Ike was gone.
That’s when Joe discovered the house actually belonged to the man who knocked on his door twice.
His name was Marty Markowitz and Ike was his psychiatrist.