true crime

The new 'Dirty John' has dropped, and it's all about a psychiatrist named Ike.


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.


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.


Marty first went to see Ike the psychiatrist more than three decades earlier. Ike took him on as a client, promising to help solve all his problems for him.

Within just a few short years, Ike had allegedly isolated Marty from most of his family and friends.

According to Marty, Ike oversaw all of his business decisions and even appointed himself as ‘President’ of Marty’s Manhattan company, Associated Fabrics Corporation.

Marty’s sister, Phyllis Shapiro, originally worked with him in the business but Ike allegedly encouraged Marty to repeatedly cut her salary until she was forced to quit.

He then told him to bring along photos of the two of them to therapy and instructed Marty to cut Phyllis out of the photos.

Then Ike took over Marty’s home in Southampton.

It wouldn’t be until almost 30 years later that Marty would kick Ike out of his home and take back control of his life.

His story is bizarre, but he wasn’t the only one of Ike’s patients to have a unusual relationship with the psychiatrist. Ike allegedly left many confused patients in his wake. Vulnerable people who had turned to him for help.

The Shrink Next Door, a new podcast from Wondery and Bloomberg, dives into the peculiar case of the New York psychiatrist, his cult-like following, and attempts to get to the bottom of how he was allegedly able to permeate every aspect of his client’s lives and get away with it for so long.

You can listen to the first four episodes of The Shrink Next Door now