Elderly serial killer Harvey Marcelin faces new murder charge
NEW YORK - An 83-year-old ex-con who did two stints in prison — each time for killing a woman — is now formally charged with murder again after police found human body parts in and near her apartment and obtained video of her riding a motorized wheelchair with a severed human leg in the seat.
On Monday, the NYPD announced the arrest of Harvey Marcelin, who identifies as a transgender woman, on murder, concealment of a human corpse, and tampering with physical evidence charges in connection with the killing of Susan Leyden, 68, of Brooklyn. As detectives escorted Mercelin from the 75th Precinct station house to an unmarked police car, Marcelin said, "I need a lawyer" three times.
Leyden's torso was found in a shopping cart on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Atlantic Avenue in the Cypress Hills section on March 3. Police said the body was in a large plastic bag inside the cart. Her head, arms, and legs were missing.
Police said on Feb. 27, Leyden was seen on a security video entering 50 Pennsylvania Avenue with the same shopping cart her body was later found in. Marcelin lives in an apartment in that building, police said.
NYPD: 83-year-old convicted killer had latest victim's leg in her wheelchair
Marcelin was seen on surveillance video inside a store getting up from a wheelchair and exposing a leg on the seat.
Marcelin and another unidentified woman went to a Home Depot in Manhattan on March 1 and purchased a saw, trash bags, and cleaning fluid, police said. They were then seen returning to 50 Pennsylvania Avenue.
The next day, Marcelin was seen leaving the shopping cart at Pennsylvania Avenue and Atlantic Avenue. About six hours later, a passerby called 911 about the cart, leading police to discover the dismembered body inside a trash bag.
Police searched Marcelin's apartment on March 4 and found a human head and other body parts as well as blood-splattered shopping bags, the NYPD said.
Then on March 7, a leg was found on Jamaica Avenue.
Get breaking news alerts in the free FOX5NY News app | Sign up for FOX 5 email newsletters
"This is a gruesome and barbaric homicide which resulted in a headless torso being disposed of on a New York City corner," Chief of Detectives James Essig said, adding that the arrest and indictment "takes a serial killer off our streets."
Marcelin spent decades behind bars for killing two ex-girlfriends. She was on lifetime parole for manslaughter, according to a New York State database.
Her record has five previous arrests, including felony assault in September 1957 and rape in March 1963.
On April 18, 1963, Marcelin shot Jacqueline Bonds with a .32-caliber revolver inside an apartment in Harlem. Bond ran into a bedroom where Marcelin shot her again. Bonds then staggered into the living room, collapsed, and died. Three bullet wounds were found in her body.
Marcelin was convicted, served 20 years in prison, and was released in May 1984.
Then in November 1985, she stabbed a girlfriend to death in Central Park, police said. After repeatedly stabbing the victim, Marcelin placed her body in a trash bag and left it on a street in Manhattan.
Marcelin was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and sentenced to a prison term of 6 to 12 years. She was released from the Cayuga Correctional Facility in August 2019.
At a State Parole Board hearing in 1997, Marcelin admitted that she had "problems" with women.