Harvey Marcelin: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

harvey marcelin

Police Harvey Marcelin

Harvey Marcelin is an accused New York City serial killer who police believe murdered three women over the years, dismembering the most recent victim.

Marcelin, who is transgender and 83-years-old, identifies as female but was born a male, according to New York police. She was convicted of two murders in 1963 and 1984, and is now accused of murdering Susan Leyden, New York police said in a news conference, the video of which was published by Fox 5 New York.

Marcelin spent decades in prison for murdering two girlfriends.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Police Released a Video They Say Shows Marcelin Sitting on a Human Leg in a Motorized Scooter

According to ABC News, video released by police shows Marcelin “riding a motorized scooter and sitting on a human leg in a 99 cent store in Queens.”

It’s believed the leg belonged to Leyden.

Police said in the news conference that the surveillance video shows Harvey getting out of the wheelchair in the store and “the leg is right there on the seat.”

In a press conference, police said that officers initially responded to a 911 call of a suspicious death and found a black plastic bag inside a gray bag in a shopping cart. Inside that black bag was a torso of a human body, later identified as Leyden, according to New York Police. Detectives then gathered evidence that led to 83-year-old Marcelin.

Police say that Marcelin was charged with second-degree murder, criminal tampering of evidence, and concealment of a human corpse.

They say that Marcelin and another female were spotted at Home Depot buying items that included cleaning solution and trash bags. They found trash bags and blood splatter in Marcelin’s apartment.

A man observed the shopping cart and called 911. The torso was found in it. On March 7, police found a human leg. Police called it a “gruesome and barbaric homicide.”

Police found body parts throughout the city and Marcelin’s apartment, according to police.

Authorities found “a human head and an electric saw” in Marcelin’s apartment, according to ABC. A woman’s leg was later found in the trash, the television station reported.

“It takes a serial killer off the street, this is just the latest in heinous offenses conducted in a lifetime by Miss Harvey and we could only hope she could do no more,” Chief of Detectives James Essig said in the news conference.

2. Marcelin Told an Acquaintance That She Wished She Had ‘Been Born a Goat,’ Reports Say

According to the New York Post, homeless people who knew Marcelin or hang out in a park she frequented are horrified.

“She chopped someone’s f****** head off. She actually severed someone’s head,” said one.

“She was in a f****** wheelchair,” said John Gallagher, 30, who knew Marcelin.

“I don’t even understand how she did what she did to this last one. She’s so frail. Even disposing the body the way she did, she must have had some type of help,” he told The Post.

“I imagine it’s not that easy even with power tools to dispose of a body. It seems like a lot for an 83-year-old to do, in a wheelchair nonetheless.” He told the Post that Marceline “once told me that she wished she had been born a goat and that she was a satanic witch. It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard.”

3. Way Back in 1962, a Doctor Found Marcelin Was a ‘Schizoid Person With Poor Impulse Control’

A U.S. Court of Appeals case in 1963 discussed Marcelin’s psychiatric hospitalization. The 1960s-era court records used male pronouns for Marcelin.

“Petitioner’s admission to Bellevue on April 9, 1962 was voluntary. He was discharged in the custody of his wife on April 16 after one week of hospitalization,” the court records say.

“The examining psychiatrist found that with medication petitioner had done very well. He also found that petitioner was not psychotic. The hospital record does contain the phrases ‘delusional grandiosity,’ ‘suggestions of chronic schizophrenia’ and ‘paranoid reaction personality.'”

Dr. George Hamilton Wilke, a psychiatrist testified that “a possibility of insanity can be entertained.”

But the doctor felt that Marcelin was not mentally incompetent to stand trial but was “a schizoid person with poor impulse control and suspicious ideation.”

4. Marcelin’s Record Goes Back to the 1950s

harvey marcelin

New York CorrectionsHarvey Marcelin

New York records show Marcelin was released on parole for manslaughter in 2019.

Police said in the news conference that Marcelin was on “life-time parole for manslaughter” and had five previous arrests, including a felony assault in 1957 and a rape in 1962.

According to Fox 5 New York, Marcelin’s first homicide victim was Jacqueline Bonds, who was shot to death in a Harlem apartment in 1963. “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,” Fox New York reported.

Police described that death as an “April 1963 homicide up in Harlem” where Marcelin “shot and killed female.” She received a 20 year to life sentence, and was released on life-time parole in 1984, police said.

She committed another murder a year later in Central Park, in 1985, police said, saying the victim “was stabbed and cut up and dumped in body bags.” Police said that old detective bureau logs refer to that victim as having been “cut up to pieces.” Marcelin pleaded guilty to manslaughter, receiving a six-12 year sentence, but was paroled again in August 2019, police said in the news conference.

Fox reported that, in that death, Marcelin stabbed a girlfriend to death in Central Park and then put her body in a trash bag.

A court opinion on Marcelin says,

Petitioner was sentenced to a prison term of 6 to 12 years following his conviction for the crime of manslaughter in the first degree stemming from the stabbing death of his live-in girlfriend. After repeatedly stabbing the victim, petitioner placed her body in a trash bag which he left on the street. At the time of the commission of this crime, petitioner was under parole supervision for life as a result of a 1963 conviction of murder in the first degree which also involved the death of a woman with whom petitioner had been living.

5. Marcelin Admitted Having ‘Problems With Women’

According to a court decision into Marcelin’s bid for parole, in 1997, Marcelin admitted having “problems” with women.

Marcelin spent more than 50 years of her life in prison, NBC New York reported.

Leyden, the most recent victim, was a 68-year-old woman “living in an LGBTQ shelter” police said in the news conference. They said that Leyden was an activist in those areas.

“…my Office charged Harvey Marcelin with allegedly concealing the severed head of a woman in her home and discarding the victim’s torso in a bag on the street. Today, the grand jury indicted Harvey Marcelin for murder, and my office is committed to vigorously seeking justice. The facts of this horrific case are gruesome and unsettling and my heart is with the victim’s family and friends,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez to NBC New York.

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