Twice-Convicted Murderer Charged Again After 2019 Prison Release

Marceline Harvey
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News & Politics
Jessica Powers

A convicted serial killer who was released from prison in 2019 has been charged with murder for the third time after police found a woman's body dismembered and discarded in Brooklyn, New York.

Police Found The Torso Of Susan Leyden Bagged In A Shopping Cart

She had a dismembered limb in her bag.
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The investigation began when police found the torso of 68-year-old Susan Leyden bagged in a shopping cart on Atlantic and Pennsylvania avenues in East New York. The gruesome discovery immediately launched a large investigation.

"Evidence includes extensive video canvassing, interviews of witnesses, search warrants executed to gather items recovered," Chief of Detectives James Essig said.

The Investigation Led Police To 83-Year-Old Trans Woman Marceline Harvey

Marceline Harvey
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Investigators say surveillance videos led them to Harvey Marcelin, also known as Marceline Harvey, an 83-year-old transgender woman who lives around the corner from where the torso was found.

Marceline Harvey has twice before been convicted of murder.

Police Believe Marceline Harvey Bought A Severed Leg Wrapped In Plastic Into A Store

Marceline Harvey
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Police believe Harvey befriended Leyden two years through social media. Leyden, who lived in an LGBTQ senior center in Fort Greene, was seen on surveillance video wheeling a bag into Marcelin’s apartment on Feb. 27 — and was never heard from again.

"On March 1, our perpetrator, Ms. Harvey, and another unknown female at the Home Depot in Manhattan, they purchased a Sawzall, trash bags and cleaning solutions," Essig said.

Police say surveillance video shows Harvey in a 99-cent store, where they believe she was sitting on a human leg wrapped in plastic.

A search of social media suggests a bizarre situation. There are several Facebook pages for both Susan Leyden and Marceline Harvey. One of the pages for Marceline Harvey shows only photos of Susan Leyden. It is unclear which page actually belonged to Susan Leyden.

Police Found More Body Parts And Evidence Inside Harvey's Apartment

Harvey was charged with murder twice before.
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Police then executed a search warrant of Harvey's apartment, where they found more body parts inside. Inside Harvey’s apartment, investigators also found a bloody mop, a tub full of towels, and a box for an electric saw.

She's now charged with second-degree murder for the death of her friend Susan Leyden.

"This is just the latest of a list of heinous offenses conducted over period of a lifetime by Ms. Harvey, and we can only hope she can do no more," Essig said.

The New York City Medical Examiner later said that Susan Leyden died of “homicidal violence” including blunt force trauma to the head.

Harvey Has A Long Criminal History, Including Two Murder Convictions

Harvey already served time in prison.
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According to the New York Times, Harvey always displayed a propensity for violence, particularly toward women, and had a complicated gender identity. According to court records and parole board minutes, Harvey was treated at Catholic Charities, which paired clergy and laypeople with troubled children, after the attempted rape at 14.

In total, Marceline Harvey has already spent more than 50 years in prison.

She was first arrested in 1957 for felony assault and in 1963 for rape. That same year she was arrested again for shooting a woman to death in Harlem and sentenced to 20 years to life.

Harvey was released in 1984 on lifetime parole and arrested a year later for stabbing a woman to death in Central Park. She was released from prison in 2019.

A spokesman for the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision told the New York Times that Harvey met the criteria for release. Harvey had completed therapy and coursework, and had letters of support from organizations that work with released offenders, the parole records show. The prison system had deemed her unlikely to commit a violent offense.