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83-Year-Old Trans Woman Indicted Over Killing and Dismembering Victim

Harvey Marcelin

The suspect was arrested and charged after the victim's head was discovered in her home. 


An 83-year-old woman in Brooklyn who has been convicted twice before of killing women she'd lived with has been charged in connection to another death.

Authorities charged Harvey Marcelin, who is a trans woman, with murder on Thursday after police found a head in her apartment, The New York Times reports.

The head belonged to a body found wrapped in a garbage bag in a shopping cart last week. A man walking past the cart discovered a torso after reaching into the bag, first feeling a roll of toilet paper and then the body, according to WNBC.

Marcelin has been indicted on second-degree murder charges connected to the death of 68-year-old Susan Leyden. She's also accused of dismembering Leyden and concealing the body parts.

She's spent over five decades in prison for murder and manslaughter. She was released in 2019.

"Last week 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," Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in court Thursday, according to WNBC.

Officials have not said how the two knew each other. An autopsy of Leyden is planned to discover the cause of death.

Parts of Leyden's remains were discovered on March 3 outside a pawn shop in Brooklyn. Security tapes showed Marcelin using the same bag days earlier, which led police to her home. It's there they found Leyden's head.

Other security footage also shows what authorities believe to be Marcelin leaving her apartment building with Leyden's torso.

Marcelin's previous convictions were in connection to murders in 1963 and 1984, according to the Times. In 1963 she was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting and killing her girlfriend in Harlem. Marcelin was given a life sentence after a jury couldn't decide to sentence Marcelin to death. In 1984, Marcelin was released. Prosecutors charged her with the fatal stabbing of another woman she was living with less than a year later. She pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter.

In the decades that followed, she was repeatedly denied parole until 2019.

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