Accused senior serial killer kept getting released from prison | 7 On Your Side Investigates

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Monday, February 12, 2024
Accused senior serial killer kept getting released from prison
Dan Krauth has more on the investigation.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- At 83 years old, police say Harvey Marcelin was captured on a Dollar Store surveillance camera riding a motorized scooter while sitting on a human leg.

The senior citizen is accused of killing a friend, Susan Leyden, and chopping up her body. Marcelin is scheduled to stand trial on March 1 for the 2022 crime.

But many are questioning why the convicted murderer was free from prison in the first place.

"True Crime NYC: The Senior Serial Killer" is now available on Hulu. You can also watch it here and wherever you stream ABC7NY.

Marcelin had been convicted of killing two different girlfriends decades apart, but kept getting released from prison.

Back in April of 1963, Marcelin was convicted of shooting his girlfriend to death inside a Harlem apartment complex and was sentenced to life in prison.

But while behind bars for two decades, the sentencing laws changed in New York. A member of the three-panel parole board told Marcelin "your behavior was seriously assaultive to females" and Marcelin told the board "this will never happen again."

They granted parole.

After being free from prison for a year, police made a gruesome discovery in Central Park in October of 1985.

"We see the foot coming out of the bag, so we got something bad here," said Robert Boyce, retired Chief of Detectives for the NYPD. He was one of the first officers on the scene and discovered a bag with a woman's body inside.

"As soon as they arrested him, he gave it up," said Boyce. "He admitted to the whole thing."

Marcelin was convicted again and sent back to prison in 1986.

Dana Kennedy, a senior reporter with the New York Post interviewed Marcelin face to face.

"I basically said 'well did you kill her?' and he just said 'yea,'" said Kennedy. "There's a Hannibal Lecter feel to him for sure. There's a charming side and a Silence of the Lambs side."

After spending about 30 years behind bars, Marcelin had another parole hearing. Despite a parole board member saying Marcelin is "a great danger to his community," they voted to release him anyway.

At 85-years-old, Marcelin has pleaded not guilty in the most recent crime and is waiting for trial.

7 On Your Side Investigates wrote Marcelin a letter in jail. Instead of writing back, Marcelin called on the phone to say she no longer goes by Harvey Marcelin but Marceline Harvey and at 85 years old, she has transitioned and now identifies as a lesbian.

"He didn't care about pronouns or anything like that," said Kennedy.

"He said to me that Marceline, his sort of female personality, keeps a lid on Harvey and keeps a lid on Harvey's rages, but sometimes he's pushed to the point where Marceline can't help anymore and I guess Harvey just erupts."

Marcelin is being housed in a jail facility that houses women.

The state parole board released the following statement:

"The New York State Board of Parole, as the sole entity that considers and determines parole eligibility, is an independent body whose members have been appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Board members base their decisions on whether the standards for release are satisfied in accordance with Executive Law 259-i. It should be noted that every case is different. Prior to making a final decision, but after a personal interview, the Board members must follow the statutory requirements which take into consideration many factors, including statements made by victims and victims' families, if any, as well as an individual's criminal history, institutional accomplishments, including programming and education, their disciplinary records, post release plans, their potential to successfully reintegrate into the community, and perceived risk to public safety. Additionally, by statute, the Board considers any recommendations concerning release to Community Supervision from the district attorney, sentencing court and the defense attorney."

ALSO READ | True Crime NYC: The Senior Serial Killer | Full Episode

Dan Krauth talks about his latest investigation into a true crime story.



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